Helen Hunt takes on an interesting role in the buzzed about indie film "The Sessions."
The 49-year-old actress plays a sex surrogate, a type of sex therapist who engages in physical intimacy with patients in order to help them overcome sexual issues.
In the film, Hunt's character, Cheryl Cohen Greene, is helping 38-year-old writer Mark O'Brien (played by John Hawkes) lose his virginity. O'Brien has had polio since childhood and is paralyzed from the neck down, but he is still able to have an erection. The film is based on O'Brien's true story, which he chronicled an article titled "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate." O'Brien died in 1999 at the age of 49.
William H. Macy, who currently stars in the Showtime series "Shameless," portrays a Catholic priest who helps Hawkes' character spiritually.
Originally titled "The Surrogate," the film debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival where it won the dramatic audience award and special jury prize for ensemble acting. It was also picked up for distribution by Fox Searchlight.
The film is set for release on October 26 and a new clip from the movie debuted recently online and can be seen below. It shows the first meeting between O'Brien and Cohen Greene.
The real Cohen Greene is now a 67-year-old grandmother and is one of almost 50 registered sex surrogates in the United State. Back in January, she told CNN that she has seen more than 950 clients, most of them in her home in Berkeley, California.
"I'm not getting paid for sex," she said. "That is a piece of it but more of the session, we are doing communication skills, touching skills."
Her husband, Bob, told the cable network: "It doesn't bother me because I know what she is doing."
Hunt earned an Oscar for her role in the 1997 movie "As Good as It Gets," which also stars Jack Nicholson, and last appeared in the film "Soul Surfer," which was released in 2011. That year, Hawkes appeared in the thriller "Contagion" and the movie "Martha Marcy May Marlene." He is also known for his role as Dustin Powers on the HBO series "Eastbound & Down."
Ben Lewin, who wrote and directed "The Sessopms," has helmed films such as "Paperback Romance" in 1994 and "Georgia" in 1998. His last directing project was a 2003 episode of the spiritual drama series "Touched By An Angel."
Check out a clip and the trailer for "The Sessions" below.