When you think of Anna Kendrick and Pitch Perfect, the song “Cups’ automatically comes to mind. The song was a viral hit before that was a thing and became a Top 10 Billboard hit in the process. Of course, the key to the song’s success was Beca Mitchell showcasing her acapella cup routine. While the iconic scene looked easy to achieve, there was a lot to finding the right cup for the moment. Kendrick admitted she and Pitch Perfect’s director stole a bunch of cups so they could get “When I’m Gone” just right.
The Pitch Perfect alum gave a peek into what went into the “When I’m Gone” scene to make it perfect. Fitting the right cup came down to Kendrick and director Jason Moore being regular sticky fingers. The Oscar-nominated actress spilled why finding the perfect cup was needed to nail the final scene:
The director Jason Moore and I, everywhere we filmed, if we saw a cup, we would just steal it. We had this like weird collection to like try out once we got to this stage. We don’t know what the surface of the stage is really gonna sound like.
While the cup was the key, there was one question that arose during pre-production – how do you justify having a cup there for Beca to use? Kendrick opened up about how the audition cup came into play for the pivotal scene.
Then we had to justify that the cup was there. So yeah, someone came in with the pencils and pens thing. I did think it was funny to just like dump it out in front of them. It feels very much like when a cat is like testing you and is like, ‘What if I knocked this over? What would you do?’
Coming off the success of the Twilight franchise, Anna Kendrick went into her Pitch Perfect audition not being sure about the film’s musical elements. However, things came together when she did the first movie’s signature routine. The TV and film actress admitted knowing the song and routine before auditioning for the acapella comedy. It was her idea to perform the act instead of the original audition piece “I’m a Little Teapot.” Her last-minute audition change-up worked in Kendrick’s favor, as she scored the role. Not only that, but she also impressed Moore and producers enough to put the full routine in the movie.
Even though the “When I’m Gone” scene became a cultural sensation despite some annoyance from some fans, Kendrick didn’t think the signature scene would become the instant classic it is now. Even after recording “Cups,” she was still unsure about its success. Kendrick admitted in both cases that she had “egg on” her face after the song took off.
The cup scene helped to make the first Pitch Perfect movie a cultural phenomenon and a box-office success. That success translated to two sequels and a spinoff streaming series with Adam Devine’s Bumper. A decade after the original film was released, the Pitch Perfect cast has continued to flourish and remained tight with each other since then.
If you want to revisit the moment Beca Mitchell secured her spot on the Barden Bellas, check out Pitch Perfect through an active Hulu subscription. Once you’re done, watch Pitch Perfect 2, which is also available on Hulu, and Pitch Perfect 3 can be rented/bought through an Amazon Prime Video subscription.