Anna Faris stars in What’s Your Number and is also a producer on the film. The comic actress, given her success with The House Bunny where she also served as producer, sees taking that position as elemental in getting the films she adores made. “I feel like, especially in the comedic world, that's how things have to be done,” Faris told Movie Fanatic. “You have to be a part of it to get a movie made.”
The star first grabbed the collective attention of the world for her starring role in Scary Movie and its sequels. Her turns in Just Friends, The House Bunny and Observe and Report made her a go-to comedic actress. Although she quickly deflects any compliments about her dramatic work in Lost in Translation or Brokeback Mountain, Faris is clearly one full-fledged talented actress. She even nailed the voice over work in the delicious Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Faris is at a beach hotel in Santa Monica -- here to discuss her illustrious career, working with What's Your Number co-star Chris Evans and her husband Chris Pratt on her latest film as well as why What’s Your Number spoke to her creatively.
Movie Fanatic: In What’s Your Number, your character seems to have a history of becoming something other than herself for her boyfriend’s sake. Do you think you have ever had to do that in terms of your career in Hollywood?
Anna Faris: In every career you are balancing how you negotiate tricky waters but I think that’s been something nice that comedy has been able to give me -- the ability to laugh at myself and hopefully, not take this whole Hollywood world too seriously.
Movie Fanatic: You must see dozens of romantic comedy scripts. What was it about this one that got you?
Anna Faris: I loved how it felt so sharp. I loved playing characters that are a bit of a mess. I think for the last decade we’ve seen a lot of women in film that are not that. They are trying to juggle it all in an organized way. I was really excited to play someone who’s lost, unemployed, who drinks a lot, she sleeps around -- that was exciting to me. Those scripts don’t come around very often.
Movie Fanatic: Any stalking the ex stories that fed your characterization?
Anna Faris: I had my college ex-boyfriend’s class schedule memorized [laughs]. I would “accidentally” bump into him all the time. He tried to reach out to me six months ago so I feel like I came out on top. I don’t try to keep in touch with exes. I have like two.
Movie Fanatic: How did you find your way to What’s Your Number?
Anna Faris: I was attached to it quite a while. The writers and other producers came to me and we brought it to New Regency and they were really excited so that’s how it worked for me.
Movie Fanatic: Anna, are you that good at basketball? You’re not really, are you?
Anna Faris: What? You could tell?
Movie Fanatic: And was that scene at the Boston Garden always strip basketball?
Anna Faris: No [laughs]. We were able to secure the Boston Garden so they changed it suddenly to strip basketball and I suddenly had to be at basketball rehearsal every night after work. It’s one of those things you read and don’t actually think “Oh, I’m gonna have to be in my underwear.” I just thought, “Oh, that’s kind of charming.” Then the day comes and, suddenly, you’re wearing like the tiniest clothes in front of people you’ve been working with the last three months. All your credibility is just down the drain.
Movie Fanatic: Do you feel there’s a double standard with women sleeping around and having a “number,” even being called sluts, and men doing it getting the stud label? Is it warranted at all?
Anna Faris: No, it’s unfortunate. I think it’s a conversation we can’t help but have. I think there is a bit of a moral identity as women to somehow link the number of people we’ve been with, or how much experience we have and whether or not we should feel guilty for those experiences. It’s a fun conversation to have, unless you’re asking your husband [laughs]. I don’t want to know how many people he’s been with. But no, do I think it’s a dated, archaic conversation? Yeah, but it’s still there.
Movie Fanatic: You’ve done it before, but how was working with your husband, Chris Pratt?
Anna Faris: It was terrifying actually because I think I’m more concerned about his opinion of my acting than anybody else and he is really particular so it was really scary but great and I was really honored that he was able to do it. He plays Disgusting Donald [laughs] who is sort of the instigator for my character’s whole journey and I did not cast his fiancé. She was way too hot for my liking!
Movie Fanatic: Did you two have to practice lines together?
Anna Faris: Yeah, we would. It’s just terrifying in general. It’s like your parents or loved ones reading something you’ve written. The scrutiny is going to be much more magnified.
Movie Fanatic: You’ve done dramas, but many more comedies. Is that something you just look for?
Anna Faris: I used to feel this need to prove to people that I could do something dramatic but the truth is -- I don’t know if I can. I don’t think it’s in my skill set but I do love making comedies. It’s been so much fun for me. I hope that I continue to.