All grunge and gig­gles

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY MOVIES -

Faris gave heart to the raunchy Scary Movie fran­chise, sup­plied girl-next-door vavoom as The House Bunny and won a Stoney Award from High Times mag­a­zine for her tour de force per­for­mance in the stoner com­edy Smi­ley Face. Even now, play­ing the fem­i­nistve­gan man­ager of an or­ganic food co-op in Sacha Baron Co­hen’s The Dic­ta­tor, she’s a grungy pixie in over­alls and armpit hair. Born in Bal­ti­more and raised in Ed­monds, Wash., Faris, 35, started as a child ac­tress play­ing dra­matic roles in the likes of Arthur Miller plays. Af­ter do­ing com­mer­cials, train­ing films and a movie or two, she found star­dom as wide-eyed waif Cindy Camp­bell in four Scary Movie films (2000-2006) and in the re­cur­ring role of Erica, the mother of Chan­dler and Mon­ica’s adop­tive child, in the final sea­son of Friends. Faris mar­ried sec­ond hus­band Chris Pratt ( Money­ball, Parks and Re­cre­ation) in 2009. She was up against Kris­ten Wiig and Gil­lian Ja­cobs for the part of Zooey in The Dic­ta­tor, since they were look­ing for ac­tresses who could im­prov. And Faris says the film cer­tainly did turn out to be im­pro­vi­sa­tion. ‘‘Sacha uses the script as sort of a very, very loose frame­work, so he was al­ways do­ing im­prov and tak­ing the scene in a gazil­lion dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions,’’ she says. ‘‘So you were forced to just keep up with him. I’ve been part of a lot of movies where we’ve done

is screen­ing now.

and im­prov, and I al­ways felt like as long as I’m sin­cere and earnest in the scene, that was my strat­egy.’’ Even when he was rid­ing be­hind her on the scooter and grabbed your breasts to hold on? ‘‘That was im­prov!’’ she says. ‘‘Luck­ily we were be­ing pulled by a lit­tle trac­tor. I had just kind of got­ten used to his crazi­ness and his phys­i­cal­ity – the day be­fore we’d done this crazy hug­ging scene where he wouldn’t stop hug­ging me and he was sort of maul­ing my body. So you just sort of learn (gig­gles), ‘Oh! My body’s not my own any­more!’ ’’

Sacha Baron Co­hen as Anna Faris as Zooey.

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