Book 2 of 2017
“I spoke to Colin Firth at a party once and before I shared an inappropriate story about watching Bridget Jones’s Diary on Ambien…” (Anna Kendrick, Scrappy Little Nobody, Page 264)
I have enjoyed Anna Kendrick‘s acting from the moment I saw her as peppy, quirky Jessica in Twilight; Anna brought so much life and spunk into her role. Ian and I then watched Up in The Air, and then 50/50, and I grew more and more fond of her; I found myself rooting for this tiny and versatile actress. And then I saw Pitch Perfect. My fandom for this spirited, spunky ‘triple threat’ rose to a new level, and I’m not embarrassed to say that I saw the original Pitch Perfect in theatre…. three times.
My best friend April is also an ‘Anna Superfan’. During the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 (click here for my full post on our incredible expedience), April, our friend Sarah and I all waited at the red carpet for Anna’s movie premiere for The Last Five Years. When Anna hit the carpet, despite being ushered to hurry up and get inside the theatre, she took a picture with every person waiting outside to see her. Celebrities are real people and often, if we get to meet a person we look up to or idealize, we can end up disappointed if they don’t live up to the high expectations we have set for them. I am so happy to have had the opposite experience meeting Anna. Sarah, April and I were blown away at her kindness and the time she took with everyone who was waiting to see her. And for that reason, I’ll always be a fan.
A few years ago, fans took notice of Anna’s quick-witted humor on Twitter. She would post daring, sharp quips on the social media platform and her following grew. Once she got Instagram, Anna’s fan base on social media grew even larger. It was evident that this girl has something to say, and she isn’t afraid to say it. She’s relatable and inspiring in that sense, whether you tend to agree with her or not. The natural next career step for Anna to take on was Scrappy Little Nobody, a book reflecting her life- both personal and professional- thus far.
I have written a couple of key highlights from her book below. As you know, I don’t post spoilers in my reviews, but I wanted to share a few sneak peeks into the light, fizzy humor Anna projects in her book.
- Anna’s sentiment about being a man-child was a running theme throughout Scrappy Little Nobody. She is self-deprecating and candid about her lack of maturity at times. For example, she hates making her bed and writes about how when she thinks about making her bed, she spirals into a “why do any housework?” frame-of-mind. Anna writes: “Well, why do any housework? Why do the dishes? You’re just going to get them dirty again. Maybe you should start eating every meal with your hands, bent over the trash can. Why work to improve any area of your life when everything good that happens is going to require more and more maintenance?“
- Anna uses her charming wit in one-liners that had me laughing throughout her stories. For example, on having experienced an expensive straightening iron and not being able go back to a cheaper straightening iron after that, Anna writes: “I couldn’t go back to being Book Hermoine when I’d had a taste of being Movie Hermoine.” Anna’s delivery made a story about a simple object seem that much funnier in the context it was given.
- Anna also gets serious. She discusses growing up and the sacrifices her parents made to bring her to New York to perform on stage. She writes about the interesting characters she met upon moving to L.A, her roommates along the way, and trying to fit in. Anna also mentions her social anxiety, specifically, her anxiety around relationships in general. She talks about her lack of experience with men, and not knowing how to date when she moved to L.A. Anna knows there are many areas of her life she wants to improve, but the reality of her situation is that she just wants to be perfect, and all the thoughts of how imperfect she is hang over her head and it simply becomes overwhelming. I think many of us can relate to this type of feeling; it’s refreshing to hear someone talk so openly about it, while injecting humor here and there. These little snippets humanize Anna even further.
- I was thrilled to see Anna had written a chapter on Twilight, not because I though she was going to enlighten us all with top-secret, behind-the-scenes gossip, but because I knew it was her big break in the film world. <Side note: Anna does mention that Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella, is one of the hardest working actresses she has ever worked with. Interesting Twilight details unveiled after all!> Anna continues to write openly about how her Twilight paychecks were what kept her financially afloat, even two years after being nominated for her Oscar for Up in the Air. (This blew my mind).
- Lastly, I love Anna’s George Clooney insights and advice peppered throughout the book. (He was her partner in Up in the Air, remember?!) For example, she references a time he told her “Actors have a bad habit of thinking that however well their career is going, it only gets better from there,” and that was one piece of advice she really took to heart.
Reading Anna’s book made me appreciate how hard she has worked, and how talented and funny she is. But more importantly, that wasn’t the point of her book: Anna comes off as a relatable human, with relatable problems. Most of the time she would rather be in sweatpants, hanging around in her unmade bed, as opposed to dressing up in a gown for awards season, but she knows she has to pull it together every now and again. She takes pride in the fact that she isn’t your typical Hollywood actress; she’s nerdy and small and full of flaws, which is refreshing to hear. She isn’t trying to fit in anyone’s particular mold: she’s still trying to figure out who she is. And we all are.
So, next time I meet her (ha-ha- I’m planning on it!) I’ll have to let Anna know that, although she wasn’t necessarily looking to ‘win friends and influence people’ by writing Scrappy Little Nobody, that is exactly what she’s did. Call me a forever fan.
You do you, you Scrappy Little Somebody, we love ya for it.