October 2003
Scary Movie 3 : An Interview with Anna Faris and Regina Hall

Interviewed by Monikka Stallworth

Scary Movie 3
An Interview with Anna Faris & Regina Hall

For some actors, sequels are fun to do because more money is given and some of the cast is back, which makes it easier when working. The bond from the first film is tight and a better chemistry is formed. Even without the Wayans family (Keenan Ivory, Marlon, and Shawn), who directed and wrote the first two films respectively, The Scary Movie franchise is back with Scary Movie 3. While adding Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin, Charlie Sheen and Anthony Anderson to the cast, returning to the film are Anna Faris, as Cindy Campbell, and Regina Hall, as Brenda Meeks. In speaking with blackfilm.com, both actresses talked about being in the film without any of the Wayans Brothers in it.

Anna, since you were in the first two, how different was it working with David Zucker oppose to the Wayans brothers?

Anna: Originally when we found out the Wayanses weren't involved; it was hard because we're both close with the family. They pretty much taught me everything I know, and they're also a whole lot of fun to work with. But David created the genre. We're both big fans of ‘Airplane’ and ‘Naked Gun’ and that whole series, so we were in really good hands. And working with David, he's such a gentleman. He's so kind and calm. So it was a different environment sort of energy-wise on the set. I mean, you guys have probably interviewed with the Wayanses before. But it was a great time. It felt really great to come back to it, to feel like a veteran in something, because I feel so new just sort of in general that it felt really good to play this character again, and there just aren't that many female comedic roles.

Regina, what was the difference for you between this one and the first one?

Regina: I think the same thing. We had all new people in the movie. And we stuck to the script as opposed to having a lot more improvisation as with the Wayans. Except for Anthony.

Anna: You just can't control that one.

Regina: Yeah, he's uncontrollable. So what he did was completely different. But I know for me and Anna. But it was a lot of fun. I love working with Anna and that's probably the best part of the movie for me is working with her.

Anna: I am great. [Laughs]

Regina: Indeed she is. And what is so great about it, though, is that that's who my scenes were with, so I got to work with someone I love to work with, and then a completely new director who we both really respect.

Anna: The experience would have been disappointing definitely for me if Regina wasn't involved in it. We have a really great time together. Making our scenes was the most fun.

Since both of you are veterans of this franchise, what have you learned about combining humor and horror?

Anna: I think there's just this element of religiousness, I guess in every horror or scary movie. We both really liked ‘Signs’ and ‘The Ring,’ enjoyed them as films. They were also so visually striking in a way that they make easy films to spoof. But I think that Scary Movie came at a time when it was just so right. Even with a movie like ‘Scream’ that was sort of mocking itself it was still appropriate I think for young audiences.

Regina: They can relate to all the things that we spoof. How many times do you look at a horror movie and everybody is like, 'Why did she run left?' Or you know she's going to trip. Or you know that if you see two teenagers making out, you know they're going to die. Or if they walk into the shower alone. You know what I mean? It's like okay, someone's about to die. And I think those are the things that are so easy to spoof because even though it scares you in a horror movie, because you know it's coming, if you put it in a comedic text and a different scenario it's funny.

Are there any horror movies out there that need spoofing?

Anna: I love the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series. I'm a sucker for all that fantasy stuff. And I think that would be fun to do some kind of fantasy element. Honestly, it just seems like we'll spoof anything that makes money. If it makes money, we'll be there.

Regina: ‘Lord of the Rings’ would be probably hard because the production value of that movie was so expensive.

Can you describe what it was like on the first two movies versus this one?

Anna: The Wayans are a very tight, big family. And when they shoot there tends to be just a lot of people around.

Regina: The interesting thing too that I was going to say is that even though it's crazy on the set, Keenan ran a tight ship. Even though those were his brothers, there was still a lot of work to be done. They were never like going crazy on the set because they were also the writers. They just have a different energy. They're also younger. David doesn't have the same amount of energy. But Keenen was very--I wouldn't call him strict--but he'd be like, 'Alright, come on. It's time.'

Anna: Often times we were ahead of schedule.

What was your favorite movie that you parodied, or what was the most effective parody?

Anna: You know I like all the ‘Signs’ stuff. I really like all the ‘Signs’ stuff. I think that was a strong film that obviously did very well at the box office. But I think it also works well.

What about you Regina?

Regina: I like ‘The Ring’ stuff. I like ‘The Ring’ stuff too, just the opening with Pam and Jenny McCarthy just being in high school with the uniforms watching TV and the remote is backwards and they're like, 'We don't know what to do.' And you know in ‘The Ring’ where she does see her friend and her face is twisted and she screams and Pam Anderson keeps saying, 'Are you okay?' Her head falls off and she's like, 'Are you all right?' I like that whole scene. It's really funny to me.

