Where things really differ with Kendrick is the factor of accessibility.
"Authenticity" is cited as the reason why we've fallen for Jennifer Lawrence. She's a refreshingly "real" woman (the others presumably holograms, whose scientific makeup renders them incapable of admitting how much they love eating, being goofy and hot dogs). Yet, almost as quickly as Lawrence rose up came backlash anticipating backlash. After her second time tripping at the Oscars, Jared Leto and the collective entertainment media seemed to wonder if this woman we love so much for being "real" might actually be a bit contrived.
There's little insight as to what Lawrence is like in an environment where she's not performing. We don't necessarily deserve that insight; she's an actor and her job is to act. What it means, though, is that our perception of her off-screen is restricted to the red carpet, whimsical interaction with late night hosts or the pages of a magazine. It's always one step removed. There's no primary source for all the little anecdotes about "exercising your vagina," for example; they all come filtered through some media middleman. As Vulture wrote of her sweetheart status, there's a version of this where Lawrence could be "Katniss-ing" us.
She doesn't have a Twitter and she never will. To be fair, would you, if there were hackers hellbent on disseminating your nude photos? The Internet has "scorned" Lawrence, she said, and she has a point. Still, there's no way to interact -- or, at least, feel like we're interacting with her directly. This is where the foil of Anna Kendrick comes in.
She doesn't have a Twitter and she never will.
Kendrick is similarly a master of the sort of persona that has pushed Lawrence to her current stratosphere of fame. They both poke fun at themselves while skewering celebrity culture. Even if you think Lawrence has been through some sort of PR charm school or "Cool Girl" boot camp to get where she is, there's still something refreshing about her inherent anarchy. At almost every appearance, Lawrence and Kendrick manage to poke a few more holes in the paradoxical rigor of what it means to be a famous lady in this cultural moment. (There are also economic factors in the perception of authenticity, but that's another article.)
Where things really differ with Kendrick is the factor of accessibility. Everything in Hollywood may as well be fake, but Kendrick's consistently hilarious tweets don't seem like something a publicist could make up if they tried. And the tone Kendrick employs on Twitter can be traced back far before she had the level of stardom that would require that kind of persona-crafting staff. More so than any plausible fabrication, the sense of separation that persists with Lawrence is gone. You can tweet back at her, and she might even respond to you! With her burgeoning fame, that continued access makes Kendrick a particularly interesting figure.
For someone with such an intense need to be liked you'd think I would have figured out how to be less of an asshole.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) September 2, 2013
If her humility in that medium feels startlingly genuine, that's because it is. "To be perfectly honest, the world does it for me every day," she told HuffPost Entertainment, while curled up in a fluffy white robe in her room at the Waldorf Astoria. "Really, really, really. You know, for every person that says, 'I love your work and my daughter thinks you’re great and we watch all your movies,' and is very kind, there are 10 more that are like, 'Who are you? What’s your name? Are you on 'House of Cards'?'"
She apparently has a running joke with Kate Mara, who starred on "House of Cards," about the resemblance. "She's like, 'Somebody just told me I was great in that movie with George Clooney,'" she said. "Kate's a babe, so I’m not mad about it. It just kind of puts you in your place. If I took myself too seriously, I would be a mess everyday, because the world keeps my ego in check."
"The world keeps my ego in check."
That's not self-pity. She held strong eye contact, and said it with an air of confidence that carried awareness of the fact that she's awesome (and starring in five films next year alone). It felt like exactly the kind of thing you would hope @AnnaKendrick47 would say in real life. And then the woman responsible for handling her during a press day for Disney's forthcoming adaptation of "Into the Woods" walked into the room.
"One more minute," she said.
With the reminder comes the reality that this exceptionally little person cuddled on the couch is a still a movie star. She plays Cinderella in Rob Marshall's new film, sharing scenes with other movie stars like Emily Blunt and Chris Pine. In addition to the publicist, there are two other people waiting to take care of her outside. What is that like? Does she ever have to filter herself? (How does such a radically self-deprecating person fit into this world of constant curation?)
"I feel like what I say on Twitter has actually a lower rate of misinterpretation than what I say on interviews, because I’m just kind of rambling on interviews, and I'm just talking, talking and talking," she said, stopping herself from "talking and talking" some more. "It's almost better that Twitter limits me to 140 characters. There's only so much trouble I can get in."
"Into the Woods" is out in wide release Dec. 25.