Jennifer Aniston is “timeless and infinitely talented,” Patricia Clarkson tells Zap2it about her director for Lifetime’s “Five” Monday (Oct. 10).
The film, directed by five different women, features the gripping stories of five women dealing with breast cancer. Jeanne Tripplehorn (“Big Love”) playing the doctor is the only link among them.
Tripplehorn’s character, Pearl, has to tell the women they are sick. In the case of Clarkson’s character, Mia, about as sick as one can be since she’s diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
“It’s Stage 4 because I didn’t go get a mammogram,” Clarkson says. “She didn’t catch it early.”
“My piece was one of the most extraordinary things I ever read,” Clarkson says. “And it frightened me deeply. This piece ate my lunch. It was brutal.”
Mia has that raw honesty of those who run out of time. She drinks a bottle of Cristal a day, fritters away her savings and lives each day as if it were her last because it could be.
“I don’t look TV sick, I look sick sick,” Clarkson says.
It’s not spoiling anything to say that it ends well because this chapter of the movie is told from the end to the beginning.
Mia has massive rounds of chemotherapy, her longtime husband leaves her while she’s heaving from the chemo, and she even stages her own funeral. Given this subject matter, funny may not be the first word that jumps to mind.
“It’s funny, funny, funny,” Clarkson says. “With Jennifer Aniston directing the light and dark are ever present.”
“And then I live and marry Tony Shalhoub,” Clarkson says. “Who would not want to marry Tony Shalhoub?”
Clarkson recalls telling Aniston: ” ‘You are good as a director! Screw you! Go stand in the corner.’ Great actors make great directors.”
“When you see the whole piece, it is brutal,” Clarkson says. “All have been cut down to just the emotional life. Each is 20 minutes and in that span of time, you travel a distance.”