New York Times – Anna Kendrick on ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and Not Trying Too Hard


Pitch Perfect 2 star Anna Kendrick gave an interview to the New York Times.

Here are some quotes from the article: BTW she answers the questions in song lyrics!

What goes through her mind when these odd, borderline-offensive requests are made in the name of celebrity journalism and movie promotion? Ms. Kendrick, without missing a beat, served up an answer courtesy of Destiny’s Child: “I’m a survivor! I’m not gon’ give up! I’m not gon’ stop! I’m gon’ work harder!”

Impressive. But that was a softball. “Some people loathe sequels,” I asked her. “Your response?” I thought that perhaps she would opt for 1980s pop (“Nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart”) or maybe Sly and the Family Stone (“Different strokes for different folks”). Instead, she blurted out a line from a Kendrick Lamar hit.

“Bitch, don’t kill my vibe,” she said, duplicating Mr. Lamar’s voice.

Ms. Kendrick — all 5 feet 2 inches of her — has also embedded herself in pop culture by live-tweeting episodes of “The Bachelor,” performing on the hit television series “Lip Sync Battle,” and skewering “The Little Mermaid” on “Saturday Night Live.” She is a model for Kate Spade. She has a book of humorous essays on the way. Last year, she scored a radio hit with the song “Cups (Pitch Perfect’s When I’m Gone).”

“In case you can’t tell, I don’t really have a career strategy,” she said. “My decisions are entirely based on, ‘Well, I’m around, and this is something that the 15-year-old me would be excited to do.’ ” A star without a meticulous plot to become famous and stay that way? Now that is a rare breed. In person, Ms. Kendrick, while certainly ambitious, comes across as enormously down to earth. She arrived early for breakfast, alone, wearing no makeup and a basic T-shirt and jeans. Afterward, she texted a follow-up question: “What was the name of that reality show you said I should watch?” (“Southern Charm” on Bravo.)

With “Pitch Perfect 2,” Ms. Kendrick may add another accomplishment to her résumé. The PG-13 sequel, which finds the misfit Barden Bellassquaring off against a German a cappella group called Das Sound Machine, represents the first time Ms. Kendrick has anchored a summer blockbuster. Based on the enormous response to “Pitch Perfect,” which took in $113 million worldwide during the fall of 2012, spawned a hit soundtrack and became a sensation on DVD, Universal Pictures dropped the sequel into the May major leagues.

But “Pitch Perfect 2” — part “Animal House” with women, part “Glee” goes to college, part “Bring It On” — was not an idea that immediately thrilled Ms. Kendrick. She started thinking about critical washouts like “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “getting understandably nervous because comedy sequels are really hard to pull off,” she said.

In the end, Ms. Kendrick agreed to reprise Beca, a coolheaded Bellas member who functions as a counter to the ribald high jinks of Fat Amy and crew. The acting challenge was to avoid succumbing to the inevitable bloat of a sequel or what Ms. Kendrick described as “punch-drunk, banana-town land.”

“The machinery was so much more present on the second one,” Ms. Kendrick said. “There’s worrying over product placement and how many deluxe-edition albums are we going to be able to pull out of this one and heightened choreography.” The sequel, which was directed by Elizabeth Banks and has a rather loose definition of a cappella, ahem, cost roughly $29 million to make, about 70 percent more than the original.

Ms. Kendrick said she had relied on the director of the first movie, Jason Moore, and the screenwriter of both films, Kay Cannon, to remain grounded. “I would email Jason and Kay before certain scenes and just get words of wisdom or a little mantra from Kay,” Ms. Kendrick said. “Sometimes it was just great to be reminded by Kay that the Bellas are supposed to be people trying to find their place.”

Despite her brother’s assessment of her fearlessness, it may actually be fear that keeps Ms. Kendrick working so hard. Between sips of tea and interruptions from fans wanting photos, requests that she politely indulged, Ms. Kendrick spoke about growing up in Maine as the daughter of an accountant mother and a history-teacher father.

“When you grow up middle class, you just always feel like you’ve got to be working or you won’t be able to pay the bills,” she said. “I never let myself forget that I can’t just put this down and expect it to be waiting for me when I feel like coming back to it. The memory that at one point I couldn’t book a guest spot on ‘Gilmore Girls’ is always on my mind. There is someone else out there who can do my job.”

You can read the full article here.

Source: New York Times

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