TORONTO - Starlets take note: Hollywood filmmakers pushed a no-fuss, no-makeup look in new movies at the Toronto film festival this week, redefining beauty as "raw." And established stars including Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon lapped it up.
"I loved every minute of it," said Aniston. "It was extremely liberating to do that because as women we do feel we have to live up to an expectation, whether it's on camera or going to the market or whatever it is.
"And the truth is, that's just not the way it is, we don't always have our high heels on, we don't always have our hair and makeup on." In her new film "Cake," Aniston, 45, plays an unpleasant woman in chronic pain who has driven away all of her friends and lost all reason to live.
It is an unflattering role that sees her sporting greasy hair - and no makeup.
"I think there's beauty in all forms, whether it's in pain or grief, or an awards show or whatever it is, I think there's beauty in all of it and I thought it was important to portray that," said Aniston, who received a standing ovation at the film's premiere Monday evening.
Director Daniel Barnz added: "It was an extraordinary experience seeing one of the most beautiful women in the world without a stitch of makeup on, and somehow in this film because of the beauty that comes from the inside I've never found her more beautiful." Aniston said she consulted with two friends who suffer from chronic pain and pharmacologists to understand how drugs impact a body to prepare for the raw role of "Claire." She also wore a back brace, she said, "because I tend to slouch."
Earlier in the week, Witherspoon described how "Wild" director Jean-Marc Vallee had ordered the actors not to wear any makeup during filming, going as far as covering the mirrors in their on-set trailer.
"Wild" is based on author Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir.
It tells how, devastated by the death of her mother, Strayed self-destructs - destroying her marriage, becoming hooked on heroin and even pregnant by a stranger.
In a bid to find her way out of despair, she embarks on a 1,100-mile (1,800 kilometer) hike.
"It was raw," said Witherspoon of her rumpled look in the movie.
"But if Cheryl could be brave enough to tell every part of her story, I had to be brave enough to throw away my vanity and go for it."