Anna Kendrick
By Richard Corliss and Mary Pols Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010

Marco Grob for TIME Up in the Air

She shares a sharp intensity with the young Holly Hunter, but Kendrick, 24, took her inspiration for her role as George Clooney’s upstart downsizing colleague in Up in the Air from Faye Dunaway in Network. Kendrick decided her character, Natalie, would think she could be just like Dunaway’s ruthless Diana Christensen, with one twist: “Throughout the movie, she is finding out she can’t be.” It takes a while for the audience to fall for the driven, aggressive Natalie — thanks to lines like “Please, for the love of God, can I fire the next one?” — but Kendrick was always on her side. “Even if she’s going to fail, she wants to dive in and do it.” Kendrick took an ambitious dive from way up in the air and nailed it.