October is going to be a busy month for Anna Kendrick as two of her films will be released – The Accountant with Ben Affleck on Oct 20 and the animated feature, Trolls on Oct 27.
Kendrick is one of those actors who can handle any genre given to her. Even when she’s paired with experienced actors, she holds her own. In 2009, she received her first Oscar nomination for her role in Up In The Air which she starred opposite George Clooney.
Around the same time, Kendrick also appeared in the Twilight film franchise as the chatty Jessica.
What ultimately made her a household name was the 2012 film Pitch Perfect, in which she sang the song, Cups. Kendrick, 31, has been singing on stage since she was a child and was nominated for her first Tony awards at 12 in 1998, for a role in High Society.
Standing at 157cm tall, the petite actress has also become the celebrity to follow on Twitter (@AnnaKendrick47) thanks to her witty and relatable tweets. We totally get it when she tweets stuff like, “Yes of course I got your text – I’m just ignoring it. Don’t make it weird.”
No wonder Affleck was a little apprehensive when he learned he was going to work with Kendrick on The Accountant. After all, she did tweet this back in March: “Real question: What are the chances I make it through #BatmanvSuperman without blurting “You guys should kiss though”.
“Anna is one of those people who just brings a tremendous energy, authenticity and honesty to every scene she’s in,” Affleck said about his working experience with Kendrick in an interview transcript provided by Warner Bros.
“Even before this project, I admired Anna a lot and was really hoping for a chance to work with her. So, I was thrilled when she signed on – except that, you know, I was a little worried that I was going to end up in her Twitter feed,” he added.
In The Accountant, Kendrick plays Dana Cummings, an accounting clerk who hires Christian Wolff (Affleck), an anti-social maths genius and a freelance accountant, to look into her firm’s books. Unknown to her, Christian’s other clients includes some of the world’s most dangerous criminals.
1. What drew you to The Accountant?
The first thing was that my mum is an accountant, so I knew she would be really excited about a movie where maths is kind of sexy and accountants are living in a dangerous, exciting world.
I’ll be honest – I had to read the script three times to understand what was going on. The movie is easier to follow because you’re looking at faces instead of words on paper. I don’t really like reading scripts because it’s a very bare bones format, but the second I finished this one, I immediately wanted to start over from the beginning – and that doesn’t happen to me.
2. How was it working with Ben and playing that dynamic between your characters?
Luckily, Ben is a very warm person, which made Christian’s onscreen treatment a lot easier to handle.
I had a great time working with Ben because he is very practical. I really admire that in actors – people who are trying to deliver the best performance they can while thinking about how many other people are trying to give a 100% in their job; who are aware of all the moving pieces and trying to service the project on a whole, not just themselves.
He’s very much a team player, and I think that’s really valuable. So, I was very, very happy to be working with him as closely as we did on this one.
3. You’re also both naturally funny people. Did you ever find yourself ad-libbing?
Well, I asked my mum for a couple of ad-libs, actually. It wasn’t the kind of material that I could easily ad-lib, since it is extremely technical and a little bit above my pay grade in terms of maths.
So, I sent my mum the script and asked her to break down some of the stuff that I was confused about for me, because Dana really understands the accounting, and I wanted to play that authentically.
I held onto what my mum told me after reading the script for about two months and then it went straight out of my brain. But she had a couple comments for me, like, “Well, I think this person could have gotten away with it if they had done X-Y-Z …”.
So, on a couple of takes, I tried out a few, and that was fun.
It went well. I’m not sure it made it into the movie, but for a second the crew thought I was smarter than I was – to be able to come up with it off the cuff like that.
4. How did it feel to be a maths geek for those few months?
So fun! I definitely know a lot of people – my mum included – who are really excited about things that I wish I could be excited about.
Logically, I understand what makes them fascinating, but everybody’s brain is different – that’s the wonderful thing about humans. So, I was really trying to bring that level of joy to something that, personally, I can’t get that much joy out of.
There’s a scene where Ben does some fast maths in his head, and I was like, “I think Dana would find that pretty sexy, actually”. So, I tried to imagine that fast maths is a thing that not only impresses me, but like makes me feel sort of infatuated.
5. It’s interesting that maths is an intrinsic part of this tense thriller, in the midst of all this action.
Yeah, and it’s my favourite kind of action. It just speaks to how thrilling it was to watch Raiders Of The Lost Ark and to see Indiana Jones just cut right to the chase and shoot that guy. It has that kind of vibe to it.
This guy is so advanced in not only maths, but in combat, I suppose, that it’s really fun to watch him do that work. Dana doesn’t know about that for a big chunk of the movie, but it’s definitely exciting.