Why Anna Kendrick Made a Date with Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

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Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick

Why Anna Kendrick Signs on for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Anna Kendrick, who often plays upright-to-uptight characters, plunged head over drunken heels into the raunchy comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.” As Alice, she’s a boozing, drug-taking, emotional basket case (“But in a funny way,” she stresses) who answers a Craigslist ad placed by two brothers,  Adam Devine and Zac Efron, seeking good-girl dates to their sister’s Hawaiian wedding.

“As has been sort of talked about ad nauseam, there’s a trend with females in comedies, and I think that’s beyond wonderful,” Kendrick says. “But I think I also really love that this is a movie that is equally balanced with the guys and the girls. … I thought the girls were really funny and really participants in the movie, and it felt like a really even four-hander.”

Kendrick also looked forward to teaming up with Aubrey Plaza, the other date from hell in “Mike and Dave.” “Aubrey and I have been friends for like six years so that was like a six-year prep for this movie,” Kendrick says. “So we’ve really been doing our homework.”

Plaza, too, was drawn to the gender dynamics, and in particular her own character: a party-hardy borderline psychopathic con artist who can turn just about anything into a pot pipe.

“I just really loved the two female characters,” Plaza says. “It’s really rare that you read a script with really, really funny female characters. It’s not something I come across often, though whenever I do see that in a movie I get really excited. That was what pumped me up about this movie.”

Of course, there’s a final reason the insanely busy actress — Kendrick is in six movies this year — couldn’t say no. “I did get to film in Hawaii,” she says, even if her island arrival did offer a surprise when she saw Devine, her costar in the two “Pitch Perfect” movies, who clearly had done more to prepare for his role than memorize his lines.

“Adam has … got a lot of muscles now, which is weird, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this in shape,” says Kendrick. “It was quite a shock when I got to Hawaii and he was like sitting next to Zac. I was like: Why are you so buff?”