Anna Faris

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Anna Faris
Anna Faris by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Born Anna Kay Faris
(1976-11-29) November 29, 1976 (age 40)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Alma mater University of Washington
Occupation Actress, producer
Years active 1991–present
Spouse(s)
  • Ben Indra (m. 2004; div. 2008)
  • Chris Pratt (m. 2009)
Children 1

Anna Kay Faris[1] (/ˈɑːnə ˈfærs/;[2] born November 29, 1976)[1] is an American actress and producer. She has been mainly recognized as a comedic performer for her appearances in numerous comedy films throughout her career.

Her breakthrough came with the role of Cindy Campbell in Scary Movie (2000), which spawned a film franchise. She appeared in the subsequent three sequels of the movie, with her last appearance being in the fourth installment, released in 2006. She became a recurring character on the TV sitcom Friends during its last season in 2004. During the early to mid-2000s, she played supporting roles in dramatic pictures such as Lost in Translation (2003) and Brokeback Mountain (2005), and appeared in various comedies, including The Hot Chick (2002), Waiting... (2005), Just Friends (2005), and My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006). She received critical praise for her role in the indie black comedy Smiley Face (2007) and then starred in the Playboy-themed movie The House Bunny (2008) which was billed as her star vehicle and earned her an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Comedic Performance.

In 2009, she co-appeared in Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel and Observe and Report, and also had voice-over roles in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as Sam Sparks and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel as Jeanette (she has continued to lend her voice for both films' sequels). She starred and co-produced the feature What's Your Number? (2011), which was followed by roles in the political satire The Dictator (2012), and the romantic comedy I Give It a Year (2013). Faris has played Christy Plunkett on the CBS sitcom Mom since 2013. The show has earned the actress further critical and popular acclaim and two People's Choice Award nominations.

Early life[edit]

Faris was born in Baltimore, Maryland.[1] Her family moved to Edmonds, Washington, when she was six years old.[3] Her father, Jack, was a sociologist who worked at the University of Washington as a vice president of internal communications,[4] and later headed the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association.[4][5] Her mother, Karen, was a special education teacher[4] at Seaview Elementary School[3] in Edmonds. Faris has an older brother, Robert, who is also a sociologist and professor at the University of California, Davis.[5][6] Faris was raised with her brother in a "very conservative atmosphere",[4] and by the time she was 6, her parents enrolled her in a community drama class for kids as they usually encouraged her to act. She enjoyed watching plays and eventually produced her own material in her bedroom with friends who lived in her neighborhood. Faris has said in interviews she often imagined her retainer talking to her, remarking that she would picture herself "on talk shows to talk about [her] talking retainer".[4][7][8]

Faris attended Edmonds-Woodway High School (where she graduated from in 1994), and while studying, she performed onstage with a Seattle repertory company and in nationally broadcast radio plays. She once described herself as a drama-club "dork", stating that she used to wear a Christmas-tree skirt in school and didn't date until senior year. "I liked guys, but no one really liked me", she recalled.[4] She then attended the University of Washington and earned a degree in English literature in 1999.[3] Despite her love for acting, Faris admitted she "never really thought [she] wanted to become a movie star" and continued to act "just to make some extra money", hoping one day to publish a novel.[4][9] After graduating college, Faris was going to travel to London, where she had a receptionist job lined up at an ad agency. However, she ended up living in Los Angeles "at the last minute", once she committed to the idea of pursuing mainstream acting, eventually getting the starring role in Scary Movie. [9] At 22, she lived on her own in a studio apartment located at the Ravenswood in Hancock Park.[9]

Career[edit]

1980s–90s: Early acting credits[edit]

Her parents encouraged her to pursue acting when she was young,[10] and she gave her first professional acting performance when she was 9 years old in a three-month run of Arthur Miller's play Danger: Memory! at the Seattle Repertory Theater. For her work, Faris was paid US$250, which was "huge" for her at the time. "I felt like I was rolling in the dough", she recalled.[11] She went on to play Scout in a production of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Issaquah, Washington, Village Theatre, and played the title character in Heidi and Rebecca in Our Town. While attending high school, Faris appeared in a frozen yogurt TV commercial. Around this time, "my third or fourth job was a training video for Red Robin, which is a burger chain out West. I play, like, the perfect hostess. And I think they still use it", she said in May 2012.[12] Faris had a small role in the made-for-TV movie Deception: A Mother's Secret, where she played a character named Liz, and later was cast in a supporting role in the indie drama Eden, which was screened at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. Faris' first major film role came shortly after college with her indie slasher film, Lovers Lane (1999), in which she played an ill-fated cheerleader. A B movie, it was released directly to video, going largely unnoticed commercially. Critical reception towards the feature was mixed,[13][14][15] but for her part, Faris got her early acting reviews by writers; website efilmcritic.com's Greg Muskewitz found her to be "the one center of interest" of the movie.[16]

2000–06: Scary Movie and breakthrough[edit]

Faris' break-out role came in 2000, when she starred in the horror-comedy parody film Scary Movie,[17] portraying Cindy Campbell, a play on the character of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) in the slasher thriller Scream. It marked her first starring credit, as she had only appeared in small and supporting parts in theater plays and low-budgeted features until then. Faris saw the experience of working on the movie as a "great bootcamp" for her, as she told UK's The Guardian in 2009, explaining that she "hadn't done much before that. With those movies you have to be so exact with your props and the physical comedy and everything, so it was a great training ground".[18] The movie was a major commercial success, ranking atop the box office charts with a US$42 million opening weekend gross. It went on to earn US$278,019,771 worldwide.[19] For her performance, she received nominations for the Breakthrough Female Performance and Best Kiss Awards at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards. Faris subsequently reprised her role in Scary Movie 2, released on July 4, 2001.

Her next film appearance was as a supporting role in the indie horror May, playing Polly, the lesbian colleague of a lonely and traumatized young woman who desperately attempts to connect with people. The movie first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 13, 2002 and was then given a limited theatrical release to nine theaters in the U.S.[20] May rated favorably with critics, who also praised Faris for her portrayal; The Digital Fix found the production to be "one of the finest examples of independent American genre filmmaking" and asserted that Faris played her role "with an infectious level of enthusiasm, frequently skirting the border between a believable performance and one that is completely over the top, but always managing to come down on the right side".[21] Later in 2002, she starred alongside Rob Schneider and Rachel McAdams in the comedy The Hot Chick, about a teenage girl whose mind is magically swapped with that of a 30-year-old criminal.

In 2003, she was "cast last-minute" opposite Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Sofia Coppola's drama Lost in Translation, where she played an actress promoting an action movie.[22] Faris felt the film gave her the chance to get people know her body of work a "little more", and called it "the best experience of [her] life".[23] The same year, she portrayed Cindy Campbell for third time in Scary Movie 3. Afterwards, Faris debuted on the last season of the sitcom Friends in the recurring role of Erica, the mother whose twin babies are adopted by Chandler and Monica.[24]

She filmed a small part in Ang Lee's drama Brokeback Mountain in the summer of 2004. As her character had just "one scene in the movie", she only spent two days on set in Calgary.[22] For the film, Faris, along with her co-stars, received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. In 2005, she also appeared in the comedies Waiting... and Just Friends, both alongside Ryan Reynolds. Waiting... was a low-budget indie about several restaurant employees who collectively stave off boredom and adulthood with their antics. In the Christmas romantic feature Just Friends, Faris portrayed Samantha James,[25] an emerging, self-obsessed pop singer. The film follows a formerly overweight nerd (played by co-star Reynolds) who reconnects with his lifelong romantic crush after arriving home in New Jersey with Faris' character in his company. The role earned her nominations for one MTV Movie Award and two Teen Choice Awards.[26]

