'Pitch Perfect' Star Anna Camp on Playing a Perfectionist With a Puking Streak

Anna Camp Emmys Headshot - P 2012
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Anna Camp Emmys Headshot - P 2012

In the musical comedy, "The Help" actress plays Aubrey, the leader of the a capella group who violently vomits onstage when she gets too nervous.

Like a scene out a movie, there was one day a little more than a year ago when Anna Camp could be seen talking on the phone, and literally jumping for joy in the La Guardia airport.

The actress had just found out she had gotten the role of Aubrey, the tightly-wound leader of the a capella group The Bellas in a new musical comedy Pitch Perfect.

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“I thought the script was so funny when I read it,” Camp, 30, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “All the characters are so vibrant and so different.”

The film -- directed by Jason Moore -- stars Anna Kendrick as the new girl at school who joins The Bellas. The outrageous musical comedy also stars Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson.

Camp’s character, Aubrey, may seem like an uptight perfectionist, but audiences soon discover she has one very strange flaw -- she violently pukes when she becomes too anxious. The first time this happens is on stage during a competition (Justin Bieber anyone?).

“It’s different. I don’t think it’s going to appeal to everyone -- the fact that this girl is puking so much, but it didn’t bother me at all. I thought that it added something to her,” Camp says.

“I think there’s so much to Aubrey that maybe we don’t see. There’s so much that happened to her in the past that has caused her to be the way she is,” she adds.

Throughout the film, Aubrey insists on sticking with the tried-and-true traditions that the a cappella group has always done, including a performance of “I Saw The Sign.” Camp tells THR she had to sing this song over and over because it appears in the film on more than one occasion.

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Not surprisingly, Camp’s favorite scene turned out to be The Bellas’ last performance, in which the group sings an modern mashup of songs.

“There’s a shot where I literally take my hair down,” she says. “It’s such a great, fun, free moment for Aubrey and for the entire cast.”

“It still gets me a little wispy when I see it in the theater,” she adds.

Camp, who played a preacher’s wife on HBO’s True Blood and a Southern belle in 2011’s The Help, has often played women who seem perfect on the exterior, but are all messed up internally.

“When they’re prim and proper, I always know that there’s something deep and dark that’s making them the way that they are, and I find that fascinating to play,” she says.

However, Camp, who grew up in South Carolina, says she isn’t like any of these characters in real life, but adds that her upbringing in the South had probably influenced her work.

“I knew a lot of women like that. In the South, you don’t say exactly what’s going on or what’s on your mind,” she says.

While Camp -- who is currently starring on new comedy The Mindy Project -- says she’s been “very lucky to play such interesting and dynamic women,” she adds that she wouldn’t mind stepping out of the box on an upcoming project.

“I am dying to play someone totally different one day,” she says, with a laugh. “Shave my head, go crazy, and I don’t know.”

Pitch Perfect -- now in limited release -- opens nationwide on October 5.

Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford