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Anna Faris - "Scary Movie 4" - Iesb.net Interview (sarah michelle gellar mention)

Richard Chavez

Monday 10 April 2006, by Webmaster

For all you fans of the Scary Movie franchise, get prepared for the 4th installment. Anna Faris and Regina Hall reprise their roles as the lovely Cindy Campbell and her sex—crazed friend Brenda. This time they pair up with Craig Bierko, who plays Tom Ryan. They join forces to save the world against an alien invasion lead by Zoltar.

Cindy moves in next door to Tom to take care of an old lady. She finds out that the house is being haunted by a little boy. To find out what happened she goes on a quest to find the answers. During this quest, she must also find out what to do to stop the aliens with the help of Brenda and Tom.

We had a chance to talk to Anna Faris about her return to Cindy Campbell and her experience on set. Check out what she had to say below:

Q: Have you ever refused to do some of the physical comedy?

AF: I’m always pretty game, especially since Cindy is so sweet and innocent. It gets annoying so it’s fun to take me down a bit. There was one shot where I get hit in the face with an airplane food card. It happened so fast that it looks like it might have been a stunt double, which is frustrating, but it was me. They made it out of foam, but there was wood in the thing and it really breaks across my nose. There was a guy standing on a ladder throwing it right into my face. That one I didn’t want to do more than twice because it hurt pretty bad and they saved it for the last shot of the whole movie for me, in case I was injured I guess, so they wouldn’t have to worry.

Q: How do you prepare for these movies?

AF: I had to do a lot of boxing to prepare. They always do this to me, but the boxing sequence was quite a bit longer originally. We had this 10-minute long sequence that I spent my weekends training for, and at the time I reminded them it’s Scary Movie and we aren’t REALLY making Million Dollar Baby here, but they wanted it to look real and inevitably the scene gets cut to like 30 seconds and they used my stunt double anyway. For the first one I had to learn how to River Dance and I had to learn fighting and wire work. I don’t really have to research the acting because my character is uncomplicated.

Q: Do you see all the movies you spoof?

AF: We rent a lot of movies because I like to have a glass of wine and watch movies at home. I watch most of those movies anyway, but I see them for this movie. My character doesn’t really imitate anybody any more, but I think it’s important to understand the feel and the mood. Mostly that has to do with cinematography and the set design.

Q: So you don’t try to imitate facial expressions or things like that?

AF: Did it look like I was doing that? It’s a little bit unconscious if I do that. A lot of my lines are similar to Sarah Michelle Gellar, but I’m not trying to do an imitation. Cindy has evolved. She’s not bright. She’s a nurse. I’m scared and she has to save humanity.

Q: Do you feel like you own this character and question her lines sometimes?

AF: Yes, but not too often. I may not be true to her all the time because not only do I have to carry the plot as Cindy, but I have to be a reactor to other people. I make goofy faces sometimes, and that’s not natural. David had one scene where he wanted me to do a Landry, he has names for every facial expression, and that’s this look. I had to draw the line there because Cindy wouldn’t do that look. That’s showing empathy or relatibility. I’m probably analyzing it way more than Cindy should ever be analyzed. Instead I did a different look that wasn’t as cynical.

Q: Were you nervous working with Mike Tyson?

AF: It wasn’t Mike Tyson. It was a local boxer that was made up to look like him. I would be nervous working with Mike.

Q: Why does he call that a Landry?

AF: It’s from Dallas football Coach Tom Landry. He also has an expression called Who Farted? Also downward chomping. It’s great acting class, broken down to 4 facial expressions.

Q: Was it difficult to learn Japanese?

AF: I’m embarrassed because that sweet little boy knew all his lines. I think I’m a pretty low maintenance actress, but I came to work that day and I didn’t have the lines down at all. I had to be fed every line and he knew every line. He was a little doll. I was so relived when I saw it in the script because it was one of the few times I got to do something ridiculous.

Q: Do you improvise at all?

AF: David isn’t a big improv guy, especially for my character. The Japanese was in the script and it was very specific. There was a lot of Fujitsu and Sony in there.

Q: Did that make it easier to memorize?

AF: Yes and no, because it made no sense. It was all random to me. It’s hard to memorize things for any movie if it doesn’t make sense to you.

Q: Did the script change often?

