Faris serves as a fine foil for Yogi Bear

Anna Faris is free to speak her mind.

The 34-year-old Baltimore native, who earned High Times magazine’s coveted Stoner of the Year award in 2007 for her star turn in the comedy “Smiley Face,” knows the drill when it comes to televised interviews — smile for the camera, stay peppy and keep the tone light.

But at press day for the live-action “Yogi Bear,” in which she stars opposite Tom Cavanagh, Justin Timberlake’s animated Boo-Boo Bear and Dan Aykroyd’s even more animated Yogi, she’s free to be candid.

 “Everyone is talking to Tom first and he keeps throwing me under the bus, telling everyone that I’m a crazy prankster on the set,” she says. “I have no stories about pranks. I’m not funny on the set. I’m there to work. Movie sets are so stressful as it is.

“I wish actors were more laidback, but generally we’re an uptight bunch. We’re so fortunate to do jobs that everyone would love to do, but it’s still a work environment.”

One genuine on-set prankster was the late Leslie Nielsen, with whom Faris appeared in later installments of the “Scary Movie” franchise. She says the “Naked Gun” star, known for comedy later in life after a lengthy string of workmanlike dramatic roles, had a weakness for whoopee-cushion gags.

Like Nielsen, Faris graduated from drama to become the face of farcical comedies including “The Hot Chick” (2002), “Waiting…” (2005) and 2008’s “The House Bunny.”

Now, as she stars as nature documentarian Rachel in “Yogi,” it might seem natural to expect more of the same. But Faris says that’s not who she is.

“I was a really dramatic child and took myself too seriously,” she says, attributing her temperament then to a complex about her tiny size. “When I started getting cast in all these comedies, I felt fortunate, but I’m not funny. I wanted some way out of it. I can do more than comedy, and I wanted people in this town to take me seriously.

“But it’s still the same approach, be it drama or comedy. I approach the performance from the perspective of my character, and that’s why I like Rachel so much. She’s very earnest, and it’s through her and Ranger Tom that we show the audience how people react to Yogi. There’s something very funny about a silly line being read so earnestly, which was also a talent of Leslie’s.”

IF YOU GO

Yogi Bear


Starring
Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh

Written by Jeffrey Ventimilia, Joshua Sternin, Brad Copeland   

Directed by
Eric Brevig

Rated
PG

Running time 1 hour 19 minutes

Anna FarisartsentertainmentMoviesSan Franccisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have taken different approaches to transit and infrastructure funding. <ins>(Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)</ins>
Bay Area transit has big hopes for a Biden administration

The best chance for local agencies to get relief may be a change in federal leadership

BART Ambassadors are being called on to assist riders in social situations that don’t require police force. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Unarmed BART ambassadors program formalized with a focus on community service

Public safety and police reform are key elements in campaigns of Board members Dufty and Simon

East Bay hills and Port of Oakland visible from Point San Bruno Park jetty. (Shutterstock)
East Bay agencies urge precautionary evacuations ahead of wind event

At least two East Bay jurisdictions suggested Sunday that residents in the… Continue reading

Nate Durand of Chug Pub created an election-themed cocktail which has several names: Biden Harris, Barris, Hiden, and/or Dem Juice. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Drink blue, no matter who

But bar parties aren’t planned for Election Day

Lee Vining and Inyo National Forest are excellent fall color tour destinations. (Matt Johanson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Gold Rush: Go now to see Sierra fall color

Maples, oaks, dogwoods, aspens glow in the next few weeks

Most Read