Interview: Anna Faris, Regina Hall for "Scary Movie 3"

By Paul Fischer Tuesday October 22nd 2002 02:30PM
Anna Faris, Regina Hall for "Scary Movie 3"

The gals are back in what is undoubtedly the funniest film in the Scary Movie franchise, thanks to director David Zucker. No wonder these two ladies were willing to be lured back for a third film, as Paul Fischer discovered when he met the pair.

        Question:  At the 
        "Hot Chick" junket you weren't in favor of the first Scary movie and 
        you said you hadn't been officially contacted at that time. 

        Anna: That's true. I hadn't. I was under contract 
        and was very surprised when they called me because I was under the 
        impression that they were going to have a whole new cast. It's a wonderful 
        feeling to work and it's a privilege and I was excited about going 
        back and playing this character. I was really excited to work with 
        David Zucker because I loved the airplane movies and Naked Gun series 
        so much growing up. It was a wonderful blessing. 

        Question:  What 
        are the comparisons working with Zucker and the Wayans? 

        Anna: They have very different styles I think. Keenan 
        was very encouraging in terms of improv whereas David is very meticulous 
        and he likes us to stick to the script. For me that was fine. In some 
        cases, I love doing improv but with Cindy Campbell being sort of the 
        anchor-woman".there wasn't a whole lot for me to expand. But Regina 
        is fantastic at doing improv. 

        Regina: It all depends upon the character you're playing. Some 
        characters are easier. If you are the outlandish character, it's easier 
        to improv as opposed to when you have to be the anchor and ground 
        the script. Anna has to ground the movie but she did improv in "Lost 
        in Translation". It [Scary Movie 3] just was a different movie, a 
        different tone. One and Two were great but we were also very new. 
        That was Anna's first film, only my third so so much of what we did 
        we learned from Keenan and working with David it was kind of like 
        we were the ones who had been in the movie and knew and then we had 
        him come in and take our comedy, our comedic skills to a totally different 
        level by adding physical comedy. Setting up shots was completely different 
        so I think it helped us probably grow as comedic actresses. 

        Question:  Regina, 
        were you contractually bound? 

        Regina: I wasn't contractually bound, no. Anna was contractually 
        bound from the first one but when I did the very first one, I got 
        it at the very last minute. In the script I think my character died. 
        I don't they ever had any idea that Brenda would come back a second 
        or third time. 

        Anna: That's just a testament to your talent. 

        Question:  (to Regina) 
        Did you have to do a body cast? How was that? 

        Anna: Those are awful experiences. 

        Regina: We've both had them done and it's really awful. To 
        have your eyes and ears and mouth"unable to breathe. 

        Anna: You are drowning in cement. It's awful. You just think, 
        'could they pay me enough to do this?'. 

        Regina: You feel like you've been hyperventilating and all 
        you have to move is your arms. 

        Anna: They sound is so muffled and it's very hot. You've got 
        to be a brave soul. 

        Question:  Does 
        this kind of broad comedy come naturally to you? 

        Regina: I think once we created those characters it did. 

        Anna: Yeah and we both are really good at laughing at ourselves. 
        I think that's pretty important. You have to enjoy being humiliated. 

        Question:  What 
        aspects of yourselves do you laugh at? 

        Anna: Like the other day, I ordered a salad and I said, 'I'd 
        like the Tuscan salad'. And the waitress said, 'Do you mean the Tucson 
        [two-sawn] salad?' I said 'yes, that's the one I want'. Stuff like 
        that. Falling, tripping. If I accidentally expose one of my private 

        Question:  Leslie 
        Nielson is an old hand at this type of comedy. Was it hard to keep 
        a straight face with him? 

        Anna: There aren't very many people that can break me [up]. 
        By this time, it's like 'okay, let's just shoot the scene. Quit laughing'. 
        But this one makes me laugh a lot and Leslie Nielson made me laugh 
        a lot. 'Send flowers to their bitches and hoes'. Wasn't he great? 
        He had this other line that was cut out because it doesn't match with 
        the plot anymore. He said 'Cindy Campbell, I've already named two 
        states after you. Campbelltucky and Cindyana'. And sweet Leslie would 
        always say 'Cindyrama and Camp"uh, uh. He had a really hard time with 
        that line and he would just laugh to himself. We had a great time. 
        He's just a wonderful man. 

        Question:  Do you 
        think this is the end of the Scary Movie franchise for you? 

        Anna: Let's just say if you see us in 4, we might have pools. 
        I don't know what will happen. There's a lot of rumors flying around. 
        It depends a lot on on the success of this movie. We both want to 
        do other things. It's important for us to expand. I grew up in drama 
        and I'd really love to return to that? 

        Question:  Regina, 
        you've worked with Mekai Pfifer before. How did Anthony do, impersonating 

        Regina: He was pretty good. That whole scene in 8 Mile".just 
        seeing Anthony in that wig, with the dreadlocks and the whole idea. 
        I think he did pretty well as that best friend and MC even though 
        he jumped on top of me once my body was dead and blew me to pieces.Question:  So that wasn't the cast dummy of you? 

        Regina: Oh, it was! Thank God that wasn't me. If that was me 
        I'd be gone. But I had to see it. 

        Question:  Anna 
        how do you feel about the great response to "Lost in Translation"? 

        Anna: It's the first movie I've done that got good reviews. 
        I think comedies in general tend not to be critics favorites but it's 
        been unbelievable. I was really thrilled when I got that role. I knew 
        if was going to be something special. I'm not surprised by its success 
        or how beautiful it is because just working with Sophia and getting 
        to know her, she's got an amazing vision.Question:  Do you relate to that sort of blonde, self-important""

        Anna: [joking] That is me. 

