Twilight Alum Voices "ParaNorman's" Teen Sis

Aug 16, 2012

By: Lynn Barker

Petite star Anna Kendrick has been in a ton of indie films, some for adults like Up in the Air but you know her as Bella’s friend Jessica Stanley in the “Twilight” movies. Anna has a ton of films coming up but also provided the voice for cute, junk-in-the-trunk teen sister Courtney in the new stop-motion animated, 3-D film ParaNorman about a group of kids and teens who have to fight zombies to save their town.

We wanted to know how Anna got in touch with her inner teen because she is just great at being Courtney in the movie. How does she feel about “Twilight” ending? And, oh yeah, what is it like for an actress when a hot restaurant names a hotdog after you? We’re in Beverly Hills to find out.

Kidzworld: Actors say they love recording voices for animation because you can just show up in your pajamas and do it on your own schedule. Is that how you feel?

  • Anna: Yeah. Well, I actually only showed up in pajamas once just to say that I did it. I’d always wanted to do an animated film, always wanted to voice something but didn’t know how one broke into that world. I was lucky enough to have this beautiful and special project fall into my lap. They just called me and offered it to me. Almost, without even reading the script I was like “Yes, yes, yes!”.

It was excited to realize that this was a kids’ adventure movie which was my favorite thing when I was growing up. It’s a band of hooligans trying to save the day and their parents are either nowhere to be found or no help. I used to love stories like that, like The Goonies when people are on their own self-contained adventure. In this case, they’re trying to save the entire town.

Courtney (voiced by Anna) and Mitch (Casey Affleck)
Courtney (voiced by Anna) and Mitch (Casey Affleck)

Kidzworld: How did you find your inner teen so well (Anna is in her 20’s). You really got your character Courtney down just right.

  • Anna: Thank you! I guess I tried to imagine the worst moments of my worst fights with my mom. I’ll be embarrassed about that forever and re-live those moments. I love how volatile she is. One mood swing can take her from being thrilled talking on the phone with a friend to screaming like she’s dying because she spilled a bottle of nail polish. She’s probably not the best person to go on an adventure with.

Kidzworld: Did you talk like she does when you were a teen?

  • Anna: No. I didn’t use that voice but it was a fun voice to find. All those vocalizations like “Ewwww” and “Urgh”, those were really fun to find. I thought that was embarrassing but I was in a safe space to record them. “Gaaaaa”.. we did all of those in a row at the end of the day. Casey (Affleck who voices the object of Courtney’s affection, jock Mitch) and I got to record together and we got all the dialogue out of the way and the end of the day was just grunting and moaning. It became competitive as to who could embarrass themselves the most. I was also screwing up my body in all kinds of weird positions.

    Courtney with crush Mitch

Kidzworld: Too much fun! So, how did you get to be brave enough as a kid to embark on an acting career? You were singing on Broadway at age 11 or 12.

  • Anna: When I look back it feels brave and scary and strange but, at the time, it was just “This is what I have to do. I don’t have a choice other than this”.  I took dance briefly and had this ballet teacher who said that when she was growing up they told her “If you can imagine yourself being happy doing anything but dancing, you should go and do it”. I felt that way about acting. It’s like I didn’t have a choice. I just mean it was all I ever planned on doing.

Kidzworld: How do you like Courtney’s look in the movie, a pony tail and track suits? Huh?

  • Anna: I know! I never got into anything like that. But they pointed out to me that Courtney and Mitch are opposite shapes. She’s a triangle (big bottom half) and he’s like an upside down triangle (big top half). They showed me the puppet on my first day and that helped a lot.

Kidzworld: This is your first voice role so was it weird for you to not be able to use your body in your acting as much?

  • Anna: It was weirdly freeing. It was helpful to not be worrying about how I was going to look because no matter how you try to be in character and in the moment there is that nagging part of me, that I hope will go away over time, where I tell myself things like “Don’t do that because your mouth looks weird when you do that”.

Kidzworld: We’ve gotta ask. Is it weird for the Twilight films to be ending? You spent a lot of your time on them. (Anna plays Bella’s high school friend in all but the very last film).

