I think a gentleman is someone who holds the comfort of other people above their own. The instinct to do that is inside every good man, I believe. The rules about opening doors and buying dinner and all of that other ‘gentleman’ stuff is a chess game, especially these days.
‘Cinderella’ the cartoon scared me. I watched the bits with the mice, and the scenes with the stepsisters ripping her dress apart scared me. Cinderella was never even my favorite character in ‘Into the Woods.’
I like to buy a new fragrance for each film. I’ll go out in the city where I’m filming and snap it up. The one I have for ‘Into the Woods’ is Terry de Gunzburg Flagrant Delice, which I bought in London.
I’m into ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘Shaun of the Dead,’ obviously, and I’ve seen all the Romero movies. I am a classic zombie queen. And I love the White Walkers on ‘Game of Thrones.’ Weirdly, it wasn’t until pretty late in life that I found my entry point into horror films.
I’m the person who wouldn’t send back my food even if I got steak when I’d ordered fish.
While I wouldn’t wish being teased on anyone, I think it eventually leads to a kind of solidarity in adult life. The few people I know who weren’t picked on in school are people I find I can’t relate to on much more than a surface level. There’s a sensitivity that comes with feeling like an outsider at some point in your life.
I have the advantage of being pretty small, so if I’m flying myself, I’m flying coach. To save the money. I just put in my headphones, and it’s no big thing. I keep my head down, wear a hoodie or a hat – but sometimes not even that. I’m small. People miss me.
Okay, I am happy with the way I look, but I have never, never, ever thought of myself as a ‘pretty girl.’ Honestly. When I read some of these scripts I’m sent, and they describe the heroine as ‘incredibly beautiful,’ I wonder why they sent it to me.
There’s always moments where you creep yourself out, and you think you heard something and you convince yourself that some spirit is in the room with you, but truly, I don’t believe in any of that kind of thing. A lot of my friends really do.
When I get recognized for ‘Twilight,’ it’s usually a teenage girl, and they’re usually really loud. So it certainly feels like I get recognized the most from that, but it could just be because of the nature of how vocal those fans are.
I rarely get recognised. It’s always a shock when someone notices me. I always think they must be confusing me with someone else.
There will always be a part of me that wants to do a movie musical. I feel like you’re doing yourself a disservice when you say something like that, because you never know if that thing is gonna come along and be right, but I’d be lying if I said that that wasn’t true.
I don’t usually drink caffeine so that when I need it, it actually does something.
The consummate gentleman on the planet today is George Clooney, who never fails to go the extra mile for people. Every person matters to George.
I don’t care for physical activity. I’m not sporty. I’m not very coordinated.
In my dreams, I have Keira Knightley’s eyebrows.
It would be fun to be a redhead… you can get away with being, like, really volatile and fire-y because you’re like, ‘I’m just a redhead; what can I say?’
I just got on Twitter because there was some MTV film blog that quoted me on something really innocuous that I supposedly said on Twitter before I was even on Twitter. So then I had to get on Twitter to say: ‘This is me. I’m on Twitter. If there’s somebody else saying that they’re me on Twitter, they’re not.’
My family has had to become quite understanding about me not returning phone calls when I’m filming.
Voiceover excited me and terrified me. I thought I was going to be really bad at it. It was so freeing and fun to not have to wait for 10 minutes between every setup. They just throw you a direction, and you just say it.
After we shot the first ‘Twilight,’ we organized our own wrap party. We really didn’t know what this was going to be. Something like that can come at you unexpectedly, and you just have to try your best to deal with it.
I’m attracted to things that are in direct opposition to something that I’ve just done. It’s not like I’m trying to make the right chess move. It’s more just that personal thing where you get connected to something for so long and then you want to do something that’s in opposition to that.
I’m constantly playing this game in my head where I’m thinking, ‘Can this quote be pared down and misinterpreted?’ It doesn’t matter what outlet I’m talking to and how comprehensive the interview is, because I have to think in terms of, ‘Right, but ‘People’ magazine could just take this one quote and take it out of context.’
