MEDIA: You always seem to be a very animated person...Was breaking into voiceover work a natural transition for you?
ANNA: Yeah. I mean, I was really nervous. I've always wanted to do it, so I jumped at the chance. But I was really nervous going in because I'm not very good at ADR, and that's my only experience doing anything like this. But this was so different and so freeing and pure--it really feels like you're doing the purest form of acting, because you don't have to be worried about, like, not leaving frame, and not getting in front of that actor's light. And you're so not bound by your physicality. Like, it can be a hindrance in live action. And you get to use all of it to get one thing across in your voice. It's really great.
In what ways could you relate to Courtney?
I never had a little brother, but I guess this is how you are with your mom when you're a teenage girl. It's just very eye-rolling and exasperated sighs. So my poor mom was probably treated to a lot of the noises that Courtney makes in frustration.
Was it surprising to see your voice coming out of her?
Yeah, it's definitely weird, I think because you're obviously so used to your own voice. I watched the movie, and every time Courtney speaks, I think, "Oh no, that doesn't sound right. Everybody must be thinking that doesn't match up or it doesn't make sense." But I guess that's just the way you feel when it's your voice and it's something else.
So what do you think of Courtney's...shape?
I like it...One interesting thing is that I have a crush on Casey Affleck's character [Mitch], and he's sort of like the opposite shape. So it's like he's the upside down triangle and I'm the regular triangle. I think that was intentional. They told me that when I came in.
Do you feel that a lot of your own expressions were captured in Courtney's face?
Her face is so different from me, it's difficult to say. But I think some of the physicality is there. Like I realized in the recording sessions, I kept kind of falling over--like bending at the waist, like I was so tired of "life being so hard." And I think a lot of that is kind of in her--that she's constantly so frustrated by how supposedly difficult her life is that she's almost toppling over.
Did you have a favorite face out of the many that were created to bring these characters to life?
I mostly like Mitch's face--like his kind of blank stare when he's trying to figure something out, when he's working through stuff. I mean, Courtney's very animated, but my favorite is Mitch's blank stare.
What visuals did you have at your disposal to help your performance?
Well, one really helpful thing was about halfway through the process, they could show me a scene. It wasn't finished, and some of it was still the storyboards, but some of it was almost-finished shots. And then all of a sudden, I could see how it was coming together and how I should change my performance. So there were some things that I did in that first session that ended up in the movie, but then there were things that once I could see how the scene was supposed to go, I could totally see why something needed to feel a different way. And it was great. It was like being allowed in the editing booth of a movie and being able to go back and reshoot things based on that.
Was conveying terror through voiceover easier or harder for you than doing so in live action?
It was easier to do in animation, because as long as your voice is getting across that you're terrified, [it works]. Like if I were doing a horror film, I couldn't do this thing where I've got my hands in my hair and I'm twisting my ankles and I look all contorted--you know, I don't think the director would really go for that, [because] you're supposed to look all sleek and sexy and shiny. And it was great to be able to do that for my big epic screaming scenes.
So I guess we shouldn't expect to see many behind-the-scenes photos of you going through those contortions...
[jokes] No. I basically made them sign in blood that they couldn't use the footage of me being animated.
How do you think you would handle a zombie apocalypse?
I have to say, I'm kind of a spaz, but in emergency situations, I think I'm pretty good. Like I wouldn't think that I would be that person, but...I've only lived through a couple of minor earthquakes, but every time, I've been the one who's like, [calmly fires off orders] "Okay, everybody find a door. Stand there, it's gonna be cool. Don't grab that, it's going to fall. It's totally fine, we'll buy a new one." So I feel like I would be the one who's just like, "Okay, we're going to get in the car, we're going to get our earthquake kit (because we have one), and we're going to just drive out to the first place that we can think of that's pretty isolated." I don't know, I feel like I'd be pretty cool under pressure.
What would you add to your earthquake kit to make it more suited...
...for zombies? Ooo, that's a good question! Ummm...Brains. Like I could raid a hospital, get some brains, throw it in there, and then you just throw them off the trail.
What if the zombies pick up your trail because of all the brain-handling?
A double-edged sword! I see. Okay, I'll have to think that through...I'm just saying if it was an emergency, then you could just, like, throw out a brain and distract them. Like a polar bear--you're supposed to take off your clothes, because then they stop and they sniff all the clothes. But then you die because you freeze to death.
[laughs] Unless it's like the island on Lost.
Are there polar bears on Lost? That show is crazy!
Do you have a particular interest in horror movies, or, specifically, zombie movies?
I mean, I'm interested in films in general. Horror is not "my love"--I have a soft spot for action. I don't have that kind of same soft spot for horror, but I appreciate it. You know, somebody was asking me [about] my favorite zombie movie, and I like Zombi 2, where it's just insane, and there's clay eyeballs and zombies fighting sharks.
Fake zombies, but actually a real shark!
Yeah, exactly. A shark trainer in a zombie suit. But still...Pretty awesome!
Thanks for your time...You know, these questions were like the opposite of the ones at the press conference for What to Expect When You're Expecting. You shifted gears very well.
[faux sassiness] You wanna talk about miscarriages? We can talk about it...Let's talk about it!
[Editor's note: At this point, Christopher Mintz-Plasse comes by to take Anna's place in the interview rotation, and upon being greeted by talk of miscarriages, immediately reacts with, "Oh my God! That was a dark thing to come into..."]