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August 24, 2015 04:45 PM

Anna Kendrick gets by with a little help from her friends.

Kendrick, 30, may ooze confidence, but even she gets nervous from time to time. The Pitch Perfect 2 star admits that some of the best advice she ever got came moments before taking the stage at the Oscars.

“I remember when I was getting ready to perform at the Oscars with Neil Patrick Harris, I ran into James Corden from Into the Woods,” she tells Elle in the magazine’s September issue. “I told him how nervous I was and he said, ‘You have to enjoy yourself because the 13-year-old you would punch yourself if you didn’t.’ ”

Realizing that it’s all about seizing the moment ahead of you, the words have continues to stick with Kendrick.

“I try to keep that in mind. I think that’s really great advice for everybody. To enjoy yourself in the good moments, and to push yourself in the hard moments.”

The advice certainly worked: Kendrick wowed with her Oscar performance, and, this summer, she hit a new career high note with Pitch Perfect 2.

Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza
Mark Seliger for Elle

So what’s her secret to success? Even she doesn’t know.

“So much of it is dumb luck and hard work and some kind of magical mixture of the two,” she SAYS. “If I had a secret to success, I’d make a lot of money writing a book about it.”

For now, Kendrick is simply trying to enjoy being 30, an age she thinks gives one the liberty to do what one pleases.

“I feel like in your 20s you have to put up with a lot of bull—-,” she said. “I know you have to in your 30s as well, but you can always say, You know what? I’m 30-goddamned years old so I’m going to go home before 2 a.m because I can.”

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