It's hard to think about Anna Faris without smiling. The actress has embodied many hilarious roles over the years, particularly those in the Scary Movie franchise. The Mom star has the enviable ability to elicit laughter with just a look, largely due to her expressive face and natural comedic timing — sometimes, however, this aspect of her identity has held her back.
"Sometimes my face looks a lot bigger and goofier than I think it does so then I just kind of ended up in comedy," she told Refinery29 ahead of her upcoming movie, Overboard. While the film is certainly lighthearted (a modern, gender-swapped remake of the 1987 Goldie Hawn hit about a spoiled millionaire who loses their memory and is taken advantage of by a struggling parent) it also touches on more dramatic topics, a genre Faris has been wanting to explore for some time.
"I love being ridiculous and it’s so challenging to try to make people laugh and I love that," she assured me, however, "Would I love to do something incredibly dramatic? Yeah."
In fact, Faris said she originally pitched her work on The House Bunny as a more serious role, but was turned down.
"She was a meth addict who had to return to her southern Christian town," she recalled. "And [the studio was] like...or, she could become a house mom at a sorority."
That's why Faris shies away from one-sided characters. Instead, even her comedic roles have depth. Overboard is as much a comedy of errors as it is a statement about motherhood and female independence. Faris' character Kate is pursuing a career in medicine, but barely has time to study between caring for her two children and working multiple jobs. Enter: Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez). In a twist from the original, Derbez's character is the one who ends up getting amnesia, and is tricked into being a stay-at-home-dad so Kate can pursue her degree. It's an outlandish premise for an all-too-familiar issue.
"I think it’s unfortunate that a lot of women in particular, men too, but women in particular are sort of put in a position of feeling the guilt and feeling like they must choose between a career that they love and the children that they love and the pull," Faris said. "I like telling the stories of people that I grew up with, that I knew, I play an overworked single mom on Mom, as well, and I like it that oftentimes she struggles with...it’s not about love, it feels like it’s kind of about survival."
Overboard hits theaters May 4.
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