Close
BRAND NEW ON E!
E! Loves - Category Header 920x60

News/ 

The NSFW Reason You Need to Stay Until the Very End of Anna Kendrick and Lena Dunham's New Movie

Happy Christmas, Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham, Melanie Lynskey Magnolia Pictures

Did you know there's a new movie coming out starring Anna Kendrick, with Lena Dunham costarring as her best friend? Did you know that it comes out in theaters out today? Did you know that you could have actually seen it by now, because it hit VOD earlier this month?

(Probably not, because good indie movies are never given the recognition they deserve.)

It's called Happy Christmas. It's directed by Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies) and also stars the always lovely Melanie Lynskey. In it, Lynskey plays a stay-at-home mom who has abandoned her dreams of becoming a working novelist. Kendrick plays her troublemaker sister-in-law, who inspires her to get her creative juices flowing again (and cash a quick check) by writing Fifty Shades of Grey-like erotica. 

One of the standout scenes in the movie finds Anna, Melanie and Lena brainstorming the plot of the book, deciding princes and princesses will stand in for Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, and involving a lengthy conversation about how they'll refer to a vagina.

WATCH: Watch the too-hot-for-TV trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey

SPOILER(ish) alert: If you stay until the very end of the movie's credits, there's a Marvel-like bonus scene, except no one is getting recruited to the Avengers this time. It's outtakes from that brainstorming scene, with even more explicit talk about their fantasies and at least one reference to Prince Harry and Prince William. It's hilarious.

We got a chance to sit down with Melanie and find out how that scene came to be:

I'm not sure if you've seen any of the Marvel movies, but they're famous for that post-credits sequence. I think that what you guys did is better than any Marvel movie.
Oh, thank you, that's so sweet...People used to do that at premieres, where they would sit there and they would watch all the credits. And then people just started kind of being d--ks about it.

But now you have to, because you don't know when there's going to be a surprise like this.
Oh, yeah.

So let's get to the erotic novel of it all. Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?
No, I decided that it was better that I didn't because Anna read it so she would be able to talk about it and I was like, "I just want to be surprised if she quotes it or does something like that," you know?

Give me the quick Anna Kendrick guide to Fifty Shades of Grey. What did she pitch to you when she was like, "Oh I've read this, I can tell you all about it."
It's funny, like she just kind of said there's a lot of suggestion in it…That the guy was kind of like an arrogant d--k or something and that seems to be something that women respond to. I can't even remember what she said about it. I want to read it, I'm curious about it.

Because the movie is completely improvised [like all Joe Swanberg movies], did the idea of you writing this erotic novel start with you and Anna in the scene, or with Joe beforehand?
Joe beforehand. I don't know where he got that idea from but he was like, "Oh I think it would be really funny if you guys tried to write an erotic novel together." And I honestly, I didn't understand what he was talking about and I was like, "OK, you know…"

In those scenes when you're coming up with the plot of the book, how much did you start with, how much of that did Joe give you, and how much of that did you and Anna just come up with?
Most of it Anna and I came up with. We decided we wanted it to be princes and princesses and like a kind of Medieval Times sort of theme.

Any reason why?
I think a lot of it was like, dungeons and S&M-type things, that could come into it. And people being imprisoned, that was kind of our plan. But then there wasn't so much of that in the movie. 

RELATED: Here are 16 life lessons we learned from Anna Kendrick

It feels like we see a lot of you guys working it out onscreen. How much would you say you two planned beforehand and how much of it was you as your characters riffing in the scene?
Most of it was just us talking. We tried to stop ourselves when we were talking about it at home, but we needed to have kind of a plot that we could both agree on so it didn't derail. So we tried to come up with a plot, Anna was a lot better at it than I was. Then we decided there would be two princes, so then we were walking around singing that song "Two Princes" for like three weeks. So we came up with basic story points but all the little filler bits were extra.

Who came up with the joke of using Harry and the William for the princes' names?
I can't remember who came up with that. Because we kept saying "two princes" and then we were so annoyed by having that song in our head. Who came up with that? It's probably whoever says it in the movie. [Ed. Note: It was Anna.]

So, in particular, the scene with you, Anna and Lena brainstorming together, the one used after the credits, how much of that scene did you actually shoot, would you say?
Oh my god, so much. There's so much of that. There's a whole thing where we go into like sexual fantasies and our own like dreams and things. I went on a big rant about how sexy Oliver Platt is and how one of the brothers needs to be like Oliver Platt-type. They weren't as into it as I was. There was so much that we did that isn't in the movie.

It's hard to imagine it could get much racier than the stuff that did make it into the movie.
[Laughing] Yeah.

It's kind of nice that your characters in the movie think the book is ridiculous too, so you're allowed to laugh and you're allowed to blush. Still, I don't know how you guys got through that without cracking up. Was there a lot of starting over or could you guys just keep going and keep rolling with it?
It was OK to laugh, [so] we were supposed to be sort of charmed by each other and into it and kind of embarrassed. And I made a decision that [my character] Kelly would be a lot more shy than I am. Like, she doesn't like saying "p---y" or whatever, and it's fine with me.

So, you've got the idea. When can we expect the Anna Kendrick-Melanie Lynskey written princes and princesses erotica book?
Oh my god, I think we need Lena there too. She came up with all the best bits, she's so funny.

Happy Christmas is in select theaters and on VOD today.

PHOTOS: Check out 10 more of the best Christmas movies ever!

FROM AROUND THE WEB
MORE ON EONLINE

RELATED VIDEOS: