The ladies of The House Bunny, including Anna Faris, Rumer Willis and Katherine McPhee, dish to SheKnows. How does the world of the Playboy Bunny survive the wrath of Faris’ trademark satirical humor? “The film is not about pleasing men. It’s about making yourself happy,” says Willis.
Anna Faris’ Shelley Darlington has lived at the Playboy mansion for the last nine years. In The House Bunny, Shelley believes she’s Hugh Hefner’s favorite. At the same time, she’s quite the mother hen to the other Playmates. After her 27th birthday, she is tossed from the mansion for ‘being too old.’
As it says in the film, “She’s 59 in Bunny years.”
The scenes with Playboy were actually filmed at Hugh Hefner’s mansion. Magazine founder Hefner makes an appearance in the film as does his Girls Next Door girlfriends.
Filming at the mansion
Faris found the experience typifying of expectations and yet still full of wonder.
“It was amazing. It was so much fun. I had these preconceived notions about what it would be and sure enough, it was all right. Hot girls, nice cars, monkeys, peacocks, the pajamas, it was amazing,” says Faris.
In The House Bunny, after what proves to be Shelley’s last birthday party at the mansion, she is sent packing and lands at a nearby sorority house that too is in dire straights. Needing a housemother, Faris’ Shelley is hired.
“At the beginning, all us girls in the sorority, they have very different personalities and yet are very accepting of each other,” says Emma Stone. “They’ve become very close. I think therefore it’s easy to accept Shelley. It was very cool to see women supporting each other like that.”
Girl power is a theme that permeates The House Bunny. One Faris found exists in droves at the real Playboy Mansion.
“One of the things that amazed me about hanging out with the playmates and bunnies was how supportive they were of each other, how kind they were, and the true generosity of spirit. They were so uncompetitive with other girls, which I wasn’t expecting,” says Faris. “I think it’s great take that and roll with it on The House Bunny
Arriving at the sorority, Faris’ Shelley immediately has ideas. “Shelley comes in and her logic is, they’re going to save the house by getting more members, by having more parties and getting guys to like them,” says Faris.
Commence the classic cinematic makeover courtesy of Shelley and the sorority girls, led by Willis in a stellar performance. How The House Bunny differs is how this swan-like transformation is all about the inside.
“I feel like one of the reasons I really liked this movie was it really is a message about whether you’re comfortable with yourself,” Willis said. “Things that we’re wearing and things we do on the outside, is only one part.”
The American Idol alum, McPhee, was glowing about her film debut. “It’s cool to take a stereotype, the Playboy woman, the sorority girl, where people may see her in some ways and to clash one stereotype and another and kind of make a really good message was a joy,” says McPhee.
It is hard to miss the photos of Faris in her pink Bunny outfit. The actress was game for the attire that left her feeling sexy like a certain party pastry. “In every one I felt a bit like a cupcake, a skimpy cupcake, but a cupcake nonetheless. I think that Shelley’s taste is a innocent sexuality. It was fun to feel that I was dressing up in the clothes I used to put on my dolls when I was little,” says Faris. “The clothes in the movie are amazing. I think I have 50-plus wardrobe changes.”
The House Bunny cast got along famously and it is evident onscreen. “Once we met, it was like serendipity,” says Stone. “I think we were brought together for a reason. We got along very well. We were very lucky.”
Willis chimes in. “We’re kindred spirits. It is a really great girl power, supportive script.”
Working with a comic queen such as Faris found Stone impressed. “She has no ego and I’ve never seen anyone that was so consistent with specifically working with their movements. When you do take after take, she does the exact same thing every time. She’s the only one,” says Stone. “She’s hilarious.”
“She really is, I really admire that,” adds Willis.