Anna Faris ('Hot Chick')
”Not So Scary Anymore”
Difficult to recognize in her natural blonde state following her turn as a raven-haired Neve Campbell knockoff in ’Scary Movie’ (2000), Anna Faris (11/29/76) made her professional acting debut at the tender age of nine at Washington's Seattle Repertory Theater. Refining her skills in improvisational theater, Faris later found roles in commercials and small local productions, though her future as an actress came into question as she pursued further education and a move overseas.
Raised in Seattle, Faris studied English Literature at the University of Washington after high school, later moving to London to begin working and writing. Longing to return to her childhood love of acting, Faris took a role in the run-of-the-mill teen slasher pic ’Lover's Lane’ (1999). Making the move to Los Angeles in order to pursue an acting career full time, Faris' previous improvisational experiences would soon come in handy as she landed her breakthrough role in the popular ’Scream’-slanted spoof of teen slasher pics, ’Scary Movie.’
Now starring in the new Rob Schneider/Adam Sandler comedic vehicle, ’The Hot Chick,’ for Touchstone Pictures, Anna sat down with me recently to chat about all things Faris.
So, ‘Scary Movie’ was your first major step into Hollywood ”Yeah, I’d done a series of training videos before that and then ‘Scary Movie’ was offered to me and the rest is history” she smiles brightly.
Tell me more about ‘Scary Movie 3: Episode 1 – Lord of the Brooms’ !! ”I don’t know what’s happening with that,” she reluctantly shrugs her shoulders. ”I know it’s up on Imdb but I don’t know who posted that. Here’s the thing though, I heard that they were going to be filming ‘Scary Movie 3,’ and then I thought well I’m obviously not gonna be part of this, and Keenan (Ivory Wayans) has already said that it will have none of the Wayan’s brothers either. So, I thought that they didn’t want to make it ‘cause it was gonna be costing them too many dollars or something, because the Wayans if they made it could make a ton of money from that. So, I wasn’t a part of it and then I just heard that the whole thing was stopped.”
At least ‘The Hot Chick’ isn’t as OTT as your other movies though ! ”Oh yeah, it was definitely not as raunchy as ‘Scary Movie’ or ‘Scary Movie 2,’” she laughs. ”I play a more normal girl and I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction. I love doing comedies, but it was lots of work. But it was pay check too,” she laughs loudly. ”I was really looking forward to working with Rob and it was also during this time that I lot of actors weren’t working. Because of the looming Actor’s strike that was trying to effect Hollywood and still does to a point. I was cast in the middle of February this year and we started filming in March.”
Do you have a favorite scene ? ”I have a lot of favorite scenes because I had a lot of fun, but I really liked doing the pillow fight scene because I really love doing that kind of physical comedy. I loved all the stuff in the bedroom with Rob and I. I had a great time doing all that stuff and what was nice is that it was at the end of the shoot and we had been traveling to all these locations and so it was like we could now just stay in the studio and film us now being more intimate together.”
Being that you’ll soon be 26 years-old, do you have any personal demons to fight with regard portraying these High School-type characters ?! ”Well, you know, not age wise, but it was definitely the High School that I never had. I was a cheerleader and popular in my High School reality. My High School reality was I was pretty angry and I was President of the Drama Club for three years; which at my school was not a cool thing to be a part of. So, I was the leader of the misfits and I was looking super young then and I had braces and was very awkward. I had no figure and no guys liked me and I was such a romantic fool. I was in love with everybody, but it wasn’t jock guys. It was the dark guy who would draw all the time who was always like my best friend.”
Why so much anger early on ? ”I think I just hated it ‘cause my world was so small. I smoked cigarettes and just didn’t have a really good attitude and life just seemed too small. I didn’t have a lot of respect for my teachers either.”
And so your new movie is called ‘Lost In Translation’ with Bill Murray ”Yeah, wow. You found out about that already,’ she beams at me. ”Yeah, I just got back from Japan. It was a four week shoot and it’s about Bill Murray who’s over in Tokyo as an aging TV star and he’s doing a Whiskey ad campaign over there and he’s very cynical and unhappy. I play this movie star that’s doing press over there and I’m promoting my movie out there called, ‘Midnight Bluff’ where I’m up on this poster with a gun looking as bad ass as I can be. I keep running into them in hallways and I just loved the role.”
