'Roll 'Em'? That's Just Movie Talk

Anna Faris has done the high life in
Anna Faris has done the high life in "Smiley Face," above, and the lowbrow in the "Scary Movie" franchise. She's also had roles in critically acclaimed movies such as "Brokeback Mountain" and "Lost in Translation." (By Lacey Terrell -- First Look)
By William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 25, 2007


Upon reflection, at the party before the midnight premiere of the new metaphysical stoner film "Smiley Face," the Sundance pack did seem suspiciously ravenous. For one guest at the buffet trough: We counted 17 mini-pizzas, down the hatch. Then there were the cupcakes. Highly questionable. For in the movie, it is a platter of weedy pastries that send the lead character, Jane, played with baked brio by Anna Faris, on her epic trip to . . . nowhere.

Is there a young actress working today with a more unusual career? Faris is a cult favorite for her super ditz Cindy Campbell roles in the "Scary Movie" horror spoof franchise (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and maybe 5). Depending on one's age or taste, the "SMs" are either dumb and funny, or just really, really dumb. But whoa: Faris also has appeared in Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" and Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation."

It's hard to get one's head around that.

"I know. It's just so weird, yeah?" Faris is talking at an outdoor patio beside a ski lift on a brisk, blue-sky afternoon following the screening (enthusiastic clapping from the audience) of "Smiley Face," sipping her chicken soup, wearing big dark movie-star sunglasses. In real life, Anna (pronounced Ah-na) Faris is intelligent and poised.

So, like, we imagine Ms. Coppola curled on her couch watching her "Scary Movie 2" DVD and saying: I must have her.

"God, no. She hadn't seen any of them! If she had, it'd be noooo, I can't cast this girl," Faris says.

Because in the last installment of "Scary Movie," you give Cloris Leachman a sponge bath with urine?

"True." Faris covers her eyes and cringes. "And worse than that."

She explains, "I've played a lot of roles that aren't very flattering. And they do require a lack of vanity." Faris takes a soup slurp. "So it's not fun to watch yourself."

The 30-year-old actress attended the premiere of "Smiley Face" with her parents. In the film, she begins her day, at 9:16 a.m., with a hearty bong hit -- and then eats the pot cakes (which her unpleasant roommate warns her not to touch).

"My mouth is open for half the movie."

CONTINUED     1              >

© 2007 The Washington Post Company