Faris in January 2007

She played Cindy Campbell for the fourth and final time in Scary Movie 4, which opened on April 14, 2006. It was initially intended to be the final chapter in the Scary Movie franchise but a fifth feature was released by The Weinstein Company on April 12, 2013. She did not return to appear in the film.[27] Later in 2006, she appeared opposite Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson in Ivan Reitman's superhero romantic comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend, playing Hannah, the co-worker of Wilson's character, who is secretly in love with him. She and Thurman both got an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Fight.[28]

2007–12: Continued comedic work[edit]

Faris headlined Gregg Araki's indie black comedy Smiley Face, where she played Jane F, a young woman who has a series of misadventures after eating a large number of cupcakes laced with cannabis.[29] Danny Masterson, John Krasinski and Adam Brody co-starred in the picture, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival[30] before it was given a small theatrical release in Los Angeles.[31] She subsequently was cast opposite Diane Keaton and Jon Heder in the indie comedy Mama's Boy, portraying Nora, an aspiring singer-songwriter and Heder's love interest. The movie came out in a limited release on November 30, 2007.[32]

In 2008, she had the starring role in Fred Wolf's comedy The House Bunny. She appeared as Shelley, a former Playboy bunny who signs up to be the "house mother" of an unpopular university sorority after finding out she must leave the Playboy Mansion. She was nominated for MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance for her role.[33]

Faris filming a scene of the movie The House Bunny (2008)

Faris' first movie of 2009 was the British science fiction-comedy Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, which follows two social outcasts and their cynical friend as they attempt to navigate a time travel conundrum in the middle of a British pub. Faris played Cassie, a girl from the future who sets the adventure in motion. The Guardian described her appearance as a "bewildered cameo".[34] The picture only received a theatrical release in the UK, and later had several television premiere airings across Europe.[35][36]

In the black comedy Observe and Report (2009), Faris co-starred opposite Seth Rogen, portraying a bitchy cosmetics-counter employee on whom Rogen has a crush. Faris said she was drawn to the opportunity to play an "awful character" rather than the usual "roles where you have to win the audience over or win the guy over, and be charming".[37] Controversy arose regarding a scene where Rogen is having sex with Faris' intoxicated character, with advocacy groups commenting that this depicted date rape.[38][39][40]

She next lent her voice to the animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as News Reporter Sam Sparks and the live-action animation hybrid Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel as Jeanette, which both were released in 2009.[41][42] She appeared in the computer-animated live-action film Yogi Bear, released by Warner Bros. on December 17, 2010.

Faris' following movie, the retro comedy Take Me Home Tonight, received a wide theatrical release on March 4, 2011, four years after it was made.[43] She then obtained a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice Movie Actress – Comedy.[44][45] Later that year, she had the starring part and served as executive producer of What's Your Number?, where she appeared alongside Chris Evans.[24] She played a woman who looks back at the past 19 men with whom she's had relationships and wonders if one of them might be her one true love. She followed this movie with voiceover work in the sequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, released in December 2011, in which she reprised the role of Jeanette.[46][47]

The following year she played Zoey in the political satire The Dictator, co-starring Sacha Baron Cohen.[48] Faris was eager to work with Baron Cohen as she had been a fan of his "for years".[49] She found the experience of acting with him "really hard, but also really exciting" as it was "90 percent" improvised.[49] Faris won the Star of the Year Award at the National Association of Theatre Owners.[50]

2013–present: Mom[edit]

Her first 2013 release was Movie 43, an independent black-comedy portmanteau featuring 14 segments, each with a different director.[51] Faris' segment, titled The Proposition, was directed by Steve Carr and revolves around a man who attempts to propose to his girlfriend, but she reveals to him that she is a coprophiliac. This marked Faris' third collaboration with her husband Chris Pratt, following the 2011 comedies Take Me Home Tonight and What's Your Number?. In the British romantic-comedy I Give It a Year, Faris had the supporting role of Chloe, an old flame of Rafe Spall's character, who just hastily tied the knot with Nat (Rose Byrne).

