Up in the Air's Anna Kendrick on Getting Hired, Not Fired


Camp (2003)

After High Society, you took a little break from theater, right?

Part of it was that I wanted to go back to school. I remember the show closing and I had really mixed emotions about it -- I was really tired and lonely. It was this incredible experience but it was hard work and I really wanted to go home. My mom wasn't living with me at that point, and I wanted to go home and see my mom and brother.

So how did Camp come about?

Actually, there was a woman in High Society named Randy Graff, and she's cousins with Todd Graff, who directed Camp. When I was 13 and the show had just closed, she told me that I should go and audition for her cousin's movie. I went and I read for [the part of] Fritzi and they did a workshop of it when I was 13, and then when he was finally getting it made, I was 16 and he said the job was still mine if I wanted it. It wasn't really an age-specific role.

That led to your first Sundance experience, right?

Sundance was one of the best experiences of my life. It was so beautiful, and seeing the movie it an audience who loved it was just incredible. The reaction was so unbelievable -- we got a standing ovation for a film, a film we didn't really realize was ever gonna come out! There was something about it that just felt like we were a bunch of kids and we were making a film that might go to video someday. Seeing the finished thing made me very emotional -- it made all of us really emotional. It was the first film of all the cast members, so it was a really special, bonding experience.

Did you feel at that point like you wanted to commit to either film or theater?

I feel like people want there to be this mystery between film and theater, but I just kind of went where I got jobs, you know? After Camp, I got A Little Night Music at the New York Opera, so I went and did that. After that, I got this pilot and I went to LA. That didn't work out, but Camp came out and it just felt like this was something I should try to do. It certainly wasn't easy -- it wasn't like I said, "All right, I'm ending stage and starting my film career" -- I just went to LA to try to work. There have definitely been more than a few moments in my life where I'm wondering where the next paycheck will come from and how I'm gonna pay rent.

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  • Emotionally Retarded says:

    She was amazingly hilarious in Camp.

  • Victor Ward says:

    I'm proud to be gay enough to have loved Camp and to be able to sing the entire "Life Upon the Wicked Stage" song she's performing in that first picture after the jump.
    She's fancy.

  • The Winchester says:

    What a lovely woman. She's absolutely brilliant in Up In The Air, which is a terrific film in itself.

  • WM says:

    Thank you for the best interview of Anna Kendrick for fans anyone has done in years. Way more than just the standard Twilight and Up in the Air questions of other interviews. And, unlike other interviewers, Kyle Buchanan clearly knows Anna Kendrick was an experienced and talented pro before those two movies (although she's great in them, too).

  • WM says:

    That 1998 picture of little Anna in curls is not from High Society. It's from the "My Favorite Broadway" special that year (later on PBS), when she sang "Life Upon the Wicked Stage" from Showboat, backed by dancers from the then-revival production of Cabaret.

  • AMS says:

    Without question, Anna is my favorite new artist, and this interview only confirms my appreciation. Talented, beautiful, gracious and smart, it's hard to imagine a more deserving person. A superb interview.

  • […] discusses getting the Camp role. A cousin to the director encouraged her to audition for the […]