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Anna is in Interview Magazine’s August edition, and graces us with a cute new photoshoot!


Anna Kendrick on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Taglined “An epic of epic epicness,” director Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s popular comic book series, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, hits theaters with Biblical force this Friday. Archetypal awkward youth Michael Cera plays the titular character, a 22-year-old bass player who falls in love with a girl only to learn that she has seven evil ex-boyfriends, all of whom are hell-bent on killing him. Anna Kendrick, who plays Scott’s reliable sister Stacey, says her character is “the voice in the back of [Scott’s] head that he knows he’s not going to listen to.” We spoke to Kendrick about filming Scott Pilgrim, Comic Con, and Twilight mania (or lack thereof).

CAROLINE BANKOFF: Hello, Anna! Where are you calling from?

ANNA KENDRICK: I’m in Toronto. We have the Toronto premiere of Scott Pilgrim tonight–we filmed it in Toronto, so it’s a homecoming of sorts.

BANKOFF: How’s your summer been so far? What have you been up to?

KENDRICK: I don’t know, really. Just kind of doing the press tour and stuff. And watching a lot of movies.

BANKOFF: And you just went to Comic Con to promote Scott Pilgrim, right?

KENDRICK: Yeah. It was great; it was amazing. I mean, the film is obviously for comic fans, and they seemed to love it, which is a huge relief. Those are your toughest critics, in a way.

BANKOFF: Had you ever been to Comic Con before?

KENDRICK: I’d been with New Moon. That wasn’t really the same because we didn’t get to really go and experience Comic Con. So, this was the first time that I really got the full experience.

BANKOFF: What was the most interesting thing you saw there?

KENDRICK: The Tron bike looked really cool, and it was just great to see a lot of people being in cosplay [“costume role play”]. A lot of people who are not in their element in real life really shine there, and that’s cool.

BANKOFF: Are you into comic books?

KENDRICK: I stole comic books from my brother when I was a kid, but I was never like an avid fan. I can’t claim to be like a comic book geek.

BANKOFF: Have you gotten more into it since doing Scott Pilgrim?

KENDRICK: Um… no. I mean, obviously I read the series, and Hope Larson, [Scott Pilgrim author] Brian Lee O’Malley’s wife, gave me her book and I’m reading that now—it’s really cool.

BANKOFF: What was the shooting process for Scott Pilgrim like? Can you tell me a little bit about the process of filming, like working with Michael [Cera] or any stories from the set?

KENDRICK: It was definitely really kind of odd and technical, because of the way that it looks. The process was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Like there’s a scene where I’m on the phone with Michael Cera,and we had to do a split screen, so I had a little earpiece in my ear. I was listening to the footage that he’d already shot, and I just had to like fit my lines into the space in between his lines.

BANKOFF: How does the movie look, exactly?

KENDRICK: I mean you know the film is really tight, and it’s really fast editing, so it’s a lot of little shots and it’s just a really like specific way of working because, you know, Edgar [Wright] basically knows that he’s going to use this angle for this line, and that angle for that line, and you shoot it in pieces, like a puzzle. So instead of like shooting an entire scene at a couple of different angles and figuring it out after, you shoot almost line-by-line sometimes. So that was really unusual.

BANKOFF: Did you prepare for that in a specific way, or did you just have to learn it as you were doing it?

KENDRICK: Yeah, it was a trial-by-fire thing. A lot of what I end up liking to do is a reaction to the last thing that I did. I guess the point for me is to try new things.

BANKOFF: Twilight: Eclipse came out earlier this summer. Are those releases extra stressful for you, because they’re so high-profile?

KENDRICK: Now I know what I’m doing, so it’s easier. With any other movie, you’re entering new territory, so it’s quite different to be involved in something where it’s the same characters, and the same people. You know what to expect out of the premieres and the press and stuff. So it’s actually kind of nice, because you don’t get very much routine in this job, and it’s actually sort of interesting. It’s like an annual party or something.

BANKOFF: Have you guys started doing any work on filming…?

KENDRICK: On Breaking Dawn? I know nothing. I literally know nothing. {}

Anna Kendrick Gets Her ‘Twilight’ And ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Knowledge Put To The Test!

Anna Kendrick is not new to dealing with passionate fans. She has worked in all the “The Twilight Saga” films (albeit as a human instead of a supernatural creature), has a small role in the upcoming “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and has been a long time fan of “Lord of the Rings.”
Fortunately, we at MTV don’t allow such self-proclaimed passionate fandom to go untested, so while Anna was promoting “Scott Pilgrim,” MTV News’ Josh Horowitz decided to give her a little quiz to see how well she knows “Twilight” and “Lord of the Rings.”

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that Anna did better with the “Twilight” questions than with the “Lord of the Rings” questions, considering working on a project for three years and being a fan are two completely different things. Still, we think the “Twilight” questions were a bit easier than the “LotR” ones, so we’ll give her that.

The first “Twilight” question gave Anna no issues: What classroom do Edward and Bella meet in? “Biology,” she answered quickly, then yelled, “Oh my god!” when she got it right. The first “LotR” question tripped her up a bit though, when Josh asked Anna how many years had passed between “The Hobbit” and “LotR.” He gave her a pass because she wasn’t a self-avowed “Hobbit” fan, and hadn’t read the book.

Anna quickly answered the second “Twilight” question as well: What make of car does Edward drive? The answer, of course, is Volvo, which we know from all those crazy Volvo promotions whenever a “Twilight Saga” film is about to be released.

But we were definitely disappointed in Anna when she didn’t get the second “LotR” question: Which beloved character from the books did not make it into the films? As we found ourselves mouthing “Tom Bombadil,” Anna was frantically answering, “I don’t know. I don’t know!” Maybe she’s more a fan of the books than the movies?

The next “Twilight” question tripped her up a bit too, when Josh asked her what city Jessica and Bella went prom dress shopping in. He needed to give her a little hint — “It rhymes with Mort Vangeles” — before she answered quickly, “Port Angeles!”

Fortunately Anna had a comeback with the next “LotR” question, quickly answering “Howard Shore” when asked who composed the music for the trilogy. She didn’t have any problems with the next “Twilight” question (mine!) either, knowing that it was Lauren and Jessica from the books who, combined, are her character Jessica in the films.

Last but not least, Anna was able to name all nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring without any hints from Josh (though she did slip out a bleep-worthy word while trying to figure then out). Apparently Anna’s not the biggest fan of pop quizzes, though, because she looked a bit shaky by the end of the interview. Sorry Anna, but you did do a great job! {}

Anna was great on Leno last night! She joked about an “acid-induced” Madonna Oscar party, working in a bakery, and reading her American Way cover on the flight over and trying to get recognized! Very funny. Anna also stayed on the floor while her friend Eli Roth was interviewed:

Stills > The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – August 10, 2010


Anna was also spotted picking up her Leno dress in L.A. on August 10. You can see candids @ Twilightxchange.

Comedic-action-video-game-love-story “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” has so many pop culture references it can be hard to tell where the movie stops and other influences come in. Co-star Anna Kendrick knows this first-hand.

“I’ve definitely heard people say things like, “Oh, that part where he does this was so funny, what’s that a reference to?” says the actress, nominated for Best Supporting Actress last year for “Up in the Air.” “And it’s like, ‘Well, it’s not actually a reference to anything, and even if it was, you thought it was funny anyway, so what does it matter?’”

Kendrick’s co-star Jason Schwartzman agrees, reiterating that the film, based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels and directed by ever-hip director Edgar Wright (“Hot Fuzz”), isn’t a joke that you either do or don’t get. “I really just see it as someone’s imagination going crazy and it just being about freedom and fun and fighting for a girl,” he says.

Schwartzman plays the last of the evil exes that Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) must defeat to maintain his relationship with Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Stacey (Kendrick) is Scott’s sister who’s constantly appearing as the know-it-all voice of reason.

On the day of Kendrick’s 25th birthday, she and Schwartzman, 30, chatted about fighting on film and the worst break-ups ever.

How often have you had to fight the evil exes of someone you’ve dated?

Anna Kendrick: The only guy that I ever dated who had an evil ex I realized later that maybe she was not so evil because he turned out to be totally nuts.

Jason Schwartzman: Ah ha. That’s good.

AK: You have to take everything with a grain of salt.

JS: I have the same story. I’ve never come to blows with anyone. To quote “Chicago,” “I’m a man who will fight for your honor.” I would fight for a woman’s honor, but all the women I dated, their boyfriends have all been pretty much like me. Like, we all get along. I meet all the boyfriends and like …

“We should hang out more!”

JS: “Screw this girl! We should be friends. You’re great! You want to go to this movie with me?”

Jason, you’ve long wanted to fight on film. Did anything scare you about doing that?

JS: The only thing that’s scary is it really is a lot of hours doing it. It took about three weeks to shoot the whole fight scene and it was like 12 to 14 hours a day of solid exertion. The fight scene was so long I actually had three days off for my wedding. I went home and got married and flew back. You can see a difference post marriage in my fighting style.

What changed?

