Press Herald: Kendricks are sky high after Oscar

By RAY ROUTHIER Staff Writer

Anna Kendrick

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Anna Kendrick

PORTLAND — Jan Kendrick decided to go in late Tuesday to her job as an accountant at Unum.

She stayed at home, sat on her couch and watched TV.

Then she screamed — as she watched the announcement of her daughter, Anna Kendrick, being nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Then she went to work.

”I walked into this meeting and someone said, ‘Jan, can you explain why you are so late?’” she said. ”I told them, and everyone applauded.”

Anna Kendrick, 24, is a Portland native and a 2003 Deering High School graduate who has been acting on a national level since she was in middle school.

Still, her mother said it was somewhat stunning to hear that she had been nominated for an Academy Award, for her role opposite George Clooney in ”Up In the Air.” The nominations were announced Tuesday on ABC.

Jan Kendrick e-mailed her daughter early Tuesday but didn’t get an immediate response. Oscar nominees usually have a ton of interview obligations and people to talk to. The Portland Press Herald’s interview request to Anna Kendrick’s publicist wasn’t answered Tuesday.

Kendrick did post her own reaction to the nomination, on Twitter, at 11:08 a.m.

”I’d love to say that 140 characters couldn’t cover how I’m feeling right now, but I’m honestly speechless,” she wrote.

Kendrick also got nominations for Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards, in the category of best supporting actress, for her role in ”Up In the Air.” She didn’t win either award.

At Deering High, Kendrick’s former drama teacher, Kathleen Harris, wasn’t surprised by the Oscar nomination.

”Maybe I should be, but when she came to my drama class as a freshman or sophomore, she had already been on Broadway. And she has truly worked for everything she’s gotten,” Harris said. ”She always did well at memorizing, improvisation, and she was always just one of the kids. Just a delightful kid. She never talked about things she had done unless someone asked her.”

When she was 12, Kendrick played the kid sister in a revival of ”High Society” on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award. Before starting her senior year at Deering, she starred in the indie film ”Camp,” about a summer camp for musical theater junkies.

Kendrick had supporting roles in the recent ”Twilight Saga” films, ”Twilight” and ”New Moon,” in which she played Jessica, a friend of the main female character, Bella.

Kendrick’s competition for the Oscar on March 7 will include another ”Up In the Air” co-star, Vera Farmiga. The others are Penelope Cruz, for ”Nine,” Maggie Gyllenhaal, for ”Crazy Heart,” and Mo’Nique, for ”Precious.”

The critical raves for ”Up In the Air” could help Kendrick. The film also received nominations for Best Actor (Clooney), Best Director (Jason Reitman) and Best Picture.

In the film, which has dramatic and comedic moments, Clooney plays a consultant who helps companies reduce their workforces and spends much of his time flying from place to place to do his job. Kendrick plays Natalie Keener, who has been assigned by Clooney’s company to slash the travel budget by 85 percent. So she shadows Clooney as he does his job.

Jan Kendrick said her daughter had a lot of fun filming ”Up In the Air,” and enjoyed her co-stars.

The feeling apparently was mutual. In an interview with Clooney, Farmiga and Kendrick in the Jan. 8 edition of Entertainment Weekly, Clooney was asked which side in the ”Twilight Saga” films he would choose, ”Team Edward” or ”Team Jacob.”

”I’ve gone right over that,” said Clooney. ”I’m Team Anna.”

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