'The Sessions' Courts Oscar Buzz
October 11, 2012
The stars of the Sundance favorite The Sessions premiered their film in Los Angeles Wednesday night, and while they remained humble about the film's growing Oscar buzz, the talk quickly turned to the concept of the purpose of a "sex surrogate" and of John Hawkes' amazing performance as a man stricken with polio.
"To play a man with no movement from the neck down while Helen Hunt is undressing you, the urge is to help, basically, and I was unable to do that," says Hawkes with a laugh. "I tried to capture [the essence of Mark O'Brien], his voice, his body, as best I could."
Based on O'Brien's true story, The Sessions takes an entertaining approach to the serious subject of a challenged man (Hawkes) looking to lose his virginity to a professional sex surrogate (Hunt) with the help of his therapist (Moon Bloodgood) and priest (William H. Macy). From there, the surrogate works to prepare him to find a true partner in his life.
"This is a snowsuit compared to what I wear in the film," joked Hunt about her red-carpet ensemble, explaining that the woman she based her character on is "an incredible, enthusiastic, positive person whose life is trying to instill a positive feeling into sexuality. … It's pretty great. I just had never heard of a sex surrogate and I learned that it's different from a prostitute."
The Sessions arrives in theaters October 19.