Anna Kendrick is kind of a force of nature in Hollywood these days, but back when she was an unknown teenager she starred in an indie film she thought no one would ever see about a group of misfit kids who go to a performing arts summer camp.
“I guess, if I’m honest, it didn’t feel like we were making a real movie,” she writes in Scrappy Little Nobody. “Real movies had famous actors in them, like Tom Hanks or the German lady from Austin Powers (my metric was all over the place). And films about teenagers had gorgeous, polished, twenty-five-year-old actors, and the plots revolved around summer crushes–not going to prom in drag and getting your ass kicked.”
Kendrick was 16 at the time of the shoot, which save for the opening shots was done at Stagedoor Manor in upstate New York. She admits that while she would be “thrilled to play such a twisted little character” like Fritzi now, she wasn’t quite as excited then.
“My big problem was Fritzi, a weird girl with greasy hair and terrible clothes who happened to be the character I was playing, Fritzi was the camp loser and she was obsessed with (and probably in love with) Jill, the hot, popular girl at camp,” she writes.
Kendrick devotes an entire chapter in her book to the film that would play well at the Sundance Film Festival and earn her a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award but barely register with her high school classmates when the decision to market it as a teen romp “backfired enormously.”
Camp has since become a cult classic in part because of Kendrick’s rise and also because many of its themes have become more socially acceptable than they were in 2003.
“People have either never heard of it or they want to tell me that it changed their life, no matter how inappropriate the circumstances,” she writes.