Anna Kendrick Didn't Think Anyone Was Going To Care About Pitch Perfect's Cups Song

Over 10 years after it hit theaters, the most enduring impact the "Pitch Perfect" series has had on pop culture might still be the "Cups" song. The kids may no longer be practicing it in the cafeteria these days, but if you grabbed a 20-something person off the street, they've probably still got most of those cup movements memorized. Doing your own version of the cup song was seen as an easy way to go viral at the time, and schools across the world were teaching the song as some sort of team-building exercise. 

For those who missed out on this period, you must understand that the early 2010s/late 2000s were a very cup-centric time in the world. Cup stacking was an actual sport that swept through the nation's elementary and junior high schools, and "Pitch Perfect" came out just as the sport was winding down in popularity, perfectly filling in the void left over. While the kids born a few years later would have the bottle flipping trend to keep themselves busy, for those of us of a certain age, cups were all we had.

In hindsight, it seems obvious that the song would blow up as much as it did, but it still took "Pitch Perfect" star Anna Kendrick by surprise. "I had no idea that this moment would become what it became," she recently told Vanity Fair in a career retrospective video. "When Universal was like, 'We should make a whole music video for this,' I was like, 'what? Who would want that?' Egg on my face." As of today, her music video (pictured below) has 644 million views, and there's no way to truly know just how many people in the world have heard the song in some form or another.

Her own biggest critic

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.