Into the Woods
College Conference Call with Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine
by Anthony Zangrillo
The first question dealt with Chris Pine previous experience with country music in a prior role in Small Town Saturday Night. Chris talked about the transition from musical theater and the great honor he embraced in facing this difficult genre.
Anna came in worrying that she was late (don’t worry we can wait).
Anna was asked a question about whether this movie could be enjoyed by both adults and children. Anna mentioned that the movie was based on stories told for generations. There was an element of pure fantasy mixed with an element of responsibility to look out for younger children. Anna talked about how the second half of the movie should prepare children for the realities of the world. As Chris Pine continued to “harass” Ms. Kendrick, Chris agreed with all of Anna’s eloquent sentiments.
Chris answered a question concerning the vibe on set. Director Rob Marshall, a musical theater veteran, created a wonderful and exciting atmosphere on set. Recognizing the importance of “previews,” Marshall began with a month of rehearsals, where the actors eased into this monumental project. This method fostered a great sense of community. Anna thanked Chris for his astute observation.
Another college interviewer asked how the actors made these iconic roles their own. Chris says that his prince was very different. The Prince was wonderfully self-absorbed, and Chris tried to bring some levity to the picture, because there was a little bit of a buffoon in The Prince. Cinderella gave him the chance to connect with her, but the prince wanted to live the storybook life that he was so accustomed to. Chris had a lot of fun with this role. Anna had fun watching Chris be a buffoon (baboon?).
Anna believed that it was important to update these roles for a new generation. This role allowed Anna to act as a neurotic, over-thinking princess. However, when the community was in crisis, it was clear what was important to her character. Anna relished the opportunity to make the princess clear and focused, as her character was forced to ask prince whether they live in same emotional world. Anna’s character realizes that she would rather chase the unknown then submit to the daily humdrums of her secure life.
Chris and Anna began to use “director” voices, which were hysterical. Although, Chris had to recover from Anna’s emotional attacks on him: “You look like a toddler that just got up.”
The last interviewer begins to ask a question when Anna mentions: “Sorry I was just telling Chris he can F*CK off.” On that note, Anna mentions that the Sondheim music of Into the Woods was more difficult than the pop music of Pitch Perfect. Anna was petrified and excited at the same time. It was so rewarding and fulfilling, representing a dream come true for Anna.
Anna and Chris seem to have an electric chemistry, which should come across on the screen through the buffoon prince and the neurotic princess. Into the Woods opens on Christmas Day.