An “American Idol” runner-up, a “Superbad” breakout star and the product of one of the most famous celebrity couples of the last 20 years would seem an unlikely trio to play a band of misfits, but that’s why they call it acting. Anna Faris may be the titular star of “The House Bunny,” but this new twist on the “Legally Blonde” concept wouldn’t get anywhere without Katharine McPhee, Emma Stone and Rumer Willis.
Faris plays Shelley, a Playboy Playmate unceremoniously booted from the mansion, only to take up with seven unpopular sorority sisters who are themselves on the verge of being kicked to the curb. MTV gathered McPhee, Stone and Willis to chat about their new film, who really is the most awkward of the three and which one just might be giving McPhee a run for a singing career.
MTV: I usually wouldn’t bring an issue of Playboy to an interview, but Anna Faris is on the cover promoting the film.
Emma Stone: [Looking at the magazine] Aw, she looks adorable!
Katharine McPhee: She looks good!
MTV: Here’s the big question: Where are your covers, and how angry are you that you didn’t get one?
Stone: Not that angry. It makes sense. In the movie Shelley is a Playboy bunny, and it’s nice to have that full circle. She’s in character.
McPhee: Yeah, that’s exactly her character.
Rumer Willis: It’s fitting for Anna because that’s who her character is. The movie is less about Playboy and Hef than about two different groups of women. Everybody thinks the popular girls don’t get kicked out, but she’s the ideal woman, and she gets kicked out of her house. We help each other to find our way.
Stone: She really gives us the confidence to go out and talk to people. And I think we give her confidence that there’s more to her than meets the eye.
MTV: You guys really are dressed down for the first part of the film. Was that a relief?
Stone: It was great! It was like three minutes in hair and makeup.
Willis: It was especially great for the two of us [gesturing to McPhee] since we were using props. [Note: Willis wears a brace through much of the film, and McPhee dons a fake pregnancy belly] It was very helpful for me to just have something else to make me feel more awkward and uncomfortable.
Stone: We already are awkward! It’s nice to really explore the awkwardness, because I feel so much awkwardness inside of me. It was nice to go to the extreme with it.
MTV: Who is the most awkward person in this room?
Stone: Of the three of us?
Willis: [To Stone] You just looked at me! Wow, OK. I thought we were friends.
McPhee: I’m kind of awkward sometimes.
Stone: You are not awkward!
Willis: You are the least awkward person I’ve ever met.
McPhee: I feel awkward sometimes.
Stone: Everybody feels awkward, but that’s one of the messages of the movie: Everyone feels like an outcast sometimes. I think the message in the end is “Embrace your inner awkward.”
MTV: You all get to sing in the movie in a memorable karaoke scene . Katharine, I believe you have a musical background …
McPhee: [Joking] A little bