"Five," the highly-anticipated series of short films about breast cancer directed by Demi Moore, Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Patty Jenkins and Penelope Spheeris, is set to debut on the Lifetime cable network on Monday, October 10.
Moore's film, "Charlotte," opens the series and is set in 1969. Ava Acres plays a young girl named Pearl whose family tries to stop her from seeing her mother, who is dying of breast cancer in her bedroom. Pearl grows up to help others battling the disease and opens up an oncology clinic.
The character's mother is played by "Big Love" actress Ginnifer Goodwin, while her co-star from the hit HBO series, which ended last year, is portrayed by Jeanne Tripplehorn. "Charlotte" also stars "LOST" actor Josh Holloway, Annie Potts, Bob Newhart and Jennifer Morrison, formerly of "House M.D.," who also appears in the upcoming ABC fairy tale-themed show "Once Upon a Time" along with Goodwin.
Aniston's movie, "Mia" depicts the breast cancer struggle of a woman by the same name, played by Patricia Clarkson. Amid her battle, she holds a mock funeral for herself, gives away her possessions and marries for the second time. The film also stars "Monk" actor Tony Shalhoub and Kathy Najimy.
Keys' film in the series, "Lili," marks the R&B singer's directorial debut.
"I think you're going to be beyond blown away when you see what she did," Tripplehorn told OnTheRedCarpet.com host Rachel Smith and other reporters in a satellite interview.
"Lili" tells of two sisters, played by Rosario Dawson and Tracee Ellis Ross, who help their mother, portrayed by Jenifer Lewis, deal with her breast cancer diagnosis. Jeffrey Tambor plays a male patient diagnosed with the disease.
Another film, "Cheyanne," is directed by Spheeris and stars "Nikita" actress Lyndsy Fonseca as a stripper who is diagnosed with breast cancer and must undergo a mastectomy. The fifth movie, "Pearl," is directed by Jenkins and revisits the story of Tripplehorn's character from "Charlotte." In this film, Pearl the oncologist now has a daughter of her own and must find the strength to tell her that she has herself been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Moore and Aniston have directed one project each in the past. Moore helmed a 2008 short called "Streak," which stars her and Bruce Willis' daughter, Rumer Willis, while Aniston directed "Room 10," a 2006 short starring "The Princess Bride" actress Robin Wright.
"Jennifer and Demi just had the most graceful transition from in front of the camera to behind the camera," Tripplehorn said. "I was quite envious that they didn't have to go through hair and makeup and that they were able to just show up even though they still looked even more beautiful. Jennifer and Demi, they've got a career in directing and I hope they do it, I hope they continue."
Jenkins has in the past directed movies such as "Monster," which earned Charlize Theron an Oscar, and episodes of "Entourage" and "Arrested Development," the latter of which starred Tambor. Spheeris has helmed projects since the late 1960s, including the hit 1992 cult comedy movie "Wayne's World."
"I really felt for women who are actually dealing with breast cancer - the kind of maze of doctors and insurance," Tripplehorn said. "It's kind of messed up, I have to say. We need to not only find a cure for this disease but we also kind of need to deal with how women are treated when faced with this."
"It's much better than it was," she added. "And we show that, how in the '60s you couldn't even put the words 'breast' and 'cancer' together - they were both the unspeakable. You didn't talk about them. So we have come a long way but I'm hoping that 'Five,' airing during Breast Cancer Awareness Month will be just another chip on this rock trying to take it down, this rock of a disease that just ... doesn't seem to be moving."
Additional reporting by Rachel Smith, co-host of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).
Check out a preview video for "Five" below. The movie debuts on Lifetime on Monday, October 10, at 9 p.m. ET, which repeats airing on October 11 at 1 a.m. ET and on October 15 at 8 p.m. ET.