Anna Kendrick says a personal Experience with Emotional Abuse’ Led Her to New Movie ‘Alice, Darling’.
She says she dug deep for her heart-wrenching performance in Alice, Darling, which world premieres Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival.
As Kendrick tells PEOPLE, Alice’s story “resonated” with her for a specific reason.
“I was coming out of a personal experience with emotional abuse and psychological abuse,” she shares, recalling the time she first came across the screenplay. “I think my rep sent it to me, because he knew what I’d been dealing with and sent it along. Because he was like, ‘This sort of speaks to everything that you’ve been talking to me about.’ “
“It felt really distinct in that I had, frankly, seen a lot of movies about abusive or toxic relationships, and it didn’t really look like what was happening to me,” she adds. “It kind of helped me normalize and minimize what was happening to me, because I thought, ‘Well, if I was in an abusive relationship, it would look like that.’ “
Describing her former relationship, Kendrick shares, “I was in a situation where I loved and trusted this person more than I trusted myself. So when that person is telling you that you have a distorted sense of reality and that you are impossible and that all the stuff that you think is going on is not going on, your life gets really confusing really quickly. And I was in a situation where, at the end, I had the unique experience of finding out that everything I thought was going on was in fact going on. So I had this kind of springboard for feeling and recovery that a lot of people don’t get.”
Kendrick describes later parsing out “what really happened” in her relationship” as “the hardest task of my adult life.”
“My body still believes that it was my fault,” she says. “So even with this concrete jumping off point for me, to walk out of that relationship knowing that I wasn’t crazy, it’s incredible the way that recovery has been so challenging.”