Once a Bella, always a Bella. That’s the motto according to Pitch Perfect 2 star Anna Camp, who plays recent Barden University grad Aubrey Posen in the film, out Friday. Camp recently stopped by InStyle’s New York offices to chat all things aca-awesome, and she told us that the Barden Bella bond is truly unbreakable—both onscreen and off. As she put it, “The basis of the movie is about being a Bella for life.”
That’s why, even though Camp’s character has left the world of college singing competitions and Treblemakers behind, she still has her a cappella troop by her side. “It’s really sentimental for Aubrey to know that she has this family and this sorority of women forever,” said Camp. She tells InStyle what to expect from the girl-power-packed sequel—which also stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany Snow—and reveals what went down on set.
The film marks Elizabeth Banks's directorial debut. Did she share any words of wisdom with the cast?
She would tell us, “Don’t be afraid to try things and fail.” And I think that’s when you really get the best work and the funniest moments—when you’re not afraid to jump in. She just really understands the tone of the movie, so you’ve got that campy, funny, crazy side, but it’s also grounded in reality.
With so many hilarious actors on set, it must be hard to stick to the script. Was there a lot of improv?
Oh my god, yes. Rebel Wilson just opens the door for that, so you have to improv with her. She’ll come up with something that’s nowhere near the script, and in order to keep up with the scene, you’ve got to go with it. So you’re just lobbing these tennis balls back and forth, having a blast, and hoping they’ll edit out the moment where you all just laugh.
Speaking of funny scenes, Aubrey’s had a few memorable ones—like when she throws up onstage in the first movie. Can we expect more gross-out moments from her this time around?
That was disgusting the first time I had to do that. I can’t really say if there’s any more, but I will tell you that it’s a maybe! Aubrey has definitely changed. She’s a little older and a little wiser, and she’s got herself together a little bit better than she did in college.
So, what exactly is Aubrey up to these days?
She’s moved on and graduated. Now, she’s running her own team building retreat. Towards the end of the movie, when everybody comes back and they find her there, she sort of redirects them on the path to harmony.
Now that she's no longer decked out in Barden Bella costumes, how has her style changed?
She wore a lot of Anthropologie in the first film, and she wears mostly camp counselor outfits in the second one. But we do have some cool clothes in the finale—they’ve stepped it up. You walk into the makeup and hair trailer now and it’s like, more lashes, more hair, more everything.
There’s also a new version of “Cups,” the breakout song from Pitch Perfect. Can you do the entire clap-heavy routine from the original?
It’s actually really, really hard. We pared it down as a beautiful campfire song, which is in the trailer, and I think that it’s one of the most heartfelt scenes in the sequel. We were all just sitting there together, having a beautiful conversation, and then we started to sing. It’s one of my favorite songs that I’ve done in the films. It just meant so much to us when we filmed it.
Did the cast hang out together between takes?
Yes! We’re all really close. Every time I see Brittany [Snow], we have a strange little way of speaking and all of these jokes. We use funny voices, and we call each other little elves. When you’re bonding for that many hours on set, it’s kind of a magical experience to be with people who are really fun and don’t take themselves too seriously, but are very professional and cool.
Watch a trailer for Pitch Perfect 2 below, and catch the film in theaters this Friday, May 15.