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Huston used grief of husband’s death for 50/50 role

The Oscar winner plays Diane, the overbearing mum of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in the new comedy, about a man who uses his cancer diagnosis to win sympathy dates from female admirers.

Huston lost her husband to a longterm illness in December, 2008, shortly before she began filming 50/50, and she admits her personal troubles helped to make her portrayal more convincing.

She tells Reuters, “I lost my husband a year before I made this movie. So it came from a deeply personal place. I took everything – all of my experience from the five months I spent with him in (intensive care) to day-to-day occurrences in the hospital – which was kind of ludicrous at the same time as being heartbreaking. I think so much of what a caregiver does is to bring love and humour to a situation in which they have absolutely no power. That’s what I was kind of channelling for Diane…

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“I didn’t accept the role because it was cathartic, I accepted it because it really touched me. I fell in love with this woman who is going through this horrible ordeal, whose presence was suffocating to her son. I understood it from quite a few points of view, from his point of view as well as my own, and the character’s…”

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