Difficult to recognize in her natural blonde state following her turn as a raven-haired Neve Campbell knockoff in Scary Movie (2000), Anna Faris made her professional acting debut at the tender age of nine at Washington’s Seattle Repertory Theater. Refining her skills in improvisational theater, Faris later found roles in commercials and small local productions, though her future as an actress came into question as she pursued further education and a move overseas.
Faris was raised in Seattle and studied English Literature at the University of Washington after high school, later moving to London to begin working and writing. Longing to return to her childhood love of acting, Faris took a role in the run-of-the-mill teen slasher pic Lover’s Lane (1999). Making the move to Los Angeles in order to pursue an acting career full time, Faris’ previous improvisational experiences would soon come in handy as she landed her breakthrough role in the popular Scream-slanted spoof of teen slasher pics, Scary Movie. Of course that role was only the beginning for young Faris, and after returning in Scary Movie 2 the following year she portrayed the co-worker and love interest of the titular character in director Lucky McKee’s offbeat sleeper May. A supporting role in the Rob Schneider comedy The Hot Chick was followed by the little-seen Sheer Bliss in 2002, and the following year Faris once again scored a hit with her portrayal of a self absorbed starlet in Sofia Coppola’s critically acclaimed Lost in Translation. Though it may have been something of a given that Faris would return to the screen for Scary Movie 3 in 2003, many longtime fans were surprised to see her sporting her original blonde locks – a move that effectively banished the previous installments’ Neve Campbell connection and forced audiences to take Faris’ finely honed comic abilities on their own terms. In 2004 the talented comic actress would make a series of appearances on the hit sitcom Friends. 2005 found her yet again being the very best aspect of an otherwise underwhelming comedy, Just Friends. However her few scenes in the multiple Oscar winning Brokeback Mountain showcased her remarkable skills, and allowed her to be funny while still showcasing her in a more dramatic context. She returned to the Scary Movie franchise for a fourth time in 2006, but she also showed up to support Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, and Rainn Wilson in Ivan Reitman’s comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend.