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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
For 26 year old actor Jesse Eisenberg--who was awarded lots of attention for his troubled teenager in The Squid and The Whale--becoming a zombie-killing machine offers a curious shift in gears. Interspersed with his first-person voiceover as the wussy Columbus, Zombieland spotlights two survivors who forge an uneasy alliance to live in a world destroyed by a plague that turns nearly everyone into zombies. Both are trying to get east to see if anyone is free of the infection. The multiweapon-toting, bad-ass Tallahassee (the darkly funny Woody Harrelson) distrusts bonding as much as he hates zombies--but that's only because he doesn't want to pummel a friend if they've morphed into the living dead.At first bamboozled by sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), they forge a relationship with this duo to form a dysfunctional and desperate ersatz family. All four have found their own ways to vanquish zombies, so when the sisters steal the boys' SUV and guns, they catch up to the girls and go along with their determined effort to visit their favorite amusement park in California.
This horror comedy not only brings out the mayhem-making on Eisenberg's part, it shows he's capable of spoofing the kind of post-collegiate, sexually repressed geek he played in Adventureland who, lo and behold, worked in an local amusement park. Ironically though, as Eisenberg admits in this exclusive one-on-one interview, he's more of an arthouse rather than genre fan and proud of it.Q: You’re a healthy 20-something. How have you avoided watching your share of horror movies? Maybe you read little too many Greek tragedies—I saw a performance of The Bacchae by Euripides the other day and that could be translated into a horror film.JE: My friend directed a Greek play and then he did like a horror movie version of it. It’s not actually that different. I just don’t really like horror movies. They’re either scary, or if they’re not scary, they’re terrible. If they’re not scary then they’re a failure, and if they are scary then they scare you. So either way, you kind of walk out lost. But this movie is really not that. As you saw last night, it’s mostly comedic, and it’s a real fun experience. The horror of it is really secondary.Q: Now that you’ve done this movie, and you’re a zombie-slayer, are you going to investigate a lot more horror films? JE: I have my own narrow view of cinema, but no, not really.Q: You’ve got to see the Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn with the slaying of the vampires, or maybe John Carpenter's Vampires. Bride of Frankenstein is one of the great movies of all time. Didn’t making this film intrigue you as to what is behind the psychology of horror films like the old Universal pictures? What would you want to see?JE: I’m sure they’re great. There was a movie out last year that everyone said to go see, called Let the Right One In.Q: The Swedish vampire movie.JE: Is it really good?Q: It’s really great. For those who like indie films, you get your dose of indie art from of it. It’s teen angst via the vampire genre without too much teen idol-making. Now that you’ve done the kind of movie that might make you a teen idol, are you worried that Robert Pattinson's Twilight fans will switch over to you?JE: That’s not my nature or the character in this movie. The only people that will be interested in me from this movie will be grandmothers, and they don’t have websites. No, I think there’s no threat.Q: You don’t think that you've made a valid play for Wichita--Emma Stone--to fall madly in love with you?JE: Yeah, but he's not that kind of character. Thank God because who wants to be in the tabloids for anything, ever.Q: If this movie does well, you’re going to be doing lots of comic-cons and things like that now.JE: I know, I realize that... I know.Q: Do you collect anything that you might find at the comic-cons so you should be looking forward to them?JE: I had no idea what anything was there. We had to go to this year’s [San Diego Comic-con]. I was out of my element.Q: You didn’t get turned onto any cool graphic novels?JE: No. they couldn’t be further from my comfort zone.Q: You must collect something; what do you collect? JE: I don’t know. I don’t have any space for anything. We have collector’s half-photos of Fidel Castro at my house. I don’t know why. We have like three amazing collector’s editions.Q: How did you separate yourself from the character which plays on the type of characters you've done?JE: All the acting is very naturalistic, so it seems like we’re all these people. It takes a lot of effort to establish this tone of this movie. The movie asks a lot of you comedically in a very specific world and in a very specific way. It’s a unique world that the movie takes place in. I don’t see the character as exactly like myself, but I’m sure when people see the movie they will think that. Until one acts in a movie, they realize that it requires effort, even if it looks very natural or casual.Q: When you do a movie like this—you’ve handled guns, kicked ass on zombies—how does it change you? Are you inspired to be more of an ass kicker in some way?JE: No. I don’t want to be promoting violence to children or making it look fun. Luckily, my character does not want to shoot people. He might close a door on this girl’s foot and she’s trying to kill me, and [he'll] say, “I’m so sorry that I hurt your foot.” I’m glad that my character and I cannot have too much fun with the violence. People are going to see this movie who maybe have a proclivity towards violence, and we wouldn’t want to make it look that much fun where it’s inadvertently promoting it.Q: Woody does a damn good job of making it seem like it’s a hell of a lot of fun. It brought out your inner shit-kicker. Do you think you’re going to get offers now to do a lot more shit-kicking as a result?JE: No, no, I don’t think so, nor am I interested in that. It’s exhausting and technically difficult to shoot scenes like that. The scenes that I’m interested in are the scenes where we’re creating these characters. These other scenes, half the time the stunt guy is doing the thing that’s the most fun looking.Q: If you had to smash anything like you did in the film, if you had that opportunity to smash as a result of the freedom to smash, what would you have had in mind? JE: Probably a laptop computer, because you know how frustrating it is when it’s not doing the thing you asked it to do. It’s the most frustrating thing in the world, and you just want to throw it against the wall. It would probably feel good for one second—and after that, terrible. Again, the things that are most fun to watch are usually the things that are the most difficult to shoot. When we were filming the scene where we destroyed this store, you had to be very careful. And then when you watch it, it looks like the characters are having fun so spontaneously. But it’s a difficult thing to shoot. It’s so much fun to watch so you can relive it, almost, through your characters.Q: Did you talk about a back story as to how the zombie plague began? Did you elaborate--just for fun--on whether it was some sort of biological experiment?JE: It changed so much over the course. At first, we weren’t sure if people would be interested in knowing the back story. And then we did the test screenings of it and realized people actually want to know where it came from. So the final verdict is that it’s now like a mad cow disease. It came from contaminated hamburger, which is good because it has some kind of possible practical implications toward the food industry. Woody is really happy with that because he’s a strict vegan.Q: Woody Harrelson is an incredibly naturally funny guy. I don’t know how you get on set with him without breaking up all the time. Abigail Breslin can be funny too. But you must have had some interesting conversations with him, because he’s got that passionate, serious side about politics, philosophy, and other things?JE: I’ve admired him for many years. I work with a few animal rights organizations, I’ve been vegetarian for five years and I was vegan for a year. I’m not a vegan right now, but when we were filming I ate all the same food he ate.Q: You had so much fun with Woody there, that you must love to have a chance to work with him again. Do you see that as a possibility?JE: Yeah, I would love to. He kind of cast me in this, so I owe him a lot and would love to.Q: Not only as a result of this movie, but are there people you’d like to act with or work with? Now you’ve done such an interesting range of people, you’re moving on to a new plateau.JE: Yeah, that’s exactly it. I would never think that I would get to meet Woody Harrelson. It always ends up being more shocking than you would have expected had you tried to fantasize about it.Q: Do you ever sit there and fantasize about who you would have as your leading ladies?JE: No, I’m surprised that they stay on the set after they meet me. As you’re well aware, I’m more than lucky.Q: It must have been fun working with Emma. Did you know her from before? She really doesn’t take seriously that role of the sex kitten, zombie-slayer. It must have been fun to work with her.JE: It’s a great asset to the movie that she’s not the typical hot girl. She’s an incredibly funny person. The character that she has is a very strong and self-respecting female character, which is not the most common thing—especially in a movie like this, a horror-comedy. Q: You’re lucky that you’ve been able to get some really great directors. Are there people you want to target? Writers you want?JE: No. Once you start doing that, you just open yourself up to disappointment, because it doesn’t work that way. It’s best to just be open minded to whatever new opportunities present themselves, like in this case.Q: You must have thought about sequels. JE: No, no, I haven’t. If you’d asked me a week ago if I wanted to do a sequel, I would say that would definitely be the last thing that I would ever want to do. In fact, they asked me when I originally signed up for the movie, “Could you sign on for a sequel now?” I asked my lawyer at the time, “Please, please, don’t agree to something like that,” because the worst thing you want to be doing is a sequel to a movie that no one likes. When I saw the movie the other night for the first time in Miami, I was so blown away. I think it would be a great thing to do.Q: When you envision that sequel, can you imagine all the possible places to go, like zombies in New York versus zombies in LA?JE: I would love to do that, too, because I wouldn’t have to leave home to film it. That’s exactly right; there’s so much you could do. Although I imagine zombies in New York would be so much more expensive they’ll probably end up doing zombies in Tulsa. But there are so many possibilities because there’s such a free-flowing logic to the movie.Q: You were pretty young when you started, and you’ve naturally evolved. Where do you want to go from here? You’ve done comedies, but they’re with a more indie heart to them then some of the raunchy buddy stuff that 's produced and directed. Where do you see yourself going now that you’ve added this into the catalog?JE: Well, I never expected to be in a movie like this. But because the script was so good, I wanted to. So I guess it’s just project to project, regardless of what the genre is or the size of the movie. I feel like if it’s good, then that stuff is really not relevant, and that’s what I felt about this. I mean they’re sending me a lot of movies that are similar to this because people are liking this movie, but they’re awful.I have plays that I’ve written that I’m trying to get done, and it’s certainly helpful to be in movies that people see. The next movies I’m supposed to do happen to be dramas, but if something like this came along again I’d be happy to do it.Q: What about directing and other things?JE: That’s a whole different [story], to actually have some command of authority, and I don’t have any of that.Q: But then you'd rise to the occasion.JE: I suppose you could, but you need a deep voice or something.Q: Oh, you’re undervaluing your magnetic and influential skills.JE: Thank you, but you’re the same person that wanted to see an action figure of me.
The daughter of actress Sissy Spacek and production designer Jack Fisk, singer Schuyler Fisk was born in Los Angeles, California, and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where she began acting and eventually progressed to film. In the meantime, she graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia in 2006.Fisk also picked up the guitar, which she learned from her mother. In early 2006, she recorded a demo with Joshua Radin, whom she has toured with for the past two years. They wrote a song, "Paperweight," that was featured on the soundtrack to The Last Kiss. A full length LP, was released digitally on January 27, 2009 as a download at several online retailers including iTunes and Amazon. Fisk's debut album, The Good Stuff, climbed to #1 on the iTunes Folk Charts. Now she is with Universal Records. She is currently on tour with Ben Taylor which brought her to Japan as well.
Q: I found your name to be unique. How did your parents name you?SF: Thank you. My mother says that they almost named me "Tyler" or "Taylor," but my parents discovered a rock quarry where artists got their raw materials in Virginia that was in the town of "Schuyler" and they fell in love with the name.
Q: I heard that you initially started off acting before getting into music. How did you get into acting, and did your mother, Sissy Spacek, influence you in that?SF: I did start out acting. When I was little, I had huge dreams of being an actress. I saw my mother on film sets and thought to myself, "I could do that! I want to do that!" I was very involved with my school's theatre productions as well as the local community theatre. I got my first film role after having an opportunity to audition for "The Baby-sitters Club" at age 11. I got really lucky!Q: How did you decide that singing was your calling--your voice to the world?SF: I have always loved singing. It's been a huge passion of mine my whole life, but I didn't start to think of doing it as a career until friends started mentioning it to me. I started writing my own songs at 14, but it wasn't until about 19 that I started to really take it seriously. Then it wasn't until about 21 that I decided to pursue it full-force.Q: Take me through the songwriting process? When I listened to "From Where I Standing," the image that kept coming through my head were those of very soulful lyrics. How do you immerse yourself in that process?SF: Honestly, it's different every time. Sometimes I just sit with my guitar or at the piano and fiddle around see what melodies I come up with and go from there. Sometimes I start with a song idea or a line or lyrics almost all written out. "From Where I'm Standing" is a song I wrote for a film, and so I came at it with an idea of what I wanted to say and a vibe of how I wanted the song to come across.Q: Are there any musicians that you want to collaborate with? And why do you want to do that?SF: There are a lot of musicians I'd love to collaborate with! I absolutely love writing with other writers. It takes me out of my comfort zone and allows me to bounce ideas off of someone else, which you don't really get to do when you're writing alone. I'd love to collaborate with Feist, Patty Griffin, Dave Matthews, Wilco, The Weepies, Keith Urban, Bela Fleck, Tom Petty, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt... the list is endless.Q: The song, "The Good Stuff," makes me imagine a bright sunny day in California; it seems to have a positive outlook on life. Do you find this song in a sense represents you?SF: It's funny because I wrote that song one afternoon in LA when I was feeling really homesick for my hometown in Virginia. I started off wanting to write a song about missing home, but I ended up realizing how amazing everything was right where I was. I just needed to focus on the "good stuff" instead of the bad. I wrote that song to remind me to be in the moment and to appreciate the little things.Q: What direction do you want to go in in the future? Do you want to tackle a different genre?SF: I'm not really sure where the future will lead my songwriting. I will say that I'm feeling a pull towards more alt-country music lately. I grew up listening to old school country and blue-grass music and lately I've been listening to a lot of Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. I have this huge desire to make an alt-country/Motown record next, but we shall see!Q: This is your first tour in Japan. What do you hope to take away from that experience?SF: Are there any places you want to visit? I am so excited to be coming to tour in Japan. I have the longest list of all the things I want to do while I'm there - the trick will be fitting it all in! I will be posting photos and videos from my trip on www.schuylerfisk.com so be sure to check it out.
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