She has her body insecurities
Beginning with her face. With a scar on her upper lip and an overall feeling that they were too thin, she started getting injections around 2008 while filming The House Bunny.
“Turned out, after doing it long enough, the injection became very apparent,” admits the actress. “One day a bunch of my friends were like, ‘Hey, Anna, your lips are getting pretty big.’ At that point, I had to wean myself off the injections.”
Though she says the procedures were ultimately mistakes, she doesn’t regret her boob job. As a “huge point of insecurity from an early age,” the idea came to her while also filming The House Bunny.
Sewed into a padded bra daily, “I started to embrace [my character’s] kind of sexuality and it was really liberating,” she says. At the same time, she was dating Pratt: “I feel silly saying this, but he brought out something in me that made me want to be feminine in a very traditional way.”
When she told him of her idea, he said he’d love her body no matter what. Done deal. “I did it for myself,” writes a proud Faris. “I wasn’t doing it for Hollywood — I’d be wearing padded bras for my whole career, so it wasn’t like I thought that implants were going to suddenly help me get ahead. But I wanted to feel sexy in a way that I hadn’t been feeling, and I’ll be honest, after getting the surgery, I did.”
Her one request: Stop the shaming. “It does bother me that women are very much criticized by other women for these kinds of choices.”
They went into “solider mode” after Jack’s birth
After trying for a year, Faris’ pregnancy was dubbed geriatric because she was 35. And though she gained nearly 70 pounds, the first 30 weeks had no bumps.
Until August 10, 2012. At just 30 weeks and one day, “I woke up at two fifteen to a massive gush,” she recalls. “The bed was soaked, and even though I felt the fluid coming out of my vagina, I smelled it to make sure it wasn’t pee. For those of you who haven’t had babies, let me assure you: you can’t really mistake your water breaking for peeing. They are entirely different sensations. But when you aren’t due for two more months and you’re taken by surprise by a sudden burst of fluid, you will pray that it’s urine, and you’ll go as far as sticking your nose in it if necessary.”
At the hospital, she was told she could not leave until the baby was born and was immediately put on bed rest. “This was not the kind of easy bed rest where you hang out on the couch but can sneak out to pee or get a snack,” she writes. “This was hospital bed, catheter, no showers, no standing up, ever.”
Seven days in, she went into labor: “The pain was so crazy that I could barely speak.”
Born premature, Jack, now 5, was in the NICU for a month, though Faris was released after just two days. “For the next four weeks, I spent all day there, pumping milk for my baby until my nipples were bleeding and blistered, because it felt like the only thing I could do to help him,” she recalls. “He was fed the milk through a tube up his nose.”
The hits kept coming. Four days after welcoming Jack, a pediatric neurosurgeon told the new parents that their son had severe brain bleeding and there was a possibility he would be developmentally disabled. But they wouldn’t know until he was 18 months old.
“I only half heard the words as they came out of the doctor’s mouth. I was in complete shock,” notes the actress. “We held hands while the doctor spoke, and we held hands — and smiled! — as we left the hospital, because we were getting paparazzi every time we left, which, frankly, was horrible. How do you smile when you’re spending your days worrying about your sub-four pound baby? But you don’t really have a choice because if you’re frowning, then who knows what the tabloids could say.”
When a four-pound, three-ounce Jack was able to eat on his own, he was finally brought home on September 12. Faris continued to shuttle him to daily doctor appointments with brain, heart and eye specialists, as well as physical therapists.
“He was speaking at an early age and people were constantly telling us how smart he was, which I know people probably say to all new parents but it took on even more meaning for me,” admits the mom. “But our instincts were right and it turned out that Jack’s development was progressing completely on par for his age.”
Today, Faris and Pratt are in endless awe of their son. “He still has a couple of physical problems — his legs have high tone and often appear stiff, so he walks on his tiptoes a lot. He wears glasses and has to wear an eye patch for twenty minutes a day to strengthen his vision. But given that these are the biggest challenges, we count ourselves extremely lucky.”
