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Anna Kendrick on ‘ParaNorman’ and Improvising with Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘End of Watch’

Anna Kendrick admits to being an animation geek.  So it’s easy to see why the actress was so excited to get the part in the upcoming film, ParaNorman.

In an interview with NBC, Kendrick said, “I genuinely love the art form.  And I think some of the best storytelling takes place in animation, because they have the luxury of the time to kind of workshop through it.  With film sometimes you just get what you got.  And you’ve got to edit it the best that you can.  And it seems like some of the best storytelling comes through that workshopping process of seeing how the storyboards are coming together and what it actually sounds like once you hear it out loud.  So I’m just happy to be a part of this.”

ParaNorman tells the story of a young boy who has to save his town from supernatural forces.  Kendrick plays the boy’s older sister.  “I’d always wanted to do an animated film, so I jumped at the opportunity,” she said.  “This is my first one.  I was really nervous because I’m not great at ADR [Automated Dialog Replacement or looping], so I wasn’t sure how this was going to be.  But, it was, actually really, really freeing.  In ADR, you’re watching your own movie and trying to say your line.  In this, I just felt like it was a really safe space, and it was okay to make really ugly faces and really ugly body gestures.  To use all those things as tools was really helpful.  To not be self-conscious about the way you look on camera helps the intention to be really pure.”

Kendrick has several projects coming up.  She also will star in End of Watch, a Jake Gyllenhaal drama, set to be released September 21.  The actress is enjoying the fact that her career is diverse.  “Part of it is obviously just like I was lucky to be invited to be a part of those movies,” she said.  “You can’t just bang on the door to a cop drama.  I was lucky enough to have David Hayter trust me and invite me into that set.  But I feel really lucky to do that.  I just think it would just be no fun to do the same kind of thing over and over again.”

The 26-year-old also liked working on End of Watch because it was shot found-footage style.  “In places, it was difficult…because we were improv-ing so much for so long,” Kendrick said.  “And there would be times where we would allow a real conversation to just bleed into a scene.  So there would be times when Jake would be telling me that something happened in his hometown and I’d think, ‘Wait—YOUR hometown or Brian’s hometown?’  But that was exciting.  Then it’s trying to remember, ‘Okay, once we are in a scene I am this character and I am not myself.’  Because, yeah, the line started getting really blurry.  But that was exciting.”

ParaNorman will be in theaters August 17.

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