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Projects Update

Anna’s 2013 film Drinking Buddies will premiere at SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX between March 8-16.

I’ve added some high quality posters, stills, and behind the scenes photos from Anna’s 2012 movies The Company You Keep, End of Watch, and Pitch Perfect:

Productions > Movies > The Company You Keep (2012)

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Productions > Movies > End of Watch (2012)

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Productions > Movies > Pitch Perfect (2012)

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Press Updates

Anna Kendrick Interview: End of Watch

Anna Kendrick talks working with Jake Gyllenhaal, style secrets and girls’ nights in with GLAMOUR.com as she promotes amazing new cop drama, End Of Watch…

GLAMOUR.COM End Of Watch is a real edge-of-your-seat film. Did you know as soon as you read the script that you would have to be involved with it?

Anna Kendrick: “Yeah, you know, it’s funny. Even with really good scripts I find that I end up moving around the house a lot and in between scenes I’ll make myself a coffee, you know, fidget and this one was really unique in that the second that I started reading it I was pinned to the spot where I started reading it, and stayed there the entire time. It was such a page turner. It was so exciting and so different and yeah, I basically called my agent immediately and was really excited about getting involved.”

G: There are a lot of action scenes, but Janet’s story really gives the movie some grounding, especially the scene when you’re recording a message for Jake’s character. How much was that improvised?

A: “It was an interesting process because we had a lot of freedom, and David encouraged us, too, which added to the realism of the film, but what ended up in the movie was at least 90 per cent his words. You know, it was such a tight script and so well-written, we found more and more that it could exist just exactly as it was on paper, and, yeah, there were little moments that he added here and there, but that monologue in front of the camera was, believe it or not, all written by big, tough David.”

G: How important do you think Janet’s story is to the film?

A: “I mean, definitely, I felt a tremendous sense of responsibility for grounding the world that these men exist in, because that’s what was part of the appeal when I read the script and that was something I said to my agent. I remember reading the script, and normally playing the wife or girlfriend wouldn’t be interesting, but in the context of this film they really give so much heart to these men and it makes it feel like these men aren’t just a badge, or a number or a statistic, you know. They don’t exist in a vacuum, they’re really putting families on the line and their lives on the line.”

G: Having said all that, was it really manly on set?

A: “Yeah, I think so. But weirdly, Jake and Michael and David are such gentlemen at heart that they were so on their best behaviour when the women were around, so it was a nice combination of both. They were definitely this beautiful little boys club, but at the same time they were really concerned about making sure that Natalie and I were comfortable and had everything we needed. It was really sweet.”

G: What was it like working closely with Jake?

A: “He’s incredible. I think he really has a knack for understanding other actors and what they need and he’s incredibly supportive and he was really protective of me on set… And, you know, in this lovely way, where life kind of imitates art, the first scene I shot with him was the scene when I meet his friends for the first time, and it really felt like I was meeting my boyfriend’s friends because they had been working together for a really long time and I really felt like I had to prove myself to them, and at the same time Jake felt like he really had to watch out for me so, yeah, it was really lovely.”

G: When you’re portraying a relationship like that, a relationship in its early stages, how do you rehearse for something like that? How did you go about that with Jake?

A: “Um, actually our rehearsal period was really unique and perfect. David wrote a scene that we never intended to shoot for the movie that was our first date, and how we met and we rehearsed that scene over and over again even though we never planned to shoot. And so then it felt everything moving forward had a real timeline and a real base of reality.”

G: They should have included that in the film!

A: “I know! It was just one of those things where everything had to be based more or less around Sam’s footage, so there was no way that we could have recorded the first date without Sam freaking out!”

G: How do you think Michael and Jake keep the audience on their side? Because even though they’re the good guys of the film, they do some pretty questionable things…

A: “Absolutely, but I think that’s exactly part of it.  First of all, their chemistry is amazing and they really show how much they believe in doing the right thing and I think that puts you on their side. But I think that they make mistakes and they make decisions that are little questionable every now and then makes you feel for them because you realise that they’re not perfect. It really humanizes them.”

G: There’s an amazing dance scene at Brian and Janet’s wedding. Was that fun to film?

A: “Yeah, it was kinda fun. It was little embarrassing, but it was pretty fun. But Jake was so reluctant to do it, and so grumpy about it that I felt like I had to rally and be, like, the mom who’s like, ‘Come on, it’ll be fun! I’ll give you a snack afterwards if you do it!’”

G: What do you want people to take from End Of Watch? And what did you take from the film after watching it completed?

A: “It obviously takes place in the world of the LAPD and the stuff that they come up against every day, but I think it’s about family. It’s about who you choose to surround yourself with and it’s the family you choose as an adult, you know? It’s a universal theme.”

G: So, we’re excited about the last Twilight film coming out. Is it weird that you’re not in this one for the first time?

A: “More than anything, I feel like I’m just excited to see the movie. I didn’t have that little window into what it was going to be. I wasn’t on set for any of those days, so I’m really psyched to see the movie.”

G: So you’ll be watching this one as more of a fan?

A: “Oh, absolutely.”

G: When it comes to this side of promoting a film, do you enjoy the premieres and getting dressed up for it?

A: “It’s funny, it’s kind of a pain in the butt and it’s a little stressful. You try and wear the right things and look your best, and it’s always a little bit of pressure. But with this one, it was, weirdly, kind of nice. Jake’s so nice and he’s so sensitive to women, so, like, every time America Ferrera, Cody Horn, Natalie Martinez and I would show up for a premiere he would be amazed that we would look so beautiful and complimenting us. He’s really good about it, he’s one of those guys that you’re like, ‘Your Mom raised you right’. So this one was weirdly fun because Jake and Michael were so impressed that we scrubbed up so nicely.”

G: You’ve worn some amazing dresses over the years. What are your style rules when it comes to dressing up for the red carpet? Do you just put your trust in the stylist?

A: “I guess I like having somebody there to push me out of my comfort zone because if it was left to me I would just wear little black dresses all the time. So I definitely have opinions, but I like having someone there I trust  to say every now and again, ‘You can wear a long dress or you can wear something with no back, and we will manage to find a bra that will fit that, it’s going to be okay.’”

G: What advice would you give to petite girls?

A: “I guess the thing I’ve learnt from starting this whole red carpet stuff, is that everything you buy you should get tailored. Which is really annoying, but I never knew what a big difference it made. I always thought things fit me but then I tried something on that actually fit and was like, ‘Oh no!’ So yeah, I mean, I am tiny, I am 5ft 2, so I think getting stuff tailored is a thing, like, getting sleeves taken in. I never knew was a thing that people did. So, yeah, that’s been a learning curve.”

G: Do you have a style icon?

A: “Kate Blanchet. I think there’s never a moment where she doesn’t look like the coolest person on the planet.”

G: What does your beauty regime consist of? If you were going to have a girls pampering night in, what would you do?

A: “I got this Arcona Wine hydrating mask, and I always have extra pairs of really fuzzy slippers around, so if friends come over, they can slip those on.”

G: What’s up next for you after End Of Watch?

A: “Pitch Perfect comes out in, I think, December in the UK, and that’s like this crazy acapella movie I did. And then after that I filmed a comedy with Miles Teller and Bryan Cranston called Get A Job, and then I did an improv movie called Drinking Buddies with Olivia Wilde with Ron Livingston and Jake Johnson.”

End Of Watch is out 23 November 2012. {glamourmagazine.co.uk}

Twilight’s Anna Kendrick: Being cut from Breaking Dawn Part 2 is bittersweet

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 hit London last night with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson both stunning at the film’s premiere in Leicester Square, while the cast reunited on the red carpet, someone who was notably absent was Anna Kendrick, who played Jessica Stanley.

We caught up with Anna as she promoted her latest film End of Watch, and asked how she felt about being left out of the final Twilight film.

Anna said: ‘It’s obviously a little bit bittersweet but mostly I’m just excited to see the final film as a fan and see what they’ve done and the way they’ve traversed this rollercoaster.

‘The fact of the matter is I usually shoot for just a week and I feel lucky to come in and do my little bit.’

Anna may have played down her part, but she’s still very much part of the cast adding: ‘I always feel welcome [with the Twilight cast] it’s like going back to summer camp, I still feel part of the family.’

Unlike Kristen and Robert, Anna was one Twilight star who managed to escape the huge interest in her private life, something she feel very fortunate to have.

She added: ‘It would be my preference [to be private] but you really don’t have a lot of control over that.

‘You don’t know what [films are] going to be a success, I appreciate that there’s not a lot I can do proactively to change that, it’s all kind of luck of the draw.’

But is she sympathetic towards her Twilight co-stars, Robert and Kristen who are subjected to so much media intrusion?

‘Yeah I do feel sorry [for them],’ Anna told us. But Anna isn’t focusing her time on that, instead she’s gearing up for the release of End of Watch where she stars alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. {marieclaire.co.uk}

Anna Kendrick’s 3 Rules for a Natural Beauty Look

Experimenting with the hottest beauty trends is always fun, but sometimes paring down to the basics is a welcome change.

