Virtually an unknown when Anna Faris burst onto the screen with the original Scary Movie, the beautiful blonde comic actress continues to diversify with roles in the likes of Lost in Translation and Brokeback Mountain, as well as the Scary Movie franchise, Waiting, and the upcoming My Super Ex-Girlfriend and Smiley Face. Faris talked exclusively to Paul Fischer.
Question: Now every time I talk to you, you swear to me that you are not going to do another Scary Movie.
Faris: No, I don’t. Do I?
Question: Yes, you do.
Faris: Oh, no. I’m a liar. I’m very bad. I’m very sorry.
Question: Apparent so [Laughter]
Question: Why DID you decide to return to this territory?
Faris: Well, I have to tell you I liked to say that I do silly, fun projects like Brokeback Mountain so I can do heavier projects like Scary Movie 4 that was a joke. Was it bad?
Question: No, I’m laughing on the inside. (Laughter)
Faris: Oh, well. First of all, they’re really fun for me to do. It’s sort of like putting on an old pair of jeans. It’s the only environment now that I can approach film-wise where I’m really comfortable. You know? I mean we’re all friends up there when we shoot these movies and, I feel a sense of ownership now over the franchise which is a really good feeling. I also think that there just aren’t that many out there for women, even though this isn’t exactly a comedic role.
Question: What do you think you’ve learnt the most doing these films as an actress and a comedienne?
Faris: Well I think I’ve learned that there’s no vanity in comedy. And also I’ve learned how to do a lot of physical comedy – just the gags, the falling, the tripping, getting hit by things and falling back and that stuff sort of requires a certain amount of skill.
Question: did it take a while for casting people and producers to take you seriously, because you’ve done some really wonderful stuff beyond these movies.
Faris: Thank you. ye, I think, that it certainly wasn’t like all doors were open after Scary Movie made a lot of money. I’m not so much the Scary Movie girl in the eyes of Hollywood, I’m more the funny girl, and I’m not quite sure still why, there’s such a division between peoples’ eyes between comedic actors and dramatic actors, so I think that that’s more of what I’m dealing with now, not necessarily being attached to the Scary Movie franchise, but just trying to maybe do more dramatic work. Because to me, and I think to most people – doing comedy is quite a bit harder in a lot of ways, so it’s been a sort of an interesting journey in that realm, but I feel like as my sort of body of work continues to grow, it it’s become a lot easier.
Question: How shocked were you by Brokeback Mountain and its Oscar glory, etc.?
Faris: Well, I was only on set for three days and I really felt like it was going to be a special project. I thought the script was amazing, the crew was really small and very select and everything was done with so much care that it felt like it was bound to be, a really beautiful movie. But I wasn’t too surprised. It’s tough for me because I didn’t have that much involvement in it. I’m not sure if Jake, Heath and Ang and everybody were really surprised or not. But for me as just sort of a little bit of an outsider, I didn’t feel too surprised.
Question: You’re remarkably busy. I mean you just finished shooting My Super Ex-Girlfriend with for Ivan Reitman, right?
Question: What was that experience like, and who do you play in that?
Faris: Uma Thurman stars as a superhero that’s dating Luke Wilson. She ends up being sort of a crazy girlfriend. And so he breaks up with her and then we start dating and she gets very jealous, very annoyed and takes her anger out on us. Then, hilarity ensues.
Question: Talk about working with Ivan.
Faris: Ivan was great. I was really thrilled to work with such a legend, of comedy. And he’s a really, really smart man, and I was honoured. I mean he saw me in stuff and so and offered me that role instead of me fighting for it and auditioning for it, which was a huge honour for me.
Question: Now you’re also filming Gregg Araki’s new movie?
Faris: I’m shooting that now. I go back to work on Monday.
Question: Smiley Face, right?
Faris: Smiley Face, yes.
Question: So you play a girl who eats pot brownies?
Faris: I eat a lot. I eat 12.
Question: Wow. Did you have to do any research on this at all?
Faris: [Laughter]. Well I did go to college. (Laughter)
Faris: but you know it’s a really great role. I’m really having the best time and I feel so lucky to be a young woman and being able to play a role like this. I feel like they’re always written for men.
Question: What happens to her as she eats these12 pot brownies?
Faris: Well, she goes to an audition and she tries to sell weed to a casting director and then after she’s she gets really paranoid she ends up finding the original manuscript that’s a communist manifesto by Karl Marx and tries to organise a union in a sausage factory – and many other adventures. It’s really fun. I’m just it’s just a very offbeat comedy and, I’m really having such an amazing time on it.
Question: Are you signed to do another Scary Movie? Do you think you’ll do one more?
Faris: I would love to do one more. I really would – especially if Regina’s signed on. Of course, I want to do other things, and I’d love to be able to balance things out, doing some more serious work and then being able to come back and do a Scary Movie. It sounds pretty ideal to me.
Question: So you never know, right. Do you have anything signed up after Smiley Face?
Faris: No. I’m just going to, take a break. I’ve been working since September so I’m looking forward to, to a little bit of down time, and then we’ll sort of see what happens. I’ll start trying to peddle myself around town, if anybody will hire me.