Sundance Diary: Sharing a Rocky Mountain high with Anna Faris
Hello, PopWatchers! I am back in New York City, trying to come down off the Rocky Mountain high of Sundance, and while it’s great to be home I must confess that I’m going through a bit of withdrawal. Thus, the Utah-related posts will continue here for the next couple of days, as I dispense my last bits of info. Here’s the schedule, if you want to pencil it in:
Later today: My recap of the fest, including the obligatory list of things.
Tomorrow: The final two interviews in my award-winning series, “Three Depressing Issues and the Men Who Brought Them To Sundance So I Could Get Really Sad About the State of the World.” (See the first installment here.)
But now, because I need a quick break from all the thinking, I am happy to present the transcript of what happened when I sat down with the lovely and talented Anna Faris (pictured), star of Scary Movie and Waiting, who came to Sundance with Smiley Face, which is, I believe, the first-ever stoner comedy to star a chick in the lead role. Think of it as Harold and Kumar Go Inside Anna Faris’ Brain. Think of her as the Dude, abiding. Think of this interview as the least professional thing either of us did while we were there. I bring it to you largely because I need something to break up the existential torment and pain that every other movie I watched for the last 10 days seemed to visit upon my fragile mental state. And because honestly, I just think Anna Faris is funny as pants.
Is this your first Sundance?
What were you here for?
May? Did you ever see that movie?
Oh. No. Don’t be mad.
Is this interview over now?
It’s a funny little movie.
I’ll check it out. How is this Sundance comparing and contrasting to last time?
Last time I had a supporting role, in a movie that wasn’t in contention. This movie isn’t in contention either, but last time was much more low profile. This, I’m like the lead…
You’re not “like” the lead. This entire movie is 2 hours of your face.
Do you know what that’s like to watch? Especially when I’m slack-jawed, and double-chinned, and like uhhhhh… It’s painful. It’s painful, definitely. Like, why couldn’t I just close my mouth? Just once?
What were moments especially that you were mortified by?
You know, it was a combination of being mortified and being proud. ‘Cause I was also like, well, good for me. Good for me, then, for showing my butt crack. Twice.
addCredit(“Anna Faris: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com”)
My personal favorite was your face-plant on the bus. Twice.
I do love to fall down.
All right, here’s the hard-hitting question: How much pot did you smoke to prepare for this role?
Well, you probably know the real me, Whitney, but for the purposes of an interview… I mean, I’m sure you can guess.
Five years from now, you’re going to get your E! True Hollywood Story, and it’s gonna be like, “And then, in 2006, Faris fell into a deep hole of pot-smoking…”
“Only Whitney knew…”
“She told me she was just researching a role… She was so ashamed…” Anyway. So you were professional about your preparations.
Yes. That’s a good way to put it.
You talked to a lot of pot smokers.
It was hard to find them, actually. It was this whole illicit underworld. I had to go to the streets of downtown L.A. I talked to a lot of homeless people. “What’s the doobie like?”
You read a lot of literature, I’m sure.
Oh yes, yes. High Times. You know, I think growing up—I don’t know if you had this experience—it was so much easier to get than alcohol.
I agree. Somebody always had an older brother who had some.
And I was living in Seattle, too, so it was all coming down from Canada. It trickles down.
I’m sure I don’t know how that happens.
I have a friend who used to do it.
Oh my God, I had a friend who ran drugs from Canada into Vermont on a snowmobile.
I had a friend who kayaked it down.
That’s a fun job.
He got caught.
Until you get caught.
He was under house arrest for like four years. I never visited him.
You are a horrible person. I just saw The Nines last night, which is one-third about house arrest.
How was it?
Awesome. Did you know your buddy Ryan Reynolds can act?
Yeah. I believe it. He’s really smart. He’s a really smart guy.
And he has very nice abs.