We recently caught up with fresh-faced cutie Anna Kendrick at the launch party for Rachel Zoe’s “Major Must-Haves” for Jockey and had to ask her how she consistently nails the natural look.

Here’s what she told us:

Trend alert: Anna Kendrick, Lauren Conrad and others shine in chartreuse
1. Wash your makeup off before you go to bed. “I should really follow my own advice with this one, because God knows I don’t do that all of the time, but it’s so important!” she says.

2. Pick a good moisturizer and keep it up. Hydrated skin makes all the difference and can prevent signs of aging. “I use Dermalogica Active Moist every day.”

3. Less is more. “For makeup, I apply the Bobbi Brown foundation stick just where I need it, so I’m not covering my whole face in product. It’s an easy step and I always feel more like myself when I’m not all covered up.”

Sounds like this smart starlet certainly knows how to let her natural beauty shine through. Tell us what you think! Do you have any beauty secrets of your own? {eonline.com}

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Press Update

Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow Discuss Making Pitch Perfect

Although Pitch Perfect co-stars Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow appear at home on stage as members of a competitive a cappella group in Universal Pictures’ new musical comedy, they confess that wasn’t always the case.

“I forgot the lyrics to ‘The Good Ship Lollypop’ when I was 5 at a dance recital,” Kendrick (The Twilight Saga, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) told a group of reporters last week. “I decided to sit on stage and cry. I learn my lines now much better.”

Snow (Prom Night, Hairspray) recalled a similar tear-filled experience. “When I was 8 or 9, I was in ‘Pirate of Penzance’ and I had to wear this really long fake wig and I had to come across the stage, tiptoeing,” she said, “and the wig fell off and the boy that I really liked was laughing at me. I cried, too. And I had to sing.”

Directed by Jason Moore, Pitch Perfect follows Kendrick as Beca, who has dreams of becoming a radio DJ but is forced to go to college. There, she joins an all-girls a capella group called The Bellas, which is determined to defeat the reigning Treble Makers in an international competition. Snow plays Chloe, the group’s eager-to-please morale booster.

With their early stage frights now only memories, Kendrick and Snow faced the more specific challenge of mastering the film’s musical mash-up numbers. In one such scene, a Riff-Off between the Bellas and rival Barton groups, Snow faced the odd challenge of not singing during the Bellas’ rendition of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.”

Brittany Snow

“I loved that song from long ago,” she explained. “It’s always been my karaoke song and I was really jealous that Anna got to do the rap part.” Snow and the other Bellas, a group that includes Rebel Wilson, Esther Dean and Anna Camp, found the mood on set that day infectious, but fought the urge to do more than their assigned roles in the song — except for one moment that Snow simply couldn’t resist.

“There’s a part at the very end where [Anna's character] goes ‘We out!’ and nobody else was supposed to say that, but I was so caught up in the song that I say it, too,” Snow said. During post-production, director Moore called her on that exuberance, but her enthusiasm can be seen briefly in the final cut.

The actresses praised Moore, a first-time director, for his ability to command the complicated production. “It was a huge task to have all the Bellas, all the other a cappella groups who were there, all the extras, and wrangle everybody and make sure they were in sync and focused,” Snow said.

“[He] makes you feel safe singing ‘No Diggity’ in a pool [when you're] wondering if this is going to come across well,” Kendrick added. “He sees everything from every angle, and he’s a smart enough person and has such amazing taste.”

They said Moore kept his cool, although Kendrick picked up on a telling gesture. “Every now and then, he’d play with the front of his hair and it was like, ‘Okay, Jason’s tripping. Come back! Come on, Captain!’” she recalled with a laugh.

Another challenge Kendrick and Snow faced was keeping their composure during the rehearsal scenes shot toward the end of production. In particular, Kendrick remembered filming a scene in which the girls confess secrets to one another.

Anna Kendrick

“It was like maybe one of the second-to-last days for the girls and it was late and we’re all just sitting around staring at each other and it’s just like … you get too comfortable,” she said. The adrenaline of the performance scenes kept everybody focused and on task, but this scene, itself a pretty funny moment, led to on-set silliness. “Just sitting in a circle with these girls that I’ve gotten to know over three months was jus, ‘I can’t take you guys seriously,’” Kendrick continued.

That sense of camaraderie came in handy while filming the finale, which employs a number of song selections and full choreography. The director had the Bellas perform the whole sequence from start to finish nearly 40 times, creating what Kendrick and Snow believe was the toughest — and best — time on set.

“That was a moment where it really felt like it was just the ten of us supporting each other,” Kendrick said. “It felt like we really had to rely on each other and feed off of each other’s energy in way that is exclusive to theatrical performance.”

The director and producers stood at the back of the auditorium, and the audience was packed with extras, creating a feeling that the finale was a real situation and not simply a movie. “It was a really beautiful thing to look around at these girls and know that they’re my co-workers and my friends and that we’re in it for each other,” Kendrick said. “We’re not thinking about the camera, we’re just trying to be there to support each other.”

Asked if there was something more to the return of musical films, a form that had been dormant at the turn of the century, Kendrick quipped, “[It's] a government conspiracy. You are all now Manchurian candidates.”

Snow offered a more thoughtful answer. “I think that what’s happening now is a surge of people passionate about musicals. I think it started 10 years ago and it’s getting more and more prevalent,” she said. “People want to go to the movies and watch shows on TV or in theaters that make them feel good and music really does that. It’s not only that you watch something and connect to dialogue, but when you listen to a song, it gives a whole other element of connection.”

“That’s the difference between us in those two answers,” Kendrick added. “I refuse to be sincere and you’re amazing.”

Pitch Perfect opens Friday nationwide. {comicbookresources.com}

Anna Kendrick On ‘Pitch Perfect,’ Singing Onscreen, And How Being ‘Aggressively Dorky’ Paid Off

Anna Kendrick Pitch Perfect Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick (Twilight, Up in the Air) got her start on Broadway — nabbing a Tony nomination at the age of 12, no less — before making her film debut in 2003′s musical Camp. In this week’s infectiously fun college-set comedy Pitch Perfect she comes full circle playing Beca, an antisocial college freshman who reluctantly joins a ragtag campus a capella group as they attempt to pop song-warble their way to the top. Kendrick rang Movieline to discuss the crowd-pleasing Pitch Perfect, her initial resistance to doing a musical, how one afternoon’s worth of YouTube obsessing paid off (and led to one of the neatest performances in the film, and the undeniable power of Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA.”

Beca is an audience surrogate of sorts, a loner entering this strange world of college a cappella from the outside.
She is kind of an audience stand-in, and you get to be kind of repulsed by this aggressively geeky world at the beginning of the movie and then fall in love with it while Beca does. The interesting thing to me about the idea of a character that on paper is supposed to be really “cool” is, when you bring it to life, breaking her down and making her seem less cool, because that’s when I think the audience really connects with her. I don’t think you can just say, “Hey audience, this is a cool character so you’re supposed to like her.” For me, I fall in love with characters when they’re out of their element or are uncomfortable and you really feel for them in a knee-jerk sympathetic way. So I had a lot of fun trying to make Beca less cool. It’s fun to take a girl who fancies herself a little bad-ass and kind of embarrass her.

That is a lesson she learns — that she’s not too cool for a cappella and she really does need these friends in her life.
Yes — she has a secret love of pop music that she pretends to not have, but she lets her freak flag fly.

She’s also probably the first mash-up DJ protagonist we’ve seen in the movies.
To be perfectly honest, I was really nervous about that because I know friends who are into that kind of stuff and I didn’t want to put anything across onscreen that felt inauthentic. By the time we started filming I was like, “But really — when are you guys going to show me how to do this?” And we kind of ran out of time so I kind of refused to have them explicitly show too much of what Beca was doing because I didn’t know what I was doing. So it’s all alluded to but I didn’t want to have any glaring inaccuracies onscreen.

You probably don’t need to worry too much. I have a feeling Pitch Perfect might inspire a generation of kids to look into this whole mash-up business.
I hope so! That would be pretty sweet.

Your career started on Broadway and in the film Camp, so Pitch Perfect brings you full circle back to music. Were you looking for a musically-oriented project?
I wasn’t looking for this, and in fact I remember reading the script and the thing that made me nervous was the musical aspect. It was almost like I wish Kay Cannon could rewrite the script replacing the a cappella with a chess club because I was worried about it being corny. But I fell in love with the script so much because it was so smart and funny and surprising. I was so charmed by it, I was like, “Okay — guess I’m singing in a movie!”

What gave you pause about singing again?
I knew there’d be comparisons to Glee and there are people who just will not accept a musical as a good movie or automatically think it’s corny, so I knew that would be a little bit of a hurdle. And also it’s making yourself vulnerable in another way, putting yourself on screen singing in a completely sincere fashion.

Which is not a problem for a lot of the characters in this movie, these kids who are so, so into a cappella and these competitions. It makes me happy to know this is based on a real community, that there are people like this out there in the world.
When I was like 18 and I had just moved to L.A., a friend of mine had a crush on a guy who was in the UCLA a cappella group and I got dragged to this competition between UCLA and USC, and I thought it was going to be the most excruciating night of my life. By the end of it I was starstruck and thought these guys were the coolest, I wanted to meet them and hang out with them — and this was years ago, so it was an interesting example of how you can think something’s really dorky, like in the documentary Spellbound, but by the end of it you’re so invested.

Do you see many parallels between the world of musical theater that you started out in and the world of a cappella?
I think there are rock stars within every subgenre, and for people who are obsessed with musical theater Sutton Foster and Audra MacDonald are like Beyonce to them. I’m sure the a cappella world has their own version of that, and that exists in every geeky subculture.

Did you audition for Pitch Perfect with a song?
I met Jason like two years ago about it and they did ask me to sing, so I sang that song with the cups [from the film] that I learned from a YouTube video, and they were like, “Oh my god, that’s going in the movie!”

I loved that routine! What inspired you to use that piece?
Well, I had just learned it because I’m aggressively dorky. [Laughs] When they asked me to sing I was like, as it happened, here’s something I wasted an afternoon learning, so I might as well show them.

That’s pretty impressive. It only took one afternoon?
And from a YouTube video it was hard!

The relationship Beca has with her fellow classmate Jesse (Skylar Adkins) is so adorably John Hughesian, but they bond over Beca’s film illiteracy. How has she never seen The Breakfast Club?
Coming from a film world and living in a film bubble it’s so hard for me to believe that anyone in the world says they don’t like movies and they’ve never seen Breakfast Club, so that was the least plausible thing in the movie in my mind. And I hated every second of pretending I wasn’t a huge film nerd.

I mean, I suppose we all have holes in our film viewing history…
Oh, so many! There are definitely movies I’ve never seen. I’ve never seen the original Heartbreak Kid, I’ve never seen Rome, Open City… obviously thousands upon thousands of films that I wish I could see. Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, but I do the best I can.

In a fairly short period of time you’ve taken on a real variety of roles and projects. How much have the roles you’ve sought out and been offered changed over the years?
I think right after Up in the Air everyone wanted me to play the girl from Up in the Air, and it took a little while for people to think of me as an actress from a film that they liked instead of just that character. So it was weird, a little bit of time had to pass before people like [End of Watch director] David Ayer began thinking of me as the kind of softer, sexier wife character or in this, a kind of rebellious tattooed character. So I’m definitely grateful that those opportunities are coming along.

And in The Company You Keep you play an FBI agent, which is pretty mind-blowing that you can play a college freshman and a government agent back to back.
Yeah! I remember Michelle Monaghan one year played like 34 and 19 within a month of each other. I’m just flattered to have the opportunity to play so many different things, that people see me in different ways.

Another upcoming film of yours is Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies… It was one of those tightrope things where it was really amazing and really scary, but I had an amazing time making it. I’m glad I had the chance to do it, really glad I got to challenge myself in that way.

Given that you had that bit of difficulty getting people to see you differently after Up in the Air this is particularly interesting because the cast of Drinking Buddies were allowed to help shape their characters.
I basically based the character on my sister-in-law, which was fun. I don’t know if she’ll think it’s anything like her but that’s what I had in mind.

Lastly, to bring it back to Pitch Perfect one last time, there’s a scene in the film that I see as a depiction of a universal truth: Nobody can resist singing along to Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA.” True or false? [Laughs] I think that scene was brilliant because it’s such a painfully corny song that Beca should hate, but it’s a telling moment. Is she going to pretend to be too cool for school, or is she going to go along with it and bond with these girls? I love that she’s willing to embarrass herself out of love for these new friends that she has.

Pitch Perfect is in theaters Friday. {movieline.com}

Pitch Perfect: Back to School Isn’t Usually This Much Fun

Anna Kendrick is cast against type as a girl too cool for school in director Jason Moore’s Pitch Perfect, a spirited, irreverent and hugely fun comedy set in the competitive world of collegiate a cappella. Beca wears fierce boots, no pastels and multiple earrings in the non-fleshy part of the ear that suggests a high pain threshold and a dedication to projecting a tough image. Her goal is to become a music producer, but her professor father, a fan of academics, has negotiated a deal with her. She spends her freshman year at the college where he teaches and if she doesn’t like it, then he’ll help her move to LA.

The lone condition is, Beca has to join a club at the fictional Barden College, located somewhere in the Southeast. That way dad will know she’s participating in campus life, rather than just enduring it while doing as she pleases, which is mainly mixing music on her laptop. Between this paternal pressure and some peer pressure from a girl who hears her singing in the shower—Kendrick has a very pleasant voice—Beca ends up in an a cappella group called “The Bellas.” Natalie Keener, Anna Kendrick’s character from Up in the Air, would have dug the Bellas, but few others would. They dress like flight attendants, right down to the jaunty scarves, and are run by a snooty prom queen type named Aubrey (Anna Camp, who maybe the Nellie Olesen of the 21st century). Normally the Bellas wouldn’t lower their standards to anyone as “alternative” as Beca, but graduation rates and a mini-scandal have left them desperate for new members. They even take on Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), who calls herself that so that “twig bitches” like Aubrey and her sidekick Chloe (a delightful Brittany Snow) “don’t do it behind my back.”

Beca is adamantly not a joiner, but Pitch Perfect is a tale of conversion, of rigid people on both sides of the fence—that is, traditional and alternative—loosening up and coming together for the sake of…musical victory. The Bellas want to win the national championship of a cappella. That’s really what it’s about. Yes, there’s some business about friendship, but that shimmies into the plot too late to take seriously. Especially since the movie has been so resolutely raunchy (vomit has never been used so extensively) and politically incorrect. Screenwriter Kay Cannon, who adapted Mickey Rapkin’s nonfiction book about a cappella competitions, makes everyone a target: Germans, lesbians, magicians and especially Asian Americans, represented by Beca’s unfriendly, anal roommate and a hilariously soft spoken member of the Bellas (Hana Mae Lee). Unlike television’s Glee, which it does bear comparison to, Pitch Perfect is free of earnestness and messages of social responsibility. You leave it wanting to sing and dance. I’m not sure of the individual talents of the performers, but the point is the way they sound collectively, harmonizing, whether on stage or in a friendly a cappella-off on a Saturday night on campus, which is never less than delightful.

There’s a love interest for Beca, Jesse (Skylar Astin), who also sings and dances but in the Treblemakers, a much hipper, boy version of the Bellas. Jess is appealing in a refreshingly nice guy kind of way, not alpha, kind and warm. There’s a sense of decency about his attraction to Beca; he’s a little bit Andy Hardy and Pitch Perfect is at its core an old fashioned let’s-put-on-a-show story. That’s echoed by the sense of the movie as something spontaneously but smartly thrown together by born performers. Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse shows up to lead the auditions for Barden’s four a cappella teams, shot montage-style. Otherwise, Mintz-Plasse has no scenes, suggesting he was doing a favor for someone by showing up on set for a day. Ditto for Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins, who play Gail and John, the Christopher Guest-style deadly serious commentators following the competition, and nearly steal the show without interacting with anyone but each other (Banks produced, so technically she was doing herself a favor).

Under Beca’s influence the rebooted Bellas slowly creep toward breaking their ladylike traditions (like Glee‘s Mr. Schuester, Aubrey favors old-school hits, not quite at the “Going to the Chapel” level, but their version of Ace of Base’s “The Sign” is very staid), incorporating hybrids of older hits and contemporary music. They do great things with a remix of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” and even let Fat Amy be front and center. If you saw Bridesmaids or Bachelorette, you know what to expect from Wilson; if not, try to keep up; the woman is a comic savant. She’s so cheerily impish that even when it’s not entirely clear what she’s saying—which is often, between a tendency to mumble and her Aussie accent—she gets a laugh. There’s a running joke involving the first two syllables of “a cappella” being folded into other phrases—Aubrey favors “aca’scuse me”—and it’s the kind of thing that could get old very fast. But Wilson, chiming in with a wry “aca-ward” and “aca-believe it,” has such great delivery that allows the joke to soar when it could so easily flail. Her timing is, please forgive me, aca’wesome.

