Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Young, Scrappy and Humble

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Young, Scrappy and Humble

Article excerpt

One of the many fun things about Anna Kendrick's autobiographical "Scrappy Little Nobody" is that the 31-year-old Oscar-nominated actress shares some of the unusual things that she, a Maine native, has encountered during her 14 years in Hollywood.

She writes, for example, about the use of derriere doubles in movies and "Oscars rehearsal nominees" (anonymous stand-ins who even come prepared with fake acceptance speeches) and the intricacies of stylists and designer loans. Things that industry veterans may take for granted, but outsiders will surely find fascinating to read about.

The first time Kendrick learned about such things, she says on the phone, "everything at every turn was absurd. And still is. And I think, like with so many things in life, when it's a situation where you feel like an outsider, or you weren't sure what to expect in the first place, you just kind of nod and go, 'OK, I guess this is how they do it, and I won't make any waves about it.' And, then, when you tell other people about it, and they look at you funny, you're like, 'OK, right? It's crazy, right?' "

"Scrappy Little Nobody" -- which Kendrick will be promoting at Bookends in Ridgewood on Monday -- is less a memoir than a "collection of autobiographical essays" about "the absurdities of life in (and out of) the spotlight." She covers everything from her childhood and adolescent years in Maine to her early work on Broadway, her sex life and what she describes on the phone as "reluctant adulthood and procrastination and anxiety and how it kind of becomes a vicious cycle." The pieces are witty and engaging, like her dispatches to her 13.5 million social media followers.

The book's title "came from this conversation that I had with my brother," says Kendrick, who in the book explains that, post- stardom, she texted him to say she missed "being a scrappy little nobody." His response: "You're still scrappy. You just get a lot more emails now. P.S. You're still a little nobody to me."

On the phone, Kendrick says, "I knew that there was a danger of the title feeling a little false humility, a little like, 'Who? Little old me?' " And what it is is that it's about wanting to hold onto that quality. I think that's a good quality. It's passion and it's can-do and it's humility. It's real humility, and that's valuable. So, it was more about trying to make sure that as a human, I remain as kind of scrappy as I was when I was 17, you know?"

Kendrick, currently appearing in Ben Affleck's big-screen thriller "The Accountant," was born and raised in Portland, Maine. She made her Broadway debut at age 12 in the musical "High Society" and earned a Tony nomination for her performance (losing out to Audra McDonald, now a six-time Tony winner).

After making her film debut in the indie musical comedy "Camp," Kendrick went on to do a number of other movies, including "Rocket Science" (2007) and the "Twilight" saga (2008-2012). But her big breakout role, which earned her an Academy Award nomination, was Natalie Keener in "Up in the Air" (2009). Kendrick has also had starring roles in "Into the Woods" (2014) and "Pitch Perfect" (2012) -- her song "Cuts (When I'm Gone)" from that film became a triple- platinum hit -- and its sequel (2015).

"I've been on hold for "Pitch Perfect 3" for about a year now, so we're supposed to do it in January," Kendrick says. "It's been like a forced hiatus against my will, but it's probably good for me."

The idea of doing a book had been "kind of floated" to her a couple of times, but she didn't really take it seriously, Kendrick says.

"And then, this literary agent, who is just an awesome chick, kind of talked me into it, made it seem like it could actually happen, I could actually do it. It wasn't just like, 'Oh, maybe one day,' " she says. "And she introduced me to another awesome chick at Simon & Schuster, and it was kind of amazing, actually, how at every step I kept expecting a dude to crop up, 'cause in my industry, that's how it works. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.