In Anna Kendrick‘s first book Scrappy Little Nobody, a collection of autobiographical essays that delves into her life and career, the Pitch Perfect actress talks about growing up, making her Broadway debut at age 12 (for which she got a Tony nomination), trying to make it in L.A., and starring in Up in the Air, Into the Woods, and the Twilight movies. The book, out Tuesday, Nov. 15, is full of captivating, funny stories and surprising behind-the-scenes tales about being on set, her fellow actors, awards shows, and more. Here are the best five stories:
1. The cast of Broadway’s High Society would speed up the Sunday show so 12-year-old Kendrick could go home early
“Once a month my dad and I would drive home to Maine after a Sunday matinee and make it back in time for the Tuesday-night show. On those days the entire cast would speed up their dialogue and cut off every laugh a moment too soon so I could beat traffic. Only one cast member indulged in languid pauses during those performances, and our conductor, Paul Gemignani, would punish her by radically speeding up the tempo of her songs.”
2. She broke the rules by painting her toes during Up in the Air
“[My wardrobe] felt so unnatural to me, as did the rest of my look—the hair and makeup—that I started to feel claustrophobic in it as the weeks went on. I bought some glitter nail polish in an alarming shade of blue and painted my toes so that I could be in control of one small corner of my body.”
3. The cast and crew of Twilight stayed in a creepy hotel in remote Canada
And to top it all off, they bought out the whole hotel so no one could stay there, a precaution against crazy fans and paparazzi.
“The hotel was set back from the road and surrounded by grassy fields. My room was on the lobby level and faced the back of the grounds, overlooking a little lake and thick woods that started about a football field’s length from my window. It was probably quite pretty in the summer, or the deep winter, but muddy early spring gave it a foreboding quality. …It was a large hotel, much larger in fact than our crew needed, so the place was eerily empty.”
4. Doing non-stop press for Up in the Air really messed with her after a while
“During one roundtable, the lone English-speaking journalist said, ‘I’ve been following the press that you’re doing and it seems like different publications are writing their own version of you. …Do you ever feel like you’re lying?’ Maybe it was because it was the end of my tour or because he was a fellow American in Japan so I was having a bullshit Lost in Translation moment, or maybe because if I’d suppressed the crazy for one more second I would have ruptured something. ‘Honestly? Some part of everything I’ve said in the last six months has been a lie.’ He laughed. ‘Including that?’ ‘Yes,’ I said, totally serious.”
5. She was high and fresh from the ER at the Independent Spirit Awards
Hours before the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards (she was nominated for Rocket Science) she went to the ER because of a painful cyst inside her nose. She got it lanced and with some help from her friend, somehow still made it there, albeit high on painkillers.
“‘Don’t smile, you still look weird. Okay, see, when you’re not smiling, you look okay. I mean you look like you’re hungover, and you’re very oily, but you don’t look like you’ve been crying on a hospital bed.’ He threw my hoodie at me. ‘Let’s go.'”