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The Last 5 Years – First Still & Interview!

Anna Kendrick dives into ‘The Last Five Years’ with Jeremy Jordan — FIRST LOOKBehind the scenes during the filming of "The Last 5 Years"

Anna Kendrick did not expect to become Hollywood’s resident musical theater It Girl, even though she earned her first Tony Award nomination at 12 years old and made her film debut in the cult musical comedy Camp.

With Pitch Perfect under her belt and the upcoming big-box items Into the Woods and Pitch Perfect 2 on deck, Kendrick’s next belting role is significantly more indie. She’ll play Cathy Hyatt in writer-director Richard LaGravenese’s film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s musical The Last Five Years, an Off Broadway two-hander that tells the story of a couple’s five-year relationship through two interweaving storylines (one moves forward, the other backwards).

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, EW has an exciting official first look at Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan (Smash, Broadway’s Newsies) in the roles of struggling actress Cathy and rising novelist Jamie. The film is in the can and about to screen for buyers, who would be wise to snatch up the alluring Kendrick and Jordan and the giant fanbase that the cult musical has accrued since debuting in 2001.

We caught up with Kendrick to talk about her surprising arrival on Hollywood’s movie-musical scene, getting drunk with her co-star, and whether there’s another stage turn in her future.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Can I assume you were a fan of the cast recording before you signed on to the movie?
ANNA KENDRICK:
No! Here’s the thing, right? Parade is my favorite musical of all time, and I think that Jason Robert Brown is an absolute genius, and so many people have told me to listen to this recording and to see the show, and for some reason it just never happened. And then it wasn’t until I got this script and saw that it was Jason Robert Brown that I even familiarized myself with the material. I wept my way through the script before I ever heard the music, and then the next morning I woke up and I re-read the script while I listened to the recording and I was just an absolute mess, because it’s so beautiful. I immediately realized I could never listen to this cast recording again, because I had to learn it from scratch so that I don’t just do an impression of the recording. But it was such a blessing to come into that experience with no preconceived idea of who Cathy was.

Did you see any parts of yourself in the character of Cathy?
I definitely see myself in Cathy and I see myself in Jamie. The thing that I loved about Cathy was this feeling that her partner was starting to take up more emotional space in the world and that meant that she had to shrink down, like that she represses herself to a degree that she ends up exploding. I thought it was so true to so many situations that I see my friends go through. It definitely echoes the things that I’ve experienced.

Did you get to have any conversation with composer Jason Robert Brown that helped shape how you approached the role?
Jason was always really reticent about giving direction. Georgia Stitt, his wife, was my vocal coach, and she taught me the entire score from top to bottom, the poor thing. And she obviously is very close to the material, so she could kind of lay the groundwork for ideas and things that people have done in the past. But mostly it was about [director] Richard [LaGravenese] and his vision. I had an opportunity to really shape who she was, and that was a real treat.

Tell me about your co-star Jeremy Jordan. How did you find your chemistry?
The first day that we had rehearsal together, we just were going through music, and that night we decided to go out for drinks and I basically got him super-duper drunk. He doesn’t drink that much, and I was like, oh well, if we’re going to get to know each other, we have to do it really fast, so we’re just going to do shots of whiskey and it’s going to be a great night. So we just got drunk and basically went through the life history, one point at a time.

The actual show is weirdly structured because you’ve got one timeline moving forward and another moving backwards. Is that the way the movie will work?
Yeah, the movie is exactly like the show where it moves forward and backward in time. Something about it on film feels a little less like we have to really be paying attention to the timeline. It all just kind of feels like vignettes, like scenes from a marriage, except musical versions. So it has the exact same structure, but it doesn’t feel like you are lost in time. We were really worried about making sure that people were following the timeline of it, and actually it all works.

The Last Five Years has such die-hard fans. They will be pleased that it’s becoming a movie, but how did you make sure that those comparisons to original stars Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott didn’t get to you?
Obviously that’s something that you have to think about, but I really didn’t think about it that much, because Sherie was on set a bunch! Sherie makes a cameo and she was incredibly supportive. She immediately was so unbelievably kind, so generous with her advice and her praise that I never thought about her as this looming figure of somebody’s shoes I had to fill.

