Movie News & Reviews

'Twilight' actor rising fast

There is an elephant in Anna Kendrick's hotel room, and it looks suspiciously like a vampire.

Although the young actress was in Hollywood to discuss her role opposite George Clooney in the film "Up in the Air," it was near-impossible to ignore her other role — the one in the blockbuster "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."

Kendrick, who appeared in the first "Twilight" movie and has already finished her work in the third installment of the franchise, plays the ditzy Jessica, who is a close high school friend of Bella, Kristen Stewart's character.

Kendrick's character in "New Moon" is entertaining, but certainly not meaty enough to be memorable. The same cannot be said for her performance in "Up in the Air."

If it's possible to steal scenes from George Clooney, she has done it, and there is considerable Oscar buzz swirling around her performance.

The 24-year-old actress may be a new face to movie audiences but she has been in the business since she was a child; she was the third-youngest Tony nominee in Broadway history.

We talked about working with Clooney, the prospects of an Oscar and, of course, "Twilight."

With the "Twilight" movies on your resume, what is the impact on your career?

I didn't get this job because of "Twilight," and I didn't get my next job because of "Twilight." It all goes back to "Rocket Science." All the directors I've worked with recently, including Catherine Hardwicke ("Twilight") and Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air"), said they hired me after seeing "Rocket Science."

How did you get the role in "Up In the Air"?

Jason asked me to come in and read, but I had no idea that he had written the part for me. But he didn't tell me that until much later, and I thought I did horribly at the reading, so I assumed I wouldn't get the part. He was showing absolutely no emotion during the whole session.

What was it like acting with George in every scene?

The great part was that it wasn't a romantic relationship, which made this movie so unique. It was so much fun to work with him, and not be drawn in by his charm. I liked our contentious relationship.

Could you describe your first meeting?

We met at a camera test, and he immediately made fun of my hair. I had my hair in a ponytail, and he said, "You're not going to wear your hair like that, are you?"

How did you respond?

I said, "I see how this is going to be, but I'm game."

And it went well after that initial meeting?

Yes, he made fun of me all day, every day, and I made fun of him right back. He didn't pull his usual pranks, but you couldn't get away with anything in front of him.

What was it like acting with him?

He is so concerned with your performance, and how you're doing, and I think a lot of that has to do with him being (also) a director. He tries to stay so present, and tries to help Jason draw a performance out of you. He's even willing to alter his own performance to help you with your performance.

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