Pitch Perfect 3 is a 2017 American musical comedy film directed by Trish Sie and written by Kay Cannon. A sequel to Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) and the third and final installment in the Pitch Perfect trilogy, the film stars Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, Elizabeth Banks, and John Michael Higgins. The film is scheduled to be released on December 22, 2017.
We caught up with the multi-talented Ester Dean to talk making music with DJ Afrojack and making the last Pitch Perfect.
The Knockturnal: Can you believe it, your third Pitch Perfect?
Ester Dean: Isn’t that crazy? I am on my third movie, that’s even shocking! (Laughs) That’s what’s so awesome.
The Knockturnal: This is crazy, you started your career in music and obviously Pitch Perfect was your first big, on-screen gig. What have you learned about acting from doing these movies?
Ester Dean: You know what, I’ve learned how to be comfortable. I think when you get to be behind the scenes, and even watching other people act, you get to understand that it’s okay to say “let me try that again!” you know? On the stage, you don’t get to say “let me try that again”. You have to fake it and go through it but on a movie set you can say “hey, can I get that line one more time?” You know like how you become an intern just so you can see how the machine works?
The Knockturnal: Yes.
Ester Dean: I feel like that’s what I am getting to do.
The Knockturnal: (Laughs) Not an internship!
Ester Dean: Yes! An internship in acting and then as I get better and better, I can be like a veteran.
The Knockturnal: Oh my God! Well speaking of finishing your internship, what kind of films do you see yourself doing later now that the Pitch Perfect Saga is done?
Ester Dean: Well I want to do action and I want to do more movies that really allow me to spread my wings in acting, outside of the singing and everything like that. I love to do that and I love the dancing but I like to see what role do I get that has me absolutely not doing any singing or dancing because that’s going to be the one that’s like “Wow, they want me just to act!” (Laughs).
The Knockturnal: (laughs) Right? There are so many musical legends out there. If you had to play in someone’s bio picture that would you campaign for?
Ester Dean: Nina Simone!
The Knockturnal: I can see you doing that. I think you would kill Nina Simone!
Ester Dean: Yep, that would be great.
The Knockturnal: You and your cast mate’s look like you guys have so much fun on set together. Which one of them is the most distracting to work with?
Ester Dean: (Laughs) who is the most distracting? Well, I love to talk to all of them so maybe I am the distracting one! But nobody is distracting. When they say, “Cut!” we all just huddle back together, we start our conversations off from where we left it. It’s so fun!
The Knockturnal: Oh my gosh, I am sure there are a ton of them but what was your funniest on set moment that you had filming (Pitch Perfect 3)?
Ester Dean: You guys will still get to see it but the behind the scenes of Brittany Snow and Anna Camp just being funny, it’s just so endearing and I just love to be there with them doing that. Then, everything is a joy! Each scene is a joy but you guys don’t get to see the fun that we’re having (laughs). We just have fun.
The Knockturnal: Right. I love Cynthia Rose but I want to know what do you most admire about her?
Ester Dean: Oh, what do I love about Cynthia Rose? That’s a good question! Nobody asks that question (laugh). I love her strength of being herself, you know? Wearing her heart on her sleeve, wearing her emotions on her face, it’s just like Cynthia Rose is just there. She’s not trying to impress anybody. She’s there to support her friends and she’s down for whatever they’re down for.
The Knockturnal: What do you think Cynthia Rose’s future is? If you had to predict what her future is past this movie, what would it be?
Ester Dean: Cynthia Rose would be doing something- Like in this movie I am a pilot but Cynthia Rose would be in a community center helping girls, empowering more girls and just taking the life that she got with The Bella’s and making sure she spreads that love around to new girls so they can understand what it feels like to be a part of a group of women who just support each other.
The Knockturnal: Do you see any sort of reunion in the future, possibly for the Barden Bella’s? Maybe a musical collaboration?
Ester Dean: Aw that would be- what if we did Broadway?
The Knockturnal: Oh, yes!
Ester Dean: The Bella’s go to Broadway? That would be awesome. I would do a run with the Bella’s on Broadway, that would be awesome!
The Knockturnal: Speak it! (Both laugh) That would be very awesome and all of you guys can sing so it can really work.
Ester Dean: Yes! Oh my God, it would be great.
The Knockturnal: We love your music. You got to work with Afrojack and (David) Guetta this summer, talk about that collaboration. That was so epic!
Ester Dean: You know what? I met Afrojack in the studio and he just got me! I have a big voice and when I write songs, I write songs in my young cool voice. In my real voice, I sound like a gospel singer and he understood it. When I wanted to hit all the high notes and I wanted to belt my heart out, Afro never said, “Hey, that isn’t going to work for the radio”. He was just like “Do it!” and I did the song “Another Life”. I just did a Christmas song where I am just singing like Tina Turner and Nina Simone, and I just get to be myself. I love the EDM world and I am moving closer into that but my own self as an artist. So, it’s just bringing soul music to EDM and just living in that space and enjoying myself.
The Knockturnal: You mentioned EDM. You’ve done EDM, you’ve done Hip-Hop, and you’ve done R&B. Can we possibly see you jumping to country?
Ester Dean: You know what? If somebody wants me to go ahead and a duet for country- I am from Oklahoma, so of course it all started with country but as long as I get to do songs that you can feel, I don’t care what genre it is. Music is music, it doesn’t have a genre and it shouldn’t have a genre.
The Knockturnal: I like that! Maybe a little “Daddy’s Lessons”-esque song?
Ester Dean: Yes! (Laughs) I think people listen to everything. Don’t segregate music, how about that?
The Knockturnal: Right. Don’t segregate the music now, don’t put me in a box!
Ester Dean: Don’t put me in a damn box!
The Knockturnal: Oh my God, speaking of music when are we getting new tracks?
Ester Dean: I am doing the joy to the world EDM remix soul song so I am putting that out within the next week. I am singing a church choir in that thing; I should’ve put a church choir! I might!
The Knockturnal: Right!
Ester Dean: I might! Don’t get it twisted (laughs).
The Knockturnal: I know you have access to one.
Ester Dean: I can’t wait! I can’t wait to hear it. When you hear it, hit me on Instagram and tell me you heard it.
The Knockturnal: All right, I promise I will.
Ester Dean: Then I’ll just keep on doing music with Afrojack, and I hope to travel the world and bask in that energy of the EDM world. It’s so big and it’s still so good.
The Knockturnal: Who are you feeling right now in music?
Ester Dean: Oh, you know, I’ve been listening to H.E.R. Even though it’s like “H.E.R.”, I love her! Oh my God, that little thing. She just gets me and then there’s this other guy… (Begins to sing the chorus of “Keep You in Mind” by Gourdan Banks). Yes, I love him.
The Knockturnal: Oh, okay Gourdan Banks is popping.
Ester Dean: Yes, I love it. I am listening to a lot of- well they don’t have to be independent but I just love these singing people like Bryson Tiller. I love the soul that they’re giving me.
The Knockturnal: How did you feel watching this last cut of the film? Was it emotional to see the final one?
Ester Dean: Yes, it was emotional. At the end, they showed us getting together, where we came from and you’ll just be like “Wow! This happened”. Sometimes it’s hard to be in the moment. When I am driving around California and my face is plastered all over the city, and I see it but I am like “Wow that is real! That is a huge billboard with your face up there and you just had a dream!” you know? It’s good.
The Knockturnal: And lastly, what are you going to miss the most about working with these girls and doing these movies?
Ester Dean: I don’t want to miss it, is what it is. I may be in denial? Maybe, say, “Ester Dean is in denial. She doesn’t believe that it’s over because she doesn’t want it to be over”. But what I am going to miss about it is just the little small talks when they yell “Cut!” and seeing these girls in the morning when we’re doing our makeup, putting back on our Cynthia Rose clothes and our character clothes, and for three months being able to just hang non-stop and nobody minds. It’s so good.
Also, check out her new song “Joy To The World” here.