As the "Twilight" film franchise has shifted from under-the-radar property to out-of-this-world media and entertainment spectacle, actress Anna Kendrick has quietly continued to play the small role of Jessica Stanley, one of Bella Swan's high school classmates. The 24-year-old has had a front-row seat as co-stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have become paparazzi targets whose every sneeze becomes tabloid-news fodder. After seeing what those two have endured, Kendrick is thankful for the relative obscurity of her part in the vampire saga.
"I would have gone insane at this point!" she told MTV News while promoting the George Clooney comedy "Up in the Air" at the Toronto International Film Festival. "They're so levelheaded. They've handled it so gracefully."
With "New Moon" set for a November release and "Eclipse" currently filming in Vancouver, the entire cast has had to contend with the increased media attention. "Thank God that people exist who know how to handle that," Kendrick said, speaking about the "Eclipse" shoot. "The production has managed to keep out a lot of onlookers. You know that they're there. That kind of does affect the way you feel, but it's one of those things — you just get over it. If there are a ton of background actors in scenes, it's the same thing. You just have to tune it out."
The enlarged awareness of all things "Twilight" extends to the ways in which filmmakers adapt author Stephenie Meyer's source material, omitting certain plot points while amplifying or creating others. Kendrick points out that there is less pressure to stay 100 percent faithful with her character than there is with any of the vampires.
"The thing about playing one of the human characters, the non-supernatural characters in the 'Twilight' series, is we have a lot more liberty to make it our own and change things, because people don't have that attachment that they do to the myth, the world that Stephenie Meyer created in terms of the supernatural aspect," the actress explained. "So we've never really gotten in trouble for straying a little bit. We're having fun. We've been faithful to the book, but [there are] a few changes."