Anna: ‘I spend all my money on take­aways’

She’s scared of dat­ing, spends all of her money on take­away and is as star-struck by Blake Lively as you are. Here’s why ANNA KEN­DRICK is your best friend - you just don’t know it yet

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Contents -

‘Do you know him, Kevin Hart, the co­me­dian?’ she asks me unas­sum­ingly.

Uh, yeah, I know Kevin Hart the co­me­dian. As does most of the planet.

‘Well, we were jump­ing around all day,’ Anna ex­plains, clearly aware of how whack this sounds to any­one out­side the bizarre strato­sphere that is Hol­ly­wood.

‘It was so weird and so fun and so frick­ing hard. I’m def­i­nitely go­ing to be sore to­mor­row. But it didn’t re­ally feel like work­ing out be­cause we were just jump­ing on tram­po­lines, so I feel a bit silly be­ing in hard­core leg­gings and a sports bra.’

Anna, the 33­year­old star of pretty much every movie that’s made bank at the box of­fice in the last five years, lives in Los An­ge­les, where she con­ducts a sur­pris­ingly ‘off the grid’ ex­is­tence. Some­what un­in­ten­tion­ally.

‘I get no cell re­cep­tion in my house so I have a land­line like I’m 60 years old,’ she laughs.

The daugh­ter of an ac­coun­tant and a history teacher from Maine, Anna now lives a life full of these kinds of dream­like sce­nar­ios be­cause she’s, well, a huge star. Ex­cept for the fact she doesn’t seem like one. In­stead, the for­mer child ac­tor of­fers up in­sights into her celebrity peers like she’s on your team and not play­ing for the su­per­famous side.

Take Blake Lively, her co­star in her lat­est film A Sim­ple Fa­vor. Anna is here to tell you that, yes, she is as in­sanely beau­ti­ful as she ap­pears and, yes, your ob­ses­sion with her is war­ranted.

‘I worked with her hus­band Ryan a few years ago and we got to know each other. We’d see each other at events where I’d say hi to Ryan and then ba­si­cally my jaw would be on the floor be­cause Blake looks so amaz­ing. You ex­pect her to be a lit­tle bit icy be­cause she’s very chic, but she’s so open and warm. She’s also got that low­key dark sense of hu­mour, so I def­i­nitely see why she and Ryan get along.’

The real power cou­ple here, though, is Anna and Blake. In a film that’s so risqué and per­verse it makes Game of Thrones sex scenes look vanilla, they com­mand the cam­era and play off each other like evil step­sis­ters on steroids.

Anna is the first per­son to tell you she’s in­cred­i­bly ner­vous about peo­ple see­ing it.

‘It’s re­ally dark and re­ally funny but it’s so twisted and I hope peo­ple think that it’s fun and not too creepy,’ she wor­ries aloud of

A Sim­ple Fa­vor, di­rected by Brides­maids’ big­wig Paul Feig and shot in Toronto in mid­2017.

ANNA KEN­DRICK IS AT HOME WEAR­ING WORK­OUT GEAR, BUT DOESN’T THINK SHE DE­SERVES TO BE WEAR­ING IT. ‘IT’S CHEEKY, BE­CAUSE I WASN’T RE­ALLY WORK­ING OUT,’ SHE CON­FESSES. SO, WHAT WAS SHE RE­ALLY DO­ING? ‘I WAS PLAY­ING TRAM­PO­LINE DODGEBALL WITH KEVIN HART,’ SHE EX­PLAINS, IN THE SHARP, DEAD­PAN MAN­NER THAT’S MADE HER FAMOUS.

At the time, pa­parazzi pho­tos of Anna and an im­mac­u­lately dressed Blake hang­ing out on set sent the in­ter­net into a fan­girl frenzy.

Anna may nail her role as Stephanie, a young, chirpy sin­gle mum with a sur­pris­ingly dark past, but the ac­tress says her own for­ma­tive years weren’t quite as hec­tic as her char­ac­ter’s.

‘There was a pe­riod in my life – from 19 to 21 or 22 – where I didn’t date or go out much,’ she says.

For those play­ing at home, this was roughly around the time she scored a role in Twi­light. Be­fore then, Anna was best­known as a Broad­way star who nabbed her first Tony nom­i­na­tion at age 12. But her show­steal­ing side role as Bella Swan’s chatty BFF Jessica rock­eted her to the fore­front of our col­lec­tive con­scious­ness and, re­ally, she hasn’t left it since.

‘I think [back then] I felt awk­ward around the idea of dat­ing – the idea of go­ing to din­ner and see­ing if you have some kind of love con­nec­tion still seems very silly and for­mal to me,’ Anna says. ‘And be­cause I was still mak­ing friends at that time, I wasn’t meet­ing peo­ple in a more nat­u­ral way. That was a re­ally im­por­tant pe­riod for me per­son­ally. You can lose peo­ple at any sec­ond, they could get hit by a truck and they’re gone, but you have to be able to be with your­self be­cause you’re stuck with you.’

The solo time paid off – she’s been linked to cin­e­matog­ra­pher Ben Richard­son for four years, al­though her man­age­ment won’t con­firm the re­la­tion­ship. But Ben is a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor on Anna’s film sets and they’ve even worked to­gether on many of her smaller in­die films.

