Anna Kendrick enters our suite at the Park Hyatt in Toronto, which is quite cold, dressed to the nines – an outfit which is quickly covered up by a hotel terrycloth robe.
“It’s freezing in here,” she proclaims and we couldn’t agree more. But what is hot is her performance in 50/50 (watch the 50/50 trailer if you haven’t seen it).
Kendrick first wowed in Twilight
and its subsequent films as a friend of Bella’s (Kristen Stewart). She then went on to star in Rocket Science
and earned an Oscar nomination for Up in the Air
opposite George Clooney. That performance caught the eye of 50/50
filmmakers who thought she was perfect to portray Katherine, the therapist of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character who has spinal cancer that is seriously threatening his life.
The actress is quickly becoming one of our favorites and in person, she is as gracious as she is talented. Kendrick talks to Movie Fanatic about 50/50, if she feels like a Toronto Film Fest veteran after her star-making turn during Up in the Air’s Toronto run and her emotions as the cameras have shut down on the Twilight saga with the arrival of November’s Breaking Dawn Part 1.
- Movie Fanatic: You are so convincing in Twilight as a high school student and in 50/50 as a doctor. When you first read the script, what was your interpretation of the character so that people would see you believably as a doctor?
Anna Kendrick: I was so excited to be offered the part. I read the script and so wanted to do it. It was an early Christmas present, just before Christmas they offered me the part. I was so excited. I do feel like, Jonathan had seen me in Rocket Science, but ultimately everyone was happy with me getting the job because of Up in the Air. I felt like I pulled a little trick because the role felt a little more like that character. I tried to make her feel different, feel vulnerable and soft. That’s how I saw her. A lot of people on the page are saying there’s this great role in this movie. She’s really confident. She’s this young professional, a know it all. No, she has the facade of a know it all, but she knows she’s an idiot, and she’s just trying to get through the day without anyone calling her on it. That was a fun angle to explore. I did meet a woman who does work similar to Katherine, who was extremely generous with her time. She wrote out a file for Adam as though Adam was her client — which was incredibly helpful. Especially, she talked to me about all the mistakes she made when she was starting out. She did say that wanting to touch your patients was something that she did and something she had to learn to fight as she got more experienced. Just all the things that would be running through her head, particularly when she was just starting.
The San Diego Film Festival will celebrate its tenth anniversary this year opening with Jonathan Levine’s cancer dramedy “50/50” Wednesday night (September 28). Actress Anna Kendrick and director Will Reiser will both attend the opening night premiere.
More than 75 feature, short and documentary films will be screened at the festival, including Drake Doremus’ Sundance Best Picture winner “Like Crazy” and Ralph Fiennes’ Shakespeare adaptation “Coriolanus.”
“We could not ask for a better line-up on the celebration of our tenth anniversary,” said festival director Robin Laatz in a statment. “We are extremely excited about the caliber of films that were presented to us and can’t wait for our attendees to see them!”
The 10th San Diego Film Festival runs September 28 – October 2.
Full festival release follows:
At age 9, Anna Kendrick’s favorite movie was Life With Mikey, the Michael J. Fox/Nathan Lane comedy about a theatrical agent whose clients are all children. She would watch it over and over and over again. Then one day while she was watching it, she started to cry.
“I realized that wasn’t going to be my life,” she says during a chat at the Toronto International Film Festival, where her latest movie, 50/50, made its premiere.
“That sounds really silly because I was only 9 years old, but that was the first time it occurred to me that ‘when I grow up’ – I live in Maine – ‘I’m not going to be on Broadway. I’m not going to be in movies.’ “
Three years later, at 12, Kendrick was a Tony nominee for best featured actress in a musical for her role as the precocious little sister in a revival of High Society.
I updated the gallery with lots of HQ photos of Anna during “50/50″ New York Premiere and After Party. I’m currently after some red carpet video interviews so if you come across something don’t hesitate to e-mail us.
TORONTO — The last time young Anna Kendrick visited the international film festival here, her performance in “Up in the Air” resulted in a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination, not to mention a win as “Best Breakout Star” at the MTV Movie Awards.
Earlier this month, the now 26-year-old Kendrick came back for the 36th annual festival as a player in “50/50,” starring as an inexperienced therapist assigned to counsel a suitably shaken young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
The often amusing and touching film, opening Friday and inspired by screenwriter Will Reiser’s battle with the devastating illness, also features Reiser’s pal, Seth Rogen (doubling as producer), as well as Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston.
Among other things, the versatile Kendrick, a Tony Award nominee (for the 1997 musical, “High Society”) discussed her “50/50” adventures, the future, and her role as the chatty Jessica Stanley in the immensely popular “Twilight Saga” during a recent face-to-face interview at the Park-Hyatt Hotel.
- What made you pursue this role?
That’s a good question. I should say the role was offered to me over Christmas 2009. I then met with (director) Jonathan Levine, and I just got really excited about the character. At a certain point, I was confused because someone had told me my character was based on a real person and that my dad (in the movie) was a therapist, so I was just a therapist because I thought that I had to be one.
Then, I found out that wasn’t the case and we just got to build her from the ground up, which was great. I was mostly really excited about doing it because of Will Reiser’s writing, plus the kind of unexpected humor in really honest situations. It wasn’t a cancer movie with dark jokes about cancer. It was just a movie that showed things really honestly, particularly how things could be perversely funny in this situation.
I liked how vulnerable Katherine was: how thin her facade of confidence was, her kind of softness and vulnerability just at the edge of this confidence. That was really sweet and really exciting because I had just been promoting “Up In The Air,” where I played a really strong character. It was just exciting to play someone who was a little more lost, who was really sympathetic or empathetic, I suppose, and who just wanted to help people but was going about it in all the wrong ways.
Last promo interview for now is the following that Anna did in Dallas some days ago:
Here is another interview Anna did to promote “50/50″ on Dallas Morning News:
Anna attended “50/50″ Premiere in New York some hours ago wearing a cute pale mini-dress matched with a pair of gold high heel sandals. Check the first photos in the gallery: