‘Pitch Perfect’ Star Anna Kendrick Says Sexism Is Not Just A Hollywood Problem

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You know her on screen as the college freshman who saved the Bardon Bellas from obscurity in ‘Pitch Perfect’ and ‘Pitch Perfect 2’, but in real life, actress Anna Kendrick’s high note is her versatility, talent and career trajectory. While we may have to wait a while for the third installment of the aca-awesome movie, there’s so much more about Anna to love in the meantime.

Most recently she has been seen in the comedy ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’, which she has been promoting. But of course, as an outspoken feminist, who is adamant that her worth is not defined by a “most beautiful”-type entertainment publication list, there is not way she was going to pass up the opportunity to talk about issues in Hollywood that need to be addressed.

Given the uprising of actresses speaking out about unequal pay, discrimination they faced on certain jobs, and the number of women creating their own production companies in order to avoid more of these problems, this is the kind of empowering movement that is going to change the industry as a whole.

In an interview with the Telegraph in the UK, Anna didn’t have to go out of her way to include the issue of unfair treatment toward women in Hollywood as it was part of how she got the role of Alice. She said she read the script a year ago, and knew her real life best friend Aubrey Plaza was going to play her on-screen bestie, Tatiana, but they weren’t able to sign on for the job immediately.

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“You have to go through the process. We had to wait until the boys were cast. Then we got the parts we knew we would,” she explained.

Telegraph reporter Scarlett Russell at this point in the interview rightly so exclaims how unbelievable it is that an Oscar and Tony nominated actress, who was the lead in a box office no.1 film (‘Pitch Perfect 2’) wasn’t as important a casting as the boys (Zack Efron and Adam DeVine).

While she jokes about the situation because she knew she had the role in the bag, saying “Besides, I like letting men think they’re in control”, she certainly doesn’t downplay that it is part of the greater issue in Hollywood.

“Sexism exists and it’s a f—king problem,” she said, leaving no doubts about her thoughts on it.

But she is also quick to point out that this is not a problem that exists in isolation in the film industry.

“Pinpointing it to Hollywood isn’t helpful. Women everywhere deal with this s—t; it’s a global problem. Resisting diversity is bizarre but it’s good that [some stars] are bringing that issue to light. Hopefully that will trickle through all areas of the workforce,” she said.

Anna seems to think the gender push back doesn’t make sense because when you look at how popular some of her fellow female comedians and actresses are, there’s no denying that female-driven entertainment is certainly not a niche category or special interest.

Tina Fey is an influence on every man, woman and child alive and Amy Schumer  is a genius. Great comediennes, like them, take issues like sexism that you feel strongly about and pinpoint them in such a way that you completely agree. Bette Midler movies, Janeane Garofalo stand-up and The Catherine Tate Show were always part of my life. But now men are noticing and going, ‘Wow, women in comedy, this is a thing.’ And we’re saying, ‘Yeah, we’ve always been here. Had you not noticed?'” she said.

Although she joked about letting men think they are in control, when it comes to audience reaction, the studios should be paying more attention and set their standards according to the demand, instead of what was status quo back in the ’50s.

In the current era where comedies that feature men and women as equal counterparts, as opposed to women just being the token eye-candy or collateral characters (think ‘Neighbors’, ‘Trainwreck’ or ‘Knocked Up’, for example), we’re not surprised that people were more excited about ‘Mike and Dave’ once they knew Aubrey and Anna were signed on.

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“[When] Adam and Zac were cast first, from the online forum conversations, everyone thought it was just another bro-comedy. Then Aubrey and I were announced and [the reaction] was more like, ‘Oh, right, so it’s a comedy for women as well.’ That was humbling. Instead of assuming we were just playing the dumb dates, it felt that we were taken seriously as comedy actors,” she said.

It seems so redundant that highly-acclaimed actresses like Anna have to even go through the motions to somehow “prove” themselves to Hollywood studios. We’ve seen time and time again, examples of women who are cast in equal and opposite roles to men (Robin Wright in ‘House of Cards’, Charlize Theron in ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’ and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’) have had to fight just to be paid the same. Shouldn’t ratings, box office numbers and dollar signs be enough?

Like Anna said, this is certainly not just a Hollywood problem. The more women are able to speak out about it, and turn it into a positive learning opportunity to change something, the less likely we are to see outdated traditions and standards continued.

We have no doubt the forthcoming third ‘Pitch Perfect’ movie is going to be an even bigger winner at the box office, and we can’t wait to see Anna reprise her role as Beca!

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One Comment

  1. Just saw Pitch Perfect 3 trailer. Looks like its going to be another year of fun ride. Incredibly excited to see the Bella ladies returning on screen. Wish there was something going on between Beca and Chloe in this one. Give something for use queer ladies too, will you Trish 😉

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