With Pitch Perfect and all the musicals you’re tackling, how surprised are you that this is a path your career has taken? It’s full circle back to your theater roots.
I definitely did not expect to do more musicals. Particularly after Pitch Perfect, it’s not a choice that I would have consciously made. If anything, I wouldn’t just do any musical. It happened that they were making two of the most incredible musicals with some of the most incredible roles. To do Last Five Years and Into the Woods is such a dream that obviously I wasn’t about to be, like, “Well, I don’t really want to do another musical right now.”

You’ve done Sondheim, Cole Porter, Jason Robert Brown—anything else that would galvanize you to do another?
I can’t really think of anything, and I know I say that, but I’m such an MT at heart that it would probably be a tough thing to turn down if I were offered another musical. But I do feel like I need to remember how to deliver dialogue on screen.

You do have these Broadway beginnings. Any inclination to go back to the stage?
At this point, it’s so terrifying. I know that I shouldn’t admit this, but it’s not like it’s some big secret — I just could not sing The Last Five Years eight times a week. I have so much respect for Sherie, so much respect for Betsy Wolfe and anybody who’s ever done Cathy in a theater. It is a hard freaking role.

How have these last five years been for you?
It’s funny, because the last five years of my life have actually been hugely transitional, and it’s been mostly really good. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have this balance of my career going really well, but it doesn’t feel overwhelmed. I don’t feel like I’m drowning. I feel incredibly fulfilled and incredibly lucky. I guess it hasn’t been filled with as much turmoil as Cathy’s last five years, but it’s been really exciting.

Pitch Perfect 2: Casting Update + Promo Pic

ppit Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson Officially Back for Pitch Perfect 2—and Find Out the Release Date!

The two key Bellas are back!

Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are officially returning for Pitch Perfect 2, the planned sequel to the surprise 2012 blockbuster about the fierce ‘n’ funny world of collegiate a cappella competition.

Elizabeth Banks, who also played a judge on the a cappella circuit in the original, has already signed on to direct.

Kendrick has yet to weigh in with an inevitably hilarious tweet, but Wilson did retweet @PitchPerfect’s happy announcement that Fat Amy and Beca were tuning up for an encore.

Universal Pictures and Gold Circle Films have also set a release date of May 15, 2015.

Surely some catchy new music is in the works as well. Pitch Perfect’s soundtrack, which included Kendrick’s cover of “Cups,” sold more than 1 million copies.

We’ll be hearing Kendrick sing first, however, in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, in which she plays Cinderella opposited Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Christine Baranski. The big-budget musical is due out Christmas Day. {eonline.com}

Sundance Round-Up: Media & Press

We also have the first reviews of Anna’s three movies that debuted at Sundance.

Life After Beth: Sundance Review

If Cooties is Sundance 2014′s zombie comedy that hits every note of the well-established format and delights while doing so, Jeff Baena’s Life After Beth is the one that reminds us how odd the mashup was to begin with. The one that plucks from the genre playbook only what it wants, then tells its own story while letting the world, in the background, go to hell in the usual way. The one that finds a new metaphoric meaning for zombie tropes, making them about the devastation of grief, and manages to keep us laughing while making that metaphor stick. It’s a perfectly pitched debut that should benefit greatly from word of mouth and, especially given the top-flight comic talents surrounding lead Dane DeHaan, won’t appeal solely to fanboys at the box office. . . {hollywoodreporter.com}

The Voices: Sundance Review

Good and evil prefer to sit on the lap rather than the shoulders of the extremely conflicted protagonist of The Voices, the confident if rather wacky English-language debut of Paris-based Iranian director and comic-book artist Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).

This thriller-horror-comedy hybrid is among the more eccentric films screening at Sundance this year and stars an excellent Ryan Reynolds as a damaged man-child in a small industrial town in the Midwest who accidentally kills his date for the night (Gemma Arterton) and then asks his pets what he should do — and of course, they talk back, literally. Oscar nominees Anna Kendrick and Jacki Weaver co-star in this wild and occasionally hilarious genre crossbreed that seems tailor-made for fantastic film festivals and midnight slots, though a small distributor with large cojones could try and capitalize on the film’s star power and zany premise and aim for a modest commercial release before making a killing on VOD. . . . {hollywoodreporter.com}

Happy Christmas: Sundance Review

Following up last year’s Drinking Buddies with another low-key ensemble comedy, writer-director Joe Swanberg addresses relationship issues of increasing complexity without sacrificing his frequently amusing perspective on single life.

