Anna Kendrick gets ‘playfully offended’

Anna Kendrick gives voice to an irksome teenager sister Courtney in “ParaNorman.”

Anna Kendrick assumed she got her part in Laika’s stop-motion animated “ParaNorman” — as the title character’s obnoxious older sister — because of her work in the “Twilight” series. But that wasn’t exactly the case. Luckily, the Oscar-nominated actress knows how to take even the most awkward of compliments.

When you’re cast to do a voice for a character some could describe as annoying, how do you take that?

Well, it was funny because actually I had assumed this was the first job offer I’d ever gotten because of “Twilight.” Because everything else is sort of based on “Rocket Science” or “Up in the Air” — and now “50/50″ and so on and so forth. This is such a different character that I thought this has to be based on my character in “Twilight.” I asked them about it, and they said they’d never seen “Twilight” and they just heard my voice in an interview and thought it would be good, and I was like, “I don’t know how to take that at all. Thank you, I think?” (laughs) You know, I was like playfully offended.

Did you make it up to the Laika studio in Portland, Oregon?

All my [voice recording] sessions were in L.A., but I did make a special trip up to Laika just to see the sets, and I saw them when they were being taken apart so I got to kind of walk around in them, and that was really special … All the other actors were jealous that I got to walk through and take pictures, like, inside the set — as a 50-foot woman.

Did you take anything with you, like slip a tree in your pocket or something?

Oh, no. I considered it, but I thought I’d get in trouble. They gave me a mini bust of Courtney, which is hilarious because she’s so silly, and to have this really stately bust of her on my bookshelf is great. She’s got a lot of … physicality to work with.

After starting in theater, you made your move to film with  “Camp” almost 10 years ago.

That was a really special first experience to have, and I’m really glad that it worked out that way because I think if I’d been plopped into a normal film set, I think I would’ve been utterly bewildered and terrified. The fact that it was about musical theater and we were all first-time film actors just made it a really easy environment to ask questions and understand the process of filmmaking, and I think it really made me embrace filmmaking.

And you’re singing again in “Pitch Perfect” this fall.

I never really know what to say about it. It’s funny because I geeked out extra hard when we got there and we were learning all the music. I live for that s—. Once I got there, I was like, “This is the best thing ever!” I was like a pig in mud, just bathing in dorkiness.


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