Credit: Suzi Pratt/WireImage
Everyone gets jealous
Yes, superstars included.
“Even though Chris was becoming hugely famous and I’d been sort of famous for a while,” reveals Faris, “The two of us led such boring lives that the tabloids left us alone.”
That is, until her husband signed on to Passengers with Jennifer Lawrence in 2016. “Before they met in person, my publicist, out of the blue, pulled me aside. ‘Anna, listen there are going to be paparazzi all over them,’ she said. ‘There are going to be shots of them laughing together on their way to set. There are going to be stories circulating, and you have to brace yourself for this.'”
And she was right. The stories were “totally hurtful” recalls Faris, who admits she tried to ignore them “but I couldn’t block them out, either.”
Lawrence even went out of her way to help an “insecure” Faris feel more comfortable. “Jennifer and I really are friendly, and she was apologetic even though she didn’t need to be,” writes Faris, “because she hadn’t done anything wrong.”
Pratt too had his envious moments. In 2011, Faris and Chris Evans starred in the rom-com What’s Your Number? Her husband, who had a small role in the flick, “was never overt about it but he would bring up my kissing scenes with Chris Evans casually. ‘So, when do you have to do that love scene with Evans?’ he’d ask,” she admits. “It was thinly veiled, but very sweet. That passed within days, though.”
After a night out on the town Chris 1 and Chris 2 instantly became BFF. “They couldn’t get enough of each other,” reveals Faris. “They were so enamored of each other that I still ended up being the jealous one clamoring for attention. ‘Hey guys! Look at me!'”
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Chris Pratt is the perfect romantic
Warning: Faris knows the following may make you queasy.
“I wouldn’t be honoring my relationship with Chris if I didn’t acknowledge that he was great at grand gestures but also stellar at the tiny ones,” she admits.
First, he can French braid. “We’d be in bed at night watching football and he’d say, ‘Let me braid your hair,’ and I would sit between his legs and let him do my hair. He was always the instigator,” Faris reveals. “He cuts Jack’s hair too. They play barber together. Chris is a great caretaker in general, but especially when it comes to hair.”
And he sends handwritten notes from his travels. “I’d get a letter from a gorgeous hotel in Moscow or Paris or wherever work took him, though he was usually home by the time they arrived. They were like old-timey war letters that said things like, ‘Honey, I’m dreaming of the day I get to hold you again.’ For such a dude, he’s really thoughtful.”
Oh, and he’s also an artist! “About a year and a half ago, he drew a picture of himself on our bathroom mirror with a love note, and the picture looked remarkably like him. He also wrote me a long poem once that was framed in our home. Do you want to throw up yet?”
Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
She still gets nervous filming Mom
Even after four seasons, shooting the CBS sitcom in front of a live audience makes her anxious.
But she has a routine. Every Friday, before taping, “I make an announcement to the crew,” writes Faris. “It goes something like this: ‘Hey, everybody, I have an announcement. I just want to tell you guys all how much I love you and what an amazing team we are. You are the best. I feel so lucky that I get to drive to working knowing that I’m going to see you.”
Her reasoning: “Why not spread the love? Even if it means that I come across as an idiot.”
Another ritual: Flowers from Pratt. “I’ll admit that sometimes I felt almost embarrassed, not because I wanted to hide them, but I didn’t want to always be the, ‘Look what I got!’ girl who rubbed her romantic husband in her coworker’s faces,” she jokes. “But yeah, a giant bouquet of flowers in my dressing room wasn’t bad.”
And while Faris has yet to be nominated for the show, she’s ready if and when the day comes thanks to her costar. “I’ve delivered plenty of drunken acceptance speeches at Allison Janney’s house, where her six Emmys are perfect for my practice runs.”
For more from Faris, pick up Unqualiifed, on book shelves now!
Credit: Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images