It’s like an OCD thing, it’s not as much something I enjoy. If I see a chapstick that I’ve never tried, I have to buy it. And then once that door’s been opened, I have to check the whole store to see if there are more chapsticks that I don’t have.
If I could play the ukulele like Zooey Deschanel, I would find my own personal M. Ward, and we would do a side album; but I don’t, you know?
I think tights make a comeback out of necessity every season: you can only go so far with naked legs in the cold! You’ve got to protect yourself. I remember going to a fashion show and saying, ‘And it’s okay if I wear nude tights with this?’ to the designer, who looked at me like I just killed his dog or something.
An actor should always let humility outweigh ambition.
I think there are rock stars within every subgenre, and for people who are obsessed with musical theater Sutton Foster and Audra MacDonald are like Beyonce to them. I’m sure the a cappella world has their own version of that, and that exists in every geeky subculture.
Humility was an important part of the way I grew up. And I found that to be less common when I moved to California. That’s not to say humble people don’t exist there, but ambition seems really important.
I stole comic books from my brother when I was a kid, but I was never like an avid fan. I can’t claim to be like a comic book geek.
I actually love actresses who look like they feel really natural. I like Patricia Clarkson, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand. Those are actresses where the second they show up on screen you’re like, oh my gosh, this movie just got so much better.
Nobody pulls a prank like George Clooney.
I think I’m trouble-adjacent. I remember hearing once that good girls don’t get caught. I think that’s sort of a lot of what my teen years were like. I skirted the stuff that other kids were doing because the idea of actually getting in trouble was not appealing to me, but I still wanted to have adventures.
To me, accessorizing is the most fun part of an outfit. While I don’t think you can’t rely on accessories to make a dress that isn’t working work, I do love jewelry and handbags more than anything.
When you have no money in New York, you’re living in a shoebox, and it’s freezing. When you have no money in L.A., you’re living in a slightly larger shoebox, and you can go outside and feel okay about your life for a minute.
People like to make fun of the fans who camp out but people have renaissance fairs; people do Civil War re-enactments; people do what they like. I’m tired of hearing people rage on the fans. If you don’t like ‘Twilight,’ don’t buy a ticket.
I want to do stage again, because there just aren’t words for how great it is. People say that all the time, ‘There’s nothing like live theater, blah blah,’ but it’s really true. I see a show and I know how they feel, and it feels great.
To not be self-conscious of your appearance is huge, and something that I desperately hope to carry into film at some point in my useless life – to not be thinking, ‘My ear looks weird from this angle, why is the camera over there?’
I get really excited every time there’s a female character who is really strong because a lot of females in film are really soft.
You can relax more when you’re playing a silly character than when you’re playing a really rigid character. But to be fair, I think George Clooney is a bigger teenager than any of the ‘Twilight’ cast. He’s the guy throwing a football at your head and then hiding around the corner, pretending it wasn’t him!
My goal all along has just been to work and support myself. I’ve been really lucky to walk away from the ‘Twilight’ series unscathed. Somebody asked me recently what it’s like to be a star. I thought that was the strangest question. If you saw my day-to-day life, the word ‘star’ just doesn’t apply.
I’m a pretty big dork. It’s crazy. I’m one of those people who grew up with all kinds of musicals, but I was right at that age where ‘Rent’ was a big deal for me and for my friends.
My parents were really, really cool about supporting what I wanted to do at a really young age. I think I was about 10 when I caught the bug. They would drive me down to New York if there were auditions. When I was 12, I did this show on Broadway called ‘High Society,’ so we moved to New York for the run of that.
I started auditioning when I was about 10 and I didn’t get my first job until I was 12, and two years at that age is really hard.
‘Rocket Science’ is really where I fell in love with filmmaking, I think ‘Camp’ was incredible, but it was so bizarre, and I was trying to find my footing in this world where you don’t have an audience for immediate validation.
I graduated from high school early so I could move to New York to do ‘A Little Night Music’ out of the New York City Opera.
I feel like I’m still learning a lot. I think there’s a tendency for people who are just doing their first couple of films that I see now where they seem to be really resentful of the technical limitations that come along with filmmaking.
