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photography by tk; illustration by tk 10, she and her brother were traveling by bus to audition in New York. By age 12, Kendrick was Tony nominated for her featured role as Dinah Lord, the precocious sister of the heroine in the Broadway musical High Society. During the run of that show, Kendrick lived with her father, who homeschooled her and whom she credits for keeping her grounded. Upon her return to Maine, Kendrick attended Deering High School in Portland, where like all teens, she faced the desire for attention while also wanting to fade into the background. "Anna was a very modest young woman," says Kathleen Harris, a Deering English and drama teacher, of her former pupil. "Some kids who achieve will try to lord it over others. But Anna, who walked in with [the experience of] a Broadway show and commercials, never talked about it. And it wasn't that big a deal. The kids probably didn't even know what a Tony Award was. Now, if she'd played with the Boston Red Sox..." Having been offered the role of Fredrika, the daugh- ter of an aging stage star in A Little Night Music, Kendrick decided not to pursue a college education. Her next big project was Todd Graff's 2003 cult film, Camp, as the ambitious and scheming Fritzi, a scary little show-biz minx who claws her way to a scorching rendition of the jaded Sondheim anthem "Ladies Who Lunch." (In a clip, it's easy to see the influence on Kendrick of what she says is her favorite film, the bitchy 1939 classic, The Women.) The actress then starred in the 2007 film Rocket Science, which would change her life. As Ginny, the fast-talking and manipulative debate champ, Kendrick drew the attention of writer-director Jason Reitman, who was then in the process of developing what would become Up in the Air. "When I saw her in that movie, I just thought, This girl has a different voice from everyone of her generation," Reitman told MTV. "She oddly talks like someone from the 1940s. She's witty, smart, and sharp, and I needed a girl who could go toe-to-toe with George Clooney." Kendrick more than justified Reitman's faith, winning acclaim and well- deserved honors for the role he specifically wrote for her. She has since chosen to translate her clout largely into independent films that offer the sort of acting challenges she relishes more than money or prestige. She says that her experience on David Ayer's End of Watch is a case in point. The improvisation she did with Gyllenhaal in one scene, she says, "is the most fulfilling thing that I've ever done." By comparison, the Twilight blockbusters she has been featured in can't hold a candle. Says Kendrick, "I don't know if my agents would appreciate me saying this, but the focus and energy demanded when you don't have any money or time is much more exciting than those projects where there's a little too much time and a little too much money and it gets sluggish. You lose that urgency, and that's what I love most." The "urgency" for Kendrick now is to maintain a personal equilibrium in the peculiar hothouse of film fame. The fact that most of her close friends are not in the business helps. ("They give me crap all day long," she says with a laugh.) And while she has tried to master social media—she has 254,972 followers on Twitter—she is ambivalent about it. "I haven't tweeted since December," she admits. "I can't help but think, Why should anyone pay attention to me?" from everyone in her generation. —jason reitman "This girl has a different voice " As far as work is concerned, Kendrick is giving herself a break from pursu- ing a perfectionist agenda in favor of, as she puts it, "just having some fun." She's good at that, too. "Anna's prob- ably one of the top comedy actresses around, dry and laconic, with terrific range," says Paul Middleditch, who directed her in Rapturepalooza. "She is both intui- tive and intellectual when it comes to humor. understands what's funny, and she likes to experiment. What she offers up is always surprising." She In What to Expect When You're Expecting, she says, the best part was being able to give the "obscenely handsome" Chace Crawford some "sass." In Rapturepalooza, she loved the idea of being romanced by Craig Robinson as the Antichrist and singing "Edelweiss" between takes with him. And in Get a Job, she said that she laughed so hard at Bryan Cranston that she forgot she was actually in a scene. Kendrick adds that she almost passed on Get a Job since the role seemed at first like yet another buttoned- up, every-hair-in-place ice queen. But toward the end she discovered a chal- lenging twist. And the best part, she says with a laugh, "is that I got to not wash my hair for three whole days!" BC 98

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