So is Kendrick’s. She has a history of providing snappy comic relief in supporting roles, starting with her mean girl turn way back when in her film debut in 2003’s Camp, another movie involving singing and dancing (skills she’d honed on Broadway as a tween). She brought a very specific hard edge to perkiness in Up in the Air, a performance that netted her an Oscar nomination at a time when she was mostly known for her role as Bella’s funny friend in the Twilight franchise. She was so convincing as the chilly little efficiency expert Natalie that in 2009 it would have been considered a leap for her to play someone as sexy and cool as Beca, who can rap and deck a guy. But she’s been working her way to this kind of stardom, from 50/50, where she showed a softer side, and even the dreadful What to Expect When You’re Expecting, where she had the most thankless role but still brought a little zip to it. In her other fall release, End of Watch, she’s Jake Gyllenhaal’s dream girl. Kendrick is one to watch; there may be no limit to her versatility. {time.com}

Anna Kendrick fits perfectly in a cappella movie ‘Pitch Perfect’

Anna Kendrick is a bit tired. She’s been doing interviews most of the day for her new film, “Pitch Perfect,” a fun, funny musical riff on the crazy world of college a cappella groups. Yes, the same ones that were featured in the now canceled NBC show “The Sing-Off,” which had as judges Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles, who had been in an a cappella group at UCLA.

Coincidentally, Kendrick, 27, just did a music video for Folds’ new album, which also featured the characters from “Fraggle Rock.”

“I’m a fan of Ben Folds and I’m a fan of the Fraggles; so it was really a dream job that it fell in my lap,” she says. “I grew up watching `Muppet Family Christmas,’ which had the Muppets, the Fraggles and the characters from Sesame Street.”

Folds had gotten interested in college a cappella groups when he discovered YouTube videos of them singing his songs. Kendrick, who received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of George Clooney’s character’s feisty co-worker in “Up in the Air,” says she first learned about them when she moved to Los Angeles.

“I was 18 or 19 and I had a friend who had a crush on a guy who was either in the USC or UCLA a cappella group and she dragged me along to a competition between the schools,” Kendrick remembers. “I thought it would be the most painful experience of my life. But by the end of the evening I was thinking these people are rock stars. So even if it is a sort of a dorky sort of subgenre of performance, they are stars within their own little world,” she says.

Kendrick admits to coming from her own “dorky little world” – Broadway, where she was the second-youngest Tony nominee ever for her role in the 1998 musical “High Society” and appeared in the New York City Opera production of “A Little Night Music” with Jeremy Irons in 2003.

Her career might be seen as sort of unexpected. Her father was a teacher and mother an accountant in Maine when Kendrick got the performing bug at age 5. She says her parents didn’t know anything about getting her into show business but were willing to help her, and by age 10 she was auditioning in New York City.

Broadway is, of course, bigger than the college a cappella world, but it’s not as big as film or television. Kendrick points out that people like Sutton Foster and Audra McDonald – who have respectable TV and film careers – are like the musical theater’s version of Beyonce.

“I think the a cappella world has its own Beyonces,” Kendrick says.

One of them could well be her character in “Pitch Perfect,” which is the first feature film from stage director Jason Moore (“Avenue Q”). Kendrick plays Beca, a sort of too hip for her own good university freshman who is recruited for an all-female a cappella group named the Bellas. It’s run by an uptight Aubrey (Anna Camp) and her looser pal Chloe (Brittany Snow), who discovers Beca’s singing talents when she confronts her in the shower.

The film is based on the nonfiction book “Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory” by Mickey Rapkin. One of its producers is actress Elizabeth Banks, who plays a caustic commentator – a la “Best in Show” – at the competitions.

“The character of Beca needed to be someone who was grounded … funny and empathetic and who we all can relate to and root for,” Banks says. “Anna is all of those things.”

Kendrick also can be seen in a very different role opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the gritty cop drama “End of Watch,” which opened last week. The New York Times review called her “sexily cast against type.” “I have no idea how to take that, but I’ll take it. I guess,” Kendrick says.

The actress says filming “Pitch Perfect” proved hard work. That was partly because the songs in the film kept changing. And though the dancing was a little out of her comfort zone, she says, “The other girls really inspired me to work hard. It was great to have everybody’s energy.”

She also insisted that whenever she was singing on her own in the movie that it was live. Ensemble pieces, though, were another matter. “Too many moving pieces,” she says.

One of the songs she does as part of a riff-off – an impromptu competition between groups – is “No Diggity,” originally by Blackstreet with a rap by Dr. Dre.

“I really love that song,” she says. “It was fun, but at the same time I had never done the rap before. When I used to listen to it in my car or wherever, I used to wait for the melody to start and then I would start singing along to it. So doing the rap was – a little humiliating but funny.”

Kendrick says her character is someone who thinks she’s really cool and secretly isn’t.

“She thinks she’s above these dorky a cappella girls,” the actress says. “So I liked those situations where she was kind of embarrassed and out of her element.”

Does she have anything in common with Beca?

“Well, I know that I’m not cool,” she says with a smile. “So that’s pretty easy.” {presstelegram.com}

‘Pitch Perfect’s’ Anna Kendrick had a busy 2011 making seven films

ANNA KENDRICK has been a very busy woman.

This year she’s been pregnant in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” she was the voice of Nora in “Family Guy” and the voice of Courtney in “ParaNorman.” She played Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife in “End of Watch,” and in “Pitch Perfect,” she’s a college freshman who wants to be a mash-up music producer but begrudgingly joins an a cappella singing group.

Oh, she also has four films in the can awaiting release.

“I filmed seven movies in 2011 and I think that was a mistake,” she said by phone from New York this week. “I pushed myself too hard and I want to be able to come to work each day and give 100 percent. I guess I found out what my boundaries are.”

Kendrick said she won’t undertake a schedule like that again, but . . . “If there are seven [great] opportunities in one year, it’s hard to say no and not want to push yourself.”

As for going back to college after a number of more adult roles (she memorably played a corporate downsizer in 2009′s “Up in the Air” and a psychologist in 2011′s “50/50″), she said, “I guess as long as people think of me for different ages, I’ll trust their opinion. I remember noticing one year that Michelle Monaghan played 34 and 19, so I’ve kind of clung to that as my justification that I can be Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife and a freshman in college in the same year.

“Just today at the airport somebody asked me if I was traveling with a guardian.

“Yeah, I wish that was a joke.”

Kendrick, who sang on Broadway and on screen in the underrated “Camp,” would seem to be a natural for a comedy/musical like “Pitch Perfect,” but, she said, “the music isn’t what drew me in at all.”

“If anything, the singing element was a deterrent, because you’re just making yourself more vulnerable. Although I’ve sung on screen before, I haven’t done it as the face of a studio movie and it would have been a lot easier if the script were terrible. But every page by Kay Cannon, our writer, just blew me away. So I was willing to deal with the fact that people were going to be asking me for the next year, ‘Oh, is it like ‘Glee’?’

“I almost wished that we could replace a cappella with chess or something equally dorky, because I knew that the singing part was going to be an added stress.”

Kendrick said the lead actresses got about a month of rehearsal – “choreography and music and trying to make guitar sounds with your mouth.” {philly.com}

Kendrick comes calling

Anna Kendrick looks even smaller than usual sitting at a conference table in a hotel boardroom with a fluffy white bathrobe over her clothes. “I was freezing,” she apologizes. The air conditioning finally got the best of her.

Kendrick’s at the Toronto Film Festival with End Of Watch, the latest testosterone thriller from writer/director David Ayer. As the girlfriend of Jake Gyllenhaal’s film student cop, Kendrick’s intelligence and warmth serve as counterbalance to the swaggering and posturing of his hours on the job.

The movie was conceived as a project being shot and edited by Gyllenhaal’s character, which meant Ayer could position cameras in all sorts of unlikely places.

“You never really knew where the camera was,” Kendrick says. “There are cameras everywhere. Some of the actors were using hand-held cameras, and then there were some more traditional camera operators working, and when those were reloading Jake or Michael [Peña] would pick up a camera and film something. There wasn’t a second of the day where we weren’t putting something on film. It feels like you’re doing theatre in the round. You’re just so present, and forced to be in this world and in this character. So improv bled into scripted dialogue, and vice versa.”

Kendrick says the shoot made her feel like more of a collaborator in the filmmaking process than usual.

“A lot of people feel as though it’s a detriment to their art to ever be thinking about the camera – where the lens is, what the composition is,” she says. “Some people don’t think that that’s very pure, but I love that. In movies like Sullivan’s Travels or, you know, His Girl Friday, those women were very aware of the camera and think of themselves as though they’re posing for portraits in some way. I don’t think that’s a negative thing; they understood composition.”

Kendrick’s Oscar nomination for Up In The Air and her role in the Twilight saga raised her profile considerably higher than she’d ever imagined. Perhaps as a corrective, she’s spent most of her time since then avoiding big studio pictures and building a resumé as a character actor, turning up as Michael Cera’s sister in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s untested therapist in 50/50, and an FBI agent in Robert Redford’s TIFF 2012 entry The Company You Keep.

But she’s playing a far larger role in the glee club comedy Pitch Perfect, which opens next week. Kendrick says she couldn’t resist the screenplay by 30 Rock writer/producer Kay Cannon.