JS: Just the look in my eye. It was more sharp, more diamond-like. The thing is your mind gets fatigued as well as your body. Me and Michael really had to be in sync with each other. If my mind wanders, I’m tired, and I swing at his head when I’m supposed to be swinging at his feet, and he’s expecting to block my sword at his feet. I could knock him out. So there’s a lot of trust that goes into it. Though everything is safe as can be and the swords aren’t real, it just takes one person to go the wrong way and you can seriously hurt someone.

Anna, did you want to get involved in that?

AK: The finished product looks really, really cool and I’m really jealous, but seeing a fellow actor in a harness for three hours did not make me jealous. At all.

On Twitter @caratweets wanted to know: Jason, why are you so awesome?

JS: Oh, thank you. That’s so nice. I don’t think that I’m very awesome. I can tell you that much.

Why not?

JS: I don’t know. Just never have. But I appreciate it.

What would have to happen for you to think that you were?

JS: Money. Fame. The stuff that makes people happy.

You’re clearly doing terribly for yourself. Anna, why are you so awesome?

AK: That didn’t get asked! You’re just throwing me a bone. Nobody asked that.

I’m asking that right now.

JS: He’s asking. He thinks you’re awesome.

AK: Um … I’m from Maine.

JS: Nice! What what!

AK: We’re just made that way. We’re chosen people.

The movie is about relationships and breakups, sort of. What’s the worst breakup story you’ve ever heard?

AK: What kind of language are we allowed to use? I have a really terrible one, but I really don’t think I can [say it].

JS: Can I hear it?

We can use asterisks when necessary.

AK: No, it’s really terrible.

JS: Ok, let’s hear it.

Me and Schwartzman together: Come on!

AK: Like, seriously, I don’t even know. Wait, let me think about this. No, I really can’t tell the story.

JS: Just go. Take the action! Just take the action and jump off the diving board into this pool of filth. Tell me the story, woman!

AK: OK. It’s so bad, if I get in trouble I’m going to kill you. So this guy’s sick, he stayed home from school. This is in high school. He stayed home from school and his girlfriend made him a tape of all his favorite “Simpsons” episodes. And a plate of brownies. And brought them over to his house because he was sick. And he was watching the “Simpsons” episodes and eating a brownie and halfway through the video it turned into a video of her having sex with another guy.

JS: Oh no!

AK: I can’t! I can’t! I can’t! That’s all I can say. That’s all I can say.

JS: Ah ha, but I have the upper hand because I can be with her later and she’s going to tell me the rest of this.

That doesn’t seem fair to me at all.

JS: Did he do something to the brownies? (Whispers) He s*** in them? He [ejaculated] in them? He [ejaculated] in the brownies?!

AK: (nods, whispers) And he ate the brownies.

JS: You’re disgusting. How could you tell a story like that?

And on your birthday!

AK: I hate you guys!

JS: I thought you were going to say something like a guy had some cotton candy with his girlfriend and she slapped him on a pier. No, I’m just … wow, that’s amazing.

What about you, Jason? Top that.

JS: I was the guy in the brownie story. No, let me think. I know a guy who was at home and his girlfriend was at a basketball game [but] said she had something to do with work. Guy’s watching the basketball game, cut to his girlfriend at the game, making out with his father.


AK: No.

JS: Kissing on the camera with his father.

AK: That’s not true.

What did he do?

JS: That’s all I know. I know they broke up. He talked to the father first. Father denied it. And then he talked to the girlfriend and she said it was true. And he doesn’t talk to the father or the woman. The father was divorced; there wasn’t a woman he was cheating on. But he was cheating on his son, really. It was terrible.

Anna, what are you going to do for your birthday?

AK: I don’t know. I’m going to try and do my taxes or something. I’m 25 now; I need to learn how to do stuff.

You should rent a car right now.


JS: Oh yeah!

AK: Oh yeah. Oh God. There’s nothing left. There’s nothing left.

JS: Yeah, there is.

AK: Social security? Menopause?

JS: Well, there’s the senior citizen rate at the movies. There’s menopause.

What would it be like to actually fight Michael Cera?

JS: Terrible because he’s a sweet man. I would never fight him. I couldn’t imagine hurting him. At all. With words even. I don’t want to ever hurt his feelings. I just love him.

AK: I want to tuck him in at night.

JS: Yeah, I do too.

What they want to do in Chicago
AK: “Oh, man! The local coffee shop with the free Wi-Fi always intrigues me. The free Wi-Fi attracts all kinds. Starbucks is, like, you have to have a T-Mobile account which is fine. There is something about—in Baltimore, in St. Louis, in Toronto, anywhere that I’ve filmed—when you find the free Wi-Fi cafe, you find good people watching.”