In January 2013, she was cast in the main role of the CBS sitcom series Mom, which debuted later that year on September 23. Her character is Christy, a newly sober single mother who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley.[52] As she landed the part, the show gave Faris, who had guest-starred in various television programs until then, her first full-time television role.[53] Besides being a ratings success,[54][55] the sitcom and Faris received generally favorable reviews.[56][57][58][59][60] For her work on the show, Faris has been nominated for one Prism Award[61] and two People's Choice Awards.[62][63]

Faris at the Hollywood premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy, July 2014

Faris reprised her voice role as weather intern Sam Sparks in the animated science-fiction comedy sequel Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, released on September 27, 2013. The following year, she had an uncredited cameo in the closing-credits sequence of the action-comedy 22 Jump Street, appearing in a segment called 30 Jump Street: Flight Academy.[64][65][66]

She launched Anna Faris is Unqualified,[67] an advice podcast, in November 2015;[68] she is the host of the show, which features human interest stories and interviews with celebrities as they offer relationship advices to callers.[69] She reprised the voiceover role of Jeanette in the The Road Chip, the fourth installment in the Alvin and the Chipmunks film series. The movie was released on December 18, 2015, by 20th Century Fox.[70] In the 2016 action-comedy Keanu, Faris has a brief appearance as an exaggerated version of herself.[71]

Image and media[edit]

During her career, Faris has become notable for her prevalent comedic work, and has been called one of the "most talented comic actresses" of her generation by several publications.[59][72][73] Cosmopolitan magazine named her "the Cosmo’s Fun Fearless Female of the Year" in 2010,[74] and Tad Friend described her in The New Yorker as "Hollywood's most original comic actress".[10] A Vulture article called Faris "her generation's Goldie Hawn" and she has been often compared to comedian Lucille Ball.[75][76] The Wrap likening her to Ball, asserted the actress "has impeccable timing and isn't afraid to cast dignity aside in pursuit of a hardy laugh".[77]

Although various of her movies have fared badly with film critics and audiences, Faris remains often acclaimed for her portrayals in most of them; The A.V. Club once stated it was a "pleasure to watch" Faris on screen and described her as "a gifted, likeable comedian who tends to be the best element of many terrible movies".[78] Slant magazine's Dana Stevens wrote in her review for Faris' vehicle What's Your Number?: "More than any contemporary comedienne I can think of [...] Faris demonstrates this fearless anything-for-a-laugh quality. It would be wonderful to see her in a movie that tested the limits of that audacity, rather than forcing her to tamp it down".[79] Most critics agree that her 2007 indie comedy Smiley Face remains one of her best films;[80] Los Angeles Times remarked that this film was "an opportunity for the actress to show that she can carry a movie composed of often hilarious nonstop misadventures. No matter how outrageously or foolishly Faris' Jane behaves, she remains blissfully appealing—such are Faris' fearless comedic skills and the freshness of her radiant blond beauty".[81]

Faris has appeared on the covers and photo sessions of several magazines throughout her career; she graced the September 2000 cover of Raygun, and in subsequent years the list has included Playboy, Self, Cosmopolitan, among others.[82][83][84] She was featured in GQ UK's June 2001 pictorial of "Young Hollywood". She has been listed as No. 57, No. 39, No. 42 and No. 44 in Maxim magazine's "Hot 100" in 2004, 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.[85][86][87][88] In 2009, she was ranked No. 60 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World", and ranked No. 96 on the same list in 2010. Ask Men also featured her as No. 78 on its 2009 "100 Most Desirable Women in the World" list.

Personal life[edit]

She started dating actor Ben Indra shortly after they met on the set of the 1999 indie slasher Lovers Lane.[89] They married in June 2004.[90] Faris filed for divorce in April 2007 citing irreconcilable differences.[91] As part of their divorce agreement, which was finalized in February 2008, she agreed to pay Indra $900,000 in addition to other property and acting royalties.[92]

Faris met actor Chris Pratt in early 2007 at the table read in Los Angeles for the film Take Me Home Tonight; in the film, their characters were love interests.[10] They started dating shortly after, became engaged in late 2008,[93] and married on July 9, 2009, in a small ceremony in Bali, Indonesia.[94] They have a son, Jack, who was born in August 2012; he was nine weeks premature and spent a month in the NICU before going home.[95][96] The family lives in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles.[97][98]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Eden Dithy
1999 Lovers Lane Janelle Bay
2000 Scary Movie Cindy Campbell
2001 Scary Movie 2 Cindy Campbell
2002 May Polly
2002 Hot Chick, TheThe Hot Chick April
2003 Winter Break Justine
2003 Lost in Translation Kelly
2003 Scary Movie 3 Cindy Campbell
2005 Southern Belles Belle
2005 Waiting... Serena
2005 Brokeback Mountain Lashawn Malone
2005 Just Friends Samantha James
2006 Scary Movie 4 Cindy Campbell
2006 My Super Ex-Girlfriend Hannah Lewis
2006 Guilty Hearts Jane Conelly
2007 Smiley Face Jane F.
2007 Mama's Boy Nora Flanagan
2008 House Bunny, TheThe House Bunny Shelley Darlington Also producer
2008 The Spleenectomy Danielle / Dr. Fields Short film
2009 Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel Cassie
2009 Observe and Report Brandi
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Sam Sparks Voice role
2009 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Jeanette Miller Voice role
2010 Yogi Bear Rachel Johnson
2011 Take Me Home Tonight Wendy Franklin
2011 What's Your Number? Ally Darling Also executive producer
2011 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Jeanette Miller Voice role
2012 The Dictator Zoey
2013 Movie 43 Julie Segment: "The Proposition"
2013 I Give It a Year Chloe
2013 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Sam Sparks Voice role
2014 22 Jump Street Anna Cameo; segment: "30 Jump Street: Flight Academy"
2015 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip Jeanette Miller Voice role
2016 Keanu Herself Cameo
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1991 Deception: A Mother's Secret Liz Movie
2002
2004
King of the Hill Lisa
Stoned Hippie Chick
Voice roles
"Fun with Jane and Jane" (season 6, episode 17)
"Phish and Wildlife" (season 8, episode 12)
2004 Friends Erica Recurring role in season 10 (5 episodes)
2005 Blue Skies Sarah Movie
2007 Entourage Herself 3 episodes
2008
2011
Saturday Night Live Herself/host "Anna Faris/Duffy" (34.3)
"Anna Faris/Drake" (37.4)
2013–present Mom Christy Plunkett Main role

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Year Album Track Label Ref.
2003 Lost in Translation "Nobody Does It Better" Emperor Norton Records [99]
2005 Just Friends "Forgiveness" New Line Records [100][101]
2005 Just Friends "Love from Afar" New Line Records [101]
2007 Mama's Boy "Old-Fashioned Girl" Lakeshore Records [102][103]
2007 Mama's Boy "Bad Bath and Bullshit" Lakeshore Records [102][104]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
2001 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss (with Jon Abrahams) Scary Movie Won
2001 Breakthrough Female Performance Scary Movie Won
2004 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Actress (third place) May Won
2006 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Brokeback Mountain Nominated
2006 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss (with Chris Marquette) Just Friends Nominated
2006 Teen Choice Awards Choice Hissy Fit Just Friends Nominated
2006 Choice Liplock Just Friends Nominated
2006 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Chick You Don't Wanna Mess With (Best Heroine) Scary Movie 4 Nominated
2007 MTV Movie Awards Best Fight (with Uma Thurman) My Super Ex-Girlfriend Nominated
2007 Stony Awards Stonette of the Year Smiley Face Won
2009 MTV Movie Awards Best Comedic Performance The House Bunny Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress – Comedy Take Me Home Tonight Nominated
2012 National Association of Theatre Owners Star of the Year Award The Dictator Won
2014 People's Choice Awards Favorite Actress in a New Television Series Mom Nominated
2014 Online Film & Television Association Best Actress in a Comedy Series Mom Nominated
2014 Prism Awards Performance in a Comedy Series Mom Nominated
2014 Behind the Voice Actors Awards Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film (with cast) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Nominated
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic Television Actress Mom Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedic Television Actress Mom Pending

References[edit]

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External links[edit]