  • Anna: It’s weird to just not have it on the horizon because it was a part of my life for so long. It’s just like your favorite restaurant closing where you are like “Oh, right. I can’t go there anymore”. I’m not torn up about it but I keep reminding myself that it’s over. I keep imagining I’ll have to go shoot the next one.

Kidzworld: What was your last scene in Breaking Dawn Part 1?

  • Anna: It was the wedding where we’re dancing. It was freezing and raining and the middle of the night. We’re pretending it’s summer and it’s really 40 degrees and I’m in a summer dress. This is perfect. Cold and wet but pretending to be warm and happy. We were an hour out into the woods outside of Vancouver. But the whole experience is like going to summer camp where you feel very close to everybody when you’re there. I guess now I’ll have to make more of an effort to see the cast.

Anna (center) at Bella's Wedding
Anna (center) at Bella's Wedding in Breaking Dawn

Kidzworld: Did you have a fan reaction?

  • Anna: Not really. There was one little girl who actually screamed and ran in a circle like she was a puppy. So adorable. Mostly it’s just like “Hey, aren’t you that girl in Twilight? Can I have your picture for Facebook?” I’m just a connection to the movies. I’m a small representative of something they love.

Kidzworld: You are a good singer. Do you miss doing your music?

  • Anna: Yeah, I miss music. I just found out that somebody I didn’t suspect was a total Glee club nerd when he was in school. I love finding other choral singing geeks.

Kidzworld: So, Norman in this movie can talk to ghosts. Do you believe that might be possible?

  • Anna: I don’t. I like it for entertainment but I just don’t. I had this awkward moment with a guy I was making a movie with a couple of weeks ago (somebody in her upcoming movie called Drinking Buddies). He kind of believed in ghosts and the first conversation we ever had, I had been like “I don’t believe in ghosts. That’s so silly. Who believes in ghosts?” Oh, sorry! Can’t tell you who it was. Don’t want to embarrass him.

Kidzworld: Weren’t you shooting that in Chicago?

  • Anna: Yeah and you know what? They have this hotdog place called Hot Doug’s and I went there and they had a hotdog named after me! It was really spicy!! Awesome! The description in the menu was “mighty hot”. Love it. I didn’t have much time and there was a line. I wasn’t going to cut in line but I had to run back to work and I felt bad.  I just left in a hurry and I thanked Doug and signed the menu quickly and we ran out. Then I realized we didn’t pay!


ParaNorman - Official Trailer


readers voted!



JennyD wrote:

I have twilight right now :)
commented: Wed Aug 07, 2013


jordand08 wrote:

commented: Wed Aug 07, 2013


-Myelah- wrote:

dis is great
commented: Fri Nov 02, 2012

there are 4 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

share with your friends

Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg

like this article?
get more just like it in your email

What's your favorite food?
  • Vegetables like carrots
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Red Meat

related stories

A first look at the Twilight saga, featuring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
Kidzworld checks out the scary/funny stop motion animation film in 3-D
We’re cell-chatting with Kodi who voices the kid who saves his town from a witch’s curse!
Kidzworld continues our on set tour of Laika Studios in Oregon for ParaNorman. Kidzworld is treat...
We’re playing with puppets on the set of the new stop-motion 3-D comedy scarefest!

latest videos

Entertainment in the forums

Candygirlxxxx posted in Movies:
The Hunger Games is the best movie/book in the world !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
reply 42 minutes
imin posted in TV Shows:
Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon – Ek Baar Phir 23rd April 2014 The episode starts with Astha telling Shlok that she came to get a pen. Shlok looks in his laptop. Employee comes and asks him to come for the board meeting. Shlok leaves from his cabin. Shlok gives the presentation. Astha smiles looking at him. Shlok is surprised to see I love you Astha with Astha’s photo on the projector. He gets shocked and asks his employee to go. They smile. Astha tells Shlok that he confesses his feelings infront of everyone. Well done. Shlok gets angry at her. He says, those three words are not important for me. Astha says, it matters to me a lot. When you don’t know these three words then how will you know my feelings. Shlok says, it is waste to talk to you. Astha says, ok don’t tell me anything. She says sorry and leaves. Astha is walking on the road and thinks to take an auto. She says, he won’t confess his feelings. She is about to take an auto. Shlok comes and takes her in his car. Astha says, I don’t want to go with you. She gets sad thinking he will not say I love you. Shlok looks at her and stops the car. He gets down and Astha follows him. Astha asks him to come. Shlok shouts Astha I love you……………….. I love you so much……………………Astha gets surprised and happy. Shlok smiles. Saiyaave Ab Raasta Dikhade Tu…………………plays. Astha gets shy. Shlok asks, why are you feeling shy? Astha hugs him happily. Shlok too is happy and smiles. They close their eyes while the hug continues to be everlasting. They are standing on the middle of the road while the song Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon plays……….. Anjali is waiting for Astha. She wonders where they might be stuck. Sojal says, Astha don’t care about time. Anjali thinks to call Astha. Shlok is driving the car and holding Astha’s hand. Astha gets Anjali’s call. She asks him to leave her hand. Shlok says, no. You won’t talk to anybody and switches off the phone. Anjali gets annoyed as she thinks Astha rejected her call. Shlok gets romantic and says I hold your hand for life. Astha gets shy again. Shlol says, you looks cute when you gets shy. Iss Pyaar Ko Plays………………………………………………… Shlok looks lovingly at her. Astha and Shlok come home. Shlok holds her again and gets romantic. Astha asks him to leave her hand. Shlok says, I didn’t hold your hand to leave you. What is your problem. When I am loving you, you are not liking it. He says, I am loving you infront of everyone. Astha says, not infront of everyone. Shlok asks her to give him a book about the dos and donts. They come inside. Anjali asks Astha where is your phone. Astha says it was lost. Anjali looks at her phone. Astha says, battery was low. Niranjan asks Anjali to do the rituals first. Anjali asks Astha to do the grah pravesh. Astha looks at Shlok. They enter together while Shlok holding her hand. Anjali makes her wear veil and asks her to be in veil until morning. She says, everyone can see you except Shlok. Shlok gets angry. Anjali asks her to change her saree and wear the given saree. She asks her to stay in the guest room tonight, to be away from Shlok. Astha says ok. She goes inside with Anjali. Astha gets ready and thinks what is this ritual. Today Shlok confessed his feeling and I have to be away from him. Shlok looks at Astha’s photo in his laptop. He recalls saying I love you Astha. He comes out of his room. Varad stops her. Shlok says, I want to see Astha. Varad says, Aayi said you can’t see her. Shlok says, I will see her anyhow. Varad says, all the best. Astha is in the guest room and is restless. She thinks to send voice message to Shlok. She messages him I miss you Shlok. Anjali comes and asks her to come for the Moon Puja. Shlok thinks how to see Astha’s one glimpse. Astha looks at moon in the water and do the puja with Anjali and Sojal. Servant comes and informs Anjali that Niranjan is calling her. Anjali goes. Astha is doing the puja and prays for Shlok’s long life. Shlok comes there and says I will see my moon. Astha covers her face under the veil and runs. Shlok runs after her. Astha veil gets removed. Shlok is standing behind her. Astha hugs him and says you can’t see my face. Shlok says, I came to meet you alone. I will see your face at any cost. Astha runs. Precap: Shlok sees Astha’s face in the water. He says I am happy. Astha smiles. Neither your ritual have break nor my wish.
reply about 3 hours
Ghostling posted in Celebs:
I will be famous one day and therefore the answer is me c:
reply about 3 hours
Crisanna posted in Movies:
The Host was pretty awful. it was so long and not much happened in it
reply about 12 hours
Team Audi #46
Team Audi #46 posted in Movies:
"-Karpov-" wrote: "Thundertoronto" wrote: I could argue about sharknado, though. It WAS produced by the asylum, all their stuff is bad. Intentionally bad intended to be comical.  Me and my brother watched that and stopped about 30 minutes in. Ever watch Metal Tornado. We watched that all the way through but not Sharknado. It was worse than it intended to be. 
reply about 12 hours

play online games


A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...


Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...


Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...


Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...


We have all played the famous game Sudoku, now play it online with this Classic ...