“What to Expect…’ Gave Anna Kendrick a Pregnant Pause

If you happen to run into “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” actress Anna Kendrick yourself, you can save the graphic childbirth stories for someone else.

It turns out that Kendrick – who co-stars as one of the expectant moms in the film inspired by the self-help bestseller alongside Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks and Brooklyn Decker – finds herself more a little freaked out by TMI tales like the ones Diaz shared at the film’s press conference about being present during live births. But after the wince-inducing stories, Kendrick was less labored when chatting with PopcornBiz.

After seeing your reaction to Cameron's horrifying stories, I'm surprised you're willing to be alone with a man in a room at all.

Ha! Yeah – just in case. That's super-gross. It does not make me want to have children. None of this has made me want to have children. A lot of people have been asking if this movie makes me want to have children, and no, not at all.

Because of the subject matter of this movie, were people on set, from the stars to the grips, talking more openly about their pregnancy stories?

What was interesting was how every woman thought that their input on the physical aspects of what you would be going through at this point was the right thing. Everyone was different, but it was funny to see all these women be, like, 'No – When I was pregnant this was happening.' It was like, 'Ladies, we're all different. It's totally fine. It's okay. We've got a midwife here who's the expert. We can ask her.' I think it's something that women are very protective about and want to feel like they’re the experts of or something. It's a weird dynamic, to sort of be breaking up arguments over what my breast tenderness would be at this point in my character's arc.

With an ensemble cast like this, did you get bummed out that everyone was mostly working in their own little corner of the movie?

Of course! I would've loved to have worked with some of the dudes group. Obviously they're incredible. I got to do a photo shoot with all the ladies in the main cast, which is something that no woman should ever have go through because they're so insanely gorgeous. It's like they come from a different planet. But that was really fascinating, just being able to sit and watch Jennifer and Cameron just hang out and get their hair touched up before doing the photos and stuff. Whatever they're taking, I want it. It's like, 'How are you doing that?' So, yeah, obviously it would've been fun to have been on set more with those ladies. Now it's sort of seeing how everyone got along and going, 'Did you like your guy?' My guy was great!’

How is life now after all the spotlight of the Oscar nomination for ‘Up In the Air?’ Since then you've been able to make some more movies and go back to a normal acting career. What's been the transition from that time to going back to business?

I think following that particular experience, it felt like there was so much pressure to choose the right thing, or the next right thing, with very little thought on my part about what I would actually like to do. It's been nice to settle into choosing things because I think that they're going to be fun and fulfilling and not thinking about, like, 'Oh, is this the right thing to do after coming off of that?'...The funny thing is the amount of stuff that I would get offered and think, 'They don't need me to do this. This is easy and the character doesn't really grow or change and she's just sort of my character from "Up in the Air," at the beginning of the movie. She's not really an important character. Why would they want me to do this?' And then thinking, 'Oh, because it was just an easy decision for them.' It's like, 'Oh, get that girl who did exactly this thing in that other movie.' So that was a weird thing to get my head around, that people were offering me things based on what would make their lives easy as opposed to what would be something exciting for me, or something that I would be good at...That's also been another thing about a little time passing: It's easier for people to see me as something else because that vision is not so fresh in their heads.

Are you interested in doing all kinds of movies – superhero, Westerns, horror – or is there a territory that you want to stake out in?

There's a pretty big dorky part of me that wants to do all the kind of various genres and check off some kind of bucket list, but I would say that mostly I'm just interested in more vulnerable characters. I just played a really lazy, dirty character in 'Get A Job.' She doesn't really start out that way, but I would do that for the rest of my career.. That was really fun. I hope to do that as often as possible.

Do you like characters that are a little further away from you, or do you like them be just an alternate life away from who you are?

Well, I might be doing, hopefully, something that wouldn't go until next year because the director is working on something right now, but it's sort of so similar to me that it sort of scares me – in a good way. But it is so close to home that I'm really looking forward to having that nervous feeling, I guess. So I can't wait to do that.

Simulated sex on the hood of a car. How did that go for you?

It hurts. It's so bad. I literally tried to take a picture of the bruise on my butt, but I kept deleting it because I was like, 'No, you can still tell that that's a butt.' It was so painful. My butt and thighs were so bruised from just doing that. We tried to make it look sexy. Chace's [Crawford] face is like full-on Clint Eastwood stubble. It cut me up. It was like sandpaper. It was not cute.

So, really, the message of this film is to not have sex on the hood of a car –

--with Chase Crawford. And especially his razor stubble.

Everyone has a unique takeaway from shooting each film. What's yours from ‘What to Expect…?’

I tried fried chicken for the first time!

For the first time? That's crazy!

I know, that's insane, right? How did I make it all this time without having fried chicken? And had famous fried chicken from Atlanta and it was life-changing. It literally just never…I don't know. You just have a mental block on certain things. I never order salmon because one time my mom had salmon when I was a kid and it smelled weird to me and so I just never get it – but I'm sure it's great. I guess I must have just had some weird mental block. It just never occurred to me to ever eat it.


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