Anna Kendrick drew on her own personal experience with an abusive relationship when playing her character in Alice, Darling, a new drama about a woman who begins to deteriorate mentally during a girl trip with friends because of the abuse she receives from her boyfriend.
Directed by Mary Nighy and distributed by Lionsgate, Alice, Darling is now playing in theaters. In addition to Kendrick, the film also stars Wunmi Mosaku, Kaniehtiio Horn and Charlie Carrick.
As both the star and an executive producer on the film, it was vitally important to Kendrick that the movie didn’t show Alice being abused point-blank, but rather to let the toll it takes on her mental and physical health speak for itself.
For example, Kendrick never wanted to show an altercation between Alice and her boyfriend Simon (Carrick) “that reached a level where anybody in the audience would go, ‘Oh, okay, so he is abusive,'” Kendrick told MovieMaker in a video interview, which you can watch above.
“It shouldn’t take you getting thrown against a wall to know that you’re in an abusive relationship and you deserve to leave.”
When Anna Kendrick herself was in a relationship that she identifies as abusive — she has not named the person she was with at the time — she found it difficult to confide in friends, which is something Alice struggles with in the movie.
“I really knew that if I told one person everything, they would be like, ‘Babe, sweetie, no more. You have to get out.’ And I knew that I couldn’t handle that,” she says. “So I didn’t do that. And I think that I have people that I’m close to that knew how much they could push and what I was ready to hear and what I wasn’t ready to hear. And so I think that’s really challenging.”
She found the process of making Alice, Darling very healing in her own recovery process. Part of that healing happened during a conversation with fellow castmember Wunmi Mosaku.
“The first day that I met Wunmi [Mosaku], who plays Sophie… we were talking about the script and how we both liked that it didn’t really show you what was going on. And I was saying, ‘I really hope that works,'” Kendrick says. “She was like, ‘Well, Anna, you’re the evidence.’ And she was talking about the performance, but it really impacted me to hear that, because that’s kind of the recovery process — is trusting that you are the evidence, because that’s all you have is your experience. And it was therefore equally important to me to trust that the audience would see that Alice is the evidence, if that makes sense. That we don’t have to see a ton of Simon’s behavior, because we see the impact it’s had on her and we trust her.”
Anna Kendrick did eventually leave that relationship. She shared the advice she has for others going through a similar struggle.
“I think if you can afford it, go to therapy. Aand if you can’t afford it, maybe check out Al Anon. I think that the the most important thing would be, if you think you’re might be in this kind of situation, you can definitely obsess about it online and watch all the YouTube videos and articles and order the books and stuff, and that’s helpful in its own way — but it’s always going to be relational stuff that helps you the most. And so being around other people — whether that’s in a support group, or a therapist, or your friends — I think is the most valuable thing.”
Watch our full interview with Anna Kendrick above.
Main Image: Wunmi Mosaku, Anna Kendrick and Kaniehtiio Horn in Alice, Darling. Photo Credit: Lionsgate