Anna Kendrick seeks pitch-perfect balance of work, workouts and sleep

Actress Anna Kendrick says she hates naps.
Actress Anna Kendrick says she hates naps.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

At 12, she was nominated for a Tony for the Broadway musical “High Society,” at 24, she snagged an Oscar nomination for the drama “Up in the Air,” and, at 27, her song “Cups,” from the hit comedy “Pitch Perfect,” went multi-platinum and became one of Billboard’s top songs. Now 29, Anna Kendrick also is known for her funny, insightful and unfiltered tweets.

Since December, Kendrick has played vastly different characters onscreen: an angel with a dark side in the drama “Cake” and Cinderella in the star-studded musical “Into the Woods.” In May, she will reprise her starring role in the much-anticipated sequel, “Pitch Perfect 2.”

Kendrick stars opposite Jeremy Jordan in the screen adaptation of the off-Broadway play “The Last Five Years.” The film, now in theaters for Valentine’s Day, follows the career-crossed lovers’ romance and bittersweet marriage, with each telling his or her story through song. Jordan’s character focuses on his sudden career success and newfound popularity with other women. Kendrick infuses her character, an aspiring actress, with hope and a heartfelt longing for lasting love.


This summer, Kendrick turns the big 3-0. How would she choose to celebrate? “I like to work on my birthday. If there’s a cake at lunchtime, I’m happy.”

How do you exercise, and do you have a trainer?

I’ve been taking Pure Barre, and I live in a part of L.A. where I can take a hike straight out my front door. If I’m on set and there’s no other option, I get on a treadmill, but that’s my most hated thing. I used to exercise an hour every day — no excuses. I live in absolutes: I either exercise every day or I let myself off the hook. I’m trying to find that balance of working out three or four days a week and sticking to it. I never have used a trainer. I’m slightly intimidated by the idea of somebody in my face.

Are there special foods you eat or avoid?

When I was making “The Last Five Years,” for the sake of my [singing] voice, I tried to avoid dairy and alcohol. Alcohol was easy. But dairy is in everything, so trying to avoid it is maddening. Even Brussels sprouts are cooked in butter. I never thought about the plight of the lactose intolerant before that.

What do you do to relax?


I want to try meditation, but I can barely get through an hour massage without talking. I’m teaching myself to cook, with varying results. I used to bake, but baking is so precise that you need more energy than I normally have at the end of the day. I made cauliflower soup last night. It was tasty, but I think I over-whipped it.

How much sleep do you get, and do you nap?

I’m not one who can get by on six hours sleep night after night. You can see it on my face and hear it in my voice. When working 14-hour days, I have to go home, go to sleep and wake up in time for crew call. I hate naps. They throw me off the rest of the day.

Buzzfeed raves about your tweets (@AnnaKendrick47). Your reaction?

It’s nice to feel that being honest is something that people respond to. A big part of online communities is the ability to talk about things that you wouldn’t admit to somebody face-to-face and have them support it. On a much smaller scale, I feel that I’ve been able to do that on Twitter.

Nancy Lloyd has also talked to Lucy Liu and Michael Strahan.