ANNA KENDRICK TALKS PITCH PERFECT 3,
The Pitch Perfect 3 star on the acting bug, face-plants, her hit song, breaking down in front of Bette Midler and why the world loves the Bellas
Only 12 when she was nominated for a Tony for her role in Broadway’s High
Society, Anna Kendrick, now 32, has worked her way onto the big screen in nearly every way.The Maine native broke through in the YA fantasy
Twilight (2008) and co-starred alongside George Clooney in the drama Up in the Air (2009), for which she was nominated for an Oscar. But she reigned as a fan favorite in Pitch Perfect (2012) as Beca, the college student who joins an oddball mix of women in their a cappella singing group, the Bellas. Kendrick and her crooning crew will return in
Pitch Perfect 3 (Dec. 22), facing off against younger, hipper competition on their (possibly) farewell tour. What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a doctor, because I think all little kids hear that doctors help people. And then, you know, you find out about medical school, and I was like, “That sounds like a lot of work.”
How old were you when you were bit by
the acting bug? It’s hard to pinpoint. Some of my earliest memories are listening to Bette Midler, watching Newsies and going to see Little Shop
of Horrors at a local high school when I was really young, and just thinking, Everyone onstage is so impossibly sophisticated and magical and talented. Bette Midler was a big influence. I met her, finally, at the Tony Awards this year. She was so gracious and so warm and kind to me. It was going so well, and then I was like, “Thank you, Ms. Midler, for your time. I’m gonna just go . . . start crying.” What was your first public performance, musical or otherwise? When I was around 5 or 6, I sang “On the Good Ship Lollipop” and I face-planted into the floor by the end of the number. I forgot the lyrics, and I decided just slowly getting down on the floor was my best course of action. I assume my mother has evidence somewhere, but we’re gonna keep that in a lockbox for as long as possible. What were your Sundays like growing up? There was a lot of listening to public radio after church. And football. And having your church tights on and you take them off when you get home—that was such a good feeling. We were definitely the family that tried to make food of all the colors of the rainbow— if all the colors of the rainbow were brown.
What are your Sundays
like now? I like to sit around on Sundays and watch Netflix. It’s usually a day before my next 4 a.m. call time, so my Sunday nights are spent in bed trying to will myself to go to sleep really early, which just doesn’t work. Maybe I’ll be dozing by 10. Why do you think audiences can’t get enough of the Bellas? I think people like watching a
bunch of misfits from different walks of life come together and make a team.That comes through in our cast as well, because we are from different backgrounds, we’re all so diverse and we all have such different personalities. Who makes you crack up the most on the Pitch Perfect set? Everybody does, really. I did a couple of one-on-one scenes with Rebel [Wilson, who plays “Fat Amy”] in this one, and I definitely have those half-moon marks in my thighs when I’m digging into my skin, like, “Don’t you laugh!” And Ester Dean [who plays Cynthia Rose] is like an undercover comedian. She’s a stitch in between takes. Your song “Cups” from the original Pitch Perfect went tripleplatinum. Did that surprise you? It completely surprised me, especially considering we didn’t promote the song at all. When it was in the Top 10 Billboard chart, I was on the charts with, like, Macklemore and Miley Cyrus at the time. They must have been like, “What is this dumb song?”
This is meant to be the farewell Pitch Perfect film. Do you think it
will be? If it were up to me and the girls, we would do a million of them! I think that the only thing we don’t want is for them to pull the Spider-Man thing with a new cast—you know, keep replacing us over and over and over. But it’s possible that this will be the last one and we’re OK with that too. We’ll hang out forever.