Anna Kendrick on Emotional Abuse: ‘He Never Hit Me, But…’

Ashley Hunte
Anna Kendrick got candid about a previous, abusive relationship she'd endured.
Shutterstock | 64736

Anna Kendrick, star of the 2022 film Alice, Darling, discussed how her past experience in an emotionally abusive relationship led her to take the leading role in the film.

The actress, 37, revealed how personal the role was back in September when the film made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Alice, Darling follows Alice (played by Kendrick), whose emotionally abusive relationship with boyfriend Simon (Charlie Carrick) causes her to unravel during a trip with her friends, played by Kaniehtiio Horn and Wunmi Mosaku. Kendrick had recently gotten out of an abusive relationship when she first received the script for the film.

In More Recent Interviews, Kendrick Opened Up About Just How Much She Relates To Alice.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Kendrick said discussed how, while most people will understand the nuance behind the film, there will likely be some who believe that Simon isn't abusive because he isn't physical. She went on to say, "That was a big part of my problem. ‘Well he never hit me and I’m not really afraid that he’s going to hit me. How do I discern between normal conflict and abuse? Why is my body in so much fear all of the time?'"

Kaniehtiio Horn, Kendrick's Costar, Also Had Past Experiences With Abusive Exes.

"It’s pretty safe to say 85% of my relationships were pretty abusive," Horn said, discussing how her experiences allowed her to both understand Alice's character, and gain a deeper understanding of Kendrick.

Wunmi Mosaku, Kendrick's other costar, offered support. Kendrick recalled how, when discussing how Alice does not collect evidence of abuse throughout the film, Mosaku said, "'But Anna, you’re the evidence.'"

For Kendrick, The Film Serves As A Message About Emotional Abuse.

Kendrick in 2016.
Wikimedia Commons | GabboT [Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0]

Though it can turn into physical abuse, emotional abuse is difficult and traumatizing on its own. Kendrick revealed how she'd believed that emotional abuse is enough to leave a partner: "You don’t have to believe that it might get physical for you to feel like you’re allowed to leave, that you deserve to be treated better, deserve to feel safe." She further discussed how, in believing in Alice, she learned to trust in herself more and more.

Director Mary Nighy Wanted To Do The Story Justice.

Along with Kendrick and Horn, several members of the cast and crew were either survivors of abuse themselves, or are close to someone who got out of an abusive relationship.

Nighy was also intent on depicting an emotionally abusive relationship with no physical violence, saying, "In society, physical abuse is very clearly defined as an evil, and I think psychological and emotional abuse, even for those who have suffered it, can sometimes question whether it’s a real thing."