Helen Hunt plays a sex therapist in The Sessions, the true story of a man in an iron lung who wants to lose his virginity. Hunt spends a lot of time naked with co-star John Hawkes and she felt happy about it.
"I might take my clothes off right here, not just in this movie!" she joked at Sunday's TIFF press conference. On a serious note, Hunt admitted that performing naked is not a casual decision. "You know, it's not nothing to take your clothes off in front of a room full of people you don't know. But I think my desire to bring the story to life outweighed my fear about that."
Hunt said she also realized that she is in a mature stage of her life. "It's getting late. I'm getting older. Whatever. It just didn't seem as big a deal as the chance to be part of a movie about being human. It was a healing thought for me to be part of movie that was about touching each other."
Hunt also found herself grappling with the difference between a prostitute and a sex therapist. While thinking out her answer, co-star William H. Macy offered: "Sixty bucks, I think!"
From Hunt: "I have one good thing: A prostitute hopes for return business and a sex surrogate hopes to send you on your way with an ability to have a sexual life."
The Sessions, despite Oscar buzz, will be released in the U.S. with a stigma: The MPAA has rated it restricted in the U.S. because puritanical forces there think sex is dirty.
"This is R-rated and Batman is PG-13," Macy said of The Dark Knight Rises. "I don't know a more polite way to say it but the ratings board needs therapy. I'm not joking! Violence is ugly and it's always ugly. Sex is good. Even the bad sex I've had was pretty good."