By Nolan Feeney
May 5, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 doesn’t come out until May 15, but chatter about a possible third installment already feels as ubiquitous as, well, “Cups” circa 2013. Rebel Wilson, who plays the scene-stealing Fat Amy, said she’s already signed on to be in another installment, though the studio hasn’t confirmed that another is even happening. Elizabeth Banks, who is making her feature-film directorial debut with the movie, recently told Entertainment Weekly, “I’m really focused on putting this movie out and then letting the audience tell us what to do next.”

But what about Anna Kendrick, whose role as surly new recruit Beca helped turn the modest box-office success into an international sleeper hit that spawned a top 10 Billboard single? She, like Banks, is waiting to see what happens with the new film before making any plans. “I’m not one to count my chickens, so I just want to see how this one does and find out if there’s an appetite for that before I even think about it,” Kendrick tells TIME. “I’ll drive myself crazy.”

Kendrick was initially hesitant about participating in Pitch Perfect 2, worried that a follow-up to the 2012 film about the quirky world of collegiate a capella would go the way of other half-assed comedy sequels. But what drew her back to the franchise, she says, was the participation of her original co-stars. “I didn’t know if they were just going to do a sloppy seconds version of it, and that was the thing that made me nervous,” she said. “When I found out it was really going forward and it was going to be a real movie and everybody was coming back—there was no way I was going to miss out on that.”

But don’t let the trailers and their pillow fights fool you: working closely to learn the new songs and choreography is nothing like hanging out with your college pals. “You get as close during the rehearsal process as you would get working in an office,” Kendrick says. Aca-scuse me? “There’s so much of it that’s mundane that I wish it was pillow fights and campfire stories, but it’s a lot of banality and getting the job done and asking questions. I always feel like I’m letting people down when I’m like, ‘You know, it’s a job!’”

Though Pitch Perfect 2 helps kick off the summer movie season, Kendrick says part of the film’s appeal lies in how little it has in common with other blockbusters and their penchants for explosive action and car chases. “Even though the stakes are really high for these girls, the stakes in the grand scheme of things are super low,” she says. “My inspiration for the first movie, and hopefully for the second movie, was always Dodgeball. The universe of the movie is built on really low stakes, but I find that really charming! It doesn’t have to be like, the city’s going to blow up if we don’t defuse the bomb. It’s just people wanting to win.”

Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com.

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