Anna Faris’ dad had a terrific response to a snarky news report when she was in the running to play Linda Lovelace on screen.
I’m currently working my way through the book Unqualified, by Anna Faris. Faris is an actor I’ve always really liked, not least for being a very gifted comedy performer. And in her book, she talks about the moment when she was nearly cast as the lead in the biopic of adult movie star Linda Lovelace. It’s in a chapter entitled ‘EMBARRASSING, BUT ADORABLE, BUT MOSTLY EMBARRASSING DAD MOMENT #1’.
This was for a biopic that would have gone by the name of Inferno (not the Tom Hanks movie, obvs), but what Faris notes in her book was the snarky way that her potential casting was announced by online outlets. New York magazine is one she particularly cites, who wrote on its Vulture website ‘Anna Faris Sucks’ as the headline, with the subhead that ‘Her parents must be thrilled’.
And you know what? They were. Her parents were able to see through the fact that her casting was for a role.
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What’s more, her dad, in response to the piece that Vulture would add was penned ‘jokingly’, wrote to the outlet.
Here’s what he had to say…
I am Anna’s father. I was thrilled when Anna played Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird and Heidi in Heidi as a child, and I was thrilled when she played Cyndy Campbell in the Scary Movies, Lashawn Malone in Brokeback Mountain, the stoner Jane in Smiley Face, the out-of-control pop star Samantha James in Just Friends. I’m thrilled that she will appear soon as a former Playboy Bunny, Shelley, in I Know What Boys Like, and as Nora Flanagan, with Jeff Daniels and Diane Keaton, in Mama’s Boy. And I will be thrilled if she plays the sad, tragic, courageous character of Linda Susan Boreman in Inferno.
Vulture added that “we feel we do cast aspersions on, and suggest shame for, the career decisions of scores of celebrities, male and female, in a generally evenhanded way”, arguing that had Robert De Niro or Al Pacino been in line for the lead, it would have been “equally – if not more – flippant”.
Jack Faris, though made the point that when a ‘talented and brave, young actress considers taking a controversial role, the media treats it differently’.
In the end, Inferno (not the Tom Hanks one, obvs) died in development hell, with competing biopic Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried, winning the battle to get to the screen.
But the point had been made. And as Anna Faris notes in her excellent book, “it was so wonderful of my father”, before adding “but also mortifying”.