Fact: Anna Faris pronounces her first name to rhyme with Donna, not Vanna. Also true: She’s embarrassed about having to do so. “It’s really annoying, actually, that my parents did that to me,” says the 31-year-old comedic actor, best known for the Scary Movie franchise and a scene-stealing role in Lost in Translation. “I’m always afraid that people are thinking that I’m a little pretentious when I say my name.” Aficionados of Faris—who won High Times magazine’s 2007 Stonette of the Year award—know that her characters are anything but pretentious, which is proved again in The House Bunny. She plays a naive Playboy centerfold wanna-be who accidentally becomes the Henry Higgins to a clan of misfit sorority girls after being booted from Hugh Hefner’s legendary mansion.
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Time Out New York: Don’t take this the wrong way, but at times The House Bunny feels like an ad for Playboy.
Anna Faris: Well, that’s what it is. We want it to be the goal of all the young women in America to be a Playboy bunny. And if they don’t quite make the cut, then they can be a waitress at the Playboy Mansion!
TONY: Why not class it up with Hustler? Or Oui?
Anna Faris: [Laughs] Well, I guess Playboy still maintains a little bit of an innocence about it. It’s not that naughty anymore, especially in this day and age. And we didn’t want to delve too deeply into the reality of being a Hustler centerfold.
TONY: Good point. Still, where’s the nudity?
Anna Faris: I’m sorry. I’m really sorry about that. Maybe for the DVD extras we’ll give you a whole Girls Gone Wild–type special.
TONY: Thanks! You appeared in Lost in Translation with Scarlett Johansson and in Just Friends with Ryan Reynolds. Are you going to their wedding?
Anna Faris: You know, I haven’t received my invitation yet. It must just be lost. And I’m so good at weddings too! I deliver really long monologues, which people seem to love. I get wasted and then I really tear it up on the dance floor. I’m the perfect wedding guest. So hopefully the invitation will be arriving any day.
TONY: Your character goes on two nightmarish dates in The House Bunny. What’s your own worst dating experience?
Anna Faris: I remember one date with this fraternity guy when I was in college. I was feeling a little rowdy, so I grabbed these whole limes off the bar—like, three of them—and ate them, the rinds and everything. I was gnawing away at these limes as if to say, “This is something I do every day, so get used to it, buddy!” And of course I spent the next four or five hours vomiting. Like, vomiting where there’s absolutely nothing left to vomit.
TONY: You’re right, that doesn’t sound like a very good date.
Anna Faris: Oh, but he was really impressed!
Anna Faris: Uh, no. He never spoke to me again. Why would he?
TONY: Were you in a sorority then?
Anna Faris: No. I lived in the dorms and off campus. I had a hard time finding myself in college. I was with the rave crowd for a while. And then I was with the drum-circle crowd.
TONY: Seriously—what the hell is a drum circle?
Anna Faris: You know, it’s, like, where a bunch of people get stoned and sit around and play drums and think they sound good.
TONY: Wow. Would something like that ever be fun, even if you were stoned?
Anna Faris: Well, it wasn’t my crowd. But I don’t have much sense of rhythm so maybe it just wasn’t my scene.
TONY: You won High Times magazine’s Stonette of the Year award for Smiley Face and Entourage. How does it feel?
Anna Faris: Awesome. I’ve got my bong award on my fireplace. It’s the only award I’ve ever won. I’m so, so proud. My parents are as well.
TONY: Does the bong actually work?
Anna Faris: Yes, it does. I can celebrate myself while enjoying myself! [Pauses] That makes no sense.
The House Bunny is out Fri 22.