Anna Kendrick, along with Into the Woods co-star Emily Blunt, appeared on Black Friday at a special SAG Nominating Committee screening at the Pacific Design Center. The movie doesn’t open until December 25, and actors arrived early to save a seat at one of the first FYC screenings for the film.

Not a Little Girl Anymore

Kendrick said she was introduced to the musical through the PBS taping of the Stephen Sondheim musical starring Bernadette Peters, Joanna Cassidy, and Chip Zien. But she said she didn’t refer back to it when she got the part. And she didn’t get the part she assumed she was going to audition for. Kendrick assumed she was going to be Little Red Riding Hood.

“Oh, you’re going to cast an actual little girl,” thought Kendrick when she was asked to send in a tape. The diminutive actress was being thought of for Cinderella, not as the young girl in red. Blunt joked that Kendrick refused to look at Lilla Crawford, the actress who eventually played Hood, during filming.

Switching to Soprano wasn’t easy for Kendrick, and she feared her song would be cut. A whole day was scheduled for Cinderella’s solo, “Steps of the Palace.” But Kendrick said she wasn’t getting it as the day closed. Would her song be cast into the bushes?

Director Rob Marshall comforted her, saying they’d just do it the next day. Kendrick had just finished The Last Five Years, a low-budget musical where she said she slept on a church basement floor during shoots. She was unused to the luxury of the big budget that Into the Woods had. Another day of shooting was not a problem.

An alto, Kendrick said she had two weeks after Five Years wrapped to learn how to sing soprano. She recounted how she locked herself in a room with the sheet music and a lot of Youtube videos, trying to imitate sopranos. She got the thumbs up from the musical director.

And from her fellow SAG actors as well. There was a prolonged applause when the actresses were introduced on stage.

Into the Woods opens Christmas Eve.

 

 

–Ken Choy

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