I like figuring out where I need to be mentally so that I’m not thinking about the camera and that it’s second nature. I want to get to a place where I can exist within the confines of what you can do with filmmaking and not have to think about it.
The sneaker heels thing is a myth. They were saying, ‘They’re like sneakers.’ No, they’re like heels is what they’re like. That’s like saying a denim skirt is like jeans. It’s not.
My parents got married late and they had kids late, so I never felt a social or cultural thing to be married or pregnant or a homeowner by a certain age.
I fall in love with characters when they’re out of their element or are uncomfortable and you really feel for them in a knee-jerk sympathetic way.
I think right after ‘Up in the Air’ everyone wanted me to play the girl from ‘Up in the Air,’ and it took a little while for people to think of me as an actress from a film that they liked instead of just that character.
I filmed seven movies in 2011 and I think that was a mistake. I pushed myself too hard and I want to be able to come to work each day and give 100 percent. I guess I found out what my boundaries are.
I guess as long as people think of me for different ages, I’ll trust their opinion. I remember noticing one year that Michelle Monaghan played 34 and 19, so I’ve kind of clung to that as my justification that I can be Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife and a freshman in college in the same year.
I heard people saying they were going to become millionaires by the time they were 25 – that’s gross and obnoxious, but in California it’s looked on as an asset.
I guess my silly dream is to be on ‘Game of Thrones.’ I don’t think that I can do that, but that’s my silly dream. And there are a lot of American comedies, particularly on NBC, that I would, I would love to do.
I happen to be a huge ‘Lord of the Rings’ fan. I do an annual marathon of the extended editions.
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?
I think my iTunes is a kind of strange and embarrassing mix of show tunes and artists that I have no perception of whether or not they’re huge or not, you know? I’m the kind of person who doesn’t realize that The Arcade Fire is a big deal, but then I expect everybody to know Cocoon, and people tend to not know Cocoon.
I think a good script is a rare thing, and I think no matter who you are you have to fight for the good ones.
I was really overwhelmed by the amount of roles that I got offered that were carbon copies of what I did in ‘Up in the Air.’ I got every offer for every ambitious, unfeeling practically robotic character.
I’m a big fan of ’30 Rock,’ which I think is the most genius show on television.
My favorite movie is ‘The Women’ from 1939. It’s been my favorite movie since I was like 12 years old. I love the dialogue, really. It’s just a lot of really strong female performances. Rosalind Russell kills it, you know.
It’s a lot easier to act when the writing is good. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure out ‘Well, why did I say this next?’
I definitely think it exercises an interesting muscle, auditioning for bad parts and trying to figure out how to make it real. I don’t know what I’m talking about now.
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.
When you first saw ‘The Truman Show,’ did anyone else walk around for the next week not picking your nose just in case?
I do admit that I’ve never been one to fit in easily to any given pattern. It’s not my choice. It’s just the way I am. So if the characters I wind up playing are all a bit different, it must be because that’s the way I like it. Anna Kendrick is different, and she’s going to stay that way.
Sometimes when I try to make jokes or have a sense of humor in interviews, it doesn’t go over very well. But Twitter made my life easier in this way that I didn’t expect. It would have taken probably 10 times as long for people to accept my voice and my sense of humor if I didn’t have Twitter.
When you grow up middle class, you just always feel like you’ve got to be working, or you won’t be able to pay the bills.
I hate when people think you’re broken because your parents are divorced. And I really reject the idea of staying together for the kids. If they’re growing up in a house that’s not healthy, it’s better to know that’s not the model of what marriage should be.
After doing ‘Pitch Perfect,’ I didn’t expect to do other musicals, but then I was offered ‘The Last Five Years’ and ‘Into the Woods,’ which are two of the greatest pieces of theater that I can think of. So obviously I wasn’t going to be like, ‘Oh I’m trying to really stay away from musicals right now, so thanks, but I’ll pass.’
I felt different at 29 because 29, to me, is 30. There are times when I still feel like an actual toddler in a grown-up – well, semi-grown-up – body.
I guess I feel I’m masquerading as an adult when I don’t have the kind of friendships and routines that I thought you were supposed to have as an adult. It’s the ‘Friends’ lied to me! syndrome.
