The actress reprises her role in the fourth installment of the spoof franchise
For the fourth time, Anna Faris has returned to play Cindy Campbell in the Scary Movie franchise. The 29-year-old beauty has really made a name for herself in the last few years with these films. And last year, she starred in Just Friends and Waiting, both with Ryan Reynolds, and a little movie called Brokeback Mountain.
In this latest spoof film, Scary Movie 4, Anna tackles The Grudge, The Village, Million Dollar Baby, Saw, and a host of other films you have to see to believe. This is by far the funniest of the Scary Movie films.
I had the chance to sit down with Anna, who's from my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. We chatted about her first few years there and how much she loves the city. By the way, if you ever have the chance to head out there, check out the pubs in Fells Point - it's an Anna Faris recommendation.
But we did get into the comedy and also what she's working on next including My Super Ex-Girlfriend and Smiley Face. Here's what we talked about:
This is such an enjoyable movie.
Anna Faris: Yeah, I think it's not critic's choice across the board, so it's always nice when someone has a good time and enjoys it.
I think there's something wrong with people who don't like these kinds of movies.
Anna Faris: Well, especially now you've got Scary Movie 4, you know what you're going to get; it's kind of been established what kind of movie we are, very unpretentious, silly, light-hearted that you really don't have to do a lot of thinking when you're watching it.
What did you see in the movie that made you laugh?
Anna Faris: I get so nervous watching myself, I start to sweat, so I pretty much enjoyed every scene that I wasn't in and I watched it with a lot of critics, so I was so tense. But, it seemed to play well, people laughed quite a bit, so that was good. I really loved the scene with Craig Bierko and Oprah; I thought that was great, and I laughed a lot during then.
Dave Zucker was saying since you and Regina (Hall) have been in this on all four movies, you're kind of like a creative partner -
Anna Faris: Oh, that's what he said? That's so sweet, I didn't realize that.
Do you feel like you have a say in what goes on?
Anna Faris: No, I wish; they pretty much give us a script at the last minute. We pipe up a lot more than we used to and say 'I think it would be funny if we do this.' Now, I'm a little bit vocal in 'I think I'm going to do this two or three times and then stop.' So I put my foot down a little more, but we're both pretty low maintenance and we have a lot of trust in David and the project. Having said all that, it's sort of comforting to have a sense of ownership; it's sort of the only project I can still approach, because I'm still growing and learning in this business, it's the only project I can approach with so much comfort and I really like that, and that alone makes me want to do the fifth one if there's going to be fifth one
So have you been asked to come back for another one?
Anna Faris: No, there hasn't been any approach and there probably won't be one for a while. I think they're doing a superhero spoof, which I'm not going to be a part of; I think I'm going to keep my spoofs to Scary Movie. Yeah, I don't know, I guess it all depends on opening weekend.
How much has Cindy Campbell become you?
Anna Faris: Well, I think Cindy is a small slice of who I am; I think because she's really uncomplicated, there really isn't too much depth to her. She's very sincere, sweet, and naive, and breathy, and really doesn't have a sense of humor at all. Not that she's grumpy or moody, but she doesn't really understand humor; she doesn't get that. She's someone who I can easily slip right into and as a result, there's other things about making these movies that are more creatively filling, like doing the gags and doing the stunts, not necessarily playing Cindy Campbell; there's not a lot for me to actually do.
How much of the action do you actually get into?
Anna Faris: I do most of it; for the boxing scene, I had a double, but I knew most of those moves. I practiced all the moves, so they could have used me; there's a couple weird shots where it's my stunt double, and she's so much more muscular than I am, and it looks really weird, I thought. But I learned all that stuff, and I'm always game, especially with David, because he wants to see my face getting hit, because it's funny to see Cindy Campbell go down. I always give it a stab, I always give it a try.
What were your favorite scenes to do?
Anna Faris: I really liked every scene with Regina because we always laugh; I liked doing The Grudge stuff, with Cloris Leachman, because she's so fun and great and wild and crazy, and working with the little boy. Sometimes working with kids can be difficult, but he was so sweet and he knew his lines way better than I did - I didn't know my lines at all, I had to be fed all my lines. And I thought that was one of my funnier scenes and bits I got to do. And working with Craig Bierko really, he's a really sweet guy and really witty; I think you only sign up for these movies if you're pretty good natured.