Why aren't the Wayans involved in this one?

Regina: I think they weren't available.

Anna: She's the more diplomatic of the two of us.

Regina: They're doing another movie, they were supposed to ‘Homie the Clown’ and they ended up doing another movie.

Anna: They're doing a movie now called ‘White Chicks.’

Hall: Yeah, ‘White Chicks.’ So I think it was a timing thing.

What projects are you to working on now?

Anna: I'm doing a three episode arc on Friends.

Can you tell us about your character?

Anna: I can't. I'm sorry. Yeah, which is great because I've never done that kind of--I grew up doing theater but I've never done that kind of live audience format. And this audience is like, they just eat it all up with a spoon. And it's nice also because my character's more serious. It's not a comedic character.

Regina: I didn't know that.

Anna: Yeah. Yes, drama on Friends.

Have you started shooting it?

Anna: Yeah. We did one episode last week. They're not all in a row. I do another one in a couple weeks and then another one again.

What was it like working with those guys, especially since it's their last season?

Anna: I didn't know what to expect going into it.

Regina: I just want to know if Brad Pitt comes to the set.

Anna: They were all so friendly and welcoming to me. And they were also amazingly hard-working. And I was really impressed with their level of emotional investment in the show. David Schwimmer was directing the episode that I was doing. And I think they really understand how sort of monumental the show is to a lot of people I guess. They don't seem to be taking it for granted at all. It was really, really wonderful to see.

Do you know when those episodes are going to air?

Anna: I think sometime in January is the first one. That's what I heard.

You said there are not a lot of comedic roles for women. Why do you think that is and why are you attracted to them?

Anna: I think it's the money [Laughs]. But I think it's male writers. There just aren't quite enough female writers. Most comedies, the woman is just a device for the man to be funny around. I think also it's our culture too. I think that a lot of women are raised from a young age to not have as much of a sense of humor maybe. Do you think that's true? You have a lot funny friends.

Regina: I don't know. I think if they thought a woman could continue to open a movie and make money like Sandra Bullock and Reese Witherspoon, I think they'd invest. But I just think that it's easier to be formulaic.

Regina, you didn't say what you are doing?

Regina: I have a movie in development with Miramax right now that I'll star in and produce. It's called ‘Swapped.’ That's the working title.

Anna: Is it a comedy?

Regina: It's a comedy but it's not a broad comedy. It's not a romantic comedy either. It's just a working title. I don't think they liked it all that much. It was called ‘Flipped’ But now it says ‘The Untitled Regina Hall Project,’ so we'll see what it ends up being. They have a writer and he's writing it right now.

And you're producing it?

Regina: Yes.

Anna: I'm going to be an extra in it.

Regina: She's going to be a featured extra. One of the things I want to do is definitely get into producing. Not write it, because we're not writers, but where we'd have a hand in creating the characters and looking at what is funny. Because we don't want it to be too zany. The funny thing that you were saying is when you keep doing comedies, in this business whatever makes you known; people want to continue to put you in it. So sometimes it's not even necessarily by choice that you continue to do comedies. And sometimes it's hard to break out of what people have in their minds that you can do. So for me, I know, I always have to pass on so many things just so I'm not the loud black girl in a movie. So there are a lot of roles like that that I get offered and I'm sure roles that Anna gets offered, that we have to turn down. Unless of course it a Scary Movie.

If there was a Scary Movie 4, what movies do you think you could spoof?

Regina: I don't even know what really came out this year.

Anna: What is coming out?

When was the main shoot on this?

Anna: We shot from March to almost July and then we did re-shoots in August.

So Matrix Reloaded had already come out. That seems to be the most recent.

Anna: We started shooting a bunch of ‘Matrix’ stuff right after the movie came out, and then in some of the test audiences it didn't work. So a lot of that was cut.

Regina: It's interesting. You don't know. You write something on the page and it's funny but you never know what an audience is going to like.

There's a scene in the trailer that wasn’t in the movie.

Anna: There are a lot of those scenes. ‘Scary Movie 4’ might just be outtakes.

Is there anything you particularly miss that was cut out?

Anna: Yeah, I mean I worked really hard on that Matrix fight. Any day off they stuck me in training, which was awful. Because I've done enough of these to know that when they put me in training for some elaborate fight sequence they're going to really cut it down to about 30 seconds of fighting.

Regina: Or it's not going to make it.

Anna: Or it's not going to make it. But I understand why it didn't work. Frankly, I didn't know how funny it was going to be when we were shooting it.

Can you describe the scene that you trained for that we never got to see?

Anna: Yeah, do you remember the scene in the Matrix where Keanu Reeves flies around a light pole? It was a whole bunch of that stuff. I fly around a light pole. I puke all over the place. I fight all these little girls. It just wasn't all that funny, I guess, but a lot of work.