With Pitch Perfect 2 just 10 days away, we’re counting down (clearly) to when Anna Kendrick and her team of Barden Bellas blow us away with their aca-awesome acapella again. But if you’re pining for some Anna-sung earworms, you don’t have to wait that long. Her musical flick The Last Five Years is out on Blu-ray and DVD today.
Last fall, we caught up with Kendrick and her co-star Jeremy Jordan (of Smash and Broadway’s Newsies fame) when they took the movie to the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, an adaptation of a beloved off-Broadway production of the early aughts, follows the falling-in-and-out-of-love story of novelist Jamie Wellerstein (Jordan) and actress Cathy Hiatt (Kendrick). It takes you through the last five years of their relationship in New York, hence the title, with Jamie retelling it from the end to the beginning, and Cathy moving from the beginning to the end. Their marriage eventually falls apart, and you learn all of this through a dialogue told in song.
“I had to audition and really fight to get this part, but it was definitely worth it to be the one to kind of bring this to a bigger audience,” said Jordan. Below, check out a few fun facts about this musical through the eyes of its stars.
It Took Three Weeks to Shoot
“It was short. But it’s an indie film, so it was low budget. We shot it in New York City. We had little time and we only had Anna for so long, because she’s just famous," Jordan says. "So a lot of the big numbers you see, like 'If I Didn’t Believe in You,'—those were shot in one day.”
Anna Was a Little Intimidated by Jeremy
“He’s so talented and so disciplined," Kendrick says. "It was obviously very intimidating singing next to somebody of his caliber. It really kept me on my toes and kept me working hard. I was like, you know, try not to suck too hard.”
Jeremy Thinks Anna’s a Firecracker
“She’s sarcastic as hell. Total firecracker and dork. But then on set, when we’re working, she’s always present; she’s always there. It was great to learn from a seasoned film actress," Jordan says. "I’ve done a few film things, but nothing this intimate, certainly. I grew a lot working alongside her, which is great. There’s not many better people I can learn from.”
They Got Drunk Together Before the First Day of Filming
“It was a three-week process, so we had to get to know each other real quick, real fast, and really intimately. So, the first day we met, we actually went out for a drink at some local dive bar in New York. It turned into this crazy intense conversation," Jordan says. "We told each other all our secrets. It turns out, she can drink me under the table and I was completely obliterated. And then the next day we just went to work.”
She Didn’t Want to Act Like Brother and Sister
“Quickly, we realized we had about five years of work to do in no time at all. So we just got wasted to try to break down some of those barriers, ‘cause otherwise it would have been one of those long, any brothers or sisters type conversations,” Kendrick says.
Filming in New York City Was Her Favorite Part
“I was so grateful just to be living in New York singing this music every day," Kendrick says. "I felt scandalously privileged to be doing it.”
Watch a trailer for the film below:
—With additional reporting by Janelle Grodsky