Anna Kendrick is having something of a moment, to put it mildly. The 24-year-old actress has received so much international acclaim for her turn as the PowerPoint-wielding efficiency expert in director Jason Reitman’s feel-bad film Up in the Air that it’s easy to forget she also appeared in two little movies with “Twilight” in the title. Being nominated for an Oscar will do that for a girl. “You find out with the rest of the world,” Kendrick says. “I was too nervous to watch the nominations on TV, so I went for a jog, but my phone started going off. I sprinted back home, cracked a bottle of champagne and started drinking it before I realized it was 5 a.m.”

It’s a deserved nod to an actress who possesses the kind of onscreen depth more common to older actors. Not that it’s all that surprising, since it turns out Reitman wrote the role with her in mind. “When he told me, I just tried to act really cool,” she says. “I wasn’t all that successful at it.” Self-effacing tendencies aside, Kendrick’s a pro at keeping her nerves in check; she’s already got a decade-plus of acting experience under her belt, including several turns on Broadway in productions of A Little Night Music and High Society, having garnered a Tony nomination for the latter at the age of 12.

Next, she’ll appear with Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in a black comedy called I’m With Cancer. She says she likes difficult roles — she’s going through a phase where she’s excited about exploring vulnerable characters — and she hopes to continue in challenging parts. “But Meryl Streep was in Stuck on You, so no one’s career is perfect.”

Anna wears a dress by Nicole Miller Collection and bow by Dekkori


This story was published on Mar. 29, 2010

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