“It’s that voice that I loved,” she says. “Part of me was really hesitant about doing it – it’s a tricky thing to get right. But when I’d reread the script, you know, just her voice and her humour was the thing that made me go, ‘This is really special {nowtoronto.com}

Q&A: Anna Kendrick on ‘End of Watch,’ Bald Heads & Scruffy Beards

Over the span of her relatively young career, Anna Kendrick’s been known as a few things in pigeonhole-happy Hollywood: the musically talented, Tony award nominee who crossed over to movies with “Camp”; the Oscar nominee who held her own against George Clooney in “Up in the Air”; the coolest cast member in the “Twilight” series.

And that’s exactly how she likes it.

The funny and charismatic 27-year-old doesn’t want to play the same role twice; it’s why the Anna Kendrick you see in “End of Watch,” where she plays the laid-back girlfriend to Jake Gyllenhaal’s cliché-busting, bald-headed LAPD officer, won’t seem anything like the Anna Kendrick you saw in last year’s “50/50″ or next week’s “Pitch Perfect.”

Kendrick told us all about her new role in “Watch” and how her Oscar nomination for “Air” put her strategy of choosing diverse roles to the test.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick in End of Watch

Most times when we see LAPD in movies, they’re usually portrayed as …  d-bags.
I was just going to say douchebag, that is so weird! But I was like, keep it classy.

These guys played by Jake and [his partner/BFF] Michael Pena actually seem to pretty cool. Or like regular guys, at least.
Yeah, I think it’s a good balance … A lot of people have come out of it and talked about how it’s nice to finally see cops portrayed in a positive light. I think there are plenty of times in the movie where you are definitely on their side and you definitely root for them, but there are moments where you as an audience member are thinking, like, guys I’m not sure that that’s the right judgment call.  And you forgive them because they are human and I think that’s the most important thing.

It doesn’t portray them as villains and it doesn’t portray them as supermen. They are human beings and their hearts are in the right places but they make some maybe questionable decisions. But I’m sure those are the things that keep them up at night, too.

Could you ever see yourself dating a cop in real life?
I don’t know, man. I worry over people who have the most boring jobs in the world, so I can’t imagine how strong you have to be to do that.

Jake Gyllenhaal is great in this movie. He’s also got a great bald head. Did you touch his head a lot?
I touched his head a lot. There is this scene at the end of the movie where I found myself touching his head a lot. I was like what is happening, why am I doing that? I like to see him all hairy again, it looks like a completely different person, but I like him scruffy.

Yeah, what is it about bald heads that makes them so touchable?
I don’t know. I was doing it in that one scene but actually when I saw him at the premiere, the first thing I did was scratch his beard. I think I am more of a beard girl myself.

You and Jake rap Cam’ron’s “Hey Ma” in this movie, and it’s one of the most memorable moments.
We were doing this road trip to Vegas and [writer-director David Ayers] was just [occasionally] filming. We spent five hours in the car so there were plenty of times when it was just the three of us talking. Then that song came on Jake’s iPod and we just started singing and David very stealthily brought out his camera … It’s not like he asked us to play that song again and do it again, it just happened, he filmed it, and now it’s in the movie. And luckily they could clear that song. The music supervisor was sweating it for a second.

You also rap in your other new movie this month, “Pitch Perfect.” Considering a side career in hip-hop?
Yeah, I could see myself going that way.

So what are you jamming out to these days?
I mean it’s funny because it’s not really my wheelhouse, obviously, but I do get down to some Nicki Minaj and some Azaelia Banks.  I definitely like a catchy hip-hop tune.

How did earning an Oscar nomination affect your career?
I don’t know, how do you think it affected my career?

I’d imagine it’s lead to some better scripts and better offers.
I mean I think a good script is a rare thing, and I think no matter who you are you have to fight for the good ones. It’s a hard question to answer partially because, and I have been warned about this, that after you do a part that people really like, whenever somebody has a part just like that in a movie, they are like, ‘We should get that girl who already did that to do it in our movie.’ That was a weird time because they were good scripts but I was like, ‘I just did this, why would I do this again? So that people can turn around and be like, oh she only does that one thing?’

Weirdly a little bit of distance and time going by after the Oscars actually helped people to just kind of send me a variety of things because they just thought of me as an actress they remembered liking and not as that girl that did that one thing. Weirdly like a year later things got a lot more interesting than the year following the Oscars. I wish there was a concise way to answer that question. {nextmovie.com}

IAR Press Conference Coverage: ‘Pitch Perfect’

In bygone eras, a cappella singing may have been the province of the hopelessly square, those unfortunate and lovely souls whose sweater vests and high pants betrayed an utter lack of cool. Even a cursory glance at contemporary pop-culture provides a look at an apparently insatiable American hunger to hear familiar pop songs redone in infectious styles, and a cappella is about to benefit from that hunger in a major way.

On Friday, September 28th, Pitch Perfect hits select theaters before expanding nationwide on October 5th. The new musical comedy aims to prove that a capella need no longer be associated exclusively with nerdlingers singing fuzzy old standards. Instead, the film, written by 30 Rock’s Kay Cannon and directed by Jason Moore, features mashups aplenty and songs including “No Diggity,” “Party in the U.S.A.,” and “Let’s Talk About Sex.”

Anna Kendrick (Up In the Air) stars as Beca, a college freshman who would much rather be in Los Angeles pursuing her dream of becoming a DJ. When seniors Chloe and Aubrey, played by Brittany Snow (The Vicious Kind) and Anna Camp (True Blood) recruit Beca for the all-female a cappella team The Bellas, she finds herself composing innovative mashups, expressing herself in entirely new way, and possibly falling for a member of The Bellas’ rival all-male a cappella group The Treblemakers.

IAR was on hand for the Los Angeles press day promoting Pitch Perfect, where Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, and Rebel Wilson discussed their musical backgrounds, the often arduous process of singing on camera, improvising, working with Jason Moore, and the current music climate.

Though she leads the cast and has been praised for her vocal abilities, the Oscar nominated Kendrick had the smallest amount of musical experience, recalling with a laugh, “I forgot the lyrics to the ‘Good Ship Lollipop’ when I was five at a dance recital and I decided to sit on stage and cry and then I went off stage. And that was scarring and that’s the end of that story.”

Snow, meanwhile, had a bit more singing in her past, but was still more less a stranger to the dark arts of a cappella. “I guess I was like eight or nine, I was in Pirates of Penzance,” she said. “And I had to wear this like really long big wig and I had to like come across the stage, tip-toeing and the wig fell off and so, and the boy that I really liked was laughing at me and yea, I cried too. And then, I had to sing and so I couldn’t really sing. But like, I think later on in musical theater, I’m not really sure of anything crazy happened. Just kid stuff. Just kid stuff.”

“I was actually part of an a cappella group,” Wilson revealed. “It was called Twelve Voice because there were twelve girls in it. I was like, ‘Yeah, how original.’ And I went to a Christian school and so we’d sing church songs at people’s weddings and funerals and stuff. And they were kind of really pretty, but we’d have to wear like these peasant gloves and these disgusting velvet long skirts, we were just fifteen year-old girls and we’d have to stand like this, kind of like what we do in the movie in the Ace of Base song, and we’d just be belting out these songs in the churches. At least it was good for singing! You got good practice, and I was an alto in that group which is and in the movie, I’m playing alto as well, which is good.”

Despite directing many episodes of popular television series and the irreverent, Sesame Street-inspired musical Avenue Q, Jason Moore makes his feature directorial debut with Pitch Perfect. According to Snow, however, his experience made him was well-suited for the material, as she said, “It was a huge task to have, you know, all the Bellas, all the Treblemakers, all of the other a cappella groups that were there, extras and like wrangle every body and make sure that everybody was, you know, in sync and was focused. And there were times that I was looking around and I was like, ‘I can’t believe that he’s doing this.’ Because it was a huge production, it was basically a Broadway play that was happening every day, for, you know, two months. So, I was really amazed how well he handled things and was completely calm throughout. I don’t think he ever even had a freak out.”

“Jason is amazing,” Kendrick agreed. “He’s really smart. He’s really on it, you know. I think he sees everything from every angle and, you know, he’s, he’s a smart enough person and has such amazing taste that, you know, it feels like that’s the guy that makes you feel safe when you’re in a pool singing “No Diggity,” wondering, like, ‘Is this going to come across well, or am I just going to come across like this tiny white girl singing “No Diggity” and is it going to be a disaster?’ So, he was a great guy to have as like the captain of the ship.”

A native Australian, Wilson initially intended to use an American accent in the film, but Moore encouraged her to stick with her genuine inflection. Wilson explained, “What happened is that because we had the four weeks of rehearsals and usually if I’m doing an accent in a movie I’ll keep the accent and the character the whole time. But because we were doing like nine am to six pm rehearsals every day, I just couldn’t keep it up. It was too exhausting so I started talking like this how I am now and Jason Moore heard me and he’s like – because I didn’t even know whether he knew I was Australian at first and then he heard me talking like this – and he’s like, ‘You’ve got to use that voice in the movie! You’ve got to!’ And I’m like, ‘No I want to be an actor and do acting, I don’t want to use my real voice.’ And he’s like, ‘Trust me, it’ll be great.’”

Special attention is being paid to Wilson’s performance as Fat Amy, a moniker the character gives herself so that “twig bitches” won’t use it behind it her back. The actress’s style is heavily improvisational, resulting in many a casual one-liner making the final cut, as she said, “My style is to see what’s she’s got on the page and take that as a starting point and then just go ‘la la la la la’ for as long as Jason will let me and also because I’m partnered with Adam DeVine and he’s a really great improviser as well.”

Her tendency towards improvisation caused some issues. One shot in which she drops into a wild, oddly The Little Mermaid-inspired dance was funny enough to end up in the film, but its inclusion in the film caused some issues. “That cost them a lot of money because they didn’t know, obviously, I was going go on the ground and start dancing,” she explained. “So in the original shot they had the tape because when you’re filming and you have the tape marks, they’re usually like fluorescent tape, they were all over the concrete, so they didn’t know and so I went down and did dancing and Jason wanted to use it in the movie, but with all these tapes so they had to digital effect the tape out of the shot to be able to use it. I think it cost them like thousands and thousands of dollars just to use that joke.”

With a game cast, a script from a proven comedy force, and the ability to improvise when appropriate, some scenes could be difficult to complete without laughing, as Kendrick recalled, “I think the scene where we’re all kind of confessing stuff was hard, you know. It was towards the end of the shoot, it was like maybe one of the second to last days for the girls and it was late and like we’re all just sitting around staring at each other and it’s just like, you get too relaxed. It’s like you get too comfortable, like in a scene like the riff-off, there’s kind of so much at stake and so many moving parts that parts of your brain is working overtime. And I think just sitting in a circle with these girls that I had gotten to know over three months, was it’s just like, ‘I can’t take you guys seriously.’”

The most technically challenging sequence, however, was the climactic scene. “The finale number was both the most challenging and the most fun,” Kendrick said. “I think, that was a moment, where it really felt like it was just the ten of us supporting each other and, you know, the crew was there, but they weren’t really close to us and the audience was full of people. And Jason and Elizabeth and Max and everybody are in the back of the theater and it felt like we really had to rely on each other and support each other and feed off of each others’ energy in a way that I think is exclusive to theatrical performance. So, I thought that was a really beautiful thing to look around at all these girls and, you know, know that they’re my co-workers and my friends and that we’re kind of in it for each other, you know, we’re not really thinking about the cameras, it’s like, we’re just trying to be there to support each other.”

“My favorite scene was probably the finale,” Wilson agreed. “Which was super tough because I think that routine, it’s about three and half minutes, four minutes and we always thought, ‘Oh, when you film movie musicals you don’t do the full number throughout. Jason will cut it up into different shots.’ But he made us do that number full out I think about forty times and after each [version] because we were giving it every single take because there was a real crowd there so didn’t want to bore them. So we were really giving it every single day and singing along. But it was just so much fun and we were all working so well together, all the girls, and the crowd was loving it.”

The time for Pitch Perfect is right, as any number of upcoming theatrical musicals and the popular of television shows such as Glee prove the current appetite for musicality on film is indeed a hearty one. Just why have musically-inclined movies and series been enjoying a resurgence in popularity? “I think that what’s happening now, is there’s been like a surge of people really interested in and passionate about musicals,” Snow said. “I think it started, you know, ten years ago and then now it’s getting more and more prevalent and I think that people want to go to the movies and watch shows on TV or in theaters that make them feel good. And music really does that. Not only can you watch something and connect to dialogue, but when you listen to a song, it gives a whole other element of connection and you get that feeling like you want to, you know, stand up and dance and sing and I think that people need that and want that to watch that.”

She continued, “And I think that with these musicals that are out and the shows that are out, I think that people are just getting further and further into what’s really out there musically. A cappella’s been around for a really long time, but I think now, people are like, ‘Oh wow, that’s out there and that is actually, you know, people who are very talented and it actually makes you feel really good when you listen to it. And I think it’s just time and people are discovering this and people are enjoying it, so I’m grateful, because we get to sing and dance.”

Pitch Perfect hits select theaters on Friday, September 28th before expanding into wide release on October 5th. {iamrogue.com}

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Anna on Conan O’brien

Anna was on Conan O’brien tonight promoting End of Watch and Pitch Perfect. She talks about wrapping, fast food, and tazing!

Media & Interviews > Talk Shows > Stills > Conan O’brien – September 20, 2012

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Anna Kendrick Reveals Taco Bell Obsession on ‘Conan’

Anna Kendrick has confessed — she loves Taco Bell.

The 27-year-old actress, who stars in the upcoming End of Watch and Pitch Perfect, stopped by Conan for a chat and when asked about her tweets about Taco Bell, confessed everything.

“I love Taco Bell,” Anna shared, explaining, “It’s a secret…It’s a dirty thing that I love Taco Bell so much. I can not, can not eat Taco Bell before Midnight. It’s like a reverse Gremlins thing.”

She continued, “It’s just so filthy that I can’t do it. It has to be under cover of darkness in my car. I drive out of my way for the one with the drive-thru so I don’t have to go inside and I’ll just eat it in my car.”

“This is my cry for help,” Anna joked with the host. {justjaredjr.com}

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Anna Tapes ‘Extra’ at the Grove

Anna taped an episode of “Extra” with Mario Lopez and Maria Menounas at the Grove in L.A. September 17th:

Appearances & Events > 2012 > September 17: Taping an Episode of “Extra” at the Grove in L.A.

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Anna Kendrick on Jake Gyllenhaal: ‘I Like a Little Scruff’

Actress Anna Kendrick is starring in two big movies this fall, “End of Watch” and “Pitch Perfect.” “Extra’s” Mario Lopez caught up with the in-demand starlet to find out about both.

Anna plays Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife in the gritty drama “End of Watch.” She joked with Mario about how the pair got “fake intimate.”

“He’s a great kisser,” she said. “He’s a real gentleman, yes. It is weird now because… he’s all hairy again. Hair on his head, hair on his face… I got used to him being completely smooth all over his head [for the movie]… I like a little scruff.”

Anna has also been busy promoting her “Glee” meets “Bring It On” smackdown movie, “Pitch Perfect.” She told Mario, “I’m singing all over this movie… a lot of pop songs, but I was really excited to sing ‘No Diggity.’” {extratv.com}

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Anna @ “End of Watch” L.A. Premiere

Appearances & Events > 2012 > September 18: “End Of Watch” – Los Angeles Premiere

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Appearances & Events > 2012 > September 17: “End Of Watch” – Los Angeles Premiere – After-Party

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Getting ready for their weekend debut, the stars of “End of Watch” hit up the Regal Cinema for their Los Angeles, CA premiere on Monday night (September 17).

After an exciting night at the ALMA awards, Jake Gyllenhaal graced the red carpet along with co-stars Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera, Natalie Martinez and Cody Horn.

Also turning up for the cinema celebration were lovely ladies like Audrina Patridge, Jennie Garth while fellas such as 50 Cent, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joe Manganiello turned up to catch an advance look at the new crime drama.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Chicago’s Sun-Times, Pena talked about the dangers of the role, explaining, “It was sort of hot when I raced into the building. Then the smoke came down over us while we were crawling. It was the perfect layer of smoke. A second later, the entire room we were in burst into flames.”

He added, “In two seconds, my entire body was drenched in sweat. I’m not a Method actor, but the reaction of abject fear on my face is real.”

Check out a trailer for the film above and catch “End Of Watch” when it hits theaters on Friday, September 21st. {celebrity-gossip.net}

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Press Update

Anna Kendrick – The tiny actor with big dreams

After a good career so far, Twilight’s Anna Kendrick is about to hit the big time with five high-profile roles coming to cinemas soon. But it’s her mum who’s really excited, she tells Gill Pringle

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart may have hogged the headlines of late. Yet, remarkably, it’s another Twilight star who is enjoying a red-hot career right now, winning a slew of high-profile roles that her better-known co-stars would probably suck blood for.

Not that Anna Kendrick is bragging about her success, even blushing slightly at the mention of the Oscar nod for her performance opposite George Clooney in 2009′s Up In The Air, and her upcoming roles in Robert Redford’s highly anticipated thriller The Company You Keep and cop drama End of Watch where she stars as Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife.

There’s other roles, too – the sort that don’t generate awards but keep things interesting in a career that is already notable for its diversity.

Today, we’re discussing her work in spooky stop-motion movie ParaNorman, voicing a slutty high-school cheerleader, although she’ll also soon be seen in high school horror comedy Rapturepalooza and musical Pitch Perfect, too.

Standing at just 5ft tall, she’s easily able to pass for much younger despite the fact she recently turned 27. “I know. It’s funny. How much longer can I play high-school?” laughs this practical daughter of a history teacher father and accountant mother.

