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

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Curfews on indoor dining have been lifted as The City continues to reopen business. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City to allow expanded indoor dining, limited indoor concerts and small conferences

With new COVID-19 cases remaining stable, San Francisco will continue to expand… Continue reading

Johnny Cueto P was the starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants against the Cinnanti Reds, Wednesday. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Cueto leaves with injury as Giants take series from Reds

A latissimus dorsi injury to Johnny Cueto cast a dark cloud over… Continue reading

Kyle and Kristin Hart shown with their children. Kyle was shot and killed by police three days after the birth of their daughter, Ellie. (Courtesy of the Hart family)
Wife of Redwood City man killed by police files federal lawsuit

Kristin Hart calls for city to improve its response to those suffering a mental health crisis

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

Most Read