Oscar-nominated actress Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air”) has been busily promoting her new movie, the Toronto Film Festival favorite “50/50,” because the acclaimed cancer comedy is opening in theaters Friday.
But of course Kendrick, 26, has been fielding plenty of questions about “The Twilight Saga” along the way.
The Maine native has been part of the supernaturally popular vampire romance series since the first film, 2008′s “Twilight,” playing a supporting role as Jessica Stanley, a gossipy classmate of human heroine Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).
She will reprise the role in the hotly anticipated two-part franchise finale “Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” opening Nov. 18, and “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” due out in fall 2012. Hence, all the “Twilight” questions.
Sorry, Twihards, but Kendrick declined to reveal any secrets about the last two movies based on Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling book series. But she did describe the feeling of finishing up filming on the five-movie franchise in a recent phone interview.
“It’s sad but it’s not sad. It’s more like a peculiar feeling for it to not be there anymore. But we weren’t maudlin on the set; we were happy to get out of the cold,” she told me by phone from Dallas. Since much of the filming was done in Vancouver, British Columbia, that makes sterling sense.
As immense as the Twihard fans’ love for “Twilight” has grown, the franchise has never been a favorite of critics and has attracted an almost equally passionate backlash. But Kendrick said she isn’t flustered by fangirls recognizing her in the grocery store or perturbed by haters eager to bash the movies.
“It’s so big that I guess that’s to be expected. I’m pretty immune to it. I don’t know, I guess it just feels like people find it polarizing, so I guess I’m not surprised by either reaction any more.”
After offering up another strong performance in “50/50,” film fans should expect to see a lot of Kendrick. Of course, she’s already busy with a number of upcoming projects, which is no surprise following her Oscar nomination last year for Jason Reitman’s stellar drama “Up in the Air.”
In 2012, she will star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in “End of Watch, ” a cop drama written and directed by David Ayer (who wrote “Training Day” and directed “Street Kings”), and headline the cast of the apocalyptic indie “Rapturepalooza.”
“‘Rapturepalooza’ is this crazy little comedy that we shot in like no time at all, so I’m really looking forward to seeing that one,” she told me.
In addition, she is part of the voice cast of the upcoming animated comedy “ParaNorman,” about a misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead and must battle ghosts, zombies and goofy grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. Leslie Mann, John Goodman, Casey Affleck and Christopher Mintz-Plasse also will be lending their voices to the project.
Kendrick is part of another all-star cast with the currently filming “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” a narrative based on the popular pregnancy guidebook. The film co-stars Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Lopez, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Chace Crawford and Oklahoman Megan Mullally.
“They created this sort of big ensemble story about women getting pregnant and all the things one might go through,” she said.
As for “50/50,” Kendrick said she enjoyed working with screenwriter Will Reiser, who wrote the movie based on his own experiences as a 20-something battling cancer.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, I was a little nervous to meet him and I wasn’t really sure what that was going to be like. And he’s just so lovely and funny and really intelligent that very quickly you just started to think about him as your writer and producer, which I think is exactly how he would like to be seen,” she said. “He was on set all the time, he’s a talented writer, and we all thought of him like that. You know, we didn’t think of him as like ‘Oh, the real cancer survivor’s on set today, and we have to walk on eggshells’ or anything like that. He was just a friend.”
To read more of what Kendrick had to say about “50/50″ and “Twilight,” look for my story Friday here on BAM’s Blog, on NewsOK and in The Oklahoman.