Do you associate Anna Kendrick with the tightly-wound, overly-ambitious career girl that earned her an Oscar nomination for "Up in the Air"? Congratulations. You're the reason she took a role in the "cancer comedy" "50/50."
“I particularly liked the contrast between this character and 'Up In The Air' that I'd been talking about and promoting for a long time,” Kendrick tells PopcornBiz. “I wanted to take a break from being in 'Up In The Air' land. We shot this movie basically right after the Oscars, and so it was great to sort of channel all my insecurities and vulnerability into this character and it felt really cathartic, actually.”
Kendrick says the “50/50” role of Dr. Katherine McKay, a novice therapist awkwardly attempting to counsel a 27-year-old cancer patient (Joseph Gordon Levitt) “felt really soft and a little lost, and her problem was that she cares so much and lets herself get tripped up by what she thinks she's supposed to say. She's not really helping anybody, when all she wants to do is help people.”
The 26 year-old actress also discovered herself flexing acting muscles she hadn’t expected would require so much lifting while developing a warm, possibly romantic rapport with Gordon-Levitt’s character. “This was new territory for me, and at a certain point I sort turned to Joe and I said, 'I'm exhausted! Nobody told me that this stuff was so much work. It looks so easy. It looks like just so kind of breezy and natural,'” she says.
“It certainly helps that Joe is this really interesting and kind person. [But] to dispel any kind of assumption that chemistry onscreen is, like, luck, I guess it was a good combination of luck that we got along really well, but then you actually have to work to make it look easy.”
“I get really tired of things quickly, so just whatever the opposite of something that I've just done is what will probably excite me the most,” says Kendrick as she tries to imagine even more disparate roles for herself. “I guess that I have a little bit of a Napoleon complex, so I am sort of drawn to strong women and tough women, but then by contrast sometimes it's nice to be just sort of vulnerable. Something strikes you when you're reading and gets you excited and you're never really sure what it's going to be. It tends to be something that I feel like I haven't tapped into for a while, and that gets me excited.”