Anna was indeed on The Today Show bright and early today, braving the cold New York weather to talk to Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira; getting lots of laughs as she speaks George, her success and stress:

Anna also helped out with the Today Show’s Christmas Toy Drive, here are the first photos:

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You didn’t think I’d let you get away without more articles did you? Here’s the latest batch, including a new photoshoot!

Daily News:

“She’s not in the book at all,” Kendrick notes. “She mainly exists as a way to make George Clooney’s character explain himself. Otherwise, the entire film would be inner monologue, which would be pretty boring.”

Stiff and threatening at first, Natalie is persuasively humanized as the film unfolds.

“She always was empathetic to me,” Kendrick says. “At the beginning, people don’t respond to her because they see her as bratty and she challenges the story’s hero. But I love her independence, her strength and her drive. However misguided she might be, I love that she’s unapologetically ambitious, has been strong and works hard.”

Not unlike the actress herself, right?

“There’s part of me that wants to be that strong and confident,” Kendrick admits. “It’s so fun for me to play, when there are so many times in my real life when I’ve wished that I’d stood up for myself.” {Looking ‘UP’}

Movieline:

Something theater fans may know that film buffs haven’t realized yet is that you have a theater background — in fact, you’re one of the youngest people ever nominated for a Tony, and it was for your very first role in High Society. What do you remember about winning that part? My parents had started driving me to New York when I was 10, and it’s a six-hour drive there and a six-hour drive back, so after a while, they started sending me and my brother down on Greyhound buses. So I went down on a Greyhound bus to audition for High Society and when they asked me to stay for callbacks, I had to get a hotel room and stay in the city. My parents had to fax a credit card to this hotel room and they told my brother and me not to leave the hotel and to only go out for auditions and then come straight back — of course, we said we would, and then went straight to Bleecker and MacDougal to have breakfast, because we thought we were the coolest kids in the world. [Laughs] We kept having to stay and stay, so my brother and I were alone in New York City, and then we were on a Greyhound bus back when I found out that I got the job. Everyone was sleeping on the midnight bus, and I was trying not to scream because I was 12 and I was going to be on Broadway.

Did you feel at that point like you wanted to commit to either film or theater? I feel like people want there to be this mystery between film and theater, but I just kind of went where I got jobs, you know? After Camp, I got A Little Night Music at the New York Opera, so I went and did that. After that, I got this pilot and I went to LA. That didn’t work out, but Camp came out and it just felt like this was something I should try to do. It certainly wasn’t easy — it wasn’t like I said, “All right, I’m ending stage and starting my film career” — I just went to LA to try to work. There have definitely been more than a few moments in my life where I’m wondering where the next paycheck will come from and how I’m gonna pay rent.

Your next film coming up is Edgar Wright’s action comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, where you play Michael Cera’s sister. Like Twilight, that’s a cast filled with up-and-coming young actors. Did you know many of them before you started shooting? Not really — I knew Mae Whitman a little, and Aubrey Plaza and I hung out a little bit because we’d met at the Christmas party. The thing I can say that I love most about that cast is how completely un-self-aware and funny all the girls are. They definitely could have just gotten a bunch of little starlets to play all these characters. Because it’s a comic book adaptation, they could have gotten a bunch of hot girls with no talent, but every single girl is so on point and so funny.

Speaking of self-awareness, you’re about to navigate a lot of awards and events for this film. Are you ready for that? Do you feel you have to put on a suit of armor and march through? A little bit. It’s strange — even doing interviews, I feel really strange about giving up so much of the stories and moments that used to be mine. They’re not mine anymore, they belong to everybody else now. I don’t know if that sounds really melodramatic, but I care about these films so much that it’s strange to talk about it and worry that you’re coming off as disingenuous. I’m trying to stay focused and say what I mean, and it’s hard. The last thing I want to do is give mechanical answers about a film that I really, really love and I’m really proud of. {Up in the Air’s Anna Kendrick on Getting Hired, Not Fired}

MTV:

Reitman declared that he would never judge an actor’s talent based on the vampire saga. He fell for Kendrick’s skills after taking in “Rocket Science,” a 2007 indie comedy in which the actress plays the hyper-articulate debate-team queen.

“When I saw her in that movie, I just thought, ‘This girl has a different voice from everyone of her generation,’ ” Reitman said. “She oddly talks like someone from the 1940s, and she’s so witty and smart and sharp, and I needed a girl who could go toe-to-toe with George Clooney, and she was the one.”

“This was Anna’s role,” he explained. “I wrote this for Anna. As soon as I saw ‘Rocket Science’ and I recognized her voice, I started writing for her.” {‘Up In The Air’ Director Raves About Anna Kendrick: ‘I Wrote This Role For Her’}

Georgia Straight:

“I was more intimidated by Vera than by George because she plays one of those women who could eat you for breakfast,” she says. “But it was great to watch them work together and to see how warm they both were. Watching her work is like watching a gymnast, so the day our characters were all in the same room was a good day.” {Up in the Air’s Anna Kendrick soars with George Clooney}

Boston Herald:

“I thought she was special. She seemed almost a transplant from the ’40s, the way her wit works and the speed of her speech. I needed an actress who could represent all the bright girls who think they have the world figured out and are frustrated,” Reitman said.

As she looks at a possible future as a leading lady, her “Air” leading man could serve as a guide.

“I have seen some co-workers have their lives altered drastically and privacy taken away from them,” she said.

“George gives me hope about being able to maintain dignity and sanity and being kind to people. He’s been very famous for a very long time and he’s still awesome.” {Anna Kendrick walking on ‘Air’ after working with George Clooney}

Moviefone:

It must have sucked having to spend so much time with George Clooney. [Laughs] He’s great. We’d be sitting in the car on days where we were supposed to be not speaking to each other, and we’d turn on the radio between takes. [A very persistent flight attendant comes over and shoves a plate of little chocolates at Kendrick, who declines, nicely, twice; she laughs]. I lost my train of thought. Oh yeah, so the Detroit station was doing George Clooney trivia questions because they knew he was there, and in between takes I’d be trying to answer them and getting them all wrong.

Did you have a plan for the way her physical appearance changes?
Yeah, she really starts to kind of break at the seams at a certain point and you can feel the breakdown coming. And that’s where she starts to kind of lose it. I remember one hair being out of place as she started to fall apart and feeling very vulnerable as Natalie, and feeling so strange that I didn’t look perfect.

Are there actresses that you look to for inspiration?

It’s funny because I actually love actresses who look like they feel really natural. I like Patricia Clarkson, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand. Those are actresses where the second they show up on screen you’re like, oh my gosh, this movie just got so much better. It’s always a nice surprise when you go into a movie and you didn’t realize that Patricia Clarkson’s in it. And she just blows you away. I didn’t realize she was in ‘Lars and the real Girl,’ and she just blows you out of the water. She could phone it in and still be incredible. She just brings something so unique to each role.

Is there anything you’re dying to do?

There will always be a part of me that wants to do a movie musical. I feel like you’re doing yourself a disservice when you say something like that, because you never know if that thing is gonna come along and be right, but I’d be lying if I said that that wasn’t true. I mean, I graduated from high school early so I could move to New York to do ‘A Little Night Music’ out of the New York City Opera.

{Anna Kendrick on Failing Clooney Trivia and Nailing ‘Up in the Air’ Role}

Screencrave:

With Twilight I didn’t read the books until after I was cast and I was kind of glad that I didn’t because Jessica’s so traditionally catty in the novels. When I auditioned I just kind of figured the only believable way for somebody like me to be pretending that she’s the most popular girl, or she’s the queen bee is to play up how needy that is, and how desperate that actually is. I think that’s what they liked about it, and what made it funny. I’m glad that I didn’t read the novels beforehand.

I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I’m a part of this thing that is such a big deal to a lot of people but then I completely recognize that I don’t play a very instrumental part of. Then I got to go and play at the grown ups table, and act as though I wasn’t completely out of my league. It was nice to even shoot them at the same time, people have asked if that was challenging but I liked shooting them at the same time because it meant that I kind of got to leave the rigid Natalie world and play this incredibly vacuous high school girl for a couple of days and then go back into Natalie mode. {Anna Kendrick’s Breakthrough is Up in The Air}

HollyScoop:

Up in the Air just landed the Best Film honors from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.The National Board of Review’s film picks have been golden in recent years – the panel’s choice for best movie went on to win the Oscar for Best Feature in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Clooney shared a win for best actor with Invictus star Morgan Freeman, while his co-star Anna Kendrick was named Best Supporting Actress and writer/director Jason Reitman picked up the Best Adapted Screenplay prize. Clint Eastwood was named best director. {Up in the Air Scores Big at NBR Awards}