Believe it or not, Anna Faris likes it when her lovable but clueless Cindy Campbell, who returns in Scary Movie 4 (now in theaters), takes a hit or two as she saves the world. "I'm always pretty game for that," says the actress. "Cindy's so sweet and innocent, which gets a little annoying, [so] it's fun to take me down every now and then."
Faris gets her wish in one scene in the latest sequel, when an airplane cart slams into Cindy's face. "It looks like it could have been [my] stunt double, which was frustrating because it was me," she reveals. On the flip side, Faris thinks moviegoers will see that it's definitely her "twin" taking hits from a Mike Tyson look-alike in the spoof of a boxing film. "[We] had this 10-minute, very choreographed sequence," recalls Faris, who trained rigorously for her boxing scenes. "I said, 'Guys, we're not making Million Dollar Baby here. Inevitably, the scene gets cut to 30 seconds and they use my double. There's always a little of that."
If it sounds like Faris is getting tired of playing Cindy, the reality is that nothing could be farther from the truth. "I'm flattered that they kept me around," she says of being cast in all three Scary Movie follow-ups. "I'm grateful [because] this is one of the few times that a female can be comedic. I don't think there are that many roles out there for young women that give them a chance to be funny and silly."
Faris says the script for this installment was more intact from the beginning than past sequels were. "We were writing as we went along with the third one," she recalls. "There was a lot of changing. But I think that's more of an issue for the hair, makeup and wardrobe departments [than for the actors]."
In addition to Million Dollar Baby, Scary Movie 4 pokes fun at War of the Worlds, The Grudge, The Village, the Saw films, Brokeback Mountain and a certain couch-jumping incident from The Oprah Winfrey Show. Has Faris ever come across any of the actresses she's lampooned? "After the first one, I met Jennifer Love Hewitt (I Know What You Did Last Summer) and Neve Campbell (Scream)," Faris shares. "They were both unbelievably lovely. Neve sent me flowers. I like to think if we're spoofing a movie, people will take it as a compliment. Most of our audience really enjoys the movies we're spoofing."
So does Faris. She's an avid film watcher though she prefers to screen them in the privacy of her own home. "I like to rent the movies [we spoof], because I like to have a little glass of wine [while I watch them]," she tells TVGuide.com. "I don't think I'm impersonating anyone, but I think it's important to understand the 'feel' of a movie."
Taking a peek at ticket sales is also a habit of hers. "I pay attention now [to the box office]," she says. "I wish I weren't like that, because I have no control over it. I had no idea whether Scary Movie opening as high as it did was good or bad. I never looked at box-office numbers before, but now I'm a little savvier. Regina [Hall, Faris' Scary costar and real-life pal] called me on Monday morning [after opening weekend]. I hope this one does well. You can't help but wonder."
Speaking of scary things, Faris did manage to resist catching a peek of cast mate Leslie Nielsen's rear end contrary to a "rumor" Hall tried to spread about Faris being anxious to spy his, uh, Naked Gun, during a nude scene. "I applaud [Leslie] for doing that," Faris says of Nielsen's disrobing. "I'm pretty good about going to places [as an actor] that make me uncomfortable, but I don't know that I could do that."
TV-wise, Faris occasionally sees a residual check from Friends thanks to her stint during the show's final season as the surrogate mother to Chandler and Monica's twins. Alas, and maybe it's just us, those last episodes tend not to come along in the rotation of reruns nearly as often as, say, "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break." "I think you're right," Faris agrees. "I'm not spotted for Friends. Then again, my hair was shorter and it was tied back. People mentioned it when it first aired, but I don't get recognized that often in general. I guess I'm kind of a chameleon."
Being able to blend into the background will come in handy when Faris takes on her next role in the film My Super Ex-Girlfriend. "It's about a superhero [Uma Thurman] who starts to date [a guy played by] Luke Wilson," Faris explains. "Luke discovers that, while she's a great superhero, she's a crazy girlfriend. He breaks up with her, he and I start dating, and then Uma comes after us."
Hmm... sounds like a perfect movie to be spoofed in, say, Scary Movie 5. Has Faris signed up for another installment? "Not yet," she says. But looking ahead, she allows, "I think that we could continue to reinvent ourselves with an almost-new cast every time. There's no story that we need to follow. There aren't any rules in terms of plot or structure. As long as they continue to make money, they're just going to keep on making [sequels]."
And don't be surprised if Faris is on board for every one of 'em. "I feel really good that I've been able to be a part of other projects and still do this," she says. "If I'm in Scary Movie 10, I think I'll be pretty happy."