Trolls is set to arrive in theaters Oct. 13, 2016

By Ruth Kinane
Updated May 13, 2016 05:00 PM
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David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

It’s often a compliment for an actor to be told they resemble a character they’re playing in some way. Perhaps they share their counterpart’s inner strength or sharp wit. But when it comes playing a plastic troll in an animated movie, hearing that you physically resemble your character may not be the greatest compliment ever.

In the upcoming DreamWorks flick Trolls, Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick lend their voices to figurines Poppy and Branch, but would like to make clear that that’s where the comparison ends.

“As a grown-up you do think, ‘Why do we love those trolls so much?’ ” questions Kendrick in a new interview with PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly from the Cannes Film Festival. “The only thing that I can come up with is that they’re that ugly cute.”

But “ugly cute,” isn’t exactly the image the two stars are hoping to promote.

Told by an interviewer that his troll really looked like him, an unimpressed Timberlake tried to pass off the likeness as CGI magic. “They shoot your face so when your mouth moves, they animate the mouth of the troll,” he recalled, attempting to explain things to the journalist. But it was to no avail. “She’s like, ‘No, the nose and the face.’ ”

“The trolls are obviously cartoon creatures,” says Kendrick, equally perplexed by the supposed similarity. “They look nothing like us.” But, she then concedes, “They do pull expressions where you’re like, ‘Oh my God that looks just like me,’ but, she’s got pink skin and her face is wider than her body!”

They only trait Kendrick was eager to share with her troll? “I particularly liked the trolls with the belly-button jewels,” she says. Unfortunately, her character didn’t come with the navel adornment, but glitter freckles were enough to reel in the star at first pitch.

Watch the video above to see Timberlake and Kendrick riff on their character comparisons at the Cannes Film Festival, and catch Trolls in theaters Oct. 13, 2016.