Why Anna Kendrick Says ‘Cake’ is Some of Jennifer Aniston’s Best Work

Anna Kendrick is well-known for her work in comedies and musicals. But for her most dedicated fans, her acting in dramatic films is the most representative of her ability to inhabit a character.

Kendrick has acted in several dramas over the years, including Cake, which premiered in 2014. In the film, Kendrick acted alongside Jennifer Aniston, the iconic performer who rose to fame in Friends. While Cake flew under the radar for most film buffs, there’s no doubt that the movie contains stellar work from both Kendrick and Aniston. In a 2020 interview, Kendrick praised her co-star for turning in a truly incredible performance. 

What is ‘Cake’ about?

Cake was released in late 2014. The film stars Aniston, Felicity Huffman, Kendrick, Sam Worthington, and William H. Macy, and tells the story of a former attorney named Claire Bennett, who struggles to cope with her grief after she survives a traumatic car crash that killed her son, according to IMDb. The film was a dramatic change of pace for Aniston, who played Claire. Kendrick portrayed Nina Collins, a young woman who is a part of her chronic pain support group.

Nina’s shocking suicide ends up having a profound effect on Claire, appearing in a number of Claire’s dreams and hallucinations. While Kendrick and Aniston shared only a handful of scenes together, it’s clear that great mutual respect and appreciation grew between the performers. In a July 2020 Vanity Fair interview, Kendrick opened up about the process of filming Cake, praising Aniston’s total commitment to the part of Claire.

What did Anna Kendrick say about Jennifer Aniston’s work in ‘Cake’?

Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

In her Vanity Fair interview, Kendrick raved about Aniston’s work in Cake, noting “the thing that stands out to me about ‘Cake’ is basically how it’s just one of the all-time great performances from Jennifer Aniston. And I even remember when we were doing press for it, feeling like she was so humble and she really downplayed everything that she put into that performance.”

Kendrick went on to say, “I was like, at press conferences with her, trying to grab all the microphones and be like ‘do you guys even know what she did? It was incredible.’ The research and the commitment, which isn’t my place or my business.”

Kendrick explained that she was in awe of how Aniston prepped for the role, noting “the more that I watched her prepare, I was like ‘yeah, this is just about her (Claire’s) inner voice that tells her the worst things.'” Kendrick explained her character, Nina, as being a “reflection” of Claire’s self-hatred, noting that she allowed Aniston’s excellent performance to guide her as they filmed Cake

How did ‘Cake’ do at the box office?

Jennifer Aniston arrives at the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Wanderlust' held at Mann Village Theatre on February 16, 2012
Jennifer Aniston | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

As reported by E! Online, Aniston worked for months to prepare for the role of Claire, taking inspiration for Claire’s journey through pain from her longtime stunt double, Stacy Courtney, who had survived a traumatic boat accident that caused her to almost lose her leg. She also worked closely with doctors and addiction specialists in order to accurately portray a character suffering from extreme trauma, who uses drugs to self-medicate.

Aniston’s performance in Cake received praise from critics, and the actor went on to earn her a Golden Globe Award nomination as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. While Cake didn’t do well at the box office, according to IMDb, it still stands as an example of how powerful Aniston’s dramatic acting can be.

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