        Question:  Are you 
        doing Cameron Diaz? 

        Anna: I did think of a person but not Cameron Diaz? [to Regina] 
        She knows. 

        Regina: I know. I'm not gonna say unless you pay 

        Question:  Anthony 
        was very funny saying he signed up for this thinking it was a Wayans 
        Brothers movie. Did you know? 

        Regina: I knew that they were not going to be involved. I did 
        like the script a lot, Anna was doing it. It wasn't like my part was 
        so huge that I felt like I was committing to a giant hunk of time. 
        I like David Zucker's work so much; Airplane and Naked Gun so it didn't 
        scare me to have him as the director. I didn't feel like they were 
        getting Joe Shmo. I felt like they were putting the movie in someone 
        else's hands who knew the kind of movie we were doing. The script 
        was funny and the money was good. 

        Question:  What 
        was Zucker directing the nightclub rap scene like? 

        Anna: I don't even remember seeing him there. 

        Regina: That was pretty funny because he's not a 
        nightclub guy. 

        Anna: He's a little older so he's out of touch with that environment. 
        I vaguely remember him being in a little bit of a daze during that. 
        We had 400 extras or something crazy.
        Who gave him advice on how to deal with hip hop culture? 

        Anna: I don't know. He works with some very smart people close 
        to him. 

        Regina: A good team. We had Fat Joe on the set. That was exciting 
        for me. Maybe Fat Joe helped David. 

        Question:  Would 
        you like to do a drama next? 

        Anna: I don't know. I would love to. I want to do good projects. 
        Right now I have a recurring role on friends, three episodes. I can 
        say that I have something to do with Monica and Jen's storyline. I 
        play a baby, a five year old. We shot one. I do another one is November. 
        My character lives in Ohio. 

        Question:  How intimidating 
        was it going onto a "Friends" set? 

        Anna: Very. You're really walking on their turf. 
        I didn't have any expectations but they were all so friendly, so accommodating, 
        very hard-working and very emotionally invested in the show. I was 
        very impressed. It's also the world's best job. The audience just 
        loves it and embraces them so much. 

        Question:  Do you 
        find that doing comedies limits the range of roles you are offered? 

        Anna: These movies have opened up a whole lot of doors for 
        me. I didn't have anything before. I had a really bad horror movie 
        before Scary Movie. There is that. When you do such broad comedy it's 
        hard for studio people to envision you being anything else. Also, 
        a lot of people don't see these movies. The general public does but"

        Regina: You're right. It's hard to find good pieces. For me, 
        I'm still stuck on why I wasn't asked to audition for The Hours" [laughter]. 
        I'm looking to doing mainstream, funny comedies moreso instead of 
        just limiting myself to the Urban market. It's difficult for me whether 
        it's a drama or comedy. 

        Question:  What 
        are you doing now? 

        Regina: I have a deal with Miramax. I have a film in development 
        that I'm starring in and producing that will hopefully be a vehicle 
        for me to go out of the broad comedy range. It's not a romantic comedy 
        and it's not broad comedy. It's more along the lines of a "Working 
        Girl" type structure. 

        Anna: We both love doing comedy but it would be really wonderful 
        but less broad. 

        Regina: We actually want to do something together. But not 
        so broad. 

        Anna: We want to do some kind of buddy movie. Not 
        necessarily action. 

        Regina: We have three or four ideas we're kicking around. 

        Question:  Are you 
        doing to form a partnership? 

        Regina: Well, I remember so many successful duos in the past 
        who've worked together. We think we have a good thing that's been 
        done, her being white and me black" I know it's shocking but it's 
        been done successfully with men like Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor 
        and Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte but it hasn't really been done with 
        women. We want to do that. 
        Question: Was there a favorite scene that was cut from this film? 

        Anna: I think it is important to keep these movies trim but 
        there were a few scenes that I worked really hard on that I didn't 
        love but I fought a horse and I also fought fifty evil little girls 
        and I swung around a pole in the Matrix and I had this really tight 
        leather outfit on and it was brutal. I think it wasn't [unintelligible.. 
        SOUNDS LIKE: laughs]. 

        Regina: But don't you think these kinds of comedies should 
        be short? Sometimes you go to a comedy and the movie is funny but 
        it goes on too long. 
        Question: Did you watch The Ring before you did the film? 

        Anna: We both watched The Ring and Signs before we knew they 
        would be spoofed

        Regina: Yeah. I went to see both films in the theater. 

        Anna: And we liked them both. They're both so visually striking. 
        Those are the best movies to spoof. Everybody remembers the scene 
        where the men are running around the house and the girl coming out 
        of the t.v. and the tape and the Pam Anderson and Jenny McCarthy opening. 
        They were great. I liked both those movies. You appreciate their silliness 
        but yeah"

        Question:  Did you 
        get any improv input in the scene where Regina is pretending horrible 
        things are happening to her? 

        Regina: That was all in the script about my hand catching on 
        fire. The foam part, I wasn't happy with the foam. I had to chew a 
        bunch of Alka Seltzer without water. 

        Question:  You do 
        really hard work on these films. 

        Anna: These movies are hard work. 

        Regina: Everybody thinks they're a bunch of practical joking 
        fun but.. oh what we do to make you guys laugh. 

        Question:  How about 
        working with Rob Schneider in that masterpiece of American cinema, 
        The Hot Chick. 

        Anna: He is a nice guy but the thing about a lot of comedians 
        I think is they tend to be a lot more serious that you would expect.