50/50 will mark the second time that Anna Kendrick and Bryce Dallas Howard have worked together in a movie and not shared screen time with one another. Although they really want to be on set together, it never seems to work out.
The two actresses recently took some time to sit down and talk with us at TIFF and they discussed the film as well as its dark subject matter, their roles and more!
Check it out below.
”All I want to do in life is work with Anna Kendrick!” laughed Howard while in Toronto promoting 50/50 at the Toronto International Film Festival “We did Twilight Eclipse together and we did (50/50) together and we just keep not being on the set at the same time. We really enjoy each other during press and I just wanna be in a scene with that girl, but I had a great time with these boys.”
The “boys” she’s referring to are the film’s stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen (who also acts as the film’s producer), Director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) and Writer Will Reiser on whom the film is based.
At the age of 24, Reiser was diagnosed with rare form of cancer. After surviving a risky but life-saving operation, he’s now cancer-free and promoting the film he wrote as part of his healing process. While much of the film is based in truth, both Howard and Kendrick’s characters are works of fiction.
Kendrick plays Katherine, a young trainee therapist assigned to counsel lead character Adam after his diagnosis and see him through treatment. She’s enthusiastic about her job, but doesn’t have a lot of experience.
“The way that I related to Katherine came from feeling really vulnerable and inexperienced at press and red carpets and I felt like everyone immediately expected me to know what I was doing. You’re supposed to know all the right things to say and the social things you’re supposed to do at these parties where everyone scares you.
I really felt happy to have Katherine to channel all of that insecurity and vulnerability into. She’s in a similar situation where she thinks she’s supposed to know what to say to help these people and it’s actually tripping her up. It’s the thing that’s preventing her from really getting through to Adam and helping him in a significant way.”
Howard takes on the thankless role of Adam’s girlfriend Rachel, a self-centred contemporary abstract artist who has a not-great reaction to Adam’s illness.
“The way I viewed it was that they’d been dating for two and a half or three months and definitely were not right for each other and she probably was going to be breaking up with him in the next week. She had already told all of her friends and stuff like that. Then when he tells her that he has cancer, she doesn’t really know what to do. Clearly she’s a very immature person and makes some really bad choices and ultimately does something that really hurts him. (Adam’s illness) brings out the best in some people and it also brings out the worst and this happened to being out the worst in her.”
Despite the film’s dark subject matter, both Reiser and Rogen were insistent that humour play a big part on set and that no one dwell on “The C Word.”
“There was a levity on set,” revealed Howard “It was a very fun environment so we never really stepped aside and broke down some of the more dramatic elements of the film and also Will’s own personal experience. It was more about the comedy. The boys messed up so many takes because they were laughing behind the monitors. Our focus on the set was definitely in regards to the comedy.”
Kendrick agreed, “Will was great to have on set but I was nervous to meet him because I thought I was supposed to say something really profound and thank him for sharing his experience but I think if I’ve learned anything it’s that he wants to be treated like a normal human being.”
Both actresses have made names for themselves in much bigger budget projects. Howard most recently in this summer’s sleeper hit The Help, and Kendrick for her Oscar-nominated turn in 2009’s Up in the Air, not to mention her supporting role in the massively-popular Twilight series.
“It is such a bizarre thing. It feels like I have these two jobs and one of them is making movies, trying to choose the right role and all the stuff that goes along with that and then I also do these movies in the middle of the woods that are about vampires and werewolves. It’s sort of fun, like I live a triple life: at home in sweatpants, my regular acting career and then these crazy teenage phenomenon movies that get girls screaming.”
50/50 fell into Kendrick’s lap while she was doing press for Up in the Air and she immediately knew it was the right project for her despite the numerous other higher profile movie offers she was fielding.
“George Clooney told me, you can make a bad movie out of a good script but you can’t make a good movie out of a bad one — I just knew (50/50) was a good one”
That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Bryce and Anna very much for talking with us. Check out 50/50 when it opens in theatres on September 30.