After taking Happy Christmas off the market with a festival pre-buy, Magnolia Pictures can expect to see a fairly similar return on the new film by partnering with Swanberg again on a theatrical release (Paramount acquired home entertainment and international rights), with perhaps a bit of a bump from a gradually expanding fan base.

Chicago married couple Jeff (Swanberg) and Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) are juggling freelance careers while looking after their two-year-old son, Jude (Jude Swanberg). Jeff’s working on a film in preproduction, but Kelly’s novel writing has stalled out after her first book as she’s shifted to full-time homemaking. They’re still relatively content, however, and preparing for a holiday visit from Jeff’s sister Jenny (Anna Kendrick), a volatile young woman who’s recently split from her boyfriend. Jeff’s concerned that even at 27, Jenny’s not stable enough to look after herself and has invited her for an indefinite visit. In exchange, she’s agreed to assist with child care. hollywoodreporter.com

Ryan Reynolds hears ‘Voices’ at Sundance

One of the weirder, much-discussed comedies of the festival is The Voices, a grisly, dark comedy that features a terrific performance by Ryan Reynolds as a likable factory worker who hears advice from his pet dog and cat and morphs into a scary serial killer.

“The script is insane,” says co-star Anna Kendrick, adding that she had wanted to work with writer-director Marjane Satrapi since reading her graphic novel Persepolis, which was made into a film in 2007 and nominated for an animated-feature Oscar.

Indeed, Satrapi initially resisted any gruesome shots, then succumbed to showing Reynolds’ character slicing and dicing the body parts of his female co-workers and stowing them away neatly in plastic containers.

“I didn’t know I was this attracted to gore and blood,” says the Iranian-born Satrapi. “My mother told me ‘You are sick in the head.’ ”

Reynolds plays Jerry, a nebbishy guy who works in the packing department of a large company. But he’s descending into madness. First hint: He talks with his dog and cat — and they talk back. His cat Mr. Whiskers has a nasty temperament and a feisty Scottish burr, goading Reynolds’ character to do evil and kill. Bosco, the dog, is deep-voiced and decent. The pooch, a Mastiff mix, says things like “I earned the right to be called a good boy.”

Reynolds does the voice of the dog and cat, and also performs in an elaborate song-and-dance sequence for the closing credits, which features Kendrick, Gemma Arterton and a singing, dancing Jesus.

But, for all his accomplishments and ability to play a deranged killer, Reynolds had one strange phobia.

It had nothing to do with carnage, but involved working so closely with house pets.

Says Satrapi: “Ryan is scared of cats.” {usa today}

Kendrick: I liked being unlikeable

Anna Kendrick has revealed she enjoyed portraying a nasty girl in Happy Christmas.
The Pitch Perfect star reunites with Drinking Buddies filmmaker Joe Swanberg for the improvised drama, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
“Honestly, I would have done anything Joe asked me to do, but I was really excited about playing somebody who was a mess, who doesn’t have a filter and is kind of selfish,” she said.
“I mean, she’s kind of unlikeable. I hope that I brought enough honesty, that people will maybe understand where she’s coming from – or maybe you should just hate her.”
Anna – whose character Jenny unexpectedly decides to move in with her elder brother – is most thrilled about her scenes with Girls star Lena Dunham, who plays her best friend in Happy Christmas.
“I was just excited that there are scenes with Lena Dunham and Melanie Lynskey, where it’s just the three of us talking and a guy doesn’t come in the room at any point. We’re just chatting about sex and work,” she said.
“I know Lena’s doing that all the time but that was a really fun day to me. She knows who she is, which is so admirable. Her improv is so perfect because she’s never thinking of what her character would say. She just gets in the zone and she’s so honest and so smart, and her work is really beautiful.”
Director Joe admitted he was interested to see Anna play someone different to her previous characters.
“I thought Anna would be perfect for this character. This character is young and irresponsible, and she’s a little reckless. It’s not a role I’ve really seen Anna play before so it was fun to invite her back to do something like that,” he said. {uk.movies.yahoo.com}

