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q&a with anna kendrick in elle uk november 2012

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Her leading men may include George Clooney and Jake Gyllenhaal, but all Twilight star Anna Kendrick wants is a part in Downton Abbey



A one-time child star, Anna, 27, grew up in Portland, Maine, and cut her teeth on Broadway and in indie movies like Camp and Rocket Science before a part in a little film series calles Twilight. But it was her role as feisty, ambitious Natalie in 2009's Up in the Air, with George Clooney, that made audiences and critics sit up and take notice.

Since then she's starred in 50/50, What to Expect When You're Expecting and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (she dates the latter film's British director, Edgar Wright). This year she showcases her talents in End of Watch, a gritty LA cop film where she plays Jake Gyllenhaal's love interest, and the utterly delicious Pitch Perfect, about an all-girl college singing group.

ELLE: Pitch Perfect involves a lot of singing and dancing. Were there intense Glee-style rehearsals?

Anna Kendrick: [Laughs] Every take was the entire song, so by the end of a number I was so tired and wearing high heels, waiting for the director to shout, 'Cut!'

ELLE: Good for fitness levels, though...

AK: Yeah, once rehearsals stopped I had to stop eating so much – that was the greatest thing, getting to stuff my face all day because we were dancing all the time.

ELLE: But then End of Watch is at the other end of the scale, with Gyllenhaal's cop character targeted by a drugs cartel.

AK: It's the first thing I've done that's heavy and the first time I saw it, I couldn't believe that I was in this movie. It's so tense – I was just gripping the sides of my chair.

ELLE: The script was mainly improvised – was it overwhelming to film?

AK: I was completely out of my element. I've never done that much improvisation before. When we started filming we hadn't rehearsed anything. Jake kept things pretty light – it was like life imitating art. Just like with my character, he wanted to protect me.

ELLE: Your career's gone stratospheric. Do you think, 'How has this happened to me?'

AK: Yeah, most days! I feel like I'm going to have to get my mom to come to LA and look after me for a few years.

ELLE: How do you cope with the attention?

AK: I think people in my neighborhood in LA are too cool for school so nobody bugs anybody. I guess when I go to touristy areas I keep my head down. But I'm 5ft 2in, so keeping my head down means I disappear.

ELLE: What did you learn from being part of a franchise like Twilight?

AK: It taught me that you never know what's going to happen with a movie. I remember somebody saying, 'Do you think it'll be the same director fro the next one?' and thinking, 'Oh, is there going to be another one?'

ELLE: Do you enjoy the red-carpet action?

AK: Mostly I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't like photoshoots either, but I like them more as at least you're playing a character. It's very odd. I haven't mastered it.

ELLE: Do you like the dressing up involved?

AK: I appreciate that fashion is art. But once it's on me I think, 'Am I wearing this right?'

ELLE: Have you come to terms with spending huge amounts of money on clothes yet?

AK: Not at all. If you grow up a certain way, there's a mental block on paying that much money for a dress you wear once. Then I wonder, 'What would my mom say?'

ELLE: I hear you're a big PG Tips drinker. That's not very American...

AK: Every time I go to England the first thing I do is have tea. I crave it to the point where I panic, 'What am I going to do when I get home? I don't have a kettle!' But then the craving disappears – it's like something's pumped into the air.

ELLE: Do you visit England very often?

AK: Well, I have to catch up on The X Factor and Sherlock...

ELLE: You like The X Factor UK?

AK: Yeah. I loved that group who won last year, Little Mix. During their first performance I wanted to scream at the TV, 'Do you guys know that these are really good, really solid vocals?'

ELLE: What else do you like to watch?

AK: I just watched Game of Thrones and the first two seasons of Downton Abbey.

ELLE: There's a new series of Downton...

AK: Shut you face! [Laughs] I have the most inappropriate fantasies about being on those shows – there's not a part for a tiny American girl in either, but I can dream.

ELLE: What does the future hold then?

AK: When I think about the future, I'm mostly thinking about Christmas crafts at the end of the year. I wish that were a joke, but it's not. I don't have any other goals besides that.

End of Watch is out on 23 November and Pitch Perfect is out on 21 December


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tyfyt ♥

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