Anna Kendrick's Bad Date Story Is Hilariously Cringey

The following article includes allegations of emotional and psychological abuse.

"Pitch Perfect" star Anna Kendrick was once the subject of a grand romantic gesture — from a guy she barely knew. While being interviewed by Seth Meyers on his eponymous talk show, in January 2023, Kendrick told the story after discussing her first time directing a film. Originally titled "The Dating Game" but renamed "Woman of the Hour," Kendrick both helmed and starred in the movie. 

It's about a woman inadvertently choosing a serial killer while playing "The Dating Game" game show in the '70s. According to TIME, that really did happen. The real Cheryl Bradshaw (whom Kendrick portrays in the Netflix movie) called the contestant coordinator of the show afterwards and said she couldn't go on a date with her chosen bachelor — a strikingly correct gut instinct. 

After Kendrick discussed the project, Meyers asked if she had any "red flag" dating stories of her own. She mentioned a man from her early 20s whom she met briefly and talked to on the phone before agreeing to go out with him. "And at the end of the date," Kendrick recalled, "He seemed very shy. And then he handed me a piece of paper and it was a poem about me. Which is a big move for a first date. A really intense move," (via YouTube). 

It took a while for Kendrick to officially break it off him

On "Late Night with Seth Meyers," Anna Kendrick admitted that she kind of thought the poem was a nice gesture, except that the man in question made the paper look weathered and old by burning the edges, "And that should've been a red flag," as she acknowledged. Dating experts have given plenty of tips on how to end a bad date, and they probably wouldn't recommend Kendrick's method. 

She very slowly ended things with the poet, and it took a few more months before they were officially over. The lesson the "Twilight" star learned after was simply, "Sometimes people need to get ghosted." Kendrick has been vocal about a past toxic relationship she was in for a long time and how that experience was portrayed in another of her movies. Kendrick executive produced and starred in "Alice, Darling" as the titular character, a woman struggling with an emotionally abusive partner. 

When she spoke to People about the film ahead of its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the actor revealed that when she first received the script, "I was coming out of a personal experience with emotional abuse and psychological abuse. I think my rep sent it to me, because he knew what I'd been dealing with and sent it along."

Kendrick regrets trusting an emotionally abusive partner

Anna Kendrick also confessed to People, "I was in a situation where I loved and trusted this person more than I trusted myself." That made it easier for her abuser to twist the truth. Near the end of the relationship, Kendrick discovered something she figured was happening was definitely happening (which, based on her "Armchair Expert" podcast interview, seemed to be that her boyfriend had feelings for someone else). As the actor asserted, "So I had this kind of springboard for feeling and recovery that a lot of people don't get."

While speaking with USA Today about both her bad relationship and "Alice, Darling," Kendrick said that attempting to mend things caused her to lose parts of herself. As a result, "I was self-abandoning over and over and over again, and something was very lost for a long time. I'm still getting it back." The "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" star also revealed that the "Alice, Darling" script initially had indications that her character was physically abused. 

The actor was hesitant to make a movie where her own history of abuse could potentially be swept aside because it didn't compare to what was onscreen since it didn't leave any physical evidence. As she reasoned, "It's a bold thing to just stay with the main character's experience, rather than spoon-feeding an audience, 'Here's the abuse you can point to.' To just look at the (psychological) effect that it's having on a person and trust that it's abusive."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.