Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick outs herself as fabulously flawed in her candid memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody, out November 15. But when it comes to her support of the LGBT community, the Oscar-nominated actress is totally aca-awesome.
By Brandon Voss
The Advocate: After reading your new memoir, I feel like we’re best friends. Is that weird?
Anna Kendrick: It is weird. At first I was just telling stories in a vacuum, and now I’m realizing that I may walk into a room where strangers know really intimate details about my life. Shit! But it’s my fault, so I’ve got to get over it.
The book has a relatable “Stars: They’re just like us!” theme. Was that your goal?
My editor might’ve had different goals, but my goals were to make it entertaining and funny. Beyond that, my bigger goal, which might’ve been too lofty, was to say something honest and maybe a little brave that might bring comfort to other people.
Why isn’t there a chapter about you becoming a gay icon?
Oh, man. I’m such a straight, cis, Boringface McGee over here, so I love that that could be even a little true. The idea that I’m resonating with other people who have ever felt like outsiders is the coolest.
After Camp and Pitch Perfect you starred in The Last Five Years and Into the Woods. Do any more movie musicals, you’ll basically be Bette Midler.
That’s literally my dream, so don’t threaten me with that. I was actually just listening to Experience the Divine.
When did you first become aware of the LGBT audience?
Well, I did Broadway when I was 12, so… [Laughs] Years later, when I got settled in L.A., I lived in West Hollywood, where I was a mini-celebrity because of Camp. I was basically in this movie that nobody had seen — except for everyone in West Hollywood. That’s actually where I met some of my oldest, truest friends.
In response to a fan who believed he could become your bestie, you once tweeted, “If you are a gay dude, that shit is probably true.”
I don’t even notice it, but then I’ll think about my 10 closest friends right now, male and female, and honestly, they’re all gay. Gay people have just always been in my life. I remember my parents having to tell me as a kid that there were people, like some people in our church, who objected to homosexuality. I was like, “Wait, so they’re idiots, right?”
More than 13 years after its release, do you still hear from a lot of Camp fans?
I do. If people have seen that film, they want to mention it as opposed to something else more current. Camp fans will let you know they’re Camp fans, which I couldn’t love more.
You write in your chapter about Camp that you downplayed your character Fritzi’s sexual ambiguity because of your own 16-year-old insecurities. Looking back, do you see her as a lesbian?
Oh, yeah. Big time. And now I’d be so excited to play an insane gay chick washing another girl’s underwear by hand. I underestimated how much people would embrace and find the humor in that.
Did you have conversations with director Todd Graff about her sexuality?
I don’t think we ever discussed it. My approach to her sexuality was just kind of sticking my head in the sand, if I’m honest. I thought that as long as I didn’t define it out loud, it could be anything. It wasn’t even that Fritzi might be gay, it was more that I was playing this loser making advances on someone who clearly doesn’t reciprocate those feelings. You strive so hard at that age not to look like that person, but then I was doing it in a film.
If you were to play another lesbian, whom would you cast as your love interest?
Oh, boy. This is a really dangerous question. There’s a specific fandom that ships Beca and Chloe, my and Brittany Snow’s characters from Pitch Perfect, so I feel like it would be a real betrayal to not choose Brittany. I mean, our characters are pretty much in a lesbian relationship. As far as we’re concerned, they’re secretly in love. We’ve joked that there will be all-out passionate lovemaking in the third movie. Too bad we still need that PG-13 rating.
Your chemistry with Brittany in Pitch Perfect 2 earned a Teen Choice Award. Beca and Chloe even have a couple hashtag. Are you basically just giving #Bechloe fans what they want?
If people didn’t think it was cute, we wouldn’t have pushed that chemistry even further in Pitch Perfect 2. The more we have fun with it, the more people seem to like it.
You’re flirty with other famous females on social media, and you’ve expressed infatuations with actresses like Blake Lively and Emily Blunt. Are you susceptible to girl crushes?
Yeah. It’s funny, isn’t it? I can’t imagine how that manifests itself for straight men with guy crushes, but when girls have girl crushes, I feel like there’s this sort of puppy love that’s hard to explain. It’s not a grown-up attraction, but it’s not purely platonic admiration either.
Many women on social media call you their girl crush.
It’s flattering. If a guy wants to fuck you, it’s like, congratulations, you have a vagina and a pulse. So if a girl wants to fuck me, I can actually feel pretty good about that.
Last year you posted Instagram photos from a Thanksgiving dinner with a group of women largely assumed to be lesbians. What was the story there?
Yeah, I think there was maybe one other straight girl there, but I didn’t even think about it at the time. Like I said, my closest friends are gay women and men. If I’m home with my family this Thanksgiving, there might be a few less lesbians, and I’m a bit unhappy about that.
Courtney, the character you voiced in the groundbreaking animated film ParaNorman, has a major crush on dumb jock Mitch, who’s ultimately revealed to be gay. Did you anticipate that stirring up so much controversy?
I just thought it would be a footnote to the movie that it happened to feature the first openly gay character in a mainstream animated film. It was so sweet, so I anticipated people responding positively to it. It was such a lovely, innocuous way to continue normalizing gay people.
Have you ever fallen for a gay guy?
Only once in my youth. I’m so grateful that now I can think a guy is cute, realize he’s gay, and then shut it down like a light switch. It would be so frustrating and disappointing to have unrequited feelings for someone of a different orientation.
You voice a troll princess in the new animated film Trolls. Are there any queer trolls?
I don’t think so. Well, not that it’s any indicator, but James Corden’s troll is very in touch with his sensitive side.
It should be noted that you and costar Justin Timberlake covered “True Colors,” an LGBT anthem, for the Trolls soundtrack.
Yeah, we’re very aware of what that song means and represents, and we were both very cautiously, nervously committed to making sure we honored that and didn’t misappropriate that in any objectionable way. The song is used in the film during a moment that’s about self-acceptance.
You’ve aligned yourself with the Trevor Project and you’ve used Twitter to support marriage equality, celebrate Ellen Page’s coming out, and criticize Jelly Belly for its anti-trans donations. Why are you so vocal about LGBT issues?
You never know how much impact you can have, but I am very aware that I have a lot of young followers that I can maybe inspire. Sometimes I feel I shouldn’t say anything because I’m not educated enough on a particular issue, like the conflict in Syria, but LGBT issues are just so straightforward to me. They seem really complicated to a lot of people, and that’s insanity.
Do you feel a responsibility to be a good role model?
I don’t feel a lot of responsibility in general. I have very low expectations for myself.
You’ve also come out as a big RuPaul’s Drag Race fan. What tips would you give a queen impersonating you?
Oh, no! Even I would be disappointed if I saw a drag queen dressed as me!
The Advocate, December 2016/January 2017 issue; extended online version.