Exclusive: Ester Dean Talks Pitch Perfect 3

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New Poster To Pitch Perfect 3
Posted by Wilson Morales

November 28, 2017

Hitting theaters this week from Universal Pictures is the Pitch Perfect 3, which brings back Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins. John Lithgow and Ruby Rose are the newest additions to the cast.

Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3, the next chapter in the beloved series that has taken in more than $400 million at the global box office.

After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time.

Trish Sie is making her feature film directorial debut with a script written by Kay Cannon.

For singer-songwriter Ester Dean, who is back for the 3rd time as Cynthia Rose, one of the original members of the Barden Bellas and the lesbian in the group, she’s now comfortable being seen as an actress than she was when the franchise first started. Although she still has day job writing music for artists such as Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj among others, at least she has another craft she can slide in when the opportunities comes by.

In speaking with Blackfilm.com, Dean spoke about working with the cast again and not being able to land an agent for films.

What’s changed over the years between the first film and this one?

Ester Dean: For me, what’s changed is that with the first film, I was looking for an adventure and thinking about going outside of music and seeing what I can do; and with the third one, I realized that I’m an actress. That’s real now. It’s not just a thought that I had then, now it’s actually real. It changed my perspective of what I wanted to do in the movie industry.

Did you ever think the first film would turn into a franchise?

Ester Dean: I know one person who told me that it was going to be a hit and that was Rebel Wilson. With the first film, I was so nervous about taking months off from writing songs, and I told Rebel, “I don’t know if I should be here.” She said, “Ester, this is going to be huge.” I was like, “Really?” and she said yes. Because it was a smaller budget, she was like, “Don’t worry about how it looks. This is Universal. This is a real movie.” So Rebel Wilson knew and she said that for each movie. Her manifestations keeps showing up right.

What’s it like seeing the cast back together again?

Ester Dean: We never get back to each other because we have been together since the beginning. We have been on the same group chat since the beginning. We’ve been at everyone’s birthday party and also stay in contact. When folks think that we are getting back, we’re actually not. We love each other. It’s a supportive group.

When it comes to music, you’re the vet because of your background. Do you feel that way?

Ester Dean: I have never seen myself as to what everyone sees me as. I see myself still grinding it out. I do music for people and I’m friendly, but on the movie set, I wasn’t the vet. I hadn’t performed in forever and I’m just now getting comfortable being a performer and that movie pushed me. It wasn’t like, “Ester, do you want put out a song today?” No, it was like, “Action!” The real vet in performing is Anna Kendrick. She knows how to get out and do her thing. I’m still trying to find my character when I get out on stage.

As a group, do you have a say in terms of the music used for the film?

Ester Dean: No, you can’t do that. They have to clear the rights for any of the music. Overtime we were dancing, we would be dancing to one song and it didn’t get cleared. All of a sudden, we’re no longer singing that song. I understood it more than they did because I understood the music side. Yes. It will cost a lot of money to get a Katy Perry song. It’s going to cost a lot of money to get a Beyonce song. There’s movie budget that not only has to pay the actresses, but they have to pay for the songs and there’s a lot of songs in the film.

As someone who is musically connected, they didn’t come to you for some help on the music and it’s budget?

Ester Dean: They asked me of I knew anyone that wanted to play some parts; so I called Usher and Diddy.

Is there anyone from the group that you really connected with?

Ester Dean: Rebel. I connected with her the day I got there. It’s funny that on Pitch Perfect, you see us together and that was only because we were sitting together and gossiping before they yelled action and we just happened to be sitting next to each other. In the movie, you get to place yourself wherever you want, and me and Rebel were businesswomen figuring it out at the same time. She was still doing stuff and I was still doing stuff. We were like a support group as we’re doing movies. That’s my dawg!

After the success of the first two films, have you been trying to get other acting work?

Ester Dean: No. I don’t have a agent. It’s still me cracking the code. I don’t know how it works. You still have to have an agent to get an audition. I’ve been fighting just to get an agent. The doors that have closed at me have been agencies. Isn’t that crazy? It’s not that I didn’t want to got to an audition, they say no, “We don’t have any space for you.” That’s my biggest dilemma. I got one agent for voice-over, now everyone just calls my phone. They look at my IMDB and they reach out to me that way. I talked to Lee Daniels because I sent him songs. It’s called being a customer service person and checking in on your client. Checking in on Diddy and seeing how he is doing. Checking in at the executives at Universal. That is what I am good at. I’m good at keeping myself connected and saying, “Hey, how are you? Do you need anything?” I can’t go there asking for something. If they need anything, I’ll give it to them and maybe they will remember me down the road.

I’m never going to use my friends to get an agent. That’s the thing. I know a lot of people that can go around and say to themselves, “I’m going around this person,” but not me. I’m not a crab in a barrell. I have to let my time come in the manifestation that I brought it in. I went to do songs for “Lorax” and got an audition to be in the first film. That’s not the same thing so mine is coming in pure.

What are folks going to get from this films that they didn’t get from the 1st and 2nd film?

Ester Dean: You’re getting more of us. I believe you are getting more of the girls. With the first film, you had the guys and with the 2nd film, it was more of a competition and you knew the story and the people we were up against. This movie is about the Bellas and friendship. Not only does it show on the screen but we have friendship on the outside. We enjoyed this. We can do more of this because we want to.

Clip – Meet Emily and the New Bellas

Clip – Riff-Off

Clip – Cheap Thrills

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