JS: “I’d love to go to a Cubs game and a White Sox game. I love going to baseball stadiums. I know you have to have like a private ticket to do it but I’ve always wanted to sit on the seats on top of the apartments because I saw it once on the news when I was a little kid and it’s one of those things that gets burned in your head. It just always seemed incredible and unique. There’s also some great guitar stores around here. So maybe go guitar hunting.”

Chicago experience
AK, who had never been before and could only eat one piece of Gino’s East deep-dish: “It was so thick,” she says. “There was not as much bread as I was expecting. It is like so much cheese and meat, it was huuuuuuuuuge. It was really excellent, but I may never need to eat again.”

JS, who spent lots of time here when touring with former band Phantom Planet: “We would always make Chicago the place where we would have our days off. So we’d tour, tour, tour but then instead of having like three days off in New York, we’d prefer to have it in Chicago.” {}

So, basically Scott Pilgrim rules the internet right now. Thanks to Lyra052 for lots of interview links :).

I recently sat down with Edgar Wright, Michael Cera, and Anna Kendrick to discuss the dynamo that is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. We’ll have a review coming later in the week but for now enjoy the gang holding court on everything from Scott Pilgrim to The English Patient.

Anna, did you do any barista method acting? Did you go work at a Starbucks for a year or anything like that?

Edgar Wright: Like Daniel Day-Lewis.

Anna Kendrick: No, but … in Canada … I’m such an idiot. I didn’t even know Second Cup was a real place. I just knew it from reading the books. I went to rehearsals and in our hotel was a Second Cup, and I was like, “Oh my god! This is the Second Cup! I found it. I didn’t even know it was real!” I was asking for coffee, and I tasted it and I was like, “This is really great!” And it’s like Starbucks over there. It’s like going into a Starbucks and going, “Oh my god, I didn’t even know this place was real.” And I was like, “This is really good coffee, you guys!” Ugh!

Well, it’s like I always say: Canada only exists in our mind anyway. So you’re kind of off the hook with that.

Michael Cera: That’s kind of the comment that the film makes. In a roundabout way.

Edgar Wright: We’re planning on going into the theater showing Inception and splice Scott Pilgrim vs. the World onto the end of it so it seems like the final dream.

Michael Cera: I thought you were saying Splice was going to be in it? The film Splice.

Edgar Wright: It’s a triple-feature with Splice in the middle.

And Don’t right in the middle…

Edgar Wright: [laughing] Oh my god. You just come up with the craziest triple-bill of all time.

Anna, do you look at 2010 and say, “This is a joke that I’m not getting an Oscar nomination,” or do you expect one for Scott Pilgrim too? I mean, you were pretty supporting here.

Anna Kendrick: The weird thing is, I met Edgar for the first time before I even knew what Up in the Air was and before I shot the first Twilight film. And somebody, a journalist at a roundtable, said to me, “Oh, you must have done this before Up in the Air and Twilight because you wouldn’t have done it otherwise.” But I absolutely would have done it otherwise.

Journalists are the worst.

Anna Kendrick: Yeah, like, what is wrong with you guys? I don’t know, she was being kind of snarky or whatever. I’m sort of floored by everyone else’s performance here, and envious in the sweetest way that I can think of in terms of how well everybody does in the movie. I’m just really happy to be grouped in with these people. These actors might not be people that my mom and dad know, but I’ve known who Alison Pill and Mark Webber are for years. It’s such a seasoned and professional cast, especially for a young cast.

Edgar Wright: That’s what’s funny to me — people saying, “All these new young faces,” and I’m thinking most of these people have been working for 10 years even if they’re 20.

What are your future projects? Is Them still on your slate?

Edgar Wright: I think Them might be on the back burner; I’m not really sure what’s happening with that one. But just to clarify, that’s not a remake of the ants film. It’s an adaptation of the Jon Ronson book.

Michael Cera: Is [Them] a filmic version of the TV show Totally Hidden Extreme Magic?

Edgar Wright: [laughs] I’ve never even heard of that show!

Michael Cera: It’s on the SyFy Channel.

Edgar Wright: I’m going to say “yes.”

Michael Cera: It was a great show. A great show.

Anna Kendrick: Can we make that movie?

Edgar Wright: You’ve got the exclusive now, the three of us are making a big-screen adaptation of Totally Hidden Extreme Magic. {}

In indie comic sensation Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the protagonist battles his love interest’s seven evil exes. So we dispatched two writers to conduct dueling interviews: actors Jason Schwartzman and Anna Kendrick vs. actor Michael Cera and director Edgar Wright.


So what brought you guys to this? What drew you to this movie?

