Anna Kendrick revealed she is a survivor of emotional abuse.
The star of “Alice, Darling,” which is set to premiere at TIFF this year, opened up about connecting with Alanna Francis’ script about a woman who untangles herself from a toxic relationship with her boyfriend Simon (Charlie Carrick), who isolates her from her friends, played by Kaniehtiio Horn and Wunmi Mosaku. “Alice, Darling” is directed by Mary Nighy (“Industry”).
“I was coming out of a personal experience with emotional abuse and psychological abuse,” Kendrick told People of when she first read the script, which “resonated” with her. “I think my rep sent it to me, because he knew what I’d been dealing with and sent it along. Because he was like, ‘This sort of speaks to everything that you’ve been talking to me about.'”
The “Love Life” actress added, “It felt really distinct in that I had, frankly, seen a lot of movies about abusive or toxic relationships, and it didn’t really look like what was happening to me. It kind of helped me normalize and minimize what was happening to me, because I thought, ‘Well, if I was in an abusive relationship, it would look like that.'”
Kendrick continued that she was in a “situation where I loved and trusted this person more than I trusted myself” and believed her partner when he said she had a “distorted sense of reality” and she was “impossible.”
“Your life gets really confusing really quickly. And I was in a situation where, at the end, I had the unique experience of finding out that everything I thought was going on was in fact going on,” Kendrick shared. “So I had this kind of springboard for feeling and recovery that a lot of people don’t get.”
Reflecting on “what really happened” during her past relationship proved to be “the hardest task of my adult life.”
“My body still believes that it was my fault,” she said. “So even with this concrete jumping off point for me, to walk out of that relationship knowing that I wasn’t crazy, it’s incredible the way that recovery has been so challenging.”
Kendrick also shared with director Nighy what she was healing from at the time of production.
“I remember my first Zoom meeting with Mary Nighy, the director, disclosing to her what I was going through. And I even said to her, ‘This all happened very recently. In fact, it happened so recently that if the movie was shooting in a month, I probably shouldn’t do it,'” Kendrick said. “But it was many, many months away. So I wasn’t in danger of re-traumatizing myself. But yeah, it’s certainly a unique experience.”
Overall, “Alice, Darling” felt “incredibly cathartic” and “therapeutic” for Kendrick, who is now set to make her own directorial debut with “The Dating Game” based on the haunting true story of 1970s matchmaking show “The Dating Game” contestant Cheryl Bradshaw, who selects Rodney Alcala as her winner and husband-to-be. Yet unbeknownst to Cheryl, who Kendrick will play in the film, Alcala is a psychopathic killer.