I know. It was tough to eat with him on set [of Just Friends and Waiting]. Like, “Oh. You’re not gonna eat the spaghetti? Oh. No ranch for you? All for me, I guess? That’s cool.”
We are so not getting anything done in this interview. Okay. So. In terms of being the face, literally, of this movie—are you under pressure in your next movie to be on camera every single second of the film?
I will never do another role again where I’m not on camera the entire time. You can quote me as saying that.
Okay. But where do you go from here? What do you hope this movie springboards you into?
Maybe a nice, small character part.
No, really. Come on. Tell me your hopes and dreams.
Actually, I’m doing a movie with Topher Grace in February…
Are you only going to work with That ’70s Show cast members from now on? [Danny Masterson plays her roommate in Smiley Face]
Yes. Because I like them, and I can relate to them, because I was born in 1976. You can write that down, too.
I don’t really want to.
Okay. Yeah. So Topher Grace, it’s called Kids in America. And did I tell you I sold a script?
I don’t know if I knew it last time I saw you. But I think right after I met you we sold this project, the writers of Legally Blonde and I teamed up and sold a project to Happy Madison and Paramount, and it’s another cray-zee character, but it’s cool.
‘Cause you’re Anna Faris, and you’re cray-zee!
Don’t try and pin me down! I’m quirky and eccentric!
That’s awesome, though.
“The quirky, eccentric actress couldn’t stop talking! She was a bundle of energy…!”
“A blizzard of excitement!” Are you gonna produce it, direct it?
No. I don’t want to direct. The hours are way too long.
When does that start?
We still have to get everything together, but I’d love to start shooting in, like, June.
How do you have any clue how to produce something?
I guess you just hire somebody. Just hire a line producer. And they figure it all out. I mean, I want to be involved in terms of hiring costume designers, and hair and makeup people, and stuff like that—but I wouldn’t know how to call up a trailer company and be like [in a Southern accent], “I need six double-bangers!”
Are you gonna do it all in a Southern accent?
That’s my producer voice! It’s bad.
I liked it. Okay, another serious question: What do you think this role does for women in comedy? There aren’t a lot of girl stoner movies out there.
I guess it’s really liberating to me. It was a really liberating experience, and it’s liberating to see a girl make a complete ass out of herself, again and again and again.
It is. And not in a slutty way. Jane’s not particularly dumb, either.
She’s kinda smart! But she has no passions, besides her bed and weed. She doesn’t like guys, she doesn’t like clothes, she doesn’t like acting. She likes Doritos. I really do like Doritos. Jane and I have that in common.
Did you know they make like Buffalo wing-flavored Doritos now?
Are they good?
Kinda not. But the first two chips are exciting.
Why do we need to reshape our food?
I don’t know. Or, like, when did blue become the official color for raspberry?
You’re so right. They needed a blue. And nobody thought blueberry. I guess it’s too obvious.
Okay. We have to focus. Complete this sentence: If I ran Hollywood…
Oh no. [long pause] Um. Whooo! What would you say?
I don’t have to say. I have the tape recorder. Okay. Who’s someone you’re dying to work with?
Um. I just like like working with myself. No. I really want to do another movie with John Krasinski.
Be more specific.
Well, we just laughed the whole time. I think we really sort of understood our relationship in the movie, and just the whole time we just laughed, and the crew would get really annoyed. We just have a good thing.
He’s hella smart, too.
He’s doing that David Foster Wallace movie.
You should be in that.
Hire me! I only do comedy, though. So.
Oh, right. You have no depth.
No depth. No range.
And if you ran Hollywood?
Oh, all right. [sighs] I guess it’s the whole woman thing.
What whole woman thing?
You know, right now, they say—I don’t know who says this, but somebody told me—there’s three male roles to every female role. And I guess I’d work on evening that up. Making great roles for women. It’s just such a huge challenge.
Are there great roles for women in your movie?
Yes. There are. I think.
That was a really nice sincere answer.
Well, I’m trying.
At least you got something out of me.