Is there ever a hesitance to come back for another one?
Anna Faris: After I finished the third one, I was so tired, it lasted so long, and for a number of reasons it was really difficult. So after the third one, I thought 'I'm not sure if I want to do the fourth one.' But then a few months passed, and I had an unbelievable time doing this one. So I think especially now, I've been able to break away and do some other projects that you wouldn't expect that I'm open to everything.
You had a very good year last year, especially with the comedies Just Friends and Waiting.
Anna Faris: Yeah, both those movies, especially Just Friends because I loved that role; it was so much fun, I'd like to play that again. I think I've been chipped away, and I've been pretty lucky this year; I've been working steadily since September, I'm really happy about climbing the ladder and expand my work.
Is there an Anna Faris-type movie or do you just go for whatever is there?
Anna Faris: I don't know, that's the thing that I've done such a variety of projects that it sort of opens the door to even more because that's what I want to do and continue playing interesting characters.
What have you been working on?
Anna Faris: I just finished My Super Ex-Girlfriend with Ivan Reitman directing and Luke Wilson and Uma Thurman and now I'm shooting a movie called Smiley Face that's directed by Gregg Araki, who's sort of a really interesting independent director; it's really funny, I think it's pretty funny, I hope. I'm really excited about Smiley Face because I play this girl who smokes a lot of weed and it's a really fun character piece. It's a comedy, but it's not like this; it's pretty off-beat and kind of weird.
What about My Super Ex-Girlfriend?
Anna Faris: Uma is a superhero and she dates Luke Wilson; while she's a great superhero, she's a crazy girlfriend. He breaks up with her and we start dating, and then she comes after us with full force and superhero power. So, it's really fun and it's a light-hearted comedy.
Have you been approached to do any dramas?
Anna Faris: No, not for a while; but if I'm going to do that crossover, I want to go dark. I want it to be a really juicy dark role, like a crack addict and something hard core. I'm waiting for something perfect.
As far as forgetting lines, you've got one of the longest monologues at the beginning of the movie.
Anna Faris: I know, I was going on and on and on and on and on and on, suddenly Cindy Campbell becomes a little Chatty Cathy. I'm always delighted with that stuff and when the writer gives me some ridiculous thing. And yeah, I was pretty good with that one; the only time I was bad on my lines - it's easy for me to memorize that - it was the Japanese dialogue, they had to literally off camera give me the lines.
Have you seen all the movies that were spoofed in this movie?
Anna Faris: I have, because it's important to know the mood of the character in the movie. But having said that, I don't think there are any jokes you won't get if you haven't seen the movie; even if you've seen a preview for The Grudge, our jokes are so obvious, there's no inside jokes.
Did you ever want to get in on the Brokeback Mountain scene?
Anna Faris: Well, I have such a small role in Brokeback, and it was such an honor to be a part of that movie. And I was really excited that we were going to spoof it; I was really thrilled because it was a movie that garnered so much discussion and everybody knows about it. And it's an outlet for Anthony (Anderson) and Kevin (Hart) to have a good time and to play around with it. And I think Ang Lee has such a good sense of humor, I don't think he would have a problem with it.
Have you heard from anyone you've ever spoofed?
Anna Faris: No - well, that's not true; after the first one, I briefly met Jennifer Love Hewitt and Neve Campbell and they were both really sweet to me and they loved the movie. I think that because nothing is really personal, everyone is really good natured about it.
What makes you laugh?
Anna Faris: Oh, my husband makes me laugh, these movies are great; I love most comedies and I think I have a pretty easy time laughing. And I'm always feeling like I'm doing something stupid; I always feel like I'm putting my foot in my mouth, or falling or tripping. I was wearing this blouse and it kept popping open and I was exposing myself to everybody. I feel like I'm at the point in my life where I'm 29 and I've done all these ridiculous movies, I just laugh all day long and love to laugh at myself.
If you want to laugh your ass off, check out Scary Movie 4 when it hits theaters April 14th; it's rated PG-13.