Actress Anna Faris has been tickling the funny bones of audiences in films such as The House Bunny and on TV shows like Friends since the late 1990s. She has also shown versatility in movies like Brokeback Mountain and programs such as Entourage.
This week, Faris stars in adult-oriented comedy What's Your Number? She plays Ally Darling, a single woman on a quest to marry, but having slept with 19 men she feels like one more would make her unmarriageable. Soon, Ally learns marriage is not about numbers and love is closer than she thought.
Faris, 34, spoke with Reuters about the film, working in adult-oriented comedies, and co-starring with her real-life husband, Chris Pratt.
Q: Ally feels like one more guy in her bed means no ring on her finger. Is 20 too high or too low?
A: When this script was at another studio, they thought 20 was too high. They wanted to make it 16. To me, I don't know if 20 is high enough! Don't you feel like it should be 70 or something? (laughs)
Q: Hmmm, what are you saying? Or, more importantly, what are you implying about yourself?
A: (Laughs) I didn't get out into the world early enough. Plus I had (orthodontic) head gear. If you want your child to stay a virgin, put them in headgear. That's guaranteed to keep your number down! (Laughs)
Q: Your real-life husband, Chris Pratt, who is on TV's Parks and Recreation is also in the film as one of your past lovers. How was it working with him?
A: We worked on 'Take Me Home Tonight' a few years back and then we worked again on this. He plays Disgusting Donald, who is sort of the catalyst to my character's journey. It was a blast working with him. He makes me laugh all the time. But it's also scary. I felt a little more vulnerable doing our scenes together because I'm always concerned about what he thinks. When it's somebody who's really close to you, you care about their opinion a little bit more.
Q: Out of all your character's past boyfriends, Ally's storyline with Disgusting Donald was the most chaste.
A: Yeah. He's the one engaged to a really hot girl! (laughs) I'm like, 'Wait, you guys are going to kiss, again?'
Q: Ah, but Ally has plenty of bedroom scenes with numerous men. How does your husband feel about you shooting those?
A: He's really supportive and so proud. As actors, we don't show up on the days when the other is supposed to be intimate with another person. I wouldn't want my husband sitting behind the cameras while I'm in bed with Zach Quinto or Joel McHale. Chris is so great about that.
Q: You executive produced this movie. What did that entail, other than being able to cast your husband?
A: It means I also get to pick out what kind of donuts the crew is going to eat. (Laughs) It was a really collaborative process. I was always asked my opinion. They asked me about my choice of directors, actors, wardrobe -- everything. I have a lot of trust in people who are more experienced than I am.
Q: What's Your Number is rated R in the United States. After successes with other R-rated, adult-oriented, female comedies this past summer like Bridesmaids with Kristen Wiig and Bad Teacher with Cameron Diaz, are you feeling pressure to keep that streak going?
A: It's always terrifying. Kristin Wiig and I are friends, and I'm so proud of her. I'm so excited that there's now this gang of female comediennes. Conventional wisdom in Hollywood was that women (moviegoers) wanted to see something specific out of women. What this summer has done is flip that on its head. You can't define a gender's sense of humor.
Q: When you were shooting What's Your Number? did you know there would be this wave or R-rated, woman comedies?
A: When we shot this last summer, the R-rated female comedy was still dangerous territory. In the past when I've pitched comedies, the first question from the studio was always, 'What's it rated? It's got to be PG-13.' Now the conversation is completely changing.
Q: Ironically, the movie that put you on the map over 10 years ago was the R-rated Scary Movie. Are you comfortable in this niche or do you long to break out of it?
A: Quick -- somebody put me in a biopic, please! (laughs) It was really hard for me to break out of the 'Scary Movie' genre, and I used to feel like I needed to do something dramatic or some weird, dark independent film to be taken seriously. But I really love comedy and weirdly enough, I love how my journey has ended up. I get to laugh all day long.