Last week, The New Yorker published Kristen Roupenian's short story Cat Person, a tale of a college sophomore's short-lived, wholly unimpressive date with a man and the aftermath of her rejecting his further affection. The short story quickly went viral, with Twitter calling it "relatable," "painful" in its honesty, and "more horrifying than any scary story."
One celebrity very much shook by Cat Person's emotional honesty? Anna Kendrick, who name-checked the short story during Refinery29's recent interview at the Pitch Perfect 3 press junket.
Pitch Perfect 3 picks up with the now post-grad Bellas struggling to "adult." When asked what advice Kendrick would give to 20-somethings in a similar position to her character Beca, the film musical star responded with one major piece of advice: Read Cat Person.
"I can not stop thinking about it," Kendrick told me at the junket. "I feel sick, and happy, and understood, and all these things. I’m very glad that everybody that I talk to so far is like 'Yes, totally. That’s me.'"
The actress, who will next star in A Simple Favor opposite Blake Lively, wrote of a similar experience in her 2016 book Scrappy Little Nobody.
"I wrote a book, and I talked about how I was in a relationship with a guy who didn’t really give a shit about me," she said of her own Cat Person-like experience. "Forgiving myself was the hard part, really. It wasn’t necessarily his fault that he wasn’t that into me. Maybe you could make the argument that he should have just broken it off, but also, I was responsible. I made my decisions."
In Cat Person, college student Margot blames herself when Robert, her short-lived crush, seems to back away. She again takes on guilt and shame after hooking up with him, despite knowing, in the moment, that she'll regret it later. For many young women who grew up in a culture that conditioned them to care more for the feelings of others than their own, the short story hits home.
"I think forgiving yourself for making mistakes is a part of [growing up]," Kendrick told Refinery29. "If you made a bad decision, and you date somebody that you shouldn’t have, or sleep with somebody that you shouldn’t have, thus is life. It’s all good."