Oscar- and Tony- nominated actress Anna Kendrick can now add author to her list of accomplishments with this month’s release of Scrappy Little Nobody, her collection of autobiographical essays about growing up in Maine, making it to Hollywood and the comedy she’s found along the way. She gave us a sneak peek before her appearance at the Back Bay Events Center on Nov. 16.
Why write a memoir at this point in your life? Well, first of all, [that’s] sort of a dangerous word: memoir. [There would be] really sideways glances, especially from anyone who’s older than me. I think that I just wanted to write something and got excited about creating something. … I think it was kind of an extension of finding that the more that I put in the world and on social media and the more that I’m myself in interviews, the more fun I have interacting with people when I meet them for the first time. And since meeting people for the first time causes me a great deal of anxiety, I think the more the better.
What chapter did you find most difficult to write? Chapters were difficult for different reasons, and one that I’m thinking about right now is the chapter about my early days and years in LA. It wasn’t that it was so difficult to write it, but it was genuinely kind of uncomfortable to revisit that time. I think it’s very easy after the fact to romanticize certain situations. To romanticize, certainly, any kind of starving artist narrative is tempting, but I felt so viscerally, physically uncomfortable going through pictures and being reminded of the total terror and uncertainty of that time.
But you’ve certainly gone on to find success. What was more nerve-wracking for you: your Tony nomination at age 12 or your Oscar nomination for Up in the Air? Oh, definitely the Oscar nomination. When I was 12, I had no idea what was going on.
In one chapter set early in your career, you swear off approaching celebrities. Has that still held true? I definitely will not make the first move. Meeting Beyoncé, she sort of held her hand out to grab me because she had seen the Kennedy Center Honors, I guess very recently. So she was like, “You’re so cute,” and I was like, “I love you. Marry me and be with me forever.”
You channeled RuPaul’s Drag Race by walking purse first into the Met Gala this year—when can we expect you to branch out into TV as a judge? I don’t want to be on my favorite show; I want to watch my favorite show. Anytime that I’m into a reality show like The Great British Bake Off or Master Chef or RuPaul, there will be some buzz around—“Would she be interested?” I always think, like, I just want to get in my PJs and watch my show. I don’t want to turn it into my job.