After playing Bella Swan’s [Stewart] best friend for the first four Twilight movies, she’s grateful that the role didn’t define her in the same way as her colleagues. “I rarely get recognised. It’s always a shock when someone notices me. I always think they must be confusing me with someone else,” says the actress who’s not even being modest, given that I’ve often spotted her with her British director boyfriend Edgar Wright at our local grocery store where fellow shoppers browse, oblivious to a star in their presence, amidst the frozen food aisles.

The couple met three years ago when Wright cast her in his comic-book fantasy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Uncomfortable discussing their relationship, she will say that she’s in no hurry to wed: “My parents got married late and they had kids late, so I never felt a social or cultural thing to be married or pregnant or a homeowner by a certain age.”

Growing up in Portland, Maine, she can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to dance or sing, despite the fact she was by no means a Hollywood kid. Taking the bus to New York for auditions, she was just 12 when she won her first acting role as Dinah in the Broadway musical High Society for which she was nominated for numerous awards including a Tony. Going on to appear in other stage productions, her performance in the musical A Little Night Music caught the attention of movie casting directors, leading to her film debut in 2003 musical Camp.

With such a precocious start in the business, there’s nothing remotely blasé about Kendrick who is refreshingly deadpan and self-deprecating, today curled up in a chair at a Los Angeles hotel suite dressed in skinny jeans, flat pumps and floaty blouse.

She still gets a kick out of where her career has taken her: “My mum was so thrilled that I was working with Robert Redford,” she smiles. “And, certainly, End of Watch is something really different from anything I’ve ever done before,” says the actress, who also played a therapist in dark comedy 50/50 opposite Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

If her voice-work on stop-motion film ParaNorman, didn’t call for any deep character research, then she’s intimately acquainted with the film’s themes of schoolyard bullying and feeling like an outsider. “When I did Rocket Science in 2007, the director Jeff Blitz said he thought that most people made the mistake of remembering school as either the best time of their lives or the worst time of their lives and it’s probably neither. Kids are mean to each other and it’s a very strange environment but, for the most part, I was happy that I got to experience that, and getting picked on for being short isn’t the same thing as being bullied,” says Kendrick who was home-schooled by her dad during her stints on Broadway.

Filled with ghouls and zombies, ParaNorman is poised to tap into a pre-Halloween youthful audience, although Kendrick herself is a tough one to scare: “There’s always moments where you creep yourself out, and you think you heard something and you convince yourself that some spirit is in the room with you, but truly, I don’t believe in any of that kind of thing. A lot of my friends really do and, it’s a funny thing that we just don’t like talk about it anymore because it’s a difficult thing to say: ‘I really think that it’s not real and it’s really silly that you think that it is.’ So we just don’t talk about it.”

‘ParaNorman’ opens on 14 September. {independent.co.uk}

Toronto Q&A: Anna Kendrick on The Company You Keep, Civic Virtue, Weed, and Hip-Hop

TORONTO — Adding to a repertoire that is increasingly impossible to pin down, Anna Kendrick has two small roles in two quite different movies showing here at the Toronto International Film Festival this year: the cop drama End of Watch and the Robert Redford political drama The Company You Keep, about a Weather Underground militant on the run from the FBI. We took a break from going to the movies to sit down with the 27-year-old actress the other day and talked about those movies and much more, Beastie Boys included.

ESQUIRE.COM: So you’re from Portland, Maine. And I know a little about the area: Do friends and family understand exactly what you do? Do you have a hard time describing that?

ANNA KENDRICK: They do and they don’t, but, to a degree, absolutely. They are very understanding about the time commitment and the intensity. My family has had to become quite understanding about me not returning phone calls when I’m filming. They also understand that stuff like this is work, and coming and visiting me during a film festival would not be much fun. But other times, they will ask me questions, and I’m not even sure how to answer them, because the question doesn’t even make sense to me.

ESQ: I noticed a similarity between your roles in End of Watch and The Company You Keep. In End of Watch, you’re part of a, well, morally ambiguous group, based on their actions. In The Company You Keep you’re guilty by association. You follow orders from people who aren’t doing enough.

AK: I’m not sure I agree the roles are similar, necessarily. I understand the connection. But I remember seeing this play called The Vertical Hour, and the person I had seen it with felt as though he didn’t enjoy the play as much as I did, because he felt there were no stakes. I felt like the stakes were quite high because it explored the boundaries of when it is you’re wronging another person and at what point you have crossed the line. I can’t speak to what kind of moral standards you have to have to be in law enforcement — to put yourself on the line in that way — but certainly trying to figure out at what point your responsibility to yourself and to other people begins and ends, that’s something I’m interested in.

SA: How much do you think the kind of civic-mindedness you see in The Company You Keep is important for a person to have?

AK: Getting heavy here. I like it. [Laughs] It’s hard to say. The tricky thing with The Company You Keep — it feels so silly to pontificate on that role; I’m in the movie for like thirty seconds — but my feeling was certainly that this is someone who is ambitious. But someone who thinks of herself as having her heart in the same place as the kids in the Weather Underground probably thought their hearts were. You know, actually trying to make a difference. I think she thinks these are bad people. I’m going to catch bad people.

ESQ: Do you empathize with that kind of thinking?

AK: This part is tricky for me. I didn’t have a lot of time to do research for The Company You Keep. This was one where I ended up staying a week for like seventy-two hours, getting on planes so I could make that schedule work. Before I started filming, I remember being on a plane, having my little headphones in, watching The Weather Underground documentary, and I would listen to passages from the manuscript that they read, pausing it, and writing down counter-arguments from the point of view of a conservative. Which I found interesting and challenging, because I am personally not a conservative. But it was a fascinating exercise.

ESQ: That sounds like something your character in Rocket Science would do.

AK: Exactly.

ESQ: Which reminds me, you’ve had a pretty ridiculously varied history of roles. Twilight movies, now a Redford movie, the show Fear Itself. What kind of scripts do you read?

AK: It’s a mixed bag. The most frustrating things is when you read something that has so much potential, but there are other little red flags where you think, I don’t know that I would see eye-to-eye with the people making this film. And that is the worst environment to enter, and absolutely not worth the risk. If you don’t go in with total trust and security, you’ll never be able to be as open as you want.

ESQ: You have that song that you perfectly lip-sync in End of Watch, “Hey Ma.” And because you’re in Pitch Perfect, I’m curious: What’s your favorite rap song or album?

AK: Well, “Hey Ma” just came on Jake [Gyllenhaal]‘s iPod when we were doing that road trip, so we started singing it. It wasn’t planned at all. And we never did another take of it. It’s not like David [Ayer] was like, “Let’s put that song on again.” He just filmed it, and it ended up in the movie. But my favorite rap song is probably “Get It Together.”

ESQ: Do you have a favorite album?

AK: Most of what I know about rap and hip-hop — and that’s basically nothing — is from my brother. I remember, he listened to Cypress Hill, and that was the first time that he explained to me what weed was. I don’t think he had even seen it at that point, but he was acting pretty cool about it. Because there was that lyric, “Inhale, exhale.” At that age, he enjoyed making me feel like an idiot. Older-brother stuff. He was like, “He’s talking about weed, idiot.” But I’m pretty sure, at that point, my brother didn’t know anything about weed, either. {esquire.com}

The Infamous Billy The Kidd Gets A Warrant To Chat With END OF WATCH’s Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick sure does love to work. Just over the past year, she cameoed as Jessica Stanley in the first half of THE TWILIGHT SAGA conclusion, appeared in a supporting role in the romantic comedy WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING and voiced the character of Courtney Babcock in LAIKA’s PARANORMAN… and she’s not done yet. She still has a small role in Robert Redford’s new film THE COMPANY YOU KEEP still to come, in addition to her starring turn in the musically inclined PITCH PERFECT.

Right now though, she’s got END OF WATCH on her docket, playing Janet, the love interest of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Officer Brian Taylor, which allows us to see a personal side to our police officers, giving us a glimpse into the family life that awaits them when they’re off the job. Kendrick’s part helps draw a distinction between cops and the people who are them when they aren’t wearing the badge, and it lends the film a general sense of humanity in showing that there is more to them than just enforcing the law.

I’d spoken with Anna before when she was out promoting 50/50 last year, and for as smart and quick as she is, that makes her a bit of a tough conversation. She’s very careful with her words and extremely succinct, which doesn’t typically lead to too much back and forth. She knows exactly what she wants to say with her answer, and that’s about all you’re going to get. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s just how she rolls.

I was able to get some time with Anna Kendrick while she was up in Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival, which gave me an opportunity to talk END OF WATCH with her, as well as PITCH PERFECT, THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, RAPTUREPALOOZA and DRINKING BUDDIES. And, of course, I tried to pry whatever info I could from her regarding the rumors of her potential casting in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. There was plenty of ground to cover with her as her schedule continues to fill up with interesrting projects, so enjoy…

Anna Kendrick – Hello, hello!

