Helen Hunt talks playing sex surrogate in ‘The Sessions’

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CBS News

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

(CBS News) In the movie “The Sessions,” Helen Hunt plays a unique kind of therapist tasked with helping a polio-stricken poet explore his sexuality. It’s a role that has not only earned her praise with critics, but also an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

The New York Times called the film “a pleasant shock,” and something audiences “won’t forget.” Appearing on “CBS This Morning” Thursday, Hunt said she was surprised at how much people were laughing in the theaters.

“I’ve played real people before and you get the call to women you’re playing. Secretly you don’t get that much, because you’re bringing your life to this story. In this case, I fell so in love with this woman’s fire and enthusiasm and positiveness,” said Hunt. “She exudes mental health mixed with sex. It’s rare on film. I don’t see it very often.”

She told the “CBS This Morning” co-hosts James Brown, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King that she did not think about the nudity involved in the movie before accepting the role. “I read it and it was so beautiful and so rare that I said yes before I had a chance to think about the implications,” she said. “And by the time it we had to shoot it I was so deeply in love with the spirit of the movie, that I kind of skipped the part where I went, ‘eek.’”

Hunt is known to many for her role on the sitcom “Mad About You,” which ran for seven years. Although she hints that it wouldn’t take much to go back to the small screen, she said she’s looking for a little bit more in a role and a “a good script.”

“I see and I had a few opportunities, I’ve passed on, doing that one-hour, 22 episode thing, and I think as a mother I’m blessed that I worked a lot and I can afford to not do that, I just don’t want to miss it, I wanted a child so badly that I didn’t want to miss it,” she said. “There are so many opportunities to do 12 wonderful episodes a year; I’d love to be asked to do that.”

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