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Born and raised in Portland, Maine, the hugely talented Anna Kendrick, now 24, was nominated for a Tony Award when she was only 12 for her work in the Broadway musical High Society. And her much-YouTubed performance of Stephen Sondheim’s Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch in the 2003 indie movie Camp — a song written for a character twice her age — is a showstopper.The articulate and level-headed actress reprises her supporting role as high-school mean girl Jessica in the second Twilight movie, New Moon, and costars with George Clooney and Vera Farmiga in the upcoming Up in the Air, a serio-comedy about a corporate ax-man hired to conduct layoffs at companies all over the United States. Kendrick spoke about this and more at the Waldorf Astoria Towers Hotel in New York City.Q: Did you draw from your own memories of high school to play Jessica?AK: Jessica is just so different from me and so different from my high school experience. There's something very fun and liberating for me about playing a girl I would have seen as an enemy. And also about simultaneously playing the gossipy mean girl, but inevitably showing how needy she is and how desperate she is and how pathetic it all comes across. Because anybody that's doing that kind of [bitchy] thing is obviously very, very needy.Q: Maybe that vulnerability you bring out in her explains why audiences kind of like her.AK: Maybe. I mean, yeah, I think that's what [creates] the comedy; if she were particularly self-assured I don't think it would work. I think there's [humor] in her desperation.Q: In this second movie, does Jessica know Bella hangs with vampires?AK: No, no! None of the school kids ever, ever know anything about the mythology. That's true throughout the series. The young actors in the Harry Potter movies formed a bond of camaraderie and stay in touch. Has anything like that happened with the cast of the Twilight movies?I know that [for] the Harry Potter [movies], they have this big studio and they film in a lot of the same locations. For us it's a little bit more like going back to college, or like the first day of school where you see everybody again. You all hang out all the time while you’re there, and then it's like “OK, see you next fall!.” But it's nice. It's like returning to a place where you know what works and what doesn't… or at least hopefully you know what works and what doesn't. It's pretty rare to be able work with the same people again; so often you never see the people you work with [after the project is over], and that makes it very special.Q: What's next for you? Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has wrapped, right?AK: Yes. And I finished [the third Twilight movie,] Eclipse, so I think I’m done with the Twilight saga. There are four [movies], but I don't think I'll be in the fourth — my character isn’t really in that book. [Bella] graduates in Eclipse, so that's basically it.Q: See you next fall!AK: Yeah. So now I'm unemployed [laughs]! Interview courtesy Maitland McDonagh from MissFlickChick.com
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