Did you get to keep your blonde hair ? ”Yes, I did,” she smiles thankfully.
Because, the images of you with black hair and with blonde hair make you look like two completely different people ! ”I know, I know. I don’t get recognized a lot with this blond hair,” she smiles.
After the success of ‘Scary Movie 2,’ I would assume that you were getting a lot of movie offers ?! ”Well, yes and no. I think even though ‘Scary Movie’ was so successful it’s certainly taken me to places I would never have imagined, but it wasn’t revered in Hollywood because comedies like that; well, they just kinda do well typically. So, because it was off the Wayan’s buzz and was so low brow that a lot of people that I run into haven’t seen it ! I also think that other people, like my ‘competition’ should take me a little more seriously than just what they saw on the screen though. It was just for fun and it was a great movie to do. Both of them.”
Is you favorite horror movie still ‘Cujo’ ?! ”I can’t believe that you said that,’ she ashamedly laughs. ”I’ve never even seen ‘Cujo,’ she then further admits. ”I just thought that it was a funny answer because everybody kept asking me and I just thought that ‘Cujo’ was a funny thing to say !”
So, what is your favorite horror movie of all time ? ”Erm, well, honestly, probably my favorite moves are the ‘Alien’ series. I love them, but I’m not a huge scary movie fan, …… but then I guess I kinda am. I guess I love all kinds of movies then !”
Is there anything you ever did in the two ‘Scary Movies’ that in reflection you wished you hadn’t ?! ”No, I mean, I actually look back on the press junkets that I did and I think ‘Why did I say that,’ but I loved doing the ‘Scary Movie’s. I’m just glad that I didn’t have to do more,” she laughs.
Were there any scenes in ‘The Hot Chick’ that you thought were a little possibly ‘too raunchy’ ?! ”Erm, no, because ‘The Hot Chick’ was a blessing because it was so good to be there day after day with those people. I’m trying to think if there was anything in the original script that they changed ….. I think, in the original script I was a little bit more promiscuous. There was sort of a reference to it originally that she had been the school slut, or whatever, but they changed that after we’d all done the first few readings.”
What’s the most interesting thing to know about Anna Faris ? ”About me ? Oh, I don’t know. Well, I really do like a good time and I like to drink and I will admit that,” she laughs. ”I love margarita’s, I love even a good rum and coke every now and again, or a whiskey and coke is even better, but they tend to get me a little bit sassy ! But, I’m an English major, I love to write and so my secret dream would be to write a novel, but I don't know if I have that skill or the patience to stick with it. And, I love gardening and I love to cook and if I was in any other profession I would be about 30lbs bigger than I am now as I love to cook Italian food ! So, I guess I’m kind of a homebody.”
Did you give any ‘female acting skills’ to Rob whilst on the set ? ”He would ask us. He was great about that, because I wouldn’t do that normally, especially as he is kinda my boss, but he would come up to us and ask us regularly how to act a certain way. But then everyone is such a trumped up character so I honestly don’t know how based in reality any of these people are. I mean, I’ve never had a pillow fight in my life except with my brother who just tried to suffocate me with it !”
How much improv was on the set ? ”Some, to a degree, but not a lot compared to something like ‘Scary Movie.’ But, there was some improv, but we were working with a pretty tight schedule though and because a lot of times there were a lot of people in the shot it was hard to kinda go astray too much from the script. But I love doing improv, especially in a comedy.”
Whatever happened to the NBC / Andy Richter-produced ‘Dog Days’ ? ”Oh yeah, the dog show. Well, first it didn’t get picked up, then it did, then it didn’t get picked up, then it picked up again, and then it didn’t get picked up ….. no, maybe that’s too many times ! But, anyway, in the end it didn’t get picked up which I’m glad for because the show was about me and my talking dog ! It was funnier than I thought as the dog was Andy Richter, but it was really hard working with the dog ! You don’t really get a lot back !”
Any brand new projects you can talk about ? ”Well, there’s an independent that I really want to do called ‘Waiting,’ but I’m not sure yet. It’s got Ryan Reynolds and it’s kind of a suburbia movie about all the people, waiters and waitresses, that work at a local restaurant and it sounds pretty funny.”
Describe yourself in three words: ”Strong, Spontaneous and Empathetic.”
Interviewed By Russell A. Trunk
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