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Why Anna Faris Doesn't Get Many Movie Offers Anymore

Anna Faris once seemed poised to be a mainstay on the big screen—and then she blinked off the radar, leaving many of her most ardent fans to wonder where their favorite spunky blonde was hiding. It turns out that everything from bold new careers to a dazzling marriage are keeping Anna Faris out of the Hollywood limelight. Here's why she doesn't seem to get many movies offers anymore.

Observe and Report overshadowed by controversy

For someone trying to get more work on the silver screen, it doesn't help when one of your most prominent movies comes with a whole bunch of baggage—as we saw with Anna Faris and her role in Seth Rogen's Observe and Report. In the movie, she plays makeup clerk Brandi, the object of affection for the slightly-crazed mall cop Ronnie Barnhardt, played by Rogen. The movie is filled to the brim with cringe-worthy moments, but at the top of the list is a scene in which Brandi gets thoroughly inebriated during a date with Ronnie and pukes and passes out, followed by a quick cut to Ronnie furiously humping her unconscious body.

It seems like a pretty cut-and-dried case of date rape, right? The movie tries to at least complicate this idea by having Faris' character wake up and, in a slurring voice, profanely order him not to stop. In all likelihood, this was meant to be just another of the many scenes meant to push the envelope in terms of making the audience uncomfortable. Unfortunately for Faris' career, this meant one of her most prominent movie roles of the last decade is one that seems to be giving a thumbs up to date rape by having the protagonist engage in it and his victim belatedly endorse it. It's about as gross as things can get—and in a movie starring Seth Rogen, that's really saying something.

Typecast as a comedian, cutting down on her roles

Anna Faris is most known for being a comedian. This is understandable, as many people first discovered her when she starred in the silly Scream parody Scary Movie. She would come back to Scary Movie for its second, third, and fourth iterations, and she also starred in comedies ranging from Waiting and Just Friends to Smile Face. Put simply, she's so good at being funny that many in Hollywood may think this is all she's good at. Which is a shame, because she's demonstrated her dramatic chops a number of times.

For instance, she played in the indie-horror hit May, and also had a part in the sleeper hit Lost In Translation featuring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. She even starred in Ang Lee's unforgettable Brokeback Mountain. Faris has historically demonstrated a great deal of range, but the vast majority of her big screen and small-screen work has been geared toward making people laugh, and when Hollywood starts to think you can only star in one kind of movie, it's bound to reduce your opportunities.

Tabloid-induced insecurity

Throughout their marriage, Faris and Chris Pratt were one of Hollywood's most beloved couples, but that didn't mean they were immune from tabloid shenanigans. The nature of their mutual careers often kept the two away from each other, and this is all the gossip machine needed to start churning out stories that their marriage was very strained due to Pratt's alleged cheating. Sadly, the gossip created actual marriage strain: Faris admitted she was "feeling so hurt" about the stories and said they left her feeling "incredibly insecure."

With the media doing its best to tear her and her relationship down, it's easy to see how tabloid-induced insecurity might have affected her willingness to be a public figure on the silver screen—and it may have had lingering effects at home, too. Sadly, the pair announced their separation in August of 2017.

Busy with TV career

One of the happier reasons Anna Faris hasn't been on the big screen as much: she's busy being wildly successful on the small screen. Since 2013, she's starred in the CBS sitcom Mom, in which she plays a woman tackling sobriety and getting her life together amid various sitcom pratfalls. The show has been a critical and commercial success, which is particularly good news for Faris as this is her first full-time television gig.

How much do critics and viewers like her in the role? She's been nominated for a number of honors, ranging from the People's Choice Awards (three times) to the Prism Awards.

Working on her podcast

In addition to keeping busy with Mom, Faris has filled her downtime with her bluntly titled Anna Faris is Unqualified podcast. The premise is pretty simple: she sits down with fellow Hollywood types and they offer anecdotes and advice concerning relationships, with Faris noting directly on the podcast website that this advice is coming from "Unqualified Hollywood Types." By all accounts, it seems to be a pretty fun gig, as it lets Faris enjoy sitting down with some her favorite movers and shakers in Hollywood without being committed to the kinds of intense, months-long productions she'd be involved in if she were actually starring in the films herself.

Working on a book

The podcast's success has inspired Faris to pursue another unfulfilled ambition: she recently announced she's working on a memoir inspired by the show, titled Unqualified. Like the podcast, the book will focus on "how to navigate the bizarre, chaotic and worthwhile adventure of finding love." While a celebrity writing a memoir is nothing new, Faris graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in English literature. In fact, to hear her tell it, she "never wanted to be a movie star" and had always hoped to publish her own novel. The very fact she's taking the time to write a memoir on top of starring in a hit TV show, recording a podcast, and spending time with her family means she has less time for Hollywood than ever.

She's hidden as a voice actor

Like a lot of actors these days, Faris is often on the silver screen even when you don't see her—she's enjoyed a relatively prolific career serving as a voice actor for animated movies. She played the voice of Sam Sparks in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and its sequel, and has served as the voice of female chipmunk Jeanette in three of the four Alvin and the Chipmunks live-action movies. This work in the recording studio has kept her out of the relative limelight of starring in the movies as herself, and whether it's via continued sequels to these franchises or entirely new job opportunities, she's likely to continue bringing animated characters to life.

She seems happy with cameos

She's had a number of leading roles, but Faris isn't too good for cameo appearances—in fact, she seems to enjoy making them. For instance, she had what amounted to a very bit part in the weird British comedy Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel. Later, she popped up in the closing credits of the comedy sequel 22 Jump Street, and then appeared in the 2016 movie Keanu as a weirdly exaggerated version of herself. It's one of the better jokes in a movie filled with good ones, and it might be just the kind of big-screen work Faris likes: breeze in, steal the show, and then breeze back out.

Enjoying spending time with her son

Faris has candidly opened up about how the entire experience of motherhood has changed how she sees herself, characterizing it as "a tidal wave change" to her life. She claims the experience of becoming a mom helped her see this as "sort of the most important job in the world," so it's very understandable that she would see her roles on the big screen as a very distant concern next to spending time with her son. She and Pratt have debated whether or not to continue raising their son in Hollywood (an experience that includes occasional paparazzi experiences for the child, something they fear he may develop complex feelings about as he gets older). With the potential for a move out of Hollywood on the horizon, we could end up seeing even less of Anna Faris on the big screen.

How could she remix her career?

Unlike many stars that fall off the radar, Anna Faris could bounce back quite easily. She could start by seeking out films that leverage her successful role in Mom. After settling into playing a mother on TV, doing it on the big screen would be easy. In fact, she could double down and star as a mother in a more dramatic movie, showcasing her long-forgotten chops as a serious actor, which would help open up even more roles. But while fans wait for Faris to branch out, she's keeping busy with another comedic role: in April of 2018, she's scheduled to star in a remake of the Goldie Hawn comedy Overboard, about an obnoxious heiress who starts a new life after falling off her yacht and being stricken with amnesia. Hollywood clearly isn't finished with Faris—and household name status is just the right movie or two away.