Prepare to see Jennifer Aniston like you’ve never seen her before. The 45-year-old actress shed her makeup and bubbly persona to play a damaged woman dealing with chronic illness in "Cake," her first major dramatic role. Following the feature film's trailer debut via ABC News Thursday, fans and noteable industry members are already beginning to question whether the part could earn everyone's favorite "Friend" an Oscar nomination.
In the "Cake" trailer, gone is the fun aunt persona fans have come to expect from the “Horrible Bosses” and “We Are The Millers" films. Instead, this is a powerful, dramatic performance that shows struggle with weighty matters of death, suicide and recovery. Needless to say, Aniston has come a long way since her first movie credit in the 1993 horror "Leprechaun."
“Cake,” according to Deadline, focuses on a woman with chronic pain dealing with the death of one of the members of her support group (Anna Kendrick). Aniston's character hopes to deal with the loss by assimilating herself into the lives of her late group member’s son and husband (Sam Worthington).
So could Aniston potentially walk away with an Academy Award win, or at least a nomination, this award season for her performance? HitFix notes that the film’s release will make it an Oscar-qualifying movie, and that Aniston is clearly swinging for the fences with this performance. Jimmy Kimmel even confessed to being blown away by the film and asked the actress about her award worthiness when she appeared on his ABC talk show last week. However, she playfully avoided speaking on the matter. She did, however, tell ABC News that she’s not interested in the fan fare that comes with award buzz during an interview.
"It's flattering, it's humbling, it's exciting, whatever, to even be in that conversation, so to speak, so I think that's just a win in itself,” she told the outlet.
Still, that won’t stop Hollywood from thrusting award show greatness upon her. “Cake” is such a departure from what she is normally cast in that the fact that it appears to be a great movie, is only just adding fuel to the fire.
“Rarely is Aniston the sole focus of a film. She stars in movies that revolve around couples — failed relationships, fledgling relationships or, in one case, a relationship with a labrador retriever,” writes Stephanie Merry of the Washington Post in an opinion piece explaining why the actress deserves so much attention for her performance.
Separate from all the praise, it also doesn’t hurt Jenn's chances that she’s surrounded herself with an all-star cast. In addition to the former “Friends” star, “Cake” features Adriana Barraza, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington and is directed by Daniel Barnz. Check out the trailer below to get a look at Aniston’s first dramatic role.
"Cake" is currently in select theaters.