Anna Kendrick is one of the most likable actresses around, and one of the hardest-working, judging by her film slate. She’s been nominated for both a Tony and an Oscar, hosted Saturday Night Live, and sang in front of the President. At only 31 years old, she’s done and accomplished more than enough to merit a memoir.
Like its author, Scrappy Little Nobody is very appealing. Starting with her days as a child actress in the theater, Kendrick is admirably frank about her insecurities, faults, and youthful transgressions. She also describes in great detail her early days as a broke young actress in LA, with the concomitant crazy roommates, horrible audition stories, and unhealthy relationships.
After getting her big break with her Oscar-nominated role in Up in the Air, Kendrick’s memoir becomes a how-to guide for getting through celebrity while still maintaining your sanity. The pitfalls of award season are gone through in depth, from how to keep your fancy dress from wrinkling in the car ride over to how to deal with paparazzi demanding that you smile.
What’s surprising about the book is how little of it is actually about acting. There’s a few stories about people who were nice to her on set, like George Clooney and her Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore, but if you’re looking for behind the scenes stories or insider gossip, this is not the book for you.
To put it in movie terms, Scrappy Little Nobody has a likable lead in the starring role, but some script problems keep it from becoming a real blockbuster.