The Infamous Billy The Kidd – Well hi, how are you? How’s Toronto treating you?

Anna Kendrick – It’s been great so far! I love it here, I wish I could watch every movie here. I mean… not just… movies I get to be in, just every movie ever.

The Kidd – [Laughs] Alright, well, let me ask you about END OF WATCH, because the film is kind of able to add a layer of humanity to police officers that we typically don’t see in movies, or generally in real life. That they’re not just cops. They’re husbands, they’re wives, they’re fathers, brothers, etc. What did you learn from doing your research for the film about police officers and how they and their families are able to reconcile what they see on a daily basis in order to have some sort of a normal home life?

Anna Kendrick – Well the really interesting thing for me was when I came to the movie, I felt really underprepared because not only had the guys done a little training and a little research, they’d basically become cops. I remember Jake [Gyllenhaal] talking to a traffic cop and describing all the training he’d gone through, and the guy kind of stopped him halfway through and he was like, “So you’re a cop now, like you’re actually… You’ve done everything you have to do.” So, obviously, that level of preparation was kind of intimidating, and when I came in, it actually ended up being this really beautiful thing where it was sort of a life imitating art situation, because we got to shoot chronologically, and when I came in, it really felt like Jake and Michael [Peña] were people who were fully entrenched in this world, and that they had this long standing relationship, and because of the naturalistic style of filmmaking, I got to really just react to that, and feel a little out of place, and feel a little naive, and even envious of the relationship that they had. And I think in turn, that made Jake extra protective of me, that day and the character and as an actor, and that… The way you would be if you were introducing your new girlfriend to some of your best friends, so it created this really great dynamic, and then as we kept shooting, it felt like every day, for me, but then also for my character, it felt like a new lesson in just how strong I was going to have to be to give my heart to somebody who does this and to start a family with somebody who puts their life on the line.

The Kidd – Did you have conversations with cops girlfriends or wives about…?

Anna Kendrick – No, I didn’t get to… that’s what I mean. I was filming two other movies at the time and so I came in feeling like I’d kind of screwed myself, but that’s what I mean, I think it worked out perfectly. Sometimes that kind of thing happens for a reason because I think it just would have gotten me into a different head space where I’d be thinking “Okay, how do I exhibit the qualities that i found to be present in these families,” when actually Janet is just figuring out how to do that herself, and comes in, and is constantly realizing what this is. The scene in the wedding, when Michael Peña is giving this speech about how you have to be strong to be a cop’s wife, and the way that everybody on the force becomes part of your family. You know, I really was feeling that so much, and looking around at the crowd and being kind of humbled by the fact that I was being accepted into this family. All of that felt so real and so immediate. It actually ended up working out really well.

The Kidd – Between END OF WATCH and also PITCH PERFECT which is coming out, we’re getting to see more of your musical skills. I know you have a background in doing musical theatre, but how much preparation went into the singing scene in the car? Did you have a choice as to what it was you wanted to work with?

Anna Kendrick – Well I’ll tell you how much preparation went into that. Zero percent! That was on the… We were doing this road trip to Vegas, and the idea was to shoot something once we got to Vegas. Dave [Ayer] was in the back with his camera, and he was just shooting out the window sometimes, and we’d just have conversations, whatever, just passing the time, like we were on a road trip. It was just Jake driving, me in the passenger seat, Dave in the back, and that song came on Jake’s iPod, and Jake and I realized that we both knew it by heart and we started singing, and Dave very stealthily put up his camera and started filming us. And at a certain point we realized that he was putting us on film, and we were, “Okay, so we’re Janet and Brian now, not Anna and Jake,” and that’s in the movie. It’s not like he said, “Okay, can you guys start the song again and do that again, that was great.” It was just that it happened and now it’s in the movie. The music supervisor was just… breathed a sigh of relief that we could clear that because I think Dave really wanted to use it.

The Kidd – So is hip hop more your forte?

Anna Kendrick – [Laughs] Yeah. Absolutely. You know I’m street.

The Kidd – [Laughs] And with that, too, how much work went into the wedding dance, and how much of that did you just wing?

Anna Kendrick – We had a couple rehearsals for that at lunchtimes, when we were filming other stuff, and Jake kind of pouted his way through those rehearsals. We were a little concerned about it. And it was weird, because David was the one who was like… thought this was a great idea, and it was the only time I thought he’d be really dorky where he thought this was the most adorable thing. But I think that because Dave is such a kind of hard ass, the idea that he could be excited about something like this… That convinced me that somebody like Brian Taylor could be excited about something that’s kind of silly.

The Kidd – You’re pulling double duty at TIFF this year, between END OF WATCH and THE COMPANY THAT YOU KEEP. Can you give me… Or tell me about your experience of working on a Robert Redford film?

Anna Kendrick – Yeah. It’s a really small part, and I… We managed to get the filming period down to something like three days, and at a certain point… Again, because I had this crazy schedule at the time, at a certain point, my agent was like, “You know, you don’t have to do this. You don’t have to kill yourself to make this work.” And I was like, “I do! I do have to kill myself to make this work.” You know, because if Robert Redford had asked me to bring him coffee on a set, you’d fly to do something like that. I was just really thrilled to have that opportunity.

The Kidd – The last time I talked to you was right around the release of 50/50, and I asked you when we might finally get to see RAPTUREPALOOZA, and that was almost a year ago to the day, so my question to you once again is, when might we actually get to see RAPTUREPALOOZA?

Anna Kendrick – Oh no, I have no idea what’s going on with that movie. Yeah, I don’t know. I had a really good time making it, and I met a lot of really fun people on it, but yeah. I have no idea what’s going on.

The Kidd – Have there been any discussions about any progress being made or is it still just kinda trapped in limbo?

Anna Kendrick – I think it’s just kinda trapped right now, and I’m not sure.

The Kidd – I know that you also just finished shooting DRINKING BUDDIES, which has a very improvisational style. How different is it to go into a film like that as opposed to having something completely laid out on the page and is it tough to be able to hang with your cast at times in order to make the material work?

Anna Kendrick – Interestingly enough, I think that END OF WATCH was sort of like my training wheels for DRINKING BUDDIES. Because even though we had a fully script for this, we improvved almost constantly. I think David knew the story that he wanted to tell, and had planned it out really beautifully, so there’s only a couple moments in the finished film of improv. But going into DRINKING BUDDIES, I never saw a single piece of paper, so it was really intimidating to come into, but it was also kinda the perfect blend of really cool, talented people that you knew that you could count on, but also people who’d never done anything like it, so it didn’t feel like I was going into a movie with Greta Gerwig and I was just going to get… you know, get creamed by her. It was like, a lot of people taking a risk together, and that made the environment feel really safe.

The Kidd – One last question for you. I’m sure that you’ve heard all of the rumblings of your potential involvement with CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. How much truth is there to that, and is there any possibility that you’ll be joining the Marvel Movie Universe?

Anna Kendrick – All I know is that I can’t really say anything. Sorry, man.

The Kidd – That’s okay, I have to at least ask. Thank you very much.

Anna Kendrick – Thanks.

END OF WATCH opens in theatres this Friday, September 21. {aintitcool.com}

TIFF 2012: Anna Kendrick has a soft spot for Toronto

TORONTO — Anna Kendrick is becoming something of a regular at the Toronto International Film Festival. Last year, she debuted 50/50, and she’s had a spot in her heart for the city since filming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World here.

This year, Kendrick is pulling double duty with the gritty LAPD drama End of Watch and Robert Redford’s thriller The Company You Keep. And she couldn’t be happier to be back in town. “I’m really excited,” she tells Metro. “I love TIFF.” Here’s her scoop on her double-feature.

On End of Watch
There was a script, but then we were encouraged to do as much improv as we wanted. I was glad to have that under my belt going into Drinking Buddies, [an improvisation-heavy comedy Kendrick just finished shooting]. And “End of Watch” came together in a really nice way. I’m really proud of it. It’s the first movie I’ve been in that’s that kind of dark and violent, so it’s strange to watch it because I’m just like, “How am I in this movie? I should be watching this just as a theatergoer.” It’s very strange.

On The Company You Keep

Yeah, yeah. And I have a really small role in that. It was just one of those things where it’s like, of course I’m going to say yes to that. There’s no way I’m not going to say yes. I basically have a cameo in the film, but it’s a Robert Redford movie, so come on.

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“End of Watch” TIFF Premiere

End of Watch premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival September 8th at the Princess of Wales Theatre. There was also a Pre-Party at the Soho house. Anna wore a black Elie Saab spider laced gown with train, Judith Leiber clutch and Forever Mark ring and earrings:

Appearances & Events > 2012 > September 08: “End Of Watch” SoHo House Event – 2012 Toronto International Film Festival
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Appearances & Events > 2012 > September 08: “End Of Watch” Premiere – 2012 Toronto International Film Festival
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