Schwartzman: Very quickly, Edgar Wright. I love “Spaced” and Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and always wanted to work with him… didn’t think it would ever really be a possibility ’cause everything he makes is English, then found out about this and was able to meet with him and he included me in it. It was just like a total thrill ’cause I just feel like there’s not that many people who have a real style and are really smart and people that you go, “Yeah, I’m gonna go with this guy.” And then, on the acting side I found out Michael Cera was in it. I’m a great admirer of his work and Edgar presented this opportunity for me to not only work with him, but to be his nemesis and fight him. It just seemed like we would have a really fun time. And we did. That’s the best I’ve ever answered that question. It usually takes up 30 minutes.

Kendrick: You know, I had the same feeling. I was a fan of Edgar’s and was equally excited and surprised that he was making a movie with an American cast. A Canadian and an American cast.

Schwartzman: A North American cast.

Do you guys like Boston?

Schwartzman: Yeah, oh yeah.

Kendrick: This is practically home. This is where kids from Maine pretend that they’re from. I’m from Maine. Portland. That’s why when I say Portland, Oregon I specify because I’m from Portland, Maine.

Doesn’t compare to Toronto?

Kendrick: Right. There’s less fighting … well, less fun fighting. Less hilarious fighting.

Schwartzman: More blood.

Kendrick: The bars… There’s some insane statistic, I think Boston and Portland, Maine have like one of the highest bars per capita rate? The rate of bars to people?

That’s definitely true of Boston.

Kendrick: Same thing’s true in Portland. There’s like more bars than people. It’s crazy.

So you guys mentioned the fighting. Was it hard to visualize the comic book and video game effects?

Schwartzman: Not really, because like … can I make a strange reach, an analogy? Have you ever been to a restaurant and before the menu is pictures? Where there’s like, you can have the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and it’s like a photo of a plate taken above it with like some …

Kendrick: Like Denny’s.

Schwartzman: Yeah, exactly. Signing on to be in this movie was like ordering, I’ll have the Scott Pilgrim. So you see everything that’s in it. And you know everything that’s in it. But when you see it, it’s … like when that plate of food arrives you’re like, this is the real deal. Whereas with most movies it’s just like having a menu, working with Edgar is like having a picture menu because he is so articulate, and he explains everything to you with words, but also with video reference. And, in fact, Michael and I’s fight scene was already shot in a warehouse with two stunt men dressed like us and edited together, so they knew what all the angles would be and what they needed out of each angle. And Edgar would show that to us before the fight, and then we would shoot the scenes. Michael and I would shoot the angles and then they would somehow shoot it into the computer, so we would watch Michael and I fighting in one angle, cutting to two stunt men, cutting back to Michael and I. So he’s like “OK now we’re going to get this piece, now we’re going to get this angle of you with the sword like that.” And it’s amazing because usually in a movie, and I’ve heard in fight movies, too, they’ll do like a three minute long scene from this angle and then a three minute long scene from this angle and Edgar would never do that. We’d do it in little sections and we knew only what we needed to get. So Edgar would say “In this shot, all I need is the sword to come down and you to look up, and then when you turn around, that’ll be this shot.” He’d be super, micro focusing. It was an amazing way to work. I never felt in the dark or overwhelmed or, “I’m scared, I don’t know what the fuck is happening.” You know exactly where you are. It’s like drinking hard alcohol. You know exactly where you are.

Kendrick: You’re mixing metaphors. I’m loving this.

Schwartzman:: Yeah, I’m mixing metaphors, I mean like when you drink wine you can have three of four of them and not feel anything and then all of a sudden you can have like three or four bottles and not feel anything … just kidding, three or four glasses … and not feel anything and all of a sudden you turn around, you sit up, you stand up to go to the restroom and you’re drunk. And it caught up with you in a weird way. Alcohol, you shoot it and it goes zzzzjjjjhhhhh! Okay, I’m there. Zzzzjjjjhhhhh! I’m there. That’s like word-for-word Edgar.

Kendrick: It’s like doing like, painting a painting over a painting.

Schwartzman: Exactly! Exactly.

Kendrick: And you just have to see, oh, well what’s missing here.

Schwartzman: That is the metaphor!!!

Had you done a fight scene before?

Schwartzman: Mmm mmm. Not on camera.

In life?

Schwartzman: Mmhmm … mmm … mmhmm!

Kendrick: Jason…

Schwartzman: I’m an LA southie.

Yeah? You want to tell us that story?

Schwartzman: Yeah I can scrap with the best of ’em. Women, I mean. Men, I’d get destroyed.

Had you guys read the comic before?

Kendrick: I’m such a loser; I have to be told about cool and interesting things, so I did not …

Schwartzman: Everyone has to be told about cool and interesting things! That’s how we find out!

Kendrick: You know what I mean. All the good music that I have is like somebody else’s recommendations and stuff. So I wasn’t on the Scott Pilgrim train, but got on very quickly after Edgar sent them to me.

So are you like geeking out for this stuff? Do you read everything to get into that world?

Kendrick: Oh! Yeah. Absolutely, definitely. I certainly understand the feeling or the argument for not reading it and just trying to make it your own from what’s on the page of the script, but for me, I get excited about the source material.

Had you read it before?

Schwartzman: Sorta. I had met with Edgar in Los Angeles. It wasn’t really specific at that time, and I asked him what he was working on and he said “I’m adapting these books Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and you should read them. They’re great.” And I went out and bought them and I read them but I didn’t think, “maybe Edgar had me in mind, I’m not sure,” but when I read them I didn’t think I’d be a part of it. But I was just reading it because someone I really loved recommended something. Recommended.


Schwartzman: Michael Cera read them, though, right when they came out.

Kendrick: Yeah that’s what I mean

Schwartzman: He’s on the pulse.

So you started out on the stage, right?

Kendrick: Yeah

And you are in a bunch of bands.

Schwartzman: Mmhmm

So do you guys like the stage or the set better?

Schwartzman: Well, I have two bands, or I’ve been in two bands. One was called Phantom Planet, and my latest was called Coconut Records. Phantom Planet, even though I was one of the song-writers, I played drums on stage. And that’s no problem, I could go play drums right now. Not that I’m that good, I just mean that I don’t get nervous for some reason to play drums maybe because I’m so far back on the stage. I just am really happy to play drums and I loved being with the audience and I loved playing in clubs because then usually when you’re done you just go and have a drink with everyone in the crowd. I love when you see a band play live and you have that moment when you’re like, “Oh my god I’ve been following this record, now this guy’s in my town. I’m in this room with him. He is not anywhere else but right here.” You know what I mean? Like, “He’s not at a photo shoot, he’s not … this is the fucking singer in front of me.” A movie, the person’s not there. But singing, I sing on Coconut Records stuff and I played a few songs once with my little brother and I hated it. Just because standing up there, trying to communicate that way is a real art and I just realized, “I don’t know if this is for me.” Maybe one day it will be, but I like the stage in terms of drumming, I don’t know if I like the stage in terms of singing. I’ve never really acted on stage. But sometimes I’ve performed on camera and it’s seemed stage-y.

Kendrick: My personal experience on stage is, it’s just so great like getting to be able to do a piece from start to finish and riding the wave of a story and a person, because it feels different every night because it’s honest every night. And that’s really special. Whereas film is more of a Dr. Frankenstein experiment where, you know, you think “Well, we did those takes in the coffee shop where I was a little more this way so maybe I need to give a couple more options in the scene after that so that if they end up putting this take in, it will make sense that I’m doing this …” and that’s really fun. It’s almost like, it is like a jigsaw puzzle, an emotional jigsaw puzzle. And that’s really fun to experiment with something immediately. And try something different immediately. It goes without saying that it’s impossible to say which is superior because one is not superior but they’re definitely are very different experiences and they both have pros and cons.

Schwartzman: We know that we just rocked that answer.

Yeah, you really did. Good job.

Schwartzman: I can tell, I know what Anna’s thinking in her head and I know what I’m thinking, which is—you asked, but you had no idea you were going to get such fucking gold.

I know! I know.

Schwartzman: You were just panning and you know what? You got a nugget. Sorry—two nuggets.

You’re a vegetarian, right?

Schwartzman: Yeah

Are you a vegetarian?

Kendrick: No

How did each of you feel about the portrayal of vegans in the film? Do you think that’s accurate?

Schwartzman: It can be. I was vegan, and I basically still kinda am although I am a little bit more easygoing. I don’t eat meat, though, or anything, but some vegans can be … I mean, vegans are people … self-righteous people and not self-righteous people.

Kendrick: It would be cool if vegans did have super powers. I would be vegan if it meant I would have super powers.

Schwartzman: I don’t typically like negative humor, but I do like when someone points something out by exaggerating it a little bit, and in this film there’s a lot of exaggeration. Everything is exaggerated, vegans included. And I think it’s really smart and really funny.

Is that one of the things that drew you guys was the dialogue? I mean it’s so sharp and fast …

Schwartzman: Yeah, I mean to me, it was just as I was reading it, I felt really alone ’cause I was thinking, I don’t know anyone who really talks like this. Are people talking like this these days? And am I just renting too many movies? Am I staying in too much? Will there be a new generation of humans that I don’t understand? Will I be out of touch?”

Kendrick: ‘Cause some of the dialogue on paper is crazy. I was really expecting to see all these really talented performers figure out how they were going to make that dialogue work, and they all did beautifully. And that was something really exciting to see, something on paper is almost worryingly unique. And to see talented people make it feel like it was real and it existed in the world of this film.

Schwartzman: And that’s really true, that’s like that is so much Edgar like shaping it, ’cause I was like “Edgar how do you want me to say this line?” You know ’cause some of it… “Where do you… what do you want?” And he was so… it’s like sometimes I think about this with records. There’s like two different kinds of artists or whatever. Two different kinds of people… well many different kinds… but specifically for this example, someone like one musician, they have a song written and they go in and play it and they just kinda see what happens and find all these amazing moments and mistakes and “Ah, I didn’t mean to slide up to that weird note,” or someone like Brian Wilson hears sounds in his head and then gets a bunch of musicians in a room to exact and bring to life the exact piece of music he hears in his head. Edgar, in this instance, is like the Brian Wilson, where it’s like he knows every note, he hears it. That doesn’t mean he’s not open to actors being free and having fun and playing with it, but within reason. He had a real clear frame of what key each of us should be playing our music in. {}

Michael Cera and Anna Kendrick speak on Abigail Breslin, Bill Murray and Seinfeld

We take on Michael Cera and Anna Kendrick from their upcoming film, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

Giving life to the already lively characters of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series surely has its challenges. Yet when you are working under the direction of the restless and often humorously tangential Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), your acting job becomes all the more easier. That is not to say that one should get complacent and rely on the man’s talent for slick hyper-editing and pop art stylized special effects.

Luckily for the die-hard fans of the graphic novel, Wright put together a stellar cast of actors that includes future Captain America Chris Evans, indie film veteran Jason Schwartzman, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Ramona Flowers in the film. Add to that the surprisingly goofy Academy Award-nominee Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air) who plays Scott’s older sister, Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), one of Ramona’s exes, and of course nerdy heart-throb Michael Cera as the film’s title character. This latter threesome joined Edgar for the San Francisco stop of their national press tour, holding interviews at The Connecticut Yankee, a modest live music venue and bar that keeps within Scott Pilgrim’s garage rock aesthetic.

Along with myself, this roundtable interview included Joshua Blackburn of, Bryan Gerhart from DailyCal.Org, and ThePopBuzz’s Claudia Pierce.

Claudia Pierece: You had some really intense fight scenes. How much of that did you do yourself and how much did you train for it?

Michael Cera: A lot of it was me except for the really crazy stuff I could never do. But anytime it’s like blocking and punching it’s normally me and the other actors too. We trained for a few months, we ran every morning, about two months before we started shooting. It’s just conditioning, sit-ups and all sorts of other stuff. And it was a real bonding experience because all of us were out of shape and embarrassed. Once you put yourself on the line like that for each other, all pretenses go away and you really connect with people. Yeah, it was a really nice thing for us to be able to do together.

Joshua Blackburn: How were you approached with the role and why did you decide to take it?

M.C.: I met with Edgar in Toronto and he was there for Hot Fuzz. He told me he wanted to put me in this movie, which was really exciting, but I was too young at the time. I think I was 18 and he told me he wasn’t going to make it for a few years, so hopefully it would work out. That he wanted to do it with me was amazing. That was the first time we had met and I was a big fan of his, and I really wanted to do anything with him. It was really exciting.

Anna Kendrick: I met Edgar the morning before I flew up to Oregon to shoot the first Twilight film and it was sort of a general meeting. When I came back he sent me the comics and asked me to come in and read for Stacey and I guess I was the only girl they thought of for Stacey. And then he gave me the job, which was awesome.

Miguel Concepcion: What was it like working with Edgar’s hyper-editing style, where a single shot can last as little as one second? Must’ve been a stark contrast to anything you’ve done in theater.

M.C.: Yeah, I’d never done any kind of work like this really. It was a totally unique in process. And it was fun, trying something like this for the first time. It was exciting to watch his process because I was really familiar with his work and really love all of it. It was cool to see how he want about it.

A.K.: I would say that for the majority of the actors on the film, it was the least amount of improv we’ve ever done. This was especially the case in our phone call scenes. I had to fit my lines in between the pauses that Michael left, because he shot his end of the phone calls three months before I did.

M.C.: Yeah, I said “Good luck with this film!”

A.K.: It was weird. He was this earwig in my ear and I wouldn’t be finished with my line and he would start talking. And I was like, “Michael, what the eff! Interrupting cow….” It was challenging and it’s really rewarding when you get it, but I don’t know if I could work like that all the time. It was really challenging.

