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Sweatpants & Pop Culture | Wisdom from Anna Kendrick

By Shandle Blaha

Anna Kendrick first came on the scene as Jessica Stanley, Bella Swan’s frenemy in the Twilight movies and she is no longer a plucky sidekick but a leading lady in her own right. She went on to star alongside George Clooney and won an Oscar for her role in Up in the Air before stealing our aca-loving hearts as Beca in Pitch Perfect. She’s a triple threat who can sing, dance, and act, and she even wrote her own book! There is nothing this lady can’t do, and I could think of no better way to celebrate her on her birthday than to share some of my favorite quotes from her memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody.

On rules:

“I happen to love rules. I love having a plan. I love a film set that’s run like a well-oiled machine. I thrive in structure; I drown in chaos. I love rules and I love following them. Unless that rule is stupid. And yes, I have felt qualified, no matter my age, to make that determination. Scrupulous people don’t enjoy causing trouble, but they can be defiant as hell.”

On writing:

“Sure, it will be hard, but all you need to be a writer is perseverance, a low-level alcohol dependency, and a questionable moral compass.”

“My handwriting as an angsty teen was appalling, yet somehow better than it is now.”

On being an actor:

“Having to fight for the thing you want doesn’t mean you deserve it any less.”

“People being tough with you doesn’t mean they’re villains.”

“Maybe we all have imposter syndrome and perpetually feel like our real life is right around the corner.”

“I lost a Tony Award to Broadway legend Audra McDonald when I was twelve, so I’ve been a bitter bitch since before my first period.”

On pumpkin:

“I will defend pumpkin until the day I die. It’s delicious. It’s healthy. I don’t understand the backlash. How did pumpkin become this embarrassing thing to love but bacon is still the cool flavor to add to everything? I don’t have anything against bacon; just don’t come after pumpkin like it’s a crime to love an American staple.”

On niceness:

“I gave up on being Nice. I started putting more value on other qualities instead: passion, bravery, intelligence, practicality, humor, patience, fairness, sensitivity. Those last three might seem like they are covered by “nice,” but they are not … I’d prefer to be around people who have any of the above qualities over “niceness,” and I’d prefer if that applies to me too.”

“As Sondheim said, Nice is different than good. Do you need to do whatever you’re told to be a nice person? Maybe. Do you need to do whatever you’re told to be a good person? Of course not! Man, woman, personal, professional – some people have a skill for persuading you that the best thing you can be is obedient.”

On relationships:

“Don’t try to participate in anyone else’s idea of what is supposed to happen in a relationship. You will fail.”

“I’m not interested in pretending to be a reluctant participant because you think girls who like sex are a turnoff. If you think girls are supposed to object to sex until they find themselves incapable of resisting your magic penis, fuck you. (Unless this is a role-play fantasy between consenting adults, in which case I’ll go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and grab some props right now.)”

“*Some dudes like to say that men have the instinct to spread their seed, while women are supposed to protect their reproductive organs from everything but the best sperm for the strongest potential offspring. By that logic every woman in the world should be saving herself for Dwayne “The Rock’ Johnson and never let any of you shitheads touch her. Seriously, you guys should stop using that argument.”

“I realized that modern flirting was essentially just being mean while smiling.”

“Lesson for young men: if you want your eventual wife to be excited about sucking your dick for forty years, don’t create a generation of women who think enthusiasm about sex is a bad thing.”

On being perfect: 

“I think I need to become perfect all at once, so I keep getting overwhelmed and putting it off. I can’t remember the last time that I didn’t have something hanging over my head. There are usually about thirty to eighty things. Is that normal? Don’t tell me. If it’s not, I’m a jerk. If it is, that’s super-depressing, and I know I’ll just use “this is normal” as an excuse to procrastinate even more.”

On dealing with your enemies:

“Jessica became my first enemy. Like most enemies in my life, I hoped to punish her with passive-aggressive glances and silent-but passionate!-resentment. She retaliated by forgetting I existed. Ah, the moral victory.”

On feeling like an outsider:

“It’s like, it’s like I have a different heart. The other girls have one kind of heart, and I have a different kind.” My mom was understandably confused. “Are you saying they’re mean?” “No . . . I don’t know.” Saying other kids were mean felt like I was saying I was more kind, which definitely wasn’t it—more anxious maybe, more sensitive. I guess all I was feeling was that I was different. Sometimes I’ll be at work or a party and get that same feeling. I am not like these people. I don’t know what I’m doing here. And it comforts me to know that I felt that way as a child, too. Maybe that should make me feel worse, but it makes me calm and resolved. I’ve been prepared to be an outsider most of my life.”

Wise, talented, feminist and beautiful, is there anything she can’t do?

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About Shandle Blaha (164 Articles)
Shandle is the Operations Director for Sweatpants & Coffee. She works from home so she wears yoga pants every day and loves some coffee in her cream and sugar. A rerun of Friends is always on her TV and her stack of books to read is always growing. She and her husband love to travel and you can follow her travels on Instagram at: shandle_spc.

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