Singer, actress and newly-published author Anna Kendrick took center stage Friday night alongside psychology professor Angela Duckworth. The night was filled with laughter and motivation and — needless to say — Penn certainly missed Kendrick when she was gone.
The night certainly started on a light note. Not only was the audience amused after Duckworth talked about being a “Twi-Prof” — referring to the film Twilight, in which Kendrick appears — adding that she saw each of the films premiere at midnight.
The discussion shifted to Kendrick’s new book, “Scrappy Little Nobody,” after Duckworth expressed interest in learning where the title came from.
The “little” part of the title came from Kendrick’s reluctance to admit that her height, 5-foot-2, is considered petite. The “scrappy” came from a nickname a friend gave her in response to how hard she worked to get some of the most desired roles in Hollywood.
“The ‘nobody’ was about trying to honor and hold onto the person that you are when you feel like a nobody,” Kendrick said. “That’s the person you should aspire to. That’s the person you should honor.”
Kendrick dedicated the book to her brother, whom she said always reminds her of her life before fame.
The singer recalled her brother telling her, “You’re still scrappy — you just get more emails.”
The conversation continued down the path of Kendrick’s first move to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. Kendrick discussed how nervous she was about not having a back-up plan when all of her friends at the time were going off to college.
“Every phone call I had with them was like torture because they were meeting all these new friends and some of them were in sororities,” she said. “They had the next four years mapped out for them and I was so envious.”
However, Kendrick went on to say that the next year uncertainty struck some of her college friends and she turned out to be the one who had a better idea of what she wanted to do.
Kendrick reminded the Penn students in the audience to be open and patient when finding their paths in life.
“Things taking a while doesn’t mean you deserve it less,” she said.
This message certainly resonated with many Penn students in the audience, such as College senior Hannah Harney.
“I do feel like people who know what they want to do are lucky in some way,” Harney said. “When she talked about how she had that feeling, but still felt entirely lost, it was a perspective I never really thought of before.”
Kendrick said she plans to continue acting and singing as long as she can, and not because she feels like she has to prove something.
“I do want to make sure that the reason I am doing things is because I love it and that it’s still my creative outlet.”
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