Anna KendrickAnna Cooke Kendrick (born August 9, 1985) is an American actress and singer. She began her career as a child actress in theater productions. Her first starring role was in the 1998 Broadway musical High Society for which she earned a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical nomination. She later made her feature film debut in the musical comedy Camp (2003).
Kendrick rose to prominence for her supporting role as Jessica Stanley in The Twilight Saga (2008–2012). Her starring role in Jason Reitman's comedy-drama film Up in the Air (2009) received praise from critics and earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She achieved further recognition for her starring role as Beca Mitchell in the Pitch Perfect film series (2012–2017).
Kendrick also had starring roles in the comedy-drama 50/50 (2011), the crime-drama End of Watch (2012), the musical-fantasy Into the Woods (2014), the drama Cake (2014), the adult comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016), the animated comedy Trolls (2016), the mystery-thriller comedy A Simple Favor (2018), the fantasy comedy Noelle (2019), and the animated sequel Trolls World Tour (2020). Kendrick also sang on various soundtracks for her films and published a memoir in 2016, titled Scrappy Little Nobody.
Early lifeKendrick was born on August 9, 1985, in Portland, Maine. She is the daughter of Janice (née Cooke), an accountant, and William Kendrick, a history teacher who also works in finance. Her maternal grandparents were Ronald and Ruth (née Small) Cooke. She has an older brother, actor Michael Cooke Kendrick, who appeared in the 2000 film Looking for an Echo. Kendrick is of English, Irish, and Scottish descent. She attended Deering High School in Portland before entering the entertainment business.
1998–2007: Early career, theater, and film debutKendrick started her career as a child, auditioning for theater productions in New York City. When she was 12 years of age, she played a supporting role in the 1998 Broadway musical High Society. Her performance earned her a Theater World Award, as well as nominations for Featured Actress in a Musical at the Drama Desk Awards and Tony Awards. She went on to play a supporting role in the 2003 New York City Opera production of Stephen Sondheim's musical A Little Night Music.
Kendrick made her film debut in the musical film Camp. Her performance as the nerdy Fritzi Wagner earned her a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance. She went on to play an ambitious high school debater in Rocket Science (2007), for which she earned a subsequent Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Female.
2008–2011: Twilight and Up in the AirKendrick rose to prominence in 2008 for the fantasy romance Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyer's novel of the same name, which became a major blockbuster at the box office. Kendrick played Jessica Stanley, a friend of protagonist Bella Swan. In 2009, she appeared in the comedy The Marc Pease Experience, played her first leading role in the crime thriller Elsewhere, and reprised her role as Jessica Stanley in Twilight's sequel, New Moon.
She then starred alongside George Clooney in director Jason Reitman's Up in the Air (2009). Her performance as an ambitious college graduate was praised by critics, who called it "funny and touching" and commented that she "grabs every scene she's in". She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at several awards ceremonies, including the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and BAFTA Awards.
In 2010, Kendrick again portrayed Jessica Stanley in the Twilight saga's third installment, Eclipse. Later that year, she appeared in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, in which she played the sister of the title character. The film did not fare well at the box office, but has emerged as a cult classic over time. In 2011, she appeared in the critically acclaimed comedy-drama 50/50, playing an inexperienced therapist to a cancer patient played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Later that year, she reprised her role of Jessica Stanley in Twilight's fourth installment, Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011), her final on-screen appearance in The Twilight Saga.
2012–2015: Pitch Perfect and Into the Woods
In 2012, Kendrick featured as part of the ensemble cast of What to Expect When You're Expecting, loosely based on the pregnancy guide of the same name. Also that year, she lent her voice to the stop-motion animated film ParaNorman, starred in the commercially successful crime drama End of Watch, and appeared in Robert Redford's political thriller The Company You Keep.
Kendrick's most successful film of 2012 was the musical comedy Pitch Perfect (2012), loosely based on the non-fiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory. Kendrick played the protagonist of the film, leading an ensemble cast. She played Beca Mitchell, a rebellious college freshman who joins an a cappella group called the Barden Bellas and finds that her more modern approach to music clashes with the traditional approach of the group's leader. The film emerged as a major commercial success and received mostly positive reviews from critics, who called Kendrick's performance "splendid", saying that she "hits just the right note between pithy and chummy."
In 2013, Kendrick featured in the romantic comedy-drama Drinking Buddies, which received mostly positive reviews from critics, as well as the largely panned fantasy comedy Rapture-Palooza.
At the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014, Kendrick was featured in three films. She played leading roles in the comedy-drama Happy Christmas and the horror comedy The Voices, which both received generally favorable reviews from critics, as well as a supporting role in the zombie comedy Life After Beth. Both Happy Christmas and Life After Beth received limited releases later in 2014, while The Voices was given a limited release in early 2015.
At the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2014, Kendrick was featured in two films. She starred in the musical romance The Last Five Years, an adaptation of the off-Broadway musical of the same name. While the film itself received mixed reviews, Kendrick garnered widespread critical acclaim for her performance. She also played a supporting role in the comedy-drama Cake. Cake was eventually given a wide release in January 2015, while The Last Five Years received a limited release in February 2015.
Kendrick was next seen playing Cinderella in Disney's Into the Woods (2014), director Rob Marshall's film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical of the same name. Kendrick was a part of the large ensemble cast. The film became a major commercial success and received mostly positive reviews from critics.
Kendrick competed in the first season of Lip Sync Battle against John Krasinski, one of the show's executive producers, in an episode aired in April 2015. She first performed "Steal My Girl" by One Direction in which she jokingly revealed the object of her affection to be Krasinski's newlywed wife, Emily Blunt. During her performance, Kendrick stares adoringly at images of Blunt on a monitor while sporting a t-shirt imprinted with a heart-shaped photograph of her and Blunt together. Kendrick also performed "Booty" by Jennifer Lopez in which she makes a surprise appearance at the end of the song. Krasinski performed "Bye Bye Bye" by NSYNC and "Proud Mary" by Ike & Tina Turner. The audience declared Kendrick the winner. The episode garnered over 1.75 million U.S. viewers.
Kendrick played a supporting role in Digging for Fire, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and received a limited release in August of that year. In May 2015, she reprised her role of Beca Mitchell in Pitch Perfect 2 (2015). The film, which followed Mitchell in her senior year of college as the co-president of the Barden Bellas, emerged as a major box office blockbuster and surpassed the success of the first film.
Kendrick starred in the action comedy Mr. Right, which premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and was released on April 8, 2016. She also starred in The Hollars, a comedy-drama directed by and starring John Krasinski, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and was theatrically released in August 2016. She was then seen in the coming-of-age film Get a Job, which received a limited release in March 2016 after being delayed since 2012.
Also in 2016, Kendrick starred in the commercially successful comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, voiced a main character, Poppy, in the animated film Trolls, and co-starred in the action thriller The Accountant. Kendrick's memoir Scrappy Little Nobody was published on November 15, 2016.
Kendrick starred in Table 19, which was released March 3, 2017. She again reprised the role of Beca Mitchell in Pitch Perfect 3, released on December 22, 2017. In September 2018, she starred as Stephanie Smothers in the mystery-thriller film A Simple Favor. Also in September 2018, Kendrick began appearing in a series of advertisements for Hilton Hotels.
In 2019, Kendrick co-starred in the satirical crime comedy The Day Shall Come and played the titular character in the Disney+ Christmas comedy Noelle. Kendrick also voiced a character in the Facebook Watch adult animated comedy series Human Discoveries.
Kendrick's reprised her role as Poppy in the 2020 sequel Trolls World Tour. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Universal Pictures released the film via video on-demand platforms as a digital rental on April 10. She starred in the Quibi comedy series Dummy, for which she also served as executive producer.