Anna Faris Biography

Actress (1976–)
Anna Faris is an American film and TV actress best known for her role as Cindy Campbell in the 'Scary Movie' film franchise and for her lead role in the sitcom 'Mom.'

Who Is Anna Faris?

Born in 1976, Anna Faris is an American film and TV actress who became a huge comedic star in 2000 when she played Cindy Campbell in the Wayans brothers' comedy horror spoof Scary Movie, which quickly turned into a franchise. Since then Faris found continued success in other comedies like The Hot Chick (2002), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), The House Bunny (2008) and The Dictator (2012). Faris has also done voiceover work in both the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009-2013) and Alvin and the Chipmunks (2009-2015) film franchises. Outside of acting, Faris hosts a popular podcast, Unqualified, which she launched in 2015.

Anna Faris Photo

Anna Faris attends the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, in Los Angeles, California. 


'Scary Movie'

With barely any acting credits to her name, Faris found instant fame when she was cast in the Wayans brothers' comedy horror spoof Scary Movie (2000). In the film, which largely pokes fun of the '90s horror flicks Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, Faris plays the grossly naive Cindy Campbell who gets caught up in silly-scary circumstances.

"Cindy is truly not complex," she admitted during an interview in 2006. "She's completely one-dimensional. You think that's easy to play? I don't want to be accused of imitating Sarah Michelle Gellar in the 'Scooby-Doo' movies. I mean, I like Sarah Michelle. I don't want to make her mad, but Cindy is different. Cindy Campbell is very earnest and very sincere. She has a heart of gold and no sense of humor, really. She's a really straight person – a little clueless. Yet, once again the fate of the world has been placed in her hands. And so, I have to meet the challenge."

The film was a blockbuster hit and spawned four more films — Scary Movie 2 (2001), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Scary Movie 4 (2006) and Scary Movie 5 (2013) — which Faris starred in with the exception of the last.

'The Hot Chick,' 'My Super Ex-Girlfriend'

In 2002 Faris starred in the successful comedy The Hot Chick, opposite Rachel McAdams and became a source of comedy in the drama Lost in Translation (2003), playing a vapid actress. She added Brokeback Mountain (2005) to her list of serious film credits but found more demand in lighthearted fare like Waiting... (2005), Just Friends (2005) and My Super Ex-Girlfriend, which also starred Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson.

'Smiley Face,' 'The House Bunny,' 'The Dictator'

In 2007 Faris took on indie territory with Smiley Face, a film about an actress who gets herself into a number of mishaps after becoming excessively stoned from eating a bunch of cannabis-laced cupcakes. While critics didn't love the film, they loved Faris' performance. 

Other notable films Faris has starred in include: The House Bunny (2008), The Dictator (2012), Keanu (2016) and Overboard (2018).


Although her contributions on the small screen have not been as numerous, Faris has nonetheless garnered some memorable roles. In 2004 she guest starred on Friends, playing a mom who gives birth to twins that characters Monica and Chandler end up adopting. Another guest role she had was on Entourage playing herself. 


However, it was beginning in 2013 that she became a huge star in the CBS hit Mom, playing Christy Plunkett, a young mom and former alcoholic who's trying to get her life back together and patch things up with her just-as-dysfunctional mom Bonnie (Allison Janney). Faris' portrayal of Christy has continued to win over audiences and critics alike.

Right from the start, Faris fell in love with the script and premise. "It’s so well written, that it makes your job easier and you have a gut sort-of reaction, you know instantly how you’re going to say each line and that’s how I felt with Christy," she told Deadline in 2014. "I felt like she was familiar, complicated and messy and starting over in her life. I loved that it was a show about a woman reconnecting with her mother and how complicated that relationship is, as opposed to trying to get a guy to sort of fall for me." 


In 2015 Faris launched the advice podcast Unqualified, which was inspired by her love for the popular investigative journalism podcast Serial. As the host of the show, Faris interviews celebrity friends and has a listener call-in segment where she gives advice on relationships and the like.

Voiceover Work

Faris has lent her voice to a variety of characters for the big screen. In 2009 she worked on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Alvin and the Chipmunks, both of which spawned subsequent films that she participated in. She also had a role in The Emoji Movie (2017).

Personal Life and Son

From 2004 to 2008, Faris was married to actor Ben Indra. 

In 2009 she married actor Chris Pratt, with whom she starred in multiple films together, but the couple also parted ways, filing for divorce in 2017. The couple share a son, Jack, who was born in 2012.

In 2018 Faris admitted that after having gone through two divorces, she was struggling to see the value of marriage.

"I need to figure out what the purpose is,” Faris said on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. “Is it safety for your children? Is it convention? Is it so other people respect your relationship more? For me, I’m just not quite sure where it fits, especially when it feels so easy to get married, and then there’s like the untangling in terms of the state getting involved.”

Regardless of whether she reaches a verdict on marriage, Faris still believes in love. Currently, she's dating cinematographer Michael Barrett. 

Early Life

Anna Kay Faris was born on November 29, 1976 in Baltimore, Maryland, to parents Jack and Karen — both educators — who encouraged her to explore her love for acting early on in her childhood. Faris was raised in Washington state and has an older brother Robert.

After high school, Faris attended the University of Washington and graduated with an English literature degree in 1995. Although she acted in community plays as well as in the Seattle repertory company in her youth, her first major role came in 1999 in the slasher B-movie Lovers Lane.

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