‘THERE WAS A PE­RIOD IN MY LIFE – FROM 19 TO 22 – WHERE I DIDN’T DATE OR GO OUT MUCH’

The co­me­dian is well versed in the world of dat­ing and even wrote a book about it, Scrappy Lit­tle No­body, in 2016. In 2017, she was ap­plauded for ad­mit­ting she broke up with a guy be­cause he didn’t re­spect her bound­aries. Read: He kept tick­ling her, she asked him to stop, he didn’t, she dumped him.

If she were sin­gle, Anna ad­mits she’s prob­a­bly too famous to go on dat­ing apps – ‘Ob­vi­ously, I can’t put my­self on Tin­der’ – al­though she does en­joy the oc­ca­sional scroll through her friends’ ac­counts. She’s also on the fence when it comes to the no­tion of ‘love at first sight’.

‘F*ck man, I dunno. Ob­vi­ously any­body who’s over the age of eight doesn’t be­lieve in love at first sight, but a girl­friend of mine and her cur­rent boyfriend both got cast in a project and were meet­ing up to run lines and walked into the res­tau­rant and were just both like, Yes, this is the per­son I’m go­ing to be with. I be­lieve in them. It’s made me a be­liever.’

Anna’s one true love, how­ever, is take­away food. Some­how, she claims, she man­ages to ab­sorb a truck­load worth of de­liv­ery meals into her tiny 157­cen­time­tre frame.

‘I blow so much money on food de­liv­ery,’ she di­vulges. ‘I am such a lazy moth­erf*cker that I will pay a pre­mium to get food de­liv­ered to my house. There are so many weird things where I pinch every penny, but with food de­liv­ery I’m like, Oh this will cost twice the ac­tual or­der, great, as long I don’t have to leave the house. It’s re­ally shame­ful.’

I be­lieve her be­cause, un­like most of her peers, Anna doesn’t baulk at di­vulging per­sonal de­tails. She will hap­pily tell you what you want to know and she will swear like a sailor while do­ing it.

For ex­am­ple, I ask her to share the most im­pres­sive per­son in her phone con­tacts and she de­liv­ers: ‘I have Mariska Har­gi­tay’s info. She’s De­tec­tive Olivia Ben­son on Law and Or­der: SVU, which is the great­est TV drama of all time, so that’s very cool to me. [I can call her up mid­episode] and say, “You’ve done it again, Olivia.”’

She then tem­pers this state­ment with some re­al­ness. ‘But se­ri­ously, I don’t know her very well and yet I some­how have her phone num­ber. But I’d never text her,’ she laughs.

She says Bryce Dal­las Howard is the nicest per­son in Hol­ly­wood (‘Hands down. I’m telling you, it is un­be­liev­able how kind she is’) and reck­ons her friends are an even split be­tween ‘nor­mal’ peo­ple who run med­i­ta­tion stu­dios and work as liquor reps, and celebri­ties. Hav­ing said that, she ad­mits, her last so­cial out­ing was a re­union with her Pitch Per­fect co­stars. The photo she posted from said event re­ceived more than 500k likes on In­sta­gram. Not so nor­mal af­ter all.

Some­thing Anna is more hes­i­tant to speak about, how­ever, is the Hol­ly­wood gen­der pay gap, which other ac­tresses, like Jen­nifer Lawrence and Emma Stone, have cam­paigned against.

Asked whether she’s ever ex­pe­ri­enced the down­sides of the im­bal­ance, Anna is un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally coy.

‘That’s one of those con­ver­sa­tions where I can’t get into specifics with­out blow­ing up my own spot, so I’m just try­ing to do what I can on the in­side,’ she says. So, is that a sub­tle yes? ‘I mean, kind of...’ she trails off. The brunette star has been for­tu­nate to star in sev­eral lady­led films and has mul­ti­ple strong fe­male char­ac­ters on her re­sume, but says she does have a prob­lem with be­ing type­cast based on what­ever her most re­cent film was.

‘Right af­ter Pitch Per­fect , I got of­fered all these sullen, moody char­ac­ters,’ she ex­plains. ‘Af­ter

Up in the Air (which scored her a Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress Os­car nom­i­na­tion) I got up­tight, smarty pants char­ac­ters. I’m sure af­ter

A Sim­ple Fa­vor comes out I’ll get scripts for up­beat, chirpy mums.’

She’d like the next notch in her prover­bial belt to be a vil­lain. ‘I’ve played char­ac­ters who are flawed or unkind, but I re­ally want to play a true evil bitch.’

But aside from A Sim­ple Fa­vor, Anna hasn’t been work­ing much lately, by choice.

‘It’s a big com­mit­ment go­ing off and mak­ing a movie for two months and I haven’t read any­thing I’ve been ex­cited about,’ she ex­plains.

The ac­tress, who also pos­sesses Grammy­wor­thy pipes, says she feels guilty about tak­ing so much time out of the game, but says even in her down­time she doesn’t get to chill out and gorge her­self on the take­away she so des­per­ately loves.

‘If you do have a day off, some­body in your or­bit will have some­thing for you to do and you’re like, That wasn’t re­ally a day off though, she laughs. ‘But I guess I can’t re­ally de­scribe play­ing dodgeball with Kevin Hart as work. It’s more work­ad­ja­cent.’

Some­thing tells me she makes every job feel a lit­tle like that.

‘I’VE PLAYED CHAR­AC­TERS WHO ARE UNKIND, BUT I RE­ALLY WANT TO PLAY A TRUE EVIL BITCH’

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