I feel like you can’t get an audience to like your character if she’s actually cool, but you can if she’s trying to be cool and sometimes fails.
As an actress, you’re perpetually about to be unemployed. That fear – when you have two parents who worked 9-to-5 jobs and went through periods of being unemployed – is real. Those were not welcome times in my childhood.
I used to think that guys preferred tall women. But plenty of them like short girls.
I’ve always had volume on my side: the big-voice-in-a-small-package thing. I surprise people.
I stole a little snow globe from the set of the first ‘Pitch Perfect’ that I don’t think ever made it on-screen, so it’s not like fans would be tickled by that information, but I still have it.
The music for ‘The Last Five Years’ is like running a 26-mile marathon, and singing Sondheim is like ballroom-dancing up Everest.
‘The Last Five Years,’ we sang almost everything live. When we’re in a convertible on the West Side Highway, there was no point – it’s not going to be usable sound. But any time we were indoors, we were singing live.
I’ve never really gone for the razzle-dazzle types: no quarterbacks, no flashy guys, and no Prince Charmings.
For every person that says, ‘I love your work, and my daughter thinks you’re great, and we watch all your movies,’ and is very kind, there are 10 more that are like, ‘Who are you? What’s your name? Are you on ‘House of Cards’?’
If I took myself too seriously, I would be a mess every day because the world keeps my ego in check.
I feel like what I say on Twitter has actually a lower rate of misinterpretation than what I say on interviews because I’m just kind of rambling on interviews, and I’m just talking, talking and talking.
It’s almost better that Twitter limits me to 140 characters. There’s only so much trouble I can get in.
I’ve never felt like I’ve exactly traded on my looks. When I was a teenager, I was an ultra late bloomer, and my mom would say it was a blessing because it means you never have to wonder if guys are only interested in you because you’ve got boobs.
The movie industry can be tricky and occasionally creepy, and I have this sense that the music industry is just shady as hell. I don’t want to be a part of it.
I am neither such a great songwriter or such a great singer that the world must hear my album. There’s just no point to make.
I’m glad I got to do ‘The Last Five Years’ and ‘Into the Woods,’ which are both shows that I just don’t think I could have the stamina to do them eight times a week. I just have so much respect for the women who do these vocal roles eight times a week. They’re so challenging.
When I have a big enough handbag to carry a little pair of booties with, I always do – those pointy Christian Louboutin heels are just no fun to walk around in.
I never thought that tailoring was something that normal people did; I just thought that it was something that guys who had suits made of Italian silk depended on, and I wish someone had told me what a difference tailoring makes!
I’m not big on lip color, but I like to have a little something.
I’m really into lip cream. I have this one by Hourglass: it’s an oil with this gold-tip applicator, and it’s schmancy-schmancy. When you get to the point that your lips are cracking, the price is worth it.
I find getting my nails done the most tedious thing. I’m such a fidgety person; it’s like torture. Everybody loves massages; I don’t know what my problem is. I feel like I have to talk to the masseuses.
I admit that I look at my social media when I’m killing time, like on a plane and such. It’s just less embarrassing getting caught on Twitter than getting caught playing Candy Crush.
If I’m on set and there’s no other option, I get on a treadmill, but that’s my most hated thing.
I used to exercise an hour every day – no excuses. I live in absolutes: I either exercise every day, or I let myself off the hook. I’m trying to find that balance of working out three or four days a week and sticking to it.
I never have used a trainer. I’m slightly intimidated by the idea of somebody in my face.
I’m not one who can get by on six hours sleep night after night. You can see it on my face and hear it in my voice. When working 14-hour days, I have to go home, go to sleep, and wake up in time for crew call. I hate naps. They throw me off the rest of the day.
When I was 12, I did this show on Broadway called ‘High Society,’ so we moved to New York for the run of that.
People send you stuff if you say you’re interested in something. I have a tonne of body lotion. So I could mention I was interested in, you know, surfing, and some company would send me a surfboard.
There’s a difference between being an actress who can sing and being a Sally Song-and-Dance.