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The Talented Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick has become known not only as the Oscar-nominated actress of films like “Up in the Air,” but also for her musical chops.

Kendrick starred in the surprise 2012 smash hit “Pitch Perfect” about a college a cappella group. She also played Cinderella in last year’s “Into the Woods.”

Now in “The Last Five Years,” based on the off-Broadway musical by Jason Robert Brown, Anna Kendrick plays Cathy, a struggling actress whose marriage to a successful writer falls apart.

The movie is almost entirely sung. Kendrick told Here & Now’s Robin Young, “I do sort of worry that I’m now gonna, you know, gain a not so great reputation as sort of ‘Sally Musical.'”

Interview Highlights

On movie musicals

“I don’t mean to be doing all of these movie musicals, it’s just that in my lifetime this is the first time that people are making movie musicals with this kind of frequency and I know that these things are cyclical and there may be a time when movie musicals go out of popularity and I’m glad to be a part of them while I can.”

On beginning as a singer

“I think as a kid, the voice comes before any kind of straight performance does because it’s easy to sing Janet Jackson in the mirror, you don’t really perform monologues from Edward Albee plays in the mirror. So in a way, singing came first. It’s just that I found a greater creative outlet in acting and you know, the fact that I am considered competent musically for an actor means that I get to be a part of these films and I’m really grateful that I sort of tricked people into thinking that I’m a vocalist as well as an actress.”

On the challenge acting in the ‘The Last Five Years’

“That frustration, even when she’s saying ‘see I’m smiling, see I’m happy,’ that frustration is underneath the surface. And layering years of resentment and frustration under this facade of trying to make it work was challenging and that’s almost a harder intention to play than letting it all out. You know, letting it all out is sort of the easy bit.”

On her hopes for her career

“I just want to go through it myself and have my own career that someone else could point to and go ‘yeah, we remember her for the good ones, but she had some stinkers.'”



Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


Anna Kendrick in "The Last Five Years."
Anna Kendrick in "The Last Five Years."

Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick in "The Last 5 Years."
Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick in "The Last 5 Years."