Helen Hunt admits she was acting ''selfishly'' when she took time out from Hollywood to raise her daughter.

The Oscar-winning actress decided to take a hiatus from films to look after Makena, now eight, but confesses it wasn't because the little girl needed her.

Helen - who did work on smaller films during that time - said: ''It's not because she needs me. Selfishly, it's for me. It's like an intravenous vitamin drip to be at home with her.''

Helen - who raises Makena with her long-term partner Matthew Carnahan - can be seen in new movie 'The Sessions', in which she plays Cheryl Cohen Greene, a certified sexologist who helps the physically challenged achieve intimacy.

The film is based on Cheryl's real-life relationship with the late poet Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes), who spent most of his life paralysed from the neck down and encased in an iron lung after contracting polio as a child.

He hired Cheryl to introduce him to sex, and take his virginity, and Helen, 49, admits filming the sex scenes were difficult because of the need to accurately portray Mark's disability.

She told the Daily Mail newspaper: ''Physically, putting all sexuality aside, it was rigorous work. John couldn't help me, because in character he couldn't move. I had trouble getting his shirt off.''