ML - Boston Common


Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 98 of 147

taps into her vulnerable side in a slew of new movies. by patrick pacheco sassy, independent portland native anna KendricK, Known for her ice-queen roles, A nna Kendrick is sitting in the middle of the Hollywood Hills house she has just moved into, combing the Internet. No, she's not looking for her next film project. Nor is she finally getting a break from a hectic work schedule that has made her one of Hollywood's hottest young comers. The 27-year-old actress from Portland, Maine, actually is trying to learn how to build a spice rack. "I just wish that I were more handy," Kendrick says with exasperation. "Nothing makes you feel more useless than when you don't know how to fix anything." This admission is from someone who prides herself on a Maine self-reliance and who has catapulted to fame playing brisk, tightly wound, empowered young women. She has done this most notably in her high-pro- file appearances in The Twilight Saga, as the catty and confident Jessica; and in Up in the Air, for which she was nominated for an Oscar as Natalie Keener, whose alpha personality challenges George Clooney's corporatist mien. Lately, however, Kendrick has taken a break from her power roles to focus on women who are not afraid to show their vulnerabilities. On the heels of costarring as a cancer-ward therapist out of her depth in the acclaimed weepy 50/50, Kendrick is part of an all-star cast in this summer's What to Expect When You're Expecting, in which she plays a food-truck owner who accidentally becomes pregnant by Chace Crawford. She follows this up by adding her vocal chops to the stop-motion animation feature ParaNorman about a zombie-busting boy. Then in the fall she plays the wife of Jake Gyllenhaal in the police drama End of Watch and the socially awk- ward Beca in Pitch Perfect, a comedy about rival college a capella groups. Later in the year, Kendrick will be courted by the Antichrist in the apoca- lyptic religious comedy Rapturepalooza. And next year she appears to return to form as Miles Teller's edgy, hard-charging girlfriend in Get a Job. expect at not to photography by robert ascroft "It wasn't strategic," says Kendrick of the broader spectrum of charac- ters. "Those other roles were more a case of wish fulfillment, being able to do [in movies] what I'd find much more difficult to do in life. I'm a control freak but not nearly as rigid. When I fall apart, I'm all over the place." She admits she can be just as awkward and clumsy as some of her alter egos and often struggles to express herself with clarity. Scott Ellis, who directed Kendrick in 2003 in a New York City Opera pro- duction of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, says, "There is an innate honesty to Anna. She works hard to be true to that." Indeed, in the course of an interview, Kendrick is polite and thoughtful but cautious, eager to protect her privacy and not come across as self-aggrandizing. Even after more than a decade in the spotlight—she was nominated for a Tony Award by age 12 for the Broadway musical High Society—she has yet to become comfortable with her celebrity. "I still find it all rather scary. I still get sweaty and super-nervous before I walk the red carpet," she says. And nearly 10 years after moving to Hollywood at the age of 18, she still can't adjust to the ethos of the place. "I remember when I first came to Los Angeles, I was shocked at the open ambition and complete lack of humility," she recalls. "Bragging about what you had, what you had done, and what you hoped to do —I thought it was such a strange phenomenon. Those are things you keep to yourself." Kendrick says her sense of discretion was forged while growing up in her middle-class Portland home with her older brother, Michael Cooke Kendrick, and parents, Janice, an insurance accountant, and William, a teacher. Kendrick says there was no great "eureka" that impelled her to per- form. She just loved to sing and dance. By the age of six, she was starring in a community production of Annie. At eight, she was obsessed with the movie Life with Mikey and dancing around the room to Bette Midler albums; and by 97

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of ML - Boston Common - BOSSUM12