Academy Award Winner Helen Hunt has joined the cast of the indie drama The Surrogate. Recent Oscar nominee John Hawkes is set to play the role of Mark O’Brien in the film based on a true story. O’Brien was “a paraplegic polio victim who lived most of his life in an iron lung, paralyzed from the neck down.” Hawkes’ character sets out to find a sex surrogate willing to take his virginity, and Variety reports that Hunt will take on the role of his surrogate. Rhea Pearlman also has a role in the film.
Hunt’s character struggles with her own life, coming to terms with explaining her profession to her 12-year-old son. Ben Lewin wrote and will direct the period flick set in the 1980’s. Lewin himself is a polio survivor.