Anna Kendrick says she almost turned down ‘Alice, Darling’ role because of past abuse

A woman with long brown hair stands at a lectern in front of a microphone.
Anna Kendrick speaks at a news conference for the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Sept. 21, 2021.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)

Anna Kendrick says she nearly turned down her latest role as a woman in an emotionally abusive relationship in “Alice, Darling,” because she was only recently removed from a similar situation.

In an interview with People, Kendrick talked about how the part echoed her own life.

“I was coming out of a personal experience with emotional abuse and psychological abuse,” she said. “I think my rep sent it to me, because he knew what I’d been dealing with and sent it along. Because he was like, ‘This sort of speaks to everything that you’ve been talking to me about.’”


The Mary Nighy-directed film follows Alice (Kendrick) as her closest friends (Wunmi Mosaku and Kaniehtiio Horn) help her deal with the emotional ramifications of dating an abusive boyfriend (Charlie Carrick). The movie premieres Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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The “Up in the Air” actor said she discussed her experience with Nighy before signing on to do the film.

“I even said to her, ‘This all happened very recently. In fact, it happened so recently that if the movie was shooting in a month, I probably shouldn’t do it.’ But it was many, many months away. So I wasn’t in danger of re-traumatizing myself.

“I was in a situation where I loved and trusted this person more than I trusted myself,” she said. “So when that person is telling you that you have a distorted sense of reality and that you are impossible and that all the stuff that you think is going on is not going on, your life gets really confusing really quickly.”

Kendrick called processing that psychological toll “the hardest task of my adult life.”


“My body still believes that it was my fault,” the Oscar-nominated actor said. “So even with this concrete jumping-off point for me, to walk out of that relationship knowing that I wasn’t crazy, it’s incredible the way that recovery has been so challenging.”

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Kendrick described making “Alice, Darling” as “incredibly cathartic” and said the part aided in her recovery process.

“It kind of helped me normalize and minimize what was happening to me, because I thought, ‘Well, if I was in an abusive relationship, it would look like that.’”

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