AF: Sometimes, but more on the 2nd and 3rd ones. It’s normally easy for me to adapt, except for the Japanese stuff. With this one it was a little different because the script was more intact. With the 3rd one, they wrote it, we shot and then they had to shoot extra and change the plot. I think it’s worse for the hair and wardrobe people to have to go get a dreadlock wig in 30 minutes.

Q: Did you get to see Leslie Nielson naked?

AF: No. I heard that Regina was telling everyone that I was sneaking onto set during that, but no. He’s such a sweet man. I applaud him. I think I’m good at doing things that make me uncomfortable, but I don’t know if I could do that. He was pretty great.

Q: Have you met the people you’ve mocked?

AF: After the first one I met Jennifer Love Hewitt and Neve Campbell and they were lovely. Jennifer sent me flowers and told me how much she loved the movie. I don’t know how you could be insulted by it. I think it’s a compliment if people are spoofing your movie because it had a lasting effect and was a hit. I think most of the audience really enjoys the movies we are spoofing.

Q: Do you pay attention to opening weekend box office?

AF: Regina does. I am interested in the movies I’m involved in. I wish I wasn’t like that because I don’t have any control over it. The first couple of years I was here I had no idea what anything meant. When the first one opened at $43 million I had no idea if it was good or bad. I grew up in Seattle so there was no reason for me to look at box office numbers. Now I’m more savvy. I hope this movie does well. It’s natural to want movies you are invested in to do well.

Q: Are you in for Scary Movie 5?

AF: Not yet! I’m a free lady for right now.

Q: Will there be many more?

AF: I wouldn’t put it past those guys. Since we are a series that can continue to reinvent ourselves we have almost a new cast every time and no story line we need to follow. There are no plot structure rules. They could even dump me and Regina and feel okay about it. I think as long as they continue to make money they will just keep going.

Q: Are you surprised you’ve been back for all 4?

AF: Since I do silly movies like Brokeback Mountain I can also do fun projects like Scary Movie 4. Yes, I’m surprised they still hired me and kept me around. I’m flattered. If you had told me this during the first I don’t know if I would be happy or depressed because I didn’t know what I was doing! I’m grateful because this is one of the few times where a young female can be comedic. I feel good about also being a part of critically acclaimed projects and still do this. If I’m in the 10th one I would be happy because I never thought I could make a living doing this in any way so I’d be grateful.

Q: Who are your role models of older actresses?

AF: It’s hard to be Lucille Ball. I grew up doing dramatic work rather than comedy. I don’t think I am the funny girl. I think I took myself really seriously for a really long time. A few months ago my brother wondered what happened to me because I used to be so anal and uptight and now I’m fun loving and goofy. I think it’s really about playing a character seriously and taking risks. I think I’m willing to go to places other actresses might not want to go.

Q: Are you doing Smiley Face?

AF: Yes, I’m doing Smiley Face right now with Gregg Araki. I also have a movie called Super Ex-girlfriend coming out this summer.

Q: Do people know you from your role on Friends?

AF: No. I think I looked very different pregnant and they put me in all these baggy clothes. My hair was shorter and they kept it tied back. When it first aired a few people recognized me, but I don’t get recognized that often in general. People recognize me right after a movie, or I don’t notice it otherwise. I feel like I’ve been a little bit of a chameleon.

Q: Can you talk about Super Ex-Girlfriend?

AF: I think it comes out in July. It’s with Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson and directed by Ivan Reitman. Uma plays a super hero who starts to date Luke and he discovers she’s a great super hero, but a crazy girlfriend. He breaks up with her and then Luke and I start dating. Then she comes after us in a major way.

Q: Were you saying all that stuff during the dirty part?

AF: Yes, I was making up stuff. I just saw it myself the other day. I thought it might get cut out, but I’m glad it worked. I was just babbling on and on. It wasn’t scripted. I might have to warn my parents about that!

Q: Are you typecast because of the Scary Movies?

AF: Yes, I’m still working on breaking that. When I moved here and did the first one it surprised me that the industry thought of actresses as either comedic or dramatic. For a while it was hard for me to get auditions for dramatic work. Doors are now opening up for me as I continue to chip away and try to do good work. If I do comedy for the rest of my life I’ll be happy. I once had bigger career goals, but now I enjoy the challenge of comedy.