By Caroline Bankoff 08/11/2010 01:20 AM
ANNA KENDRICK AT THE BOWERY HOTEL IN NEW YORK
PHOTOS BY JACK SIEGEL
Taglined “An epic of epic epicness,” director Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s popular comic book series, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, hits theaters with Biblical force this Friday. Archetypal awkward youth Michael Cera plays the titular character, a 22-year-old bass player who falls in love with a girl only to learn that she has seven evil ex-boyfriends, all of whom are hell-bent on killing him. Anna Kendrick, who plays Scott’s reliable sister Stacey, says her character is “the voice in the back of [Scott's] head that he knows he’s not going to listen to.” We spoke to Kendrick about filming Scott Pilgrim, Comic Con, and Twilight mania (or lack thereof).
CAROLINE BANKOFF: Hello, Anna! Where are you calling from?
ANNA KENDRICK: I’m in Toronto. We have the Toronto premiere of Scott Pilgrim tonight–we filmed it in Toronto, so it’s a homecoming of sorts.
BANKOFF: How’s your summer been so far? What have you been up to?
KENDRICK: I don’t know, really. Just kind of doing the press tour and stuff. And watching a lot of movies.
BANKOFF: And you just went to Comic Con to promote Scott Pilgrim, right?
KENDRICK: Yeah. It was great; it was amazing. I mean, the film is obviously for comic fans, and they seemed to love it, which is a huge relief. Those are your toughest critics, in a way.
BANKOFF: Had you ever been to Comic Con before?
KENDRICK: I’d been with New Moon. That wasn’t really the same because we didn’t get to really go and experience Comic Con. So, this was the first time that I really got the full experience.
BANKOFF: What was the most interesting thing you saw there?
KENDRICK: The Tron bike looked really cool, and it was just great to see a lot of people being in cosplay ["costume role play"]. A lot of people who are not in their element in real life really shine there, and that’s cool.
BANKOFF: Are you into comic books?
KENDRICK: I stole comic books from my brother when I was a kid, but I was never like an avid fan. I can’t claim to be like a comic book geek.
BANKOFF: Have you gotten more into it since doing Scott Pilgrim?
KENDRICK: Um… no. I mean, obviously I read the series, and Hope Larson, [Scott Pilgrim author] Brian Lee O’Malley’s wife, gave me her book and I’m reading that now—it’s really cool.
BANKOFF: What was the shooting process for Scott Pilgrim like? Can you tell me a little bit about the process of filming, like working with Michael [Cera] or any stories from the set?
KENDRICK: It was definitely really kind of odd and technical, because of the way that it looks. The process was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Like there’s a scene where I’m on the phone with Michael Cera,and we had to do a split screen, so I had a little earpiece in my ear. I was listening to the footage that he’d already shot, and I just had to like fit my lines into the space in between his lines.
BANKOFF: How does the movie look, exactly?
KENDRICK: I mean you know the film is really tight, and it’s really fast editing, so it’s a lot of little shots and it’s just a really like specific way of working because, you know, Edgar [Wright] basically knows that he’s going to use this angle for this line, and that angle for that line, and you shoot it in pieces, like a puzzle. So instead of like shooting an entire scene at a couple of different angles and figuring it out after, you shoot almost line-by-line sometimes. So that was really unusual.
BANKOFF: Did you prepare for that in a specific way, or did you just have to learn it as you were doing it?
KENDRICK: Yeah, it was a trial-by-fire thing. A lot of what I end up liking to do is a reaction to the last thing that I did. I guess the point for me is to try new things.
BANKOFF: Twilight: Eclipse came out earlier this summer. Are those releases extra stressful for you, because they’re so high-profile?
KENDRICK: Now I know what I’m doing, so it’s easier. With any other movie, you’re entering new territory, so it’s quite different to be involved in something where it’s the same characters, and the same people. You know what to expect out of the premieres and the press and stuff. So it’s actually kind of nice, because you don’t get very much routine in this job, and it’s actually sort of interesting. It’s like an annual party or something.
BANKOFF: Have you guys started doing any work on filming…?
KENDRICK: On Breaking Dawn? I know nothing. I literally know nothing.