Anna Kendrick Storms Sundance

Pneumonia prevented Ryan Reynolds, who plays a schizophrenic murderer in “The Voices,” from attending the cocktail party Sunday evening for the film at the Grey Goose Blue Door on Main Street in Park City, Utah. But that didn’t stop his costar Anna Kendrick, coming off three of her movies premiering on the same day at the Sundance Film Festival, and director Marjane Satrapi, new to the Sundance circuit, from showing up.
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Compared to Cannes, where Satrapi’s animated effort “Persepolis” was rewarded with the Jury Prize in 2007, she was finding Sundance more relaxed. “All the independent filmmakers are here, and I’m so happy to be here,” gushed Satrapi, proceeding to scan the room with a video recorder to document the festivities. “Persepolis” is based on Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel, and “The Voices,” written by Michael R. Perry, is the first movie of Satrapi’s in which she doesn’t take part in the writing. “I got sent the script, and I really loved it, so I really wanted to do it. From the second you want to do something badly, you should do it,” said Satrapi. “The script was funny. It was sad. It was intelligent. It had all the qualities I look for.”

Kendrick’s other two films at Sundance — “Happy Christmas,” a dramedy from mumblecore king Joe Swanberg, and “Life After Beth,” a zombie comedy — are in keeping with her eclectic choice in projects since she earned an Oscar nomination four years ago for her plucky turn in “Up in the Air.”

“[‘The Voices’] was very specific,” the actress said. “Marjane has a very, very specific idea about what each frame will look like, what the scene will feel like, what the music might be.”

“Christmas,” on the other hand, wasn’t even scripted.

“We had an outline, but no dialogue, no script, no idea what the finished film was going to be like,” Kendrick said. “[Both films] are equally exciting.”

Minutes after the party at the Blue Door for “The Voices” wound down at 9:30 p.m., Kendrick arrived at 501 on Main to join the cast and crew of “Happy Christmas” for The Next Generation Filmmaker Dinner Series. She quickly posed for photographs with Mark Webber and Swanberg, who does triple duty on the movie as its writer, director and Kendrick’s on-screen brother. Webber called the movie “an anti-Christmas film in a way, at least a traditional one.” He elaborated, “It’s this beautiful, really small, intimate look at a family and family life set around Christmas. It’s very real and natural.”

Also present to promote the movie was Melanie Lynskey, who plays Swanberg’s wife and Kendrick’s sister-in-law in “Happy Christmas.” Lynskey took a break from the business at hand to gamely dance upstairs with Alison Pill and Jason Ritter. Kendrick followed along and kept the dance party going. Amid the merriment, Swanberg emphasized “Happy Christmas,” which was picked up for distribution by Magnolia Pictures and Paramount Pictures earlier in the week, covers serious ground. “I hope that it sparks conversations between men and women about the relationship between work and child care, and I hope it gets people talking about fairness and expectations for women when they have children,” he said. {wwd.com}

Anna Kendrick’s finally a mess in ‘Happy Christmas’

Anna Kendrick stars as a problem drinker who moves in with her brother’s family after a breakup. Among the family members: a toddler played by director Joe Swanberg’s son, Jude.

PARK CITY, Utah — Family is messy. The upside, for director Joe Swanberg, is the ability to translate that messiness into a film that had a gigantic line waiting for it (in 20-degree weather, no less) at the Sundance Film Festival.

In Happy Christmas, which arrives at the festival just six months after Swanberg’s last effort, Drinking Buddies, Anna Kendrick plays Jenny, who has a drinking problem and moves in with her brother, Jeff (played by Swanberg), his wife, Kelly (Melanie Lynskey), and their toddler (Swanberg’s adorable son, Jude) after a recent breakup.

In real life, “Anna is very put together. She’s not a mess,” says Swanberg, who directed Kendrick in Drinking Buddies. “I feel like she’s been so consistently ‘good’ in films. What I was hoping to show with Happy Christmas is that she’s amazing doing any kind of character.”

Jenny’s best friend, Carson (Lena Dunham) has a smaller role, but Dunham’s voice (similar in tone and honesty to her character on HBO’s Girls but far less self-involved) helps to signify where Jenny is at. The woman is reeling, with little to latch onto at the age of 27 except bottles of booze and a cute thirtysomething male babysitter/pot dealer who crosses her path.

“The amazing thing about Lena is that she had that voice from the first day I met her,” says Swanberg, who has been friends with Dunham for years. “She’s the best example that I’ve ever known (of a person) finding mainstream success without changing a thing.”

He adds that it’s talent like Dunham and Mark Duplass who are leading the charge for filmmakers like himself. “They’re making it more accessible for my movies to get out there and play wider,” he says. “Because people are like, ‘Oh this isn’t without context. I watch Girls and I’ve seen The League and I’ve watched Jeff Who Lives at Home.’ ”

In Happy Christmas, Jenny’s arrival triggers a surprising revelation: Kelly, challenged over rounds of beer with Jenny and Carson on why she’s given up on writing, slowly reveals she’s lost a sense of self as a stay-at-home mom.

Like filmmakers Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) and Paul Mazursky (Down and Out in Beverly Hills), “I’ve always wanted the characters to grow up with me,” says Swanberg. Happy Christmas steals from his own life: Nine months after Jude was born, his younger brother moved in with them for three trying months.

And Swanberg’s wife, filmmaker Kris Williams, spent a year and a half caring for their son so the couple could save money on child care. But not working secretly plagued her, inspiring Swanberg to share the story of a mother who “felt frustrated but who felt guilty for that frustration,” he says.

Although Jenny is “much more reckless than my brother actually was,” says Swanberg, there are strong similarities, including one calamitous night the younger sibling sets off a smoke alarm by passing out after shoving a frozen pizza in the oven.

Next up may be finding an agent for little Jude, who delighted the festival audience by consistently hamming it up in Happy Christmas. “I know!” Swanberg laughs. “I’ll have to protect him from the paparazzi.” {usatoday.com}

Anna @ LACMA Live Read Series

Anna was on the panel of LACMA’s Live Read Series with Directors Paul & Chris Weitz of American Pie on January 16th at Bing Theater in L.A. Live Read was started by Anna’s Up in the Air director Jason Reitman, and had actors reading the American Pie script in roles opposite their gender. Anna played Stifler, while other readers included Anna’s Drinking Buddies co-star Olivia Wilde, Topher Grace, Krysten Ritter, and John Cho.

Appearances & Events > Appearances in 2014 > Jan 16: Film Independent At LACMA Presents Live Read with Directors Paul & Chris Weitz: American Pie

Film Independent At LACMA Presents Live Read With Surprise  Guest Director Film Independent At LACMA Presents Live Read With Surprise  Guest Director 0la1 0la2

Anna Kendrick: Stifler at LACMA’s ‘American Pie’ Live Read

Anna Kendrick takes the stage for Film Independent at LACMA’s Live Read of American Pie on Thursday night (January 16) in Los Angeles.

The 28-year-old actress reunited with former co-stars Olivia Wilde and Michael Sheen for the event, as well as her The Twilight Saga: New Moon director, Chris Weitz.

Topher Grace, Sharon Stone, Krysten Ritter, Ari Graynor, and more also participated in the gender-swap live script read.

“#tbt That time I met one of the original Lamb Chops on the set of 50/50 #DreamsDoComeTrue,” Anna captioned a photo with a Lamb Chop puppet on Instagram earlier that day.

Anna Singing at Kennedy Center Honors

The Kennedy Center Honors aired last night, and Anna’s performance of “It’s Not Where You Start It’s Where You Finish” was phenomenal. She and other Broadway woman performed to honor actress/singer Shirley MacLaine. Shirley, as well as the Obamas and the other honorees, were visibly thrilled at Anna’s number, and now you can be too!

Broadway vets Sutton Foster, Patina Miller and Karen Olivo along with ‘Pitch Perfect’ star Anna Kendrick paid tribute to legendary star of stage and screen Shirley MacLaine on last night’s 36TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS

. . . Then Glenn Close introduced a performance homage to MacLaine, saying, “Years ago, a young dancer with stars in her eyes headed to New York and took musical theater by storm. Tonight, returning the favor, Broadway’s brightest young stars have come to the Kennedy Center to salute the artist they admire.” First Tony Award-winning actress, singer and dancer Sutton Foster performed a medley of hit Broadway songs made famous by MacLaine, including “Something Better Than This,” “Steam Heat” and “She’s No Longer A Gypsy,” followed by Tony Award-winning musical theater actress Patina Miller singing MacLaine’s signature song, “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” Then Tony Award-winning actress Karen Olivo sang “Irma La Douce,” followed by Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrickbelting out “It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish.” The tribute concluded with all of the performers singing “Lord Help Us, We Love Her” in honor of MacLaine. {broadwayworld.com}

Anna Kendrick Nails It At The Kennedy Center Honors

What’s scarier than performing in a packed theater, for a crowd that includes President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama? This: performing in a packed theater that also includes accomplished stage performers like Glenn Close, Shirley MacLaine, Kathy Bates, Renee Fleming, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock, and Carlos Santana.

What’s scarier than that? Performing in front of said house, in a musical number that puts you up alongside Broadway megastars Patina Miller (Pippin, Sister Act), Karen Olivo (West Side Story) and Sutton Foster (everything good you ever saw).

But last night, during the CBS airing of the Kennedy Center Honors, 28-year-old film star Anna Kendrick faced these daunting circumstances and hit it out of the park. During the live tribute to Shirley MacLaine, which focused on the Oscar-winner’s long career on the stage, Kendrick showed off the singing chops most of us first witnessed in Pitch Perfect and her top-selling single, “Cups.”

We shouldn’t be surprised, of course—Kendrick garnered a Tony nomination at age 12 (!!) for her Broadway debut in High Society. But still, it’s been a while since America has seen her rock out live, as opposed to from a sound stage or recording studio. And we must tip our top hat to Kendrick for really pulling it off, thus whetting our appetites for her upcoming performance as Cinderella in the Into The Woods film adaptation, and every other imagined Broadway production that could potentially follow. (Suggestions: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Wicked, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, Cinderella, Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Light in the Piazza, The King and I, Legally Blonde, My Fair Lady, Chicago, Once Upon a Mattress, etc, etc.){vanityfair.com}

Check out HQ and MQ photos from the event in our gallery here.

Anna @ Christmas in Washington

Anna performed for President Obama and his family’s Christmas performance, Christmas in Washington, which took place December 15th at the National Building Museum in D.C. She performed along with The Backstreet Boys, Sheryl Crow, Hugh Jackman and Janelle. She looked absolutely STUNNING in a white gown! There is a great photo of the president congratulating Anna on her performance, in which she song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. Christmas in Washington will air on TNT December 20th, 8:00 est.

Appearances & Events > Appearances in 2013 > December 15: Christmas in Washington

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Obamas, Hugh Jackman celebrate ‘Christmas in Washington’

WASHINGTON — Christmas got a presidential seal of approval Sunday night.

The Backstreet Boys opened TNT’s Christmas in Washington concert with a medley of their original holiday songs, Christmas Time and It’s Christmas Time Again. President Obama, Mrs. Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia looked on.

Also on the lineup at the 32nd annual holiday concert: Hugh Grant, Sheryl Crow, Janelle Monae, Anna Kendrick and Pat Monahan. Grant served as host for this year’s festivities,which benefits the Children’s National Health System. President and Mrs. Obama were front and center for the holiday fun, and the American Family Choir, Washington Youth Choir and AFTRA Choir accompanied the star singing talent. Charles Barkley, NBA Hall of Famer and analyst for TNT’s Inside the NBA, made a special guest appearance.

After noting that Christmas is a “time for warmth of family and friends,” Jackman pointed out that he is the first Australian to host Christmas in Washington. “Even TNT is outsourcing these days,” he joked.

Jackman said he wasn’t sure what to get the Obamas, but decided on a “gift that speaks to the true meaning of Christmas: a box set of all seven X-Men and Wolverine movies.”

Kendrick, who was just in Washington one week ago to perform at the Kennedy Center Honors, was up next, singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Monahan sang Merry Christmas Baby, and Crow crooned the classic, Please Come Home for Christmas.

Monae sang This Christmas, and then the entire lineup came together for a closing medley when Jackman put his voice on display during Angels We Have Heard On High. Then President Obama and Mrs. Obama took to the stage.

Obama pointed out that while he loves getting Christmas presents, it’s “a time to remember the story of a child born to two faithful travelers on earth.” He said this time of year brings “a message of hope.” “We wish this holiday season, and all holiday seasons, peace on earth.”

The evening ended as it has in years past: with the Obamas, the star-studded lineup and the audience singing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

During rehearsals earlier in the evening, the Backstreet Boys, who are celebrating 20 years of being together, said the holidays are a time to focus on their families.

“We’re all with our families (during the holidays). That’s our holiday gift to each other: peace of mind and separation for a second because we’re always together,” said A.J. McLean. “We have a really unique dynamic,” says Brian Littrell of the group’s longevity. “It’s something that we’re really proud of.”

Of the holidays, they all have special plans. “This will be my daughter’s second Christmas…now she’s all about opening up presents, so that’s really cool,” says McLean. As for Nick Carter, he’ll be celebrating the holiday with his fiance, Lauren Kitt. “We’ve taken some (past) traditions and we’re also starting new ones,” says Carter. “She’s half Mexican, so we’ll be eating tamales on Christmas. She introduced that to me, and then I introduced her to Charlie Brown Christmas, which I love watching.”

Howie Dourough will be attending midnight mass on Christmas Eve with his family, “then we come back and my mom makes a bunch of Spanish traditional foods…then the adults actually open gifts the night before, and then we get things ready at my mom’s house for the kids the next morning.”

Christmas in Washington will air as a special at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Dec. 20 on TNT {usatoday.com}

Anna @ 2013 Kennedy Center Honors

Anna opted for orange at the Kennedy Center Honors last night, where she performed in front of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama! We will see her performance of “It’s Not Where You Start” from the Broadway show “Seesaw” when it airs on TV December 15th :D

Appearances & Events > Appearances in 2013 > Dec 08: The 36th Kennedy Center Honors Gala

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. . . MacLaine made the tribute performance easier than usual, since it’s notoriously difficult to fete film actors onstage. Mac­Laine is also a skilled theater actress and dancer, and the tribute began with a montage of “The Pajama Game,” which kicked off MacLaine’s Broadway career in the 1950s; “Steam Heat” and Anna Kendrick’s “It’s Not Where You Start” from the Broadway show “Seesaw” also charmed. {washingtonpost.com}

Anna Kendrick: Kennedy Center Honors Gala with the Obamas!

Anna Kendrick hits the red carpet at the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors Gala held on Sunday (December 8) at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The 28-year-old actress was one of many, including Barack and Michelle Obama, who stepped out to honor this year’s special guests – Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, and opera star Martina Arroyo.

“The diverse group of extraordinary individuals we honor today haven’t just proven themselves to be the best of the best,” Obama said. “Despite all their success, all their fame, they’ve remained true to themselves — and inspired the rest of us to do the same.”

FYI: Anna is wearing an Elie Saab dress, Charlotte Olympia shoes, a Rauwolf clutch, a Dana Rebecca Designs ring, EF Collection rings, and Graziela earrings. {justjared.com}

Anna @ Kennedy Center Honors Gala Dinner

Appearances & Events > Appearances in 2013 > Dec 07: Kennedy Center Honors Gala Dinner

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Alexander Martinetti and Anna Kendrick arrive at the formal Artist’s Dinner honoring the recipients of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors hosted by United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry at the U.S. Department of State on December 7, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The 2013 honorees are: opera singer Martina Arroyo, musician/composer Herbie Hancock, singer/songwriter Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine, and musician/songwriter Carlos Santana.

Anna Kendrick: Kennedy Center Gala Dinner

Anna Kendrick is a beauty in black at the formal Artist’s Dinner honoring the recipients of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors hosted by United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry at the U.S. Department of State on Saturday night (December 7) in Washington, D.C.

The 28-year-old actress wore a Maria Lucia Hohan dress, Amanda Pearl clutch, Carla Amorim jewels, and Charlotte Olympia shoes.

In case you missed the news, the actress is set to perform at TNT’s annual holiday spectacular Christmas In Washington which will air on Friday, December 20th @ 8pm.

Anna to Perform at ‘Christmas in Washington’

Anna will be performing at the annual ‘Christmas in Washington’ for President Obama Dec. 15, airing Dec. 20!

TNT Holiday Special to Feature Janelle Monae, Sheryl Crow and More

Cable network TNT’s annual holiday special, Christmas in Washington, will feature host Hugh Jackman and an array of musical performers including Janelle Monáe, Sheryl Crow, Backstreet Boys, Anna Kendrick and Pat Monahan. NBA Hall of Famer and host of the network’s Inside the NBA Charles Barkley will also make an appearance.

