Barack Obama Once Proved He Could Handle Anna Kendrick's Sarcasm

When Tony Award-nominated actress Anna Kendrick first met former president of the United States Barack Obama, throwing expletives at him was likely not the plan. However, those plans went awry, as they're wont to do in nervewracking moments like high-profile meet-and-greets, so that's exactly what happened. But hey, at least it was memorable, right? 

Besides, if anyone could get away with cussing at the president, it would be Kendrick, whose reputation for her adorable charm and hilarious brashness precedes her. The "Up in the Air" actress shared her encounter on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," and it's just as chaotically funny and cringey as you'd expect. 

Luckily for Kendrick, Obama didn't take it on the chin. The former president has never had a problem holding his own in the humor department, plus he happened to be a fan of Kendrick's — there are perks to being a celebrity in your own right, after all. In the end, Kendrick would describe the short exchange as the coolest three seconds of her life.

Meeting the president in LA

An opportunity to meet the president would be enough to get anyone shaky in the knees, A-list celeb or not. In fact, when Anna Kendrick first received the invitation via e-mail, politics weren't even on her mind. "I was like, '[the president] of what?' And they were like, 'The country, you idiot.' Of course, I didn't [know], cause, why?" the actress told Stephen Colbert.

Kendrick recalled being greeted by a Secret Service agent when she first walked into the still-empty room in Los Angeles. "He's like, 'You're the first one here! And it's like, cool, good to know I'm the loser of the group. We got to talking a little bit, and he's from Maine, and I'm from Maine. This part's boring, but it's a necessary preamble." 

She went on to describe watching Barack Obama speak to the room, by then filled with around 30 people. Obama gazed around the room as he talked about his campaign, the recession, and the economy before landing his eyes on Kendrick. "He looks right at me, and he goes, 'Oh my gosh, actually, Anna was in one of my favorite movies, 'Up in the Air,' that talked about the economy and the recession. And I was like, 'Oh, this is such an inconvenient time to be having a full stroke, which is obviously what's happening,'" she riffed to Colbert.

A little bit of scolding and swearing

Getting called out by the president in front of a group of people is one thing; meeting him is another. Anna Kendrick revealed that, as she approached Obama to shake his hand and get a photo, he said he hoped he hadn't embarrassed her by mentioning her movie. "And I go, 'You're such an a**hole,'" the actress recounted, expression locked in a wide-eyed stare of disbelief and embarrassment. Fortunately, her potty-mouthed retort got her a laugh, not a look of disapproval. 

"Then he says, 'Oh, you're from Maine.' And thinking about my conversation with the Secret Service agent, I said, 'yes, and actually, I was the first person here and started talking about the Secret Service agent. And he said, 'Oh, are people from Maine really punctual?' I was like, 'You didn't know that? You're the president.' So, I called him an a**hole and scolded him for not knowing enough about the 50 states. So, that was what made him double over with laughter, yay!" Kendrick said. 

The complete evolution of Anna Kendrick from Portland, Maine, community theater actress to A-list celeb who can riff with the best of them — presidents included — is stunning, and we love to see it. And who knows, maybe Kendrick's no-nonsense, East Coast attitude was a breath of fresh air for Obama (or perhaps that Secret Service agent put in a preemptive good word for his fellow Mainer).