Last Friday we reported on the news that Anna Faris's next film will be a biopic on Deep Throat actress Linda Lovelace, jokingly noting "Her parents must be thrilled!" Well, it turns out we were right. Jack Faris, Anna's dad, sent us an e-mail last night responding to our post:
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.
It's an interesting question why actresses are criticized for the moral behavior of the characters they portray, but male actors are not. No one suggested that Robert De Niro's parents would be aghast at seeing him, as Al Capone, bash someone's head with a baseball bat. No one surmised that Al Pacino's mom would be mortified to see her son play a Michael Corleone who organizes uncounted brutal murders. No one raised an eyebrow at John Malkovich's decision to portray a would-be presidential assassin. And rightly so.
But let a talented, and brave, young actress consider taking on the role of a woman who was subjected to extreme exploitation, and thereby illuminate important issues not just of pornography, but male-female relations in America (the proposed title of Inferno might suggest something about the approach), and you get the kind of smarmy, smug, tasteless commentary exemplified by New York Magazine. The headline isn't clever; it's despicable.
A fair point, but in Vulture's defense, 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. Also, if Robert De Niro or Al Pacino were being considered for the lead role in the Linda Lovelace movie, we're pretty sure we'd have been equally — if not more — flippant. But mostly, we just had no idea that Anna Faris's dad was reading our blog!
Earlier: Anna Faris Sucks