Amateur chicken farmer Helen Hunt counts chicks after they’re hatched

Thelma Adams
The Reel Breakdown

When it comes to getting nominated for a second Oscar, "The Sessions" star Helen Hunt is not counting her chickens before they're hatched. But unlike many of her rivals — Jennifer Lawrence, for example — Hunt actually has chickens to count.

Following a Manhattan screening last week, the "As Good as It Gets" and "Mad About You" actress told me at an exclusive dinner at Circo with co-star John Hawkes, that she has six chicks. When diners raised concerns that she might have budding roosters bound to crow before her morning call, she said they were chick chicks — hens all.

[Related: Oscar hopeful John Hawkes talks "The Sessions," "Lincoln," and Jennifer Lawrence]

When asked about her husband by a fellow diner, she responded that she has been happily not married for 11 years to partner Matthew Carnahan, the writer on "House of Lies" and father of her eight-year-old daughter, Makena Lei. Hunt and Carnahan may even collaborate in the future, as he has written a part for Hunt in a new project. However, since the BBC is attached and she has plans to remain in America with Makena, she's not sure if that will develop with her involved.

In the meantime, the slim 49-year-old is busy talking about her scenes as a sexual surrogate opposite Hawkes, a role she only had three weeks to prepare for before baring all on camera. She said she didn't diet and a bit of yoga had to suffice as prep. Having seen the movie, that was clearly good enough for Hunt, who attended the seated dinner, which was hosted by salonista Peggy Siegal, in long sleeves and a knee-length skirt.

Maybe it's time to count those chickens:  The Sundance Film Festival Award winner had a strong start last weekend, besting all other limited releases with a $30,251 per screen average.

See the trailer for 'The Sessions':

'The Sessions' Theatrical Trailer