Ever sing your answers to questions? That’s what Portland-raised actress Anna Kendrick did recently for The New York Times. How does she feel about such “indignities of the modern publicity trail,” as Times writer Brooks Barnes put it?
“I’m a survivor! I’m not gon’ give up! I’m not gon’ stop! I’m gon’ work harder!” Kendrick replied, in the lyrics of Destiny’s Child.
And the interview went on to show something like that — a funny fighter.
Kendrick — whose Twitter bio is “Pale, awkward and very very small,” with a background image of Portland Head Light — stars in “Pitch Perfect 2,” opening in theaters May 15.
In the comedy, she’s part of an a cappella group called Barden Bellas, which, after a calamitous performance, decides to enter an international competition that no American group has ever won.
Read the Times interview, and get a sense of Kendrick’s personality and Maine’s influence on her. Here’s an excerpt:
“And there you have Anna Kendrick: irrepressibly clever, eager to please, musically gifted, able to surprise, all-around cool chick. ‘She has always been fearless,’ Michael Cooke Kendrick, her older brother, told me in an email. He cited a summer trip in the early 1990s to a vacation spot in Maine called Papoose Pond, where Ms. Kendrick, then about 8, stupefied the other guests by suddenly belting out ‘Tomorrow’ from ‘Annie.’
“‘Being small for her age, I think the crowd was expecting that she might sing a nursery rhyme,’ Mr. Kendrick said. …
“Despite her brother’s assessment of her fearlessness, it may actually be fear that keeps Ms. Kendrick working so hard. Between sips of tea and interruptions from fans wanting photos, requests that she politely indulged, Ms. Kendrick spoke about growing up in Maine as the daughter of an accountant mother and a history-teacher father.
“‘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,’ she said. ‘I never let myself forget that I can’t just put this down and expect it to be waiting for me when I feel like coming back to it. The memory that at one point I couldn’t book a guest spot on ‘Gilmore Girls’ is always on my mind. There is someone else out there who can do my job.’”