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October 20, 2014

Patricia Clarkson Tells Us 5 Things to Know About Lifetime's 'Five'

by Chris Harnick, posted Oct 10th 2011 1:30PM
Patricia Clarkson FivePatricia Clarkson shown great range on TV, portraying everything from a calculating gold-digger on 'Parks and Recreation' to a rebellious artist on 'Six Feet Under.' Now, Clarkson is tackling a new role -- that of breast-cancer survivor -- on Lifetime's 'Five.'

In 'Five' (Oct. 10, 9PM ET on Lifetime), Clarkson plays Mia, a woman whose whole life is turned upside down by disease. Her story is told backwards, a stylistic choice that shows just how much cancer has changed her life.

"Look at that part, I mean it's crazy," Clarkson said. "It's amazing. It's so beautifully written. It required everything of me."

Clarkson's short film was directed by Jennifer Aniston and is just one of five films with all-star directors. Demi Moore, Alicia Keys, Patty Jenkins and Penelope Spheeris direct the other four parts, each film focuses on a woman affected by breast cancer.

In honor of 'Five' and its five-part structure, AOL TV presents a quintet of key facts about this unique project:

Jennifer Aniston, Patricia Clarkson 1. Clarkson said Jennifer Aniston helped convince her to join the project. "She wrote me a very beautiful note to woo me to do this. I just had a feeling that she would be very right for this and that we would both get on," she said. "In 20 minutes I had to go to hell and back. Thank god Jennifer Aniston was with me every step of the way ... She's a very gifted director as you can see in this piece because the piece is very difficult. I'm very thankful that I had the opportunity to work with her and get to know her. I could never have done this, I don't think, without her, just her humor, her intelligence and her strength throughout this piece and for every one."

2. It was important for Clarkson to look the part. "The many transformations I make in this film, they look simple, but they are not at all. They look very real, but it was a lot of time and a lot of effort and very long days. But I wanted it to be realistic, I wanted it to be hardcore. I didn't want to look TV sick, I wanted to look sick," she said with a laugh. "I was adamant about that. I owe this woman this story, all of the women who have survived and mainly those who have not, I owe it to them, to give this everything I have and to take this journey in the most complete way I can."

3. There are no favorites amongst the different parts of 'Five.' "Oh god -- I can't -- that's like picking a favorite child! I think they're each beautiful," she said. "I think Jeanne Tripplehorn is such a stunning actress and she so beautifully carries throughout these films. They just found the absolute perfect person for that part. There's no one else who could've done it more beautifully and with grace. No one."

Patricia Clarkson Five4. She doesn't want to stage her own funeral, unlike her character, Mia. "No, I would not stage my own funeral," Clarkson said laughing. "I want to die thinking I know what people are going to say. It will be lovely and I want it to remain that way."

5. Be sure to have tissues handy. "We had this big blowout in New York ... and people were laughing and crying," she said. "People are very, very moved by this. Like, deeply moved by this. You know, men, women, young, old ..."

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