One of the many things I love about Anna Kendrick is that she hasn’t changed with success. Every time I’ve gotten to talk with her over the years, she’s always been extremely cool, consistently funny, and willing to answer whatever questions I throw her way.
With Pitch Perfect 2 opening in theaters this weekend, I recently sat down with Anna Kendrick for an exclusive interview here in Los Angeles. Since I was one of the last interviews of the day and I knew she’d answered every possible Pitch Perfect 2 question before I walked in, I decided to ask fun questions and a few things her fans sent my way on Twitter. The result was an incredibly wide-ranging, candid, and fun back-and-forth that touched on everything from her thoughts on superhero casting to her favorite TV shows.
Since we talked about so many things, I broke the interview up into two parts. In today’s post, which is the second half of the conversation (click here for part 1), we discuss her first TV or movie crush, favorite Disney animated characters, her can’t miss TV show, working with Ben Affleck on The Accountant, and more.
ANNA KENDRICK: I’m thinking it was To Pimp a Butterfly because I am super street. I know, I know. And I have Alabama Shakes’ new album ready to go but I haven’t listened to it yet.
Who was your first TV or movie crush?
KENDRICK: Vincent Kartheiser.
KENDRICK: Have you seen pictures of Vincent Kartheiser when he was young?
No, but I…
KENDRICK: He was a teen idol, and when I saw him on Mad Men I was like, ‘I don’t understand, I don’t understand’ and really it’s a testament to what he can do to himself. Like Leonardo DiCaprio can make himself super unattractive in movies, but he’s obviously very handsome, and [with] Vincent Kartheiser I was like, ‘How are you doing that? You’re so slimy in Mad Men and you were shit-hot as a teenager’ I was telling a friend about it recently and I watched the trailer for… Masterminds? With Patrick Stewart, I think that’s it.
I’m not 100% sure.
KENCRICK: Yes! Partick Stewart and Vincent Kartheiser, Masterminds.
Holy shit! I do remember this movie!
KENDRICK: Yes! They take over a school!
I totally saw this.
KENDRICK: And he is like with his…what is it? It’s something with young girls because we are not like fully sexually developed, like the androgynous thing really does tap into something because he had the swooshy, like the girl hair and I was just like, ‘I don’t understand what’s happening’.
I totally remember this movie.
KENDRICK: So he’s so slimy on Mad Men but he’s married to Alexis Bledel and I’m like, ‘I’m not surprised, that dude is hot, but not on Mad Men’.
He also shaved his head in a certain way for Mad Men.
KENDRICK: Yes, yes.
So he really went for it and it shows. Favorite Disney prince, princess, or villain; or all three?
KENDRICK: Villain…Oh God, I don’t know. Animated or…?
Animated yeah, animated.
KENDRICK: James Woods as Hades in Hercules.
KENDRICK: It’s weird, James Woods doing that. And then maybe a little Meg Ryan and John Cusack in Anastasia, oh yes. I believe Liz Callaway did the singing in that. Beautiful, beautiful tone.
You know something? I give you credit, most people go with like Lion King or Aladdin. You’re reaching for other movies so I appreciate that.
KENDRICK: That song is beautiful.
What was the movie that made you love movies?
KENDRICK: Many, it came in a sort of series and I feel like they’re very pedestrian but that’s sort of what happens to you when you’re young and discovering that.
Sure, like Masterminds.
KENDRICK: Masterminds is not one of the movies that made me love movies. But, in a progression in terms of how young I was and what that movie was teaching me that movies could do, was Fiddler on the Roof, In the Name of the Father, and then Requiem for a Dream. And I know that Requiem for a Dream has been copied many times over and I’m sure that it borrowed from many sources itself, but movies that at that time I had not been exposed to so perhaps that’s a pedestrian choice but I’d never seen cinematography and editing used in that way so it was the first time that I was like, ‘Oh movies can do that’.
Yeah I saw it in the theater and I walked out disturbed.
I actually had to be by myself for a little while.
KENDRICK: Yeah, yeah, completely. I was in high school and a friend showed it to me and this dude was like, ‘You gotta watch this movie’ and I was like, ‘What the fuck did you just do to me? This is awful, I feel awful’
What’s your ‘can’t miss’ TV show right now?
KENDRICK: Game of Thrones, obviously.
What am I doing tonight at 6:15?
KENDRICK: …Oh fuck me I’m going to be on a plane! Fuck, I’m going to fucking stupid Madrid, Goddammit Madrid! I’m gonna watch Game of Thrones.
I’m gonna tell you a secret, they have these apps and these ways of watching things.
KENDRICK: Yeah, but I don’t know how to get… [Fake Cries]. I don’t know how to get Wi-Fi on—there’s no Wi-Fi on international flights. And Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt I think I’ve watched in its entirety like five times.
That’s on my list of things to watch.
KENDRICK: Oh my God. I don’t wanna oversell it because…
No, I’ve heard it’s great. Tina Fey is involved in it, I’m all for it.
KENDRICK: Like all shows it takes a hot second to find its footing, but even when it’s finding its footing it’s better than most things on TV.
I’ve heard this from everyone.
KENDRICK: I’m telling you, when you finish it just start over because there are jokes that I promise you—I’ve watched it five times and I swear to you there are still things I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen that joke before’ I’ve watched it five times.
If you re-watch 30 Rock you will constantly see new things.
KENDRICK: Yes, totally. 30 Rock is the best comedy that’s been on TV, in my opinion.
When I interviewed Tina [Fey] and the show had ended I said, ‘What do I need to do to get more Jack and Liz banter and stuff?’ and she goes, ‘Fanfic’ and I’m like, ‘Uhhh…Well…I’m not sure’.
KENDRICK: ‘Whoa, I don’t roll that hard’.
I’ll actually ask about some other projects. Do you sleep at all? Because when I look over the profile and every time I speak to you there’s like five more movies that you’ve done; so what’s the thing, what’s the secret?
KENDRICK: I don’t know. I’m so tired. [Laughs]
KENDRICK: Yeah, I do feel like it’s possible that I will age ten years in the next six months but I’ll sleep when I’m dead, I don’t know.
I understand. You got to work with Ben Affleck on The Accountant.
That’s one of the ones I’m really excited for. What was the process like, what was the experience?
KENDRICK: It was restorative, if I’m honest. I felt really tired from the previous year, I had done Pitch Perfect. I mean straight, as in I drove to Mississippi the next day straight into The Hollars, and then straight into Mr. Right, and then straight into press for Into the Woods which is, you know just [exhausting]. And then I basically started The Accountant and I was kind of nervous about my ability to give any kind of significant energy to it, and [director] Gavin O’Connor and Ben were so great and so sensitive and thoughtful about everything that it was one of those reminders that this isn’t just a thing that I’m like running from this one to the next one to the next one; this is a thing that feeds me. It’s not just a thing that I give to it’s a things that gives back to me. Sorry, that was eww, eww, gross. But it’s true.
No, I completely get it, it recharged you as an actor.
Totally. I’m gonna say thank you for putting up with my questions
KECDRICK: It was great.
Hopefully these were at least somewhat new.
KENDRICK: They were amazing.