Her chances of making Hollywood’s A-list are better than 50/50…
I should have brought the robe!” hoots Anna Kendrick as she waltzes into a Toronto hotel suite for her tête-à-tête with Total Film. Explain yourself please, Ms. Kendrick. Turns out that in her previous interview, she decided to drape herself in a bathrobe she found in the bathroom for no reason other than “I wanted to feel like an old-time movie star, taking questions in her bathrobe.” She left it behind, though, because “I don’t know whose room that was and I don’t want them to have to pay for it.”
Considerate and considerably savvy, Kendrick keeps on proving that her Oscar nomination for Up In The Air was no fluke, that her sidekick role as Bella Swan’s BFF in The Twilight Saga was never going to be the be-all-and-end-all of her career, and that she is one of the most naturally gifted and appealing actresses working today. This month’s 50/50 is only going to add to the 26-year-old’s burgeoning rep.
Her role as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s cancer counsellor is a corker. On the surface, she’s another brisk, Up In The Air-style professional. But Kendrick adds a layer of vulnerable transparency to her immaculate comic precision as the inexperienced, try-too-hard therapist. “She gets really hung up on what she thinks a good therapist is supposed to be like – she thinks she’s supposed to be Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair,” says the actress, adding, “I loved the tone, it feels like the comedy sneaks up on you. It’s not like, ‘I’ve got cancer!’ – and here’s a fart joke…”
Kendrick first met her late-arriving co-star literally 20 minutes before they were due to shoot their first scene together. “I was impressed with the connection Joe was able to create,” she attests. “I’ve never really done a romantic role and I didn’t realise how hard it was! Joe was good at making me feel like I really charmed him – when actually he’s just a good actor. I thought, ‘this is supposed to be the easy day – we’re just being adorable, right?’ But I felt spent afterwards, like I’d been filming some horrible crying scene all day.” Gordon-Levitt was equally smitten: “Anna’s got great comic timing,” he enthuses, “and she’s really hot too, which was nice to see because I don’t think people think of her in that way.”
indeed, one of the biggest challenges Kendrick has faced since her breakout performance is the perception that she does one thing very, very well. “I get a lot of offers for uptight, ambitious, unfeeling girls and it’s hard to say no sometimes because they’re in really good movies,” muses Kendrick, who just wrapped a role as Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife in gritty cop drama End Of Watch. “I’m sure they would have been perfectly satisfied if I’d done something similar for 50/50, but to me she felt like a mess. She totally knows that she doesn’t know what she’s doing…”