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Anna Kendrick got out of a long, toxic and emotionally abusive relationship, so she made a film about a

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Anna Kendrick in 'Alice, Darling' (Lionsgate)

Anna Kendrick in ‘Alice, Darling’ (Lionsgate)

Anna Kendrick has spoken openly about the fact that she can very closely relate to her character in the new drama. alice, dear— a thirty-something professional from Toronto who slowly, painfully comes to terms with being trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship.

It was also part of the reason why she made the movie.

As alice, dear was scheduled to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, Kendrick revealed the People that she herself had just come out of “a personal experience with emotional and psychological abuse” when she was offered the role. “It kind of helped me normalize and downplay what was happening to me, because I thought, ‘Well, if I was in an abusive relationship, this would be it.’”

In Dax Shepherd Armchair Specialist podcast, Kendrick opened up even further, describing the hostility she faced over the course of her six-year relationship with a live-in boyfriend and admitting she felt ashamed that she didn’t break up sooner. (While Kendrick didn’t name her ex, and dated director Edgar Wright and Bill Hader for brief periods, there’s strong speculation that it must be British cinematographer Ben Richardson, whom the actress met on the 2013 comedy Drinking friends and was in a relationship from 2014 to 2020.)

In a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment, the 37-year-old Pitch perfect and Up in the air actress talks about how unfortunately relationships like hers and Alice’s are common in reality.

“A question I get a lot is, ‘Did you do a lot of research? And I think a lot of people who worked on this movie, myself included, would say, ‘No need,’” says Kendrick. “And I think most people who watch the movie [will] they say they were Alice or they know someone who was Alice… I think that kind of abuse is very common and it is very, very difficult to talk about it because it is very difficult to identify.”

ALICE, DARLING, from left: Wunmi Mosaku, Anna Kendrick, Kaniehtiio Horn, 2022 © Lionsgate / Courtesy The Everett Collection

ALICE, DARLING, from left: Wunmi Mosaku, Anna Kendrick, Kaniehtiio Horn, 2022 © Lionsgate / Courtesy Everett Collection

Written by Alanna Francis and directed by Mary Nighy, alice, dear begins when Kendrick’s eponymous character is invited to join his closest friends Sophie (Wunmi Mosaka) and Tess (Kaniehtiio Horn) for a getaway at Sophie’s family’s country home. So intimidated by her British artist boyfriend Simon (Charlie Carrick) – a man who has apparently taken control over her lifestyle and diet, among other things – and how he will react to the idea, the usually nervous Alice lies and tells him she has who travel for work.

In the countryside, a week of relaxation, wine and paddle boarding turns into an intervention, however, when Alice’s friends observe her as a shell of her former self. Or, as Kendrick describes it in the film’s first act, “a kind of wet blanket. It’s not as cool and not as fun. I think sometimes that’s the experience when a friend of hers is going through something… But you have to hope that the audience stays and kind of has a catharsis with her when she starts to peel back the layers.”

Part of the difficulty with Anna’s mindset around her situation – and one aspect that is universal among many women in toxic relationships – is that she doesn’t recognize Simon as abusive because he isn’t. physically abusive.

In one of the film’s subplots that is clearly commenting on this, the quiet rural town where Alice and her friends are on vacation is in turmoil as residents search for the body of a young woman suspected of having been killed by her boyfriend. It’s a quest that Alice finally joins.

“That backdrop of going on vacation in a community where a local girl has been missing for several days was very clever world-building and tone,” says Kendrick. “It makes perfect sense that for Alice it’s like, ‘Well, it’s easier for me to focus on this missing girl who’s really in trouble. I’m not in trouble. This girl is in trouble. And the more she can hyperfocus on anything but her own experience, the more she can put off acknowledging how bad her situation is.

“I thought it was such beautiful writing.”

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 11: (L-R) Kaniethiio Horn, Anna Kendrick and Mary Nighy attend the

TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 11: (L-R) Kaniethiio Horn, Anna Kendrick and Mary Nighy attend the premiere of “Alice, Darling” during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 11, 2022 in Toronto , Ontario. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

It was important — but not the end of it — to Kendrick that the film be written and directed by women, which is often evident in the nuances and attention to detail in how Alice carries herself or prepares for the film. day. The film only authentically feelings like it was made by women.

“It was great to be surrounded by women, not [necessarily] because only they could understand, I think any genre can fall victim to that kind of abuse,” says Kendrick, who recently wrapped production on his directorial debut, the real-life thriller the dating game.

“But just in terms of wanting to be open and vulnerable, and not just to be open and vulnerable of themselves, but to direct that towards others, that’s something that I think, not that women are better, but that women are better. have been more socialized to do, so they are generally more practiced. And I say usually, because it’s not always like that. But I felt very surrounded by people who could tolerate me or any artist on any given day being in a very, very uncomfortable space and knowing how to kind of energetically give you what you needed, whether it’s like space or closeness or the whatever. . It felt like there was a really connected energy on set. I don’t know if it was because there were so many women or not.”

alice, dear opens friday.

Watch the trailer:

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