Plucky Trolls, Happiness and her Brilliant Career: A Conversation with Anna Kendrick for the Release of TROLLS
From DreamWorks Animation, TROLLS is a funny and irreverent musical adventure, starring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake. Kendrick is the voice of Poppy, the feisty and fearless leader of the Trolls, who are naturally cheerful and optimistic. They love to sing and dance, and they have rainbow-colored hair. Timberlake voices Branch, a gray and fearful troll. He is convinced that the Trolls’ mortal enemies, the Bergens, will track them down in their forest Utopia and capture them. The Bergens are miserable monsters and they are only happy when they eat Trolls.
The gifted comedian Russell Brand joins the cast as the voice of Creek, a wise, Zen-like, but rather arrogant, yogi Troll, who is captured by the Bergens, along with a group of Poppy’s best friends. They await a terrible fate. Unless Poppy and Branch can save them, they will be devoured.
The upbeat and exciting 3D film, from the creators of the SHREK movies, was directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn. Timberlake is the executive music producer.
Anna Kendrick stars opposite Justin Timberlake in TROLLS, a highly entertaining, upbeat and smart musical adventure from DreamWorks Animation. Kendrick is the voice of Poppy, the feisty, funny and fearless leader of the Trolls, who are naturally happy ... all the time! Distinguished by their long, colorful hair, the Trolls are optimists who love to sing and dance. On the contrary, Timberlake is the voice of Branch, a gray, reclusive and fearful Troll. Unlike the others, he is cautious and pessimistic, terrified of the Bergens, who want to capture the Trolls and eat them. The 3D film, from the creators of the SHREK movies, was directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn. Timberlake is the executive music producer.
Anna Kendrick’s Poppy epitomises the world of the Trolls. She is intrinsically upbeat and celebrates life. Pink and pretty with pink hair, Poppy, like all the trolls, wears a special watch that lights up on the hour, reminding her to hug. Together with her father, King Peppy, she and the other Trolls live in a Utopian world of friendship, celebration, rainbows and cupcakes. It’s a happy state of affairs. But one Troll doesn’t share Poppy and her friends’ optimism. Branch (voiced by Justin Timberlake) is perpetually sad and gloomy. He hides himself away because he’s worried that the Trolls are about to be captured by their sworn enemies, The Bergens, comically miserable monsters who are convinced that they can only be happy with a Troll in their stomach, essentially getting a taste of joy by osmosis!
The Bergens, ruled by Prince Gristle (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), hold a feast day called Trollstice when they devour Trolls they have captured. Sure enough, Branch’s fears come true. Hearing the Trolls dancing and singing, a Bergen track the Trolls down and kidnaps a group of Poppy’s pals. The fearless Poppy sets off to save her friends and Branch reluctantly joins her. We follow the pair on their funny and thrilling journey to Bergen Town on a mission to rescue the Trolls. When they arrive, there are surprises in store.
From the DreamWorks Animation team responsible for the SHREK hits, TROLLS has a similar irreverence and is equally hilarious. The film was inspired by the quirky cute/ugly dolls with brightly colored hair that were originally invented by a Danish woodcutter in 1959 and have been popular globally since the 70s. Visually, the world of the Trolls is stunning and original, with a distinct hand-made look, which mirrors Poppy’s passion for scrapbooking. Justin Timberlake is in charge of the upbeat music and the film is full of classics and original songs he wrote for the film, including ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling!’ (a number one hit). Also starring in the film are James Corden, Gwen Stefani, Zooey Deschanel and Russell Brand. ....
Anna Kendrick started performing professionally as a child; she starred in a Broadway production of HIGH SOCIETY and was nominated for a Tony Award when she was just 12. She made her film debut in CAMP, going on to star in the highly praised ROCKET SCIENCE, which led to an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress. The gifted actress earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, for her role in UP IN THE AIR. She took the lead in the massively popular musical films, PITCH PERFECT and PITCH PERFECT 2, which became the highest grossing musical film of all time. Kendrick’s credits include 50/50, END OF WATCH, DRINKING BUDDIES, THE LAST FIVE YEARS, CAKE and INTO THE WOODS. Kendrick also appeared in the TWILIGHT SAGA blockbusters. Recently she starred in MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES.
Kendrick’s upcoming films include THE ACCOUNTANT, TABLE 19, THE HOLLARS and PITCH PERFECT 3. The multi-talented actress has just written a collection of humorous, autobiographical essays entitled, ‘Scrappy Little Nobody’. Looking radiant, dressed in a black and white Jonathan Simkhai outfit, with Opening Ceremony sandals, Anna Kendrick sat down for the following interview at DreamWorks Animation Studios in Southern California.
What led to your involvement in the film?
To be honest, I probably would have done anything that DreamWorks had asked me to do. But they explained the film and it sounded great. 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?
When they were pitching the movie to me, I was told that Poppy is the happiest of all the Trolls, and the Trolls are already pretty happy. Poppy is love and joy and happiness. She thinks there’s good in everyone and wants everything to be rainbows and parties and cupcakes all the time. Poppy has a lot of pep and spark. We discussed the fact that, in real life, I am not really as relentlessly happy as Poppy and I said I would like to add some layers to her personality, as well as some mischief. The directors embraced that idea. So even though Poppy is the happiest Troll in the land, she has all these other wonderful qualities. One of my favorite things about her is her optimism, which annoys Branch, Justin Timberlake's character. I was surprised by how much the directors encouraged me to be a little feisty and mischievous, but that was great because being relentlessly happy can be annoying in a character.
She is a strong character isn’t she?
Even though Poppy is tiny and pink and wants to throw parties, she's a leader and she wants to be a good leader. She's tough, she's sassy and she is loyal. Her father, Peppy, has been the king of the Trolls for her whole life. She knows that one day, that will be her job, ruling the Trolls, and she takes the responsibility very seriously. So when a Bergen comes and kidnaps her friends, she is the one who is willing to go and save them, risking life and limb. She definitely has a can-do attitude and is out to prove herself. I think that because she’s happy all the time, you might think that she’s not that bright and you might assume that she’s soft, but she’s not soft at all, she’s actually hard as nails.
Can you talk about her appearance? Is there any of you in Poppy?
She is pink and her head is wider than her body, and yet I do think they’ve captured some of my expressions. It is really uncanny what the animators do with these characters. My biggest concern was whether or not Poppy would have a jeweled belly button because the Trolls with the jewels were my favourites when I owned them as a child. They said that she didn't, but that she did have glitter freckles, so that was okay. I okayed that! I loved her pink body and pink hair. She is unapologetically girly, but also so tough.
What do you think of the Trolls’ hair, their distinguishing physical characteristic?
Their hair has a life of its own. The Trolls can hide stuff in their hair, use it to pick stuff up, and they can fight with it. It makes you wonder why your own hair is not really useful (laughs). I spend so much time on my hair, but it just sits there on top of my head, not helping me to fight giant spiders or anything. At one point, Poppy is free falling and she uses her hair to walk very gracefully down to the ground, by turning it into a flight of stairs. The Trolls can use their hair for whatever they want.
DREAMWORKS TROLLS IS AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY™ AND DVD FROM 13TH FEBRUARY, FROM TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT