I first met the 24-year-old actress Anna Kendrick back in September when we were seated across from each other at a dinner party following the Toronto premiere of Jason Reitman‘s “Up in the Air” (Paramount, 12/4, trailer), in which she plays a young “corporate downsizer” opposite George Clooney. Over the months since, we’ve crossed paths and chatted at several events on the awards circuit in New York and Los Angeles. And on Monday, we finally sat down for a formal interview about the unlikely journey that has already taken her from the shores of Portland, Maine to the bright lights of Broadway and on to the red carpets of Hollywood, and may yet take her to the Academy Awards.
At the moment, Kendrick is as much of an “It” girl as anyone. She recently starred in Catherine Hardwicke‘s “Twilight” and Chris Weitz‘s “New Moon,” both among the biggest box-office hits of all-time; her next role will be in another likely blockbuster, Edgar Wright‘s “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”; and, in the meantime, she’s been working tirelessly for “Up in the Air” and garnering best supporting actress nominations (HFPA, SAG, BAFTA, BFCA, and OFCS) and wins (NBR) from seemingly every awards group out there. In all likelihood, her next accolade will be a best supporting actress nomination from the Academy, which would would make her one of the category’s youngest nominees — and potentially its seventh youngest winner — ever.
To listen to audio highlights of my discussion with Kendrick, click the links below…
- Kendrick recalls her first steps into acting, including 6-hour bus rides into New York City for 15-minute auditions!
- Kendrick on her Broadway debut in “High Society” at the age of 12, for which she became the 2nd youngest Tony Award nominee ever
- Kendrick shares the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of being involved with the “Twilight” films (2008, 2009, 2010)
- Kendrick recounts her journey from receiving the script of “Up in the Air” through being cast as Natalie — and why she was certain that Reitman hated her and would replace her with Evan Rachel Wood!
- Kendrick on her favorite scene (yelling at Clooney things she’d like to yell at her ex-boyfriend) and the scene that challenged her the most (firing a guy who reminded her of her father)
- Kendrick offers her theory on why Reitman works so well with young actors (Cameron Bright in “Thank You for Smoking,” Ellen Page in “Juno,” and herself in “Up in the Air”)
Photo: Anna Kendrick at the Los Angeles premiere of “Up in the Air.” Credit: Associated Press.