When Anna Kendrick watched her own performance in the movie for Vanity Fair, the most notable (and most relatable) part was how uncomfortable she seemed to be with watching herself sing the song. “It’s like a weird nails-on-chalkboard thing for me to watch this, a little bit,” she said. Anyone who’s ever cringed at the sound of their own recorded voice can relate a little bit. Kendrick’s performance in the song is great — almost undeniably so, considering the sheer scale of the song’s popularity — but Kendrick focused on the flaws in her performance that most viewers never really noticed.
“Now when I watch it, I can see I’m rushing the back half of the phrase every time — I’m being nitpicky,” she said. She’s not really wrong: she is rushing the song a little in the movie. But for the scene itself, this detail works. Her character’s supposed to be a little nervous during her audition, so this little minor tic fits perfectly.
It helps that she doesn’t rush the song at all in the music video, thanks to the help of the video’s music supervisor. As she explained, “The music supervisor was like, ‘I’m gonna put a metronome in there so you stop rushing it,’ because you do get nervous and you’re trying to just do it really quickly.” Despite this fix, Kendrick was still surprised by the sheer scale of the song’s popularity. “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone,” the chorus goes, but the song itself has still never fully gone away.