If there’s one thing we’ve grown to love about Anna Kendrick — perhaps even more than her acting talent and killer soprano — it’s her self-deprecating, charmingly caustic sense of humor, which she showcases very well on social media and in her new book, Scrappy Little Nobody.
From her random musings on pop culture, to her sarcasm, to smart and only semi-shameless self-promotion, Kendrick is, to her 13.5 million followers (and likely book readers), everyone’s favorite sassy BFF. In Nobody, which is a collection of first-person essays, Kendrick is at her most relatable when she reveals she too endured the universal pain of: obsessing over the wrong kind of guy, struggling to pay rent and trying to be “cool” around celebrities. Here are our five favorite revelations from Kendrick’s book:
1. Kendrick has looked for love in the wrong places
“Something amazing happened to me when I hit my mid-20s,” she writes. “I stopped liking guys who didn’t like me back. In fact, I stopped liking guys who were bad people.” Like many of us who in our most angst-ridden youth have struggled with learning how to be in romantic relationships, the Pitch Perfect star tells PEOPLE she simply sought out the wrong type of guy to date. “I was just so obsessed with certifiable non-winners,” she says. “I allowed myself to believe that guys were more magical than they were. The one who makes you work for it is even more magical because you don’t have something that is fulfilling you in your life.”
And while Kendrick admits that she’s made better choices with her relationships as she’s gotten older, she admits to PEOPLE she still struggles with maintaining a normal social life. “It’s like, ‘Do you mind if I just disappear for two months? Work on a film and forget about the outside world? Cool, but then you’ll be there for me when I come out of it? Thanks!’ ”
2. Kendrick gives good PSA
In her “Guys in LA” chapter, from which the above tales of liking the wrong guys also comes, Kendrick ends a story about fighting against gender stereotypes and misogyny with a killer PSA about protecting yourself from red flag-type behavior: “Ladies, if you ever date a guy who shows up at your apartment uninvited, or calls you from someone else’s phone when you block his number, or inspires you to attach a little can of Mace to your key ring, tell your friends!” she writes. “They will help you! If a guy threatens self-harm, or tells you that you are the crazy one and all your friends are on his side, they aren’t! Your friends want to help you!”
3. She gave up on being nice and embraces her inner “surly bitch”
Kendrick writes that she has given up on being nice in favor of putting more focus and value on other qualities like passion, intelligence, humor, practicality. “As Sondheim said, ‘Nice is different than good,’ ” she writes, adding that she doesn’t put stock in that trait because it doesn’t come naturally to her.
“I do think that niceness is a set of etiquette and while etiquette is important, I don’t think that it’s more important than core values,” Kendrick explains to PEOPLE of her anti-nice stance. “You can have really strong core values and kind of be a surly bitch, you know? I always felt like niceness, in the sense that you are following a certain social decorum, was not something that came naturally to me. I felt I really beat myself up about it and thought it was something I should really work on and then I thought no, if I actually ask myself, there are qualities that I think are more important and that I think are more valuable.”
4. An Oscar nomination does not pay the bills, but “Twilight” did
Kendrick calls her role in the Twilight franchise “a sweet gig,” because she didn’t have to deal with the instant mega-fame her costars received and, as the plucky and slightly awkward “normal” friend Jessica, she didn’t have to bring “heart and honesty to fantasy situations involving life, death and the preservation of one’s immortal soul.” She got to make jokes about all the other characters acting weird and the zombie apocalypse genre in general. More importantly however, Kendrick’s work in Twilight kept her from being evicted during the whirlwind year she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Up in the Air. “None of the other filmmakers I worked with during those years had ever seen Twilight,” she writes. “But the series kept me in room and board while I did their movies for no money. It was like the world’s most ridiculous day job.” Kendrick recalls one particular low point when she “was still broke” and stole a roll of toilet paper from a New York hotel room during part of her Up in the Air promo tours. “The highs and lows were so extreme!” she writes.
5. George Clooney can and will improve any stressful situation
Kendrick recounts two instances of the famous George Clooney charm, one that helped easer her fears during filming Up in the Air and another during the Oscars.
“I spend the first few weeks shooting Up in the Air certain that I’d be fired at any moment,” writes Kendrick. “I’d start to silently spiral before an important scene and George Clooney would have to snap me out of it, usually by throwing something near my head. George has been famous for a long time and knows the effect he has on people. He has a skill for making situations feel relaxed informal and keeping you in the moment.”
When the film, as well as Kendrick and Clooney, were nominated for Oscars, the two-time Sexiest Man Alive helped make light of the “fancy” situation.
“All of us in the Up in the Air gang were destined to be losers,” she writes. “George was up for Best Actor, which was always later in the program. After my category was presented, he would turn to me and whisper, ‘I’m still a nominee and you’re just some loser.”