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Helen Hunt calls her sex scene in new movie "extraordinary"

BANG Showbiz   | January 17, 2013 17:44 IST (London)
Helen Hunt

A still from the movie

Helen Hunt stars as sex surrogate Cheryl in the real-life story of how she helped paralysed journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, played by John Hawkes, to lose his virginity.

Helen Hunt says her stark sex scene in her new movie The Sessions is "extraordinary".

The 49-year-old stars as sex surrogate Cheryl in the real-life story of how she helped paralysed journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, played by John Hawkes, to lose his virginity.

She told Stylist magazine: "Mark's disability is the thing that allowed the sex in this movie to be like the sex we all have; in a real way, rather than a choreographed, weird way. "There's no fancy lighting and music swelling. It's just happening; it's kind of extraordinary." The emotional nature of its story made the film easier for Helen, ridding her of any embarrassment at showing full-frontal nudity.

She explained: "I used Cheryl's desire to make [Mark] comfortable to balance the nerves. "She wanted him to know she was comfortable with her body to allow him to think, 'Maybe I can be comfortable with my body.' That helped; that got me through."

The film takes its story from How I Became A Human Being, the autobiography of Mark O'Brien, who was forced to wear an iron lung for most of his life after contracting polio aged six. It's a challenging role for Helen, who admits it is a definite departure from anything else she's done over her 40-year career.

She said: "[Cheryl is] unlike any real person I've played before. And I've played a lot."

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