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Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick

Up In The Air

Total Film

February 2010

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Bella’s buddy is branching out

From Bella Swan’s giddy best friend in the Twilights to keen corporate downsizer Natalie in Oscar-tipped Up In The Air, Anna Kendrick is a movie fledgling scoring big. The Maine-born actress honed her craft in stage musicals and is up next in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World as Michael Cera’s nuisance sister.

You grew up in Maine but live in LA. Is your downtime wilder now?
The funny thing is, moving to a place as incredibly different from my home as LA, it gives you a whole sense of identity that you hadn’t considered before. I’d be more interested in going out to clubs if I still lived in Maine but because I’m surrounded by it in LA, I want to hold onto where I come from. Embrace a simple lifestyle.

Which means?
I stay home and watch movies. That’s seriously it. My friends make fun of me. It’s really sad. And I bake. I’ll try anything. Choux pastry profiteroles? Nightmare. Don’t attempt that unless you’re ready to sweat.

What have you been up to in London?
Watching The X Factor, as embarrassing as that is. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. We have American Idol but it’s nothing compared to The X Factor. It’s almost offensive in how exploitative it can be but I just cannot stop watching it! I can’t get enough of Stacey – love her. She’s so blissfully unaware.

Did you have that naïve confidence going into Up In The Air?
No! Part of me didn’t know what the hell I was doing there. I was clearly terrified and out of my element. Fortunately, George Clooney just treated me like his little sister.

Jason Reitman told Buzz you have a 40lb brain and wondered what you’re doing in the Twilight franchise…
Did he say a 40lb brain? What a weirdo! Listen, Twilight is this incredible phenomenon and when something gets that big, there’s a backlash. But I’m really happy to be a part of it – and Reitman is a superiority-complex…

Mm-hm. I’m going to punch him in the arm for that. In Twilight, I get to be on the ride whenever I feel like it. But then I get to go back to my real life and not have people follow me around and write horrendous things about me on the internet. I get to be in this crazy mega-franchise and reap all the benefits with almost none of the bullshit that the other cast have to deal with.

You must get recognised…
The reaction when young girls recognise you is so startling that I’m never really sure what’s going on. They look at each other and start screaming and you’re not sure if somebody’s dying or if they recognise you so you just keep going. You don’t want to turn around and be like, “My public is calling me” because what if somebody was dying?

Sum up your character Jessica for Twi-gnorants…
She’s one of Bella’s friends at school and basically exists to represent all the bad things about teenage girls. Bella is what teenage girls hope they are and Jessica is the needy, jealous part – the part that tries too hard to be liked.

What will you be getting up to as Stacey Pilgrim?
Mostly I just yell at Michael Cera on the phone. The only real trick to my performance was that it’s shot as a split screen on the phone and I had to time it exactly to the way that they had already edited Michael’s performance.

What kind of roles are you going after now?
I’m drawn to playing strong women who get to have the moment where they yell and say what’s on their mind. I avoid confrontation in real life so I love doing it on screen.

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