I assisted to a 20 minute press conference of The Last Five Years in Los Angeles, I found out about everything I wanted to know and became more obsessed with the film, the actors Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan and the director Richard LaGravenese (PS I Love You).
Richard explained the concept of the movie by explaining how sometimes, “We sing different songs, we sing different languages in our love affairs.”
Anna plays a frustrated actress and, though she is very successful, she pointed out that she recognizes herself in the character: “I don’t feel the need to move passed it [embarrassing experiences] cause it’s a part of me.... It’s good to be humbled.”
And Jeremy added “Yeah, shame is good.”
When asked about the secret to crying while singing Anna responded in her humble & funny fashion: “Well, if I knew the secret there wouldn't have been so many takes where I sounded like a f$#&ing dying chipmunk.”
There was also time for some anecdotes, as Jeremy described the most challenging scene for him to shoot, The Schmuel Song: “We were in a 95 degree apartment wearing Christmas sweaters.” and Anna added “I was so smelly”. Of course we all laughed.
Also, when asked about building the chemistry over only 21 days of shooting, Jeremy said he they did what everyone does when having to get to know someone: “We went and had drinks and got drunk... And told some fun stories about each other.”
It's undeniable that this is a project made with heart and effort, as Anna describes when asked about the two last musical films she's worked in: “Into the woods was this enormous production so we had more time to be perfectionist and this was much more a situation that was held together with love and duct tape and that’s exhilarating, actually. “
And the market is ready for something like this, how Richard explains:
“Nowadays, what I realize with technology changing the business so much… There are now opportunities where I don’t have to appeal to a mass audience any more. I can make something that’s different and risky… and do it the way that I want to do it… if I make it for the proper budget, and we did."
"People who will like it, will like it. People who don’t get it, won’t get it at all. And that’s fine with me.” That's fine with me too - How special can a project be if it appeals to everyone?
Is this the perfect Valentine's Day movie being about how things just don't work out? I say yes. As Richard explains:
“Love, this poor thing that has to be forever, has to be like this and has to feel like this… and I think sometimes you fall in love with certain people to evolve personally and it doesn't mean that the love that was lost is a regret, it means that it was necessary for you at that time.”
Anna thinks this movie is great for everyone: “If you want to break up, this movie will speed it along but if you’re meant to be…” And the room burst laughing because Anna Kendrick.