Blending dancing, violence and romance into one-of-a-kind hybrid entertainment, “Mr. Right” stars Anna Kendrick as manic Martha who falls in for Francis (Sam Rockwell), a professional assassin with a cause.
When Martha discovers that her new beau is a professional hitman, who kills the people ordering the hits. But the bodies pile up, Martha must decide whether to flee or join her man in the mayhem.
Like her co-star Rockwell, Anna Kendrick combines dramatic chops — showcased in her Oscar-nominated “Up in the Air” performance — with the natural wit displayed in “Pitch Perfect” and its blockbuster sequel. When she read the “Mr. Right” script, Kendrick savored the chance to go a little wild. “The most exciting thing for me was the way Max wrote Martha as someone who’s always been a little psychotic,” Kendrick says. “He mentioned to me that some script notes suggested he make her this mild mannered girl until she encounters Mr. Right. But I thought it was funny and wise to make Martha bat shit crazy from the get go.”
Kendrick also sparked to Mr. Right because she knew Rockwell would be playing the title role. “I always pictured Mr. Right as Sam,” she says. “I knew he would bring amazing energy to the character. He makes you love this guy who’s killing people. but because it’s Sam playing Francis, you’re rooting for him.”
Director Cabezas sealed the deal with Kendrick after they met in New York and bonded over a their shared vision of a bold, unpredictable heroine. “Paco showed me a lot of pre-vis stuff on his computer,” she recalls. “We talked a lot about making sure that Martha was fun and active and not your typical damsel. For example, when we meet Martha, she’s being unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend and she crawls into a closet and gets drunk. I really liked doing that scene, being able to spout profanity and nonsense where you don’t even know what you’re saying half the time and you go ‘This is my job! I’m at work, these are my co-workers, this is crazy'”
Producer Jacobs says “Often times with movies in this genre, you see the female lead running scared once the gunfire starts. We needed to find an actress who had that America’s sweetheart girl next door quality, but underneath all of that, in Mr. Right, the gunfire kind of turns Martha on. Anna knew how to pull off that turn.”
Kendrick’s Martha also gets in on the action once she learns how to channel her so-called “gift of motion.” “The stunt team has been amazing,” says the petite actress. “They know how to make you look good even if you’re a little five foot weakling. I’ve had a good time bludgeoning people.” Beard sums up Kendrick’s performance concisely. “Once she takes on Mr. Right’s moves, Anna kicks ass.”
As producer Jacobs sees it, Mr. Right ultimately succeeds on the strength of its leads. “When people see Francis and Anna fall in love with each other, that’s going to be the home run of the movie,” he says. “In order to stand out in this day and age, you can’t stick to regular conventions. Francis and Martha are so fun and the dialogue is so unique, you’re happy to spend two hours with these people.”
An explosive cocktail of romantic action comedy hits cinemas when “Mr. Right” opens April 6 (from Pioneer Films).