Pitch Perfect actress Anna Kendrick explains why she finds one infamous Pitch Perfect scene difficult to watch: the “cups” song scene. The song “Cups” from Pitch Perfect, whose lyrics originally come from the Carter Family song “When I’m Gone.” When Pitch Perfect was released in 2012, this song, which in Pitch Perfect is performed using a cup as percussion by Kendrick’s character Beca at her audition for the Barden Bellas, became the single most talked about element of the film. It was imitated countless times across the internet.
As Pitch Perfect is over a decade old, Kendrick reflects on the “Cups” song scene and its legacy. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kendrick was asked to review the Pitch Perfect “Cups” song scene.
The actress cringed while she watched it, later revealing that the scene feels “like a weird nails on a chalkboard thing” due to her perception that she was “rushing the back half of the phrase.”Kendrick recounts the full story below:
“I had no idea that this moment would become what it became. When Universal was like, ‘we should make a whole music video for this!’ I was like ‘what? Who would want that?’ Egg on my face. Now when I watch it, I can see I’m like rushing the back half of the phrase each time. I’m being nitpicky. But it wasn’t until I had to record so that Universival could release it as a single–which again, at the time, I was like ‘who is gonna want that?’–the music supervisor was like ‘I’m going to put a metronome in there so that you stop rushing it. Cause I think I, you do get nervous, and you’re trying to do it really quickly. It’s like a weird nails on chalkboard thing for me to watch this a little bit.”
Why The Original Pitch Perfect Was Such A Hit
Though it is not solely responsible for Pitch Perfect’s success, the trend of the “Cups” song is undoubtedly a contributing factor to the film being a hit. The rhythm and song were both ear-pleasing and relatively easy to learn, using instrumentation that people generally had lying around the house. This made it ripe ground for an internet trend, with thousands of people posting covers to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and more. “Cups” was an early precursor to what TikTok trends would become.
Another huge contributor to Pitch Perfect’s success was its cast. Though actresses like Kendrick and Rebel Wilson were not brand new to Hollywood at the time, Pitch Perfect was a huge factor in the elevation of their careers. Pitch Perfect also arguably launched a career for Skylar Astin, who at the time had mostly starred in one-off TV episodes, but has now played major roles in shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Well-defined comedic characters like Fat Amy and nearly-silent character Lilly created a number of memorable scenes, beyond Beca’s audition.
Pitch Perfect ended up making over $115 million at the box office, an impressive total for a non-superhero young adult movie. It spawned two sequels, Pitch Perfect 2 and Pitch Perfect 3, as well as a TV series Pitch Perfect: Bumpers in Berlin, which while commercial successes did not have the same novel appeal as the original Pitch Perfect did. Nonetheless, Pitch Perfect’s legacy lives on strong, including, much to Kendrick’s chagrin, the “Cups” song.
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Source: Vanity Fair