As the animated film, Trolls, releases next week, Anna Kendrick tells us what to expect.
With her book, Scrappy Little Nobody, set to release next month and her comedy, Table 19, releasing early next year, American actress Anna Kendrick is one busy star. While the Twilight Saga star’s recent release with Ben Affleck (The Accountant) has received more bad reviews than good ones, the 31-year-old is all set for her next, Trolls. Playing Poppy, the funny and fearless leader of the happy bunch who reside in a Utopia-like land in this musical adventure, Kendrick tells us how it was working with Justin Timberlake (who plays Branch, the reclusive troll) and anecdotes from the sets.
What led to you accepting this role?
To be honest, I probably would have done anything that DreamWorks had asked me to do. They told me about Poppy, using a lot of visual references, and, after a while, I was waiting for them to stop talking so that I could say ‘yes’.
Who is Poppy?
Poppy is the happiest of all the trolls. She wants everything to be rainbows and parties and cupcakes all the time. We discussed the fact that, in real life, I am not really as relentlessly happy as Poppy, and I said I’d like to add some layers to her personality. The directors embraced that idea. I was surprised by how much they encouraged me to be a little feisty and mischievous.
What do you think of the Trolls’ hair, their distinguishing characteristic?
Their hair has a life of its own. The trolls can hide stuff in it, use it to pick stuff up, and they can even fight with it. It makes you wonder why your own hair is not really useful (laughs).
How interesting was it for you to do a musical?
It is a dream to do animation, comedy and music in one film. There is a lot of throwback music, and I think Justin (Timberlake) has tried to incorporate that sound into the new songs. It was great singing covers of classics like The Sound of Silence and Move Your Feet . Or our version, Move Your Hair. It does feel a bit like I’m singing in the shower and getting paid for it.
What was it like working with Justin Timberlake?
He is an exemplary co-worker. He acted as the vocal producer for every session and it was great having him shepherd those performances. For example, I was doing a certain riff at the beginning of the song, Get Back Up Again, and he said, ‘You should save that riff until the end of the song so that it builds.’ He gave me notes that I would not think about.
How was your experience working with the directors, Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn?
Mike and Walt are so much fun to work with and they were in there with me reading the dialogue (in the sound booth). It got to the point where they were doing impressions of Justin, James Corden, Russell Brand and Zooey Deschanel. Even though they do terrible impressions (laughs), I understood what they were going for, so it was actually really helpful to have them so willing to make fools of themselves.
Trolls hits theatres on November 4.
Besides starring as the voice of Branch, you were in charge of the music. How did you manage both?
Playing the character is like jumping into the eye of the storm, with Anna and her character Poppy. Being involved in the music is all about helping to tell the story. It is like being a mile away from that storm, looking at it and helping to move it in a certain direction and, hopefully, making it sound good. The jobs were informing each other for me. I got to see so much of all the characters while creating music for certain scenes, and I could observe their little idiosyncrasies. Then I would jump back (into the acting). But there was a whole team of people contributing to the music; it was not just me saying, ‘I think we should do this song here.’ It’s great to get the points of view of the directors and producers.
— Team Indulge