There’s a lot to be said about a movie that just completely takes you by surprise. At first Pitch Perfect seemed like just another one of those live-action films that makes use of pop culture references and top 40 songs. But it actually can work if you have the right people. Anna Camp (True Blood and The Mindy Project) and Skylar Astin (Hamlet 2) were a part of the musical and comedic troupe that made Pitch Perfect so great. Check out our interview with the two actors below.
You guys came in with a song in your heart, I was just wondering were you the kind of kids that were that would just burst out a song in the middle of class when you were younger?
Skylar Astin: It probably depends for me. Teachers loved me or hated me because I was a charmer. So If I liked that if I could possibly sing, I would do a little thing. But I don’t think the science teachers really liked me, the English teachers did though. Did you have any songs in your heart?
Anna Camp: You know I sang a little bit here and there, I don’t think I sang in science. I did get into trouble with my English teacher for talking a lot and using weird voices and I got suspended. It was bad. It was with Ms. Egan
But it paid off obviously.
Camp: Yeah I guess so. It was hard to contain then, its hard to contain now.
Astin: She was suspended from our movie too
Camp: I was. For doing weird voices.
Could you share some of your favorite songs that you performed and were there any songs you wished you could have performed?
Camp: My favorite song I performed was the Bruno Mars “Just The Way You Are,” when our character were in the empty pool. I think it’s just a turning point for my character, where she is giving up control. And it was such a beautiful orchestraion, and I loved how everything worked out. I loved, loved doing that.
Astin: I loved doing Cee Lo’s Bright Lights in the Big City. That was definitely a favorite of mine, because I love to get all soulful. And a close second would be Flo Rida’s Ride Around, because I could rap, which I never really done before. But I really loved watching the girl’s finale. That was my favorite thing to enjoy and sit back and watch.
Anna, can you really have fun with a tightly wound character?
Camp: Yeah. I think with a character like that, with so much boiling underneath the surface is such a treat as an actor, because to be fighting against so much going inside but also trying to repress it and not show it just gives so much to play. I think those characters are some of the most interesting, because you don’t know when they are going to pop or if they ever will. You sort of see they let a little bit out and then they hold it back; it’s just a very dynamic. You know people do that all the time they force themselves to not say something they really want to say or not do something they really want to do. Just that inner struggle of seeing everybody get along and others going against her and just having those doubts of maybe maybe what I am doing is wrong but not wanting to let them know them that she is having those doubts. I hope that Aubrey is a fully realized person and that she’s not the man girl bitch and you sorta feel sorry for her too.
Astin: And your character literally pops.
Camp: She literally explodes, exactly.
Astin: Yeah sometimes she holds back her vomit and sometimes she lets it out.
Camp: She represses all of it and then she also has that huge explosion and release. But it is also symbolic. You know she’s letting it all go. Literally and you know
Astin: There is something to be said about the one scene, where you let it go. That could be a very strange part of the film and it makes me laugh every time uncontrollably.
Could you share some of your own personal vomit stories?
Astin: I was once with my brother at his college, and it was winter, and I was wearing one of those jackets that had those furry hoods. I was at a keg party at a fraternity house, and this guy did this epic keg stand and I was walking away, and he literally puked in my entire hood. It was disgusting, I didn’t know what to do. I took off the jacket, it was freezing the rest of the night.
Was it ruined?
Astin: Competely ruined, the guy literally let his lunch out. You can’t judge this question. What’s your worse puke story? Eww that’ gross. And that’s my worse puke story.
Camp: I remember being in third grade and I had a crush on this boy named Scott Toole.
Astin: Oh god
Camp: Such an unfortunate last name. But I would follow him around, but he didn’t like me. So I would follow him around trying to get this guy to like me. And I remember one day it was lunch and we were in the cafeteria and I sat near him, and the poor guy lost it. And he vomited everywhere, and I remember stopped liking him after.
Astin: How shallow.
Camp: It gave me a good reason not to like him anymore. And that was the end of my love affair with Scott Toole. Single tear.
Astin: Poor Scott Toole.
How did you guys keep yourselves motivated during the shoot?
Astin: We hung out a lot, you know [Anna] Kendrick had a lot of big tasks on this movie, so I am pretty sure she was a little bit more pooped then the rest of us. But we hung out for dinners.
Camp: But I was tired at some point, there was the finale. I was going back and forth between shooting the beginning and the finale in the same day, so I would have to change wardrobe, change hair, I would also have to remember choreography, because the choreography is similar at times, so it became a title exhausting for me on that one specific day, so I definitely drank a lot of vitamin c, b12, vitamins happening at some point. Besides that it was hanging out and supporting everybody.
Astin: It wasn’t such a competition as much as it was in the film.
What was the most difficult shoot?
Astin: I think shooting the riff off was actually not as fun as it looked just because it was a night shoot, so any time you do something that takes place at night its at three am, so to wake up from that and we were also shooting in an actual hallowed out pool that was kind of dingy and dirty but it looked so good on camera. But those days were kind of stuff, because there were scenes where there were no places to keep cast chairs or warmers things so we bonded a lot that night.
Camp: I guess there was one scene that was the worst and the best, it was the throw up. Because there was a hose attached to my face and it was under my chin and teh stunt guy was off to the side and he would press a button and it was so powerful that it would knock me off my feet. It got everybody laughing, and it got all over me, all over everything. And it got people everywhere. It was actually gross, actually cold. But it was fun.
Skylar do you love Breakfast Club as much as your character?
Yes, I do. I don’t quote it or move my mouth along with the lines as much but I always loved The Breakfast Club and I did watch it once or twice before filming, just to become more familiar with it. I think its an absolutely iconic movie, and I am so thrilled to be part of something that is going to shed light on those classic for a new generation.
Did the accacuse me get stuck in your head?
Accayes. No it was a tricky thing because I wanted to make sure that Aubrey was very committed to saying that and that she wasn’t in on the joke. Because this was very serious for her and it would fly out of her mouth and she wouldn’t even have to think about it. It was in in her speech and that’s how she talked and hopefully people can laugh at it without it being to jarring.
Was there any room for improv?
Astin: Yeah, some more than others. Rebel and Adam got to fly off the handle a little bit. For Anna Kendrick and I, since we are the more rounding elements in the film, we kinda had to stay sharper and crisper in the dialogue and it became more of a witty banter. But there were definite times where we got to live in a conversational period.. I think in the scene where I got drunk at the hoodie night I got to get a way with a couple of things here and there. And during the audition scenes I was able to throw in a couple of lines. But I think you had more opportunities than I did.
Camp: Yeah, my character is so by the book and such a sticklar that I wanted to reign everybody in. There were some moments before the performances where we we all in that huddle and I was so frustrated that I came up with some stuff on the spot.
What did you take away from working with Rebel Wilson?
Astin: She brought a lot to the table. She’s definitely our home run hitter, I think that I don’t want to reveal too much about her process, because that is hers, but I will say that she is a very crafty comedian and she comes to the set more prepared than you think. It seems like she is having a great time at spit balling. She’s a blast on set and she’s so fun. But I think she’s got a couple of those witty things back in the corner and she lets them all go and its a thrill because you knew it was coming but it never got tired or boring and it was always exciting to watch. I didn’t get to actually act opposite of her as much as Anna did, so i finally got to take a front row seat in front of the monitor with the headphones and have my very own Rebel Wilson movie.
Camp: Just watching her as another actor she really leaves no stone unturned when you leave a scene. She really minds everything in the moment and its really inspiring and it makes you want say ‘I want to do that too in this scene or the next scene.’ She really nails it and she does everything that she wants, and its inspiring to watch.