Fast Company has a new feature out in which it lists the “most creative people of 2014.” UPROXX sweetheart Anna Kendrick is number eight on that list and the magazine’s feature on her opens with a great anecdote about our girl’s penchant for hanging out in dog parks to meet dogs.
“Oh, I love this guy,” Anna Kendrick says, as a bichon frise greets her hand with its tongue. “Hi, pal! You’re a good guy!” The 28-year-old actress is sitting on a bench in a Hollywood Hills dog park, where a half-dozen or so of California’s chicest hounds are frolicking in a grassy meadow, enjoying a lazy morning on the last day before spring. Off to Kendrick’s right, a galumphing golden retriever chases down a slobbery tennis ball. “I want to steal that fucking dog,” she says.
The pooch-loving Kendrick doesn’t own a dog right now; having six movies coming out over the next 18 months puts a bit of a crimp in pet ownership. (The closest she’s come recently was a Jack Russell terrier that belonged to an ex, but she lost him in the breakup, which seems to bum her out more than the breakup itself.) Occasionally she’ll get lucky and dog-sit for friends, but today she’s here to get her fix vicariously: “Just creeping,” she says. Before long, a yappy-looking mutt scampers over to the bench, lifts his leg, and, before Kendrick can stop him, marks his territory all over her Kate Spade purse. “No!” she says, shooing him away.
Meanwhile, the main focus of the feature is Kendrick’s mastery of social media and how she’s used it to make herself a much bigger star than she would otherwise be.
Each of the actresses in Kendrick’s loose cohort has forged a connection with her fans in her own distinct way. (Jennifer) Lawrence does it by charming talk-show audiences with embarrassing anecdotes and navigating awards-show red carpets like they’re filled with marbles wrapped in banana peels. (Lena) Dunham does it with her brilliantly honest HBO show, Girls, and her liberty with her body. And Kendrick does it via the Internet.
“Sometimes when I try to make jokes or have a sense of humor in interviews, it doesn’t go over very well,” she says. “But Twitter made my life easier in this way that I didn’t expect. It would have taken probably 10 times as long for people to accept my voice and my sense of humor if I didn’t have Twitter.”
The evolution of Kendrick’s Twitter feed is a study in how the medium itself has evolved. When she started using the platform in July of 2009, she tweeted mainly about TV appearances, impostor accounts, and requests for tech help. (Even Kendrick seemed to recognize the problem: “Tweets thus far are RIVETING, no?”) But in December 2011 she took a six-month hiatus, and then, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, unveiled her current Twitter voice fully formed: self-effacing, bawdy, whip-smart, and occasionally drunk.
Kendrick says she spent her first year and a half on Twitter scared she might offend someone. She used to text friends to ask, “Is this joke okay?” or wait half an hour before posting to make sure it couldn’t be taken the wrong way. “I can think of so many things I didn’t tweet because they seemed so scandalous,” she says. “Like, one time I dropped off some laundry and the dude was kind of flirting with me, and I was going to tweet something like, ‘You can either flirt with me or wash my underwear, but you can’t do both.’ And my friend was like, ‘You can’t tweet that, that’s way too scandalous!’ ”
Cut to two years later, when Kendrick is writing things like this: “Ugh–NEVER going to a Ryan Gosling movie in a theater again. Apparently masturbating in the back row is still considered ‘inappropriate.’ ”
If you scroll back through Kendrick’s online history, a few themes emerge. Dogs. Baked goods. Jet lag and/or hangovers. Sweats, Snuggies, and other comfy clothes. Game of Thrones. She also has a few social media rules she thinks everyone should abide by, about which she is surprisingly passionate. Two Instagram photos a day, max. (“I’ve got a really itchy unfollow button.”) Links, @ and # signs, and quotation marks should be avoided. (“It looks like I’m reading fuckin’ code.”) Melancholy is okay on Instagram, but not on Twitter. (“Just say something funny.”) And above all, never, ever overpromote. “That’s one of the things that annoys me most,” says Kendrick. “When my entire time line gets filled up with actors being like, ‘Check out my short!’ or ‘I’m on Craig Ferguson!’ It’s just bad business.”
Go read the whole thing when you have time. It’s quite interesting.