The annual program, now in its 32nd year, will be filmed at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., on December 15th. Its organizers plan to raise money for the Children’s National Medical Center. Notable attendees scheduled to appear include President Obama and the First Lady and other “Washington VIPs,” according to organizers. The show will premiere on December 20th at 8 p.m. EST.

Last year’s program, which Conan O’Brien hosted, featured performances by Diana Ross, Smash actress Megan Hilty, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and Psy. The Korean pop star, who, of course, performed “Gangnam Style,” dressed in red pants and a sparkly sweater. He opened the song by crooning a few lines from “The Christmas Song.” His performance, which was not acknowledged by President Obama in his closing remarks, came following Psy’s apology for making anti-American remarks in previous years.

Earlier TNT holiday specials have featured performances by Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green, Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey, Andrea Bocelli, Annie Lennox, Neil Diamond and many more. Past hosts have included Ellen DeGeneres, George Lopez and Dr. Phil and his wife Robin. {rollingstone.com}

I live nearby, will try to attend if tickets are available to the public!

Anna @ “Drinking Buddies” Screening – 57th BFI London Film Festival

Anna attended the London screening of her movie Drinking Buddies at the 57th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon West End. She posed with director Joe Swanberg, looking gorgeous and decked out in an Alberta Ferretti floral two- toned skirt and tank. And check out the details on her accessories – hearts on the tabs of her heels, and ornate diamond spider on her clutch – too cute!

Appearances & Events > Appearances in 2013 > October 18: “Drinking Buddies” Screening – 57th BFI London Film Festival

"Drinking Buddies" - Red Carpet Arrivals: 57th BFI London Film Festival "Drinking Buddies" - Screening - Red Carpet Arrivals: 57th BFI London Film Festival "Drinking Buddies" - Red Carpet Arrivals: 57th BFI London Film Festival "Drinking Buddies" - Red Carpet Arrivals: 57th BFI London Film Festival

She may be playing Cinderella in her latest blockbuster Into The Woods, but it appears Anna Kendick is a real-life princess as she appeared on the red carpet in a stunning frock on Friday evening.

The 28-year-old American actress was attending a screening of Drinking Buddies at the Odeon West End as part of the BFI London Film Festival.

She turned up in a black prom dress, embellished with multicoloured embroidered flowers, which even had a sheer midriff exposing the actress’ toned stomach.

Stunning: Anna Kendrick worked the red carpet in a stunning floral-embroidered gown at the BFI London Film Festival, at the Odeon West End on Friday evening

Anna accessorised with a red and orange ribbon belt, a matching pair of sunflower earrings and ring, a black clutch bag and super high black stilettos, complete with a clear heel, whilst styling her hair up in a sleek ponytail.

She wore dramatic eye make-up, using shades of purple and green to create a smoky eye look, finished off with pink cheek blush and nude lipstick.

The Up In The Air actress posed away for the cameras as she stood solo on the red carpet before heading into the Leicester Square venue to watch the movie.

Working the red carpet: Anna Kendrick attended a screening of Drinking Buddies during the 57th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon West End

Drinking buddies tells the story of Luke and Kate are co-workers at a Chicago brewery, where they spend their days drinking and flirting.

They’re perfect for each other, except that they’re both in relationships. Luke is in the midst of marriage talks with his girlfriend of six years, Kate is playing it cool with her music producer boyfriend Chris.

But you know what makes the line between ‘friends’ and ‘more than friends’ really blurry? Beer.
At the flicks: Actress Anna Kendrick and director Joe Swanberg attended the screening of Drinking Buddies during the 57th BFI London Film Festival together

At the flicks: Actress Anna Kendrick and director Joe Swanberg attended the screening of Drinking Buddies during the 57th BFI London Film Festival together

Anna stars in the film as Jill, alongside Olivia Wilde who is playing the lead role of Kate and Jake Johnson as the lead role of Luke.

Director Joe Swanberg accompanied Anna on the red carpet and the pair posed for the photographers ahead of the screening.

Anna also made the time to sign autographs for the hoards of fans who were waiting outside the venue equipped with notebooks and pens.