Anna Kendrick Opens Up About Past Abuse: 'My Body Still Believes That It Was My Fault'

The actor kept her former partner’s identity private, but revealed she was in an emotionally abusive relationship that inspired her latest role.
Anna Kendrick said processing what she endured became "the hardest task of my adult life."
Anna Kendrick said processing what she endured became "the hardest task of my adult life."
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Anna Kendrick’s role in “Alice, Darling” — in which the Oscar nominee portrays an emotionally abused woman doting on her successful boyfriend —was harrowingly autobiographical, she revealed in an interview with People.

“I was coming out of a personal experience with emotional abuse and psychological abuse,” Kendrick told the outlet. “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.’”

The film premieres Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Mary Nighy’s promising drama explores Kendrick’s titular character suffering from manipulation, lies and gaslighting from her boyfriend, Simon, played by Charlie Carrick. Alanna Francis’ script dives into the impact such relationships can have on friends and a broader social circle.

Kendrick said she nearly passed up on “Alice, Darling” for fear of re-traumatizing herself, but accepted the role after learning production was “many, many months away.”

Kendrick most recently publicly dated cinematographer Ben Richardson.
Kendrick most recently publicly dated cinematographer Ben Richardson.
Matt Winkelmeyer via Getty Images

Kendrick wrote about her dating experiences in her 2016 book, according to Vogue. Titled “Scrappy Little Nobody,” it detailed all the red flags she missed while dating in her teenage years and in Hollywood.

“Alice, Darling,” meanwhile, resonated with a more recent relationship, she said.

“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,” Kendrick told People.

“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,’” Kendrick added.

While she has kept the identity of her former partner vague, Kendrick told People she “loved and trusted this person more than I trusted myself.” Kendrick said she was told she had a “distorted sense of reality” and thus chalked up her concerns about the relationship to paranoia.

Kendrick told the outlet that processing what actually happened in that relationship was “the hardest task of my adult life.”

“My body still believes that it was my fault,” Kendrick told People. “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.”

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522 for the National Dating Abuse Helpline.

CORRECTION: A caption in a previous version of this story used an incorrect first name for Kendrick’s ex Ben Richardson.

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