Ahead of the premiere of emotional drama Alice, Darling at the Toronto International Film Festival, star Anna Kendrick opened up about her personal experiences with abuse.
Kendrick told People that a former romantic partner, who she declined to name, emotionally and psychologically abused her over the course of their relationship.
“I was in a situation where I loved and trusted this person more than I trusted myself,” the actress, 37, said. “So when that person is telling you that you have a distorted sense of reality and that you are impossible and that all the stuff that you think is going on is not going on, your life gets confusing really quickly.”
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As the relationship came to an end and she found out her suspicions had been correct, Kendrick was left to parse out what had really happened in the relationship amid her partner’s gaslighting, something the Oscar nominee described as “the hardest task of my adult life.”
“My body still believes that it was my fault,” she added. “So even with this concrete jumping off point for me, to walk out of that relationship knowing that I wasn’t crazy, it’s incredible the way that recovery has been so challenging.”
Kendrick Says Alice, Darling Role was “Incredibly Cathartic” It was this rocky road to recovery, Kendrick says, that made her hesitant to accept the titular role in Alice, Darling.
The film follows Alice, a woman stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship with her successful boyfriend, Simon (Charlie Carrick) as she begins to unravel as a result of his mind games.
Though initially weary of re-traumatizing herself by taking on the role, Kendrick said that she “resonated” with the character when her rep sent her the script.
“I was coming out of a personal experience with emotional abuse and psychological abuse,” she said. “[My rep] knew what I’d been dealing with and sent it along. Because he was like, ‘This sort of speaks to everything that you’ve been talking to me about.'”
And ultimately, the actress said, the role ended up validating her experiences and felt “incredibly cathartic.”
“It felt really distinct in that I had, frankly, seen a lot of movies about abusive or toxic relationships, and it didn’t really look like what was happening to me. It kind of helped me normalize and minimize what was happening to me, because I thought, ‘Well, if I was in an abusive relationship, it would look like that.'”
“But like so many things in life,” she continued, “I think the piece that was most therapeutic was actually building relationships with these collaborators and sharing our personal histories with each other, and then creating this thing together.”
Also starring Kaniehtiio Horn and Wunmi Mosaku, Alice, Darling premieres Sunday at TIFF.