Anna Faris: 'I Was Such a Nerd'

In the new movie-based-on-a-book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, comedic actress Anna Faris, 32, plays Sam, a weathergirl covering the "raining food" phenomenon who hides her smarts behind her bubbly exterior. iVillage.com spoke with the newly married Faris (who tied the knot with actor Chris Pratt in August) about her awkward childhood, her rebellion against conforming and how she doesn't get caught up in the superficiality of Hollywood.

Your character Sam in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has trouble accepting her true personality. Were you ever unable to embrace who you really were?

I was such a nerd growing up, but I was also resentful that I was a nerd so I didn't really try to fit in. I wore a Christmas tree skirt as a cape and it was sequined. I got made fun of, but that's why I wore it, because I was feeling defiant. So I think it was almost a reverse reaction to what Sam has.


Was there a turning point when you decided you wanted to fit in?

I guess when I left Seattle -- because I went to college in Seattle -- I was pretty defiant. I would do weird things then, too. By then I was super guy-crazy and I really wanted guys to like me, but I would also do really stupid stuff because I was afraid they didn't like me. I was always on the defensive. Or I would do things like I would go to fraternity parties and pretend I was 15 and see if they'd still try to sleep with me. I was angry.


Do you have advice for kids who are having trouble fitting in?

Be nice to everybody. We always hear the "be true to yourself" message, which is really important, but I think being nice to everybody can go a long way. I just remember the kids that were mean to me, and then in turn the kids I was mean to, and I look back on that with a lot of shame. It's a simple thing, but it's hard to do.


Sam was obsessed with weather as a kid. Did you have any crazy hobbies?

I really loved bugs and bees. My mom was never afraid of them, so she never passed down any kind of fear of that stuff. I loved spiders and I tried to make a bumblebee hive. I was really proud... I caught the queen and I tried to make a nest but I ended up killing her.


Your character is more comfortable dressing down in big glasses and a scrunchie in her ponytail. What's your fashion comfort zone?

I grew up in Seattle so I have a tendency to not be meticulous about my leg hair. I told my husband, "Honey, you can take me out of Seattle, but you can't take the Seattle out of me." That's definitely something I'm guilty of. And I tend to not wear very flattering things when I'm not working.


You seem very confident with who you are. You even talked about gaining weight for your wedding.


I don't want my job to change my personality too much. It makes you crazy if you get so caught up in the vanity of this profession. I've already got [hair] extensions in. I don't have the fake nails, but my publicist would probably be happy if I did. I think it's one of the luxuries of being a part of comedy. Comedy doesn't get a lot of respect in our industry, but it sure has given me a lot of joy and I think I'm fundamentally a much happier person because I'm involved in comedy.


Were your parents supportive of your choice to go into acting?

They were really supportive. I was really lucky. In fact, in college I decided to not pursue acting anymore, and my parents were disappointed. They never told me as much, but I think they believed in me. They just thought I was good at it, I guess. They probably thought that I was better than I am. I was really lucky in that regard. And today they're just so proud. Although I think they viewed, and still do, my move to Los Angeles as a study abroad.

 

You have such a busy movie schedule. How do you find time for yourself?

When I'm not working and I'm at home, I pretty much hole up. I'll buy a week's worth of groceries. I love to cook. I love to drink wine and watch movies. I've always been a person that's fine by themselves. I'm a homebody. It's nice to cook for my new man. I'm happy that way.

 

Chime in: Which type of star do you relate to most -- funny or glamorous? Why?

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