Bryan Gerhart: Comic junkies really love this series and these characters. Was there any pressure knowing that this mater
ial was seen as holy to someone and being able to step into the shoes of a character that some people care so much about?

M.C.: Yeah, definitely, but I did have total faith in Edgar. He’d been thinking so much about this for years and knew it so well. He’d been talking to Bryan who created the graphic novels. I never really was too worried. I felt like I was in really good hands and that he was going to do something really special.

A.K.: People really don’t seem to care about who plays Stacey. That wasn’t like one of the IMDB topics, “Who should play Stacey!? My fantasy Stacey Pilgrim casting!” So I didn’t have to contend with people going, “It should have been…..”

M.C.: Abigail.

A.K.: “Abigail Breslin!”

M.C.: She was at the premiere.

A.K.: Was she?

M.C.: She was fresh in my mind.

Claudia Pierece: Were you two familiar at all with the comic before signing on to the project? How did you prepare to embody the characters?

M.C.: I had read the first two and really loved them. As far as embodying them, the rehearsals were a big help just because some of the dialogue you’d read and you ask to yourself, “How am I gonna pull that off?” It’s so ridiculous, so over the top. It just can’t picture yourself saying it or selling it. So rehearsing was really focused. Edgar made me realize how big it can be. Also seeing everyone else do their stuff and helped get a sense of what the movie was going to be like and that was really helpful.

A.K.: I was not aware of the comic. I’m not aware of most things that are cool until someone else tells me. The great thing about the comic is how expressive Bryan’s artwork is. There’s a panel in the book that Edgar has on-set for our phone call scenes and it summed up their entire relationship. There’s Stacey’s judgmental face and Scott’s embarrassed face.

Joshua Blackburn: Are there any comedians, actors, actresses that you guys look up to and you mimic?

A.K.: I want to be more like Louis CK all the time in my life.

M.C.: He’s pretty awesome. I like Gary Shandling a lot. Some Bill Murray.

Miguel Concepcion: Coming to this interview, I was trying to recall anything you might’ve done video game related in the past, and I was thinking about the baseball game you were playing on the PlayStation in Frequency.

M.C.: Right, that’s true! But I was not really playing it. It was a pre-recorded thing. They had this video game set up and I’d sit there and pretend to be playing it all day.

A.K.: You didn’t have to get to play?

M.C.: No, it was just a video loop so they would have to match it to the scene…

A.K.: Boooooooo. BOOOOO!!!!!

Bryan Gerhart: What was it about these roles that was new to you in terms of things you haven’t done before as an actor, and what was new that you think you brought to the characters that were already established in the comic?

A.K.: Michael’s gonna have the more interesting answer for this. I’m gonna answer for Michael. I think Michael’s done tons of stuff in this that he’s never done before. I’m saying that in the commentary. We did the DVD commentary yesterday. You (Michael) weren’t in my group, but I think Michael is charming in a way that I’ve never seen before.

M.C.: Thank you very much. And so are you.

(collective laugh)

A.K.: I’m playing me. I’m me in this movie.

M.C.: It’s really hard to say, I don’t know. I felt like every moment was a crafted thing by Edgar. Every moment was so thought out that we kinda found it all in rehearsal and went and did it. We found a way that worked and just tried to do that.

A.K.: The moment that makes me laugh so much is when you say “What if I want the satisfaction?” Was that you? Was that him (Edgar) who came up with that?

M.C.: I really don’t remember.

A.K.: I just want to laugh thinking about it now. I’ve seen it so many times and that part still makes me laugh.

Claudia Pierce: Was there anything you saw when you finally got to see the movie that was phenomenal that you didn’t think was going to be in there?

A.K.: I thought the swords looked so much better than I thought. You first see the mock-ups, but in my head a flaming sword looked like a faded tattoo on the back of a guy’s butt. I just could not picture it but it looked really great in the movie. When you think ‘flaming sword’ you’d think “That’s stupid! That’s gonna look so stupid!” but it looked really cool.

M.C.: I couldn’t think of anything that was gonna be in there.

Joshua Blackburn: Even hearing the Seinfeld theme song?

M.C: Edgar jokingly mentioned that on-set and then he actually did it.

A.K.: ‘Cause Kieran was saying that at one point Edgar was telling him, “You have to pause for the laugh track.” and Kieran said, ‘Oh! You’re serious!’

M.C.: Edgar was doing the laugh track on-set.

A.K.: Oh really?!

M.C.: Yeah, in between lines he just sat and laughed.

A.K.: No way! {}

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