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Sunday Funday

How to have the best Sunday in L.A., according to disco diva Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick in a '70s disco outfit surrounded by a constellation of a TV, disco ball, and cocktail.
(Lia Tin / For The Times)
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In Sunday Funday, L.A. people give us a play-by-play of their ideal Sunday around town. Find ideas and inspiration on where to go, what to eat and how to enjoy life on the weekends.

On a recent Sunday, Anna Kendrick spent the entire day in bed.

“But in fairness, I had just wrapped directing my first feature, so my body was just like, ‘No b—, sit down. You’re done for now,’” Kendrick quickly adds, as if she’s the lazy type.

Most recently, Kendrick has been directing a true-crime thriller tentatively called “The Dating Game.” It’s based on the story of Cheryl Bradshaw, a bachelorette on the matchmaking show in 1978 who later discovers that the charming bachelor she selected for a date — Rodney Alcala, played by Daniel Zovatto — is a psychopathic serial killer. Kendrick, who is also producing, plays Bradshaw.

“To be using my brain in that way felt really exhilarating and joyful,” Kendrick says about directing for the first time.

“I think there are times where my hypervigilance expresses itself as control even when I’m not in charge, so that’s not great,” she adds, giggling. “It was nice to actually be given a lot of responsibility even though it was really scary. I had more fun than I’ve had in years.”

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The Tony- and Oscar-nominated actress — who could pursue a career in stand-up comedy if she wanted to — also has been busy promoting “Alice, Darling,” a psychological thriller about a woman trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship. It’s a project Kendrick nearly turned down after coming out of a similar experience in her own life. But the “crucial” support of her therapist and the film team, helped her feel safe on set, Kendrick told The Times. “Alice, Darling” hits theaters in L.A. on Dec. 30, and Kendrick will be at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 14 to promote the flick.

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It’s rare for Kendrick to have a Sunday off these days. But she says that she’s “very much looking forward to getting enough rest” — once her work is complete — so that she can have ample energy for her “aspirational” Sunday, which involves day drinking by the pool, going on an hours-long hike and attending an immersive ’70s-themed dance party. Kendrick’s rundown of her ideal Sunday in L.A. has been edited for length and clarity.

7 a.m.: Eat breakfast ASAP or risk being “hangry”

I do feel like I’m finally entering that phase of my life — and I don’t know if I’m happy about this or not — when I wake up at 7 a.m. at the absolute latest. I used to be a champion of just sleeping until noon, and it’s kind of a bummer that I’m one of those people who can’t really sleep in. But it’s also nice and feels enriching.

I’m also one of those people who has to eat within like 90 seconds of being awake or I will burn your house down. I know there are a lot of people who are like, “Why would I be hungry? I just woke up,” and I don’t relate. The only thing that basically gets me out of bed is the fact that I can go and have food. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to fast for bloodwork at the doctor’s office, but I go into that office and you would think that I was secretly plotting revenge against everybody there. I’m always like, “Just do the blood draw and then I can have a power bar.” At home, I have to make a very boring simple breakfast in the morning because I’m being dead serious, I wouldn’t wait for an egg to cook. I definitely have to eat prepackaged things like cereal, oatmeal or a bar or something. Like I’m not living my Chrissy Teigen life where I make a full beautiful breakfast. I don’t know whether she does that or not, but I imagine that she does. What do I know?

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8 a.m.: A lengthy, aspirational hike

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If I’m being my best self this Sunday, I won’t wait for the sunset hike. I do a morning hike, because then it’s done. I used to live by the perfect hourlong hike, and now I’m closer to an area where my choices are either this full-out, brutal three-hour hike or a 20-minute thing that’s just to say that you did it and got outside. But if it’s an ideal Sunday, then maybe the brutal hike near Laurel Canyon isn’t super brutal — to be fair I’ve never done the full thing — and I just find myself in a very healthy spirit and I just leisurely go on this long hike. And I feel very good about myself afterwards.

11 a.m.: Homemade cocktails by the pool

I have a pool for the first time in my life as of recently, and I was always worried that if I ever ended up in a house with a pool, I wouldn’t use it. So I’m going to say that I rinse off, and then I get in the pool. I’m trying to force myself to use the pool, which I feel so weird saying, as though it’s a chore. I know it’s supposed to be a dream, but I’m not exactly — I don’t know if you can tell by looking at me — a beach bunny. Like I’m just the whitest, translucent little guppy human being. So I’ve already been out on this long hike, risking a sunburn.

Once I get in the pool, I’m texting people until somebody answers and wants to come over. I feel like because I have a pool now, I have a little bit more of a draw. It’s like my company is tolerable, sure, but I have a pool, so maybe you want to come over? Also, I’ve got so much liquor in the house because I’m teaching myself to make cocktails, so I’m always making cocktails for whoever comes over and trying a new drink. Basically any cocktail that has the egg white foam is kind of a crowd-pleaser. It feels like a nice surprise to go to somebody’s home and get something with a nice foamy top. I feel like especially if it’s a pool day, a gin cocktail is smart.

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2 p.m.: Trashy TV and takeout

I love that thing when you’re outside with a friend and you both get a little sun-stroked and you end up on the couch in towels like when you’re an 8-year-old, and you’re snacking and watching “Love Is Blind” or something. Ideally we’d have a conversation in the pool that’s very high-minded and talking about, you know, issues of the day and spirituality and psychology and all the fancy things. Then just blowing all our credibility by watching trashy reality TV once we get inside is the mood.

One of my favorite guilty pleasure order-in things because it’s not inexpensive is Crossroads Kitchen. Like ahhh. It’s so delightful. Everything they make is so delicious and wonderful. The spicy meatball pizza, the Impossible cigars and definitely some kind of pasta. I think they do a spaghetti carbonara where they imitate a real egg so perfectly, like you even cut into the yolk and it drizzles over the carbonara. I don’t know what they’re doing back there or what kind of black magic they’ve got going on, but I encourage it.

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4 p.m.: Watch the sunset

I’d definitely have to get back outside to watch the sunset. The December sunsets are so insane. Depending on the angle of the sun, it might be best to go for just a little stroll around the neighborhood. We don’t have to go hard because we did a very intense hike this morning, but a little stroll to kind of get the best view and maybe say hi to some of the dogs in the neighborhood. I’m too irresponsible to have a dog, but I do need a fix every now and then.

We’d be listening to music while going on the stroll. I’ve been out of the music loop for a couple months because I was directing my first feature, so I’ve been enjoying the curated playlists my friends have been sending me lately.

9 p.m.: Dance at Night Fever

I’d go to my friends J.T. [Swierczek] and Justin [Fix’s] event. They put on these — I don’t even know what to call them — they’re like experiences. One of my favorite productions that they’ve put on was called Night Fever, [which is currently on break]. It was kind of half themed bar, half interactive theater, except that if you don’t want to interact with the theater, you don’t have to. You can also just be there in a ’70s outfit, get a cocktail and observe, and everybody comes so dressed up. One of the last times my best friend and I went, we were both worried that we went too crazy and we were going to look like try-hards, but we were like the least dressed up. They went really full-out on their outfits, and you do the hustle on the light-up dance floor, and everybody looks incredible. Everybody’s so committed to the wardrobe and the vibe that you can’t tell who’s in the show and who’s not.

Night Fever goes late enough that at a certain point one of the busboys runs around with all this pizza and says, “Someone accidentally delivered all this pizza.” At that point, you’re tired enough and drunk enough and hungry enough that you’re like, “I’m going to eat that pizza.” So they don’t serve food, per se, it is just a bar, but then there’s all this delivery pizza that shows up and people are just ravenous. But it feels very true, some 19-year-old busboy being like, “I don’t know. Do you want some pizza?”

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1 a.m.: Scrub off the glitter

If I don’t have work in the morning, I might stay out as late as 1 a.m. After a night like that, especially where I’ve probably — even though I know better — committed to glitter on my face, I’m going to be forcing myself to use a million makeup wipes and cleansing water before I even get into using an actual cleanser. Because we all know glitter is the herpes of the crafting and makeup world. So you have to be diligent or it will just be with you forever. I don’t think I’ve fallen asleep in my makeup since I was like 23, so I would be trying to be really, really diligent about making sure that I still get my face clean and moisturized. But on this night, I’m probably not brushing my teeth if I’m keeping it totally honest.

2 a.m.: Fall down a YouTube rabbit hole

I’ll probably end up in a weird YouTube rabbit hole. I love those like, “A Medieval expert breaks down these scenes for historical accuracy” or “A Harvard professor teaches you how to negotiate.” And I never absorb any of it. I’m still just as stupid as I was when I woke up that morning, but it’s very entertaining.

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