Comedy Impact Report '08: Bigscreen Big Shots

As early as 2000’s “Scary Movie,” audiences could tell Anna Faris was funny, but it wasn’t until “The House Bunny” that the actress showed Hollywood she could open a movie on her own.

“It came as a result of feeling like there is nothing out there. Even the scripts I would get sent felt like I was the straight woman to a comedic male,” she says.

So Faris took matters into her own hands, pitching an idea to screenwriters Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. With Faris dressed in character (as a cast-out Playboy bunny trying to make it in the real world), the trio shopped the idea from studio to studio before landing at Sony Pictures and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Prods. And faster than Faris ever could have imagined, her concept was in production.

Opening this past August, “The House Bunny” became a late-summer surprise hit, grossing more than $48 million and inspiring, of all things, homages from the Halloween set. “I’m not sure I’d want my 8-year-old daughter to dress up like my character, but it’s a huge compliment,” she says.

From bubbly to unbearable, Faris next plays Seth Rogen’s grating love interest in next spring’s “Observe and Report.” Of the role, Faris says, “Infrequently you find that your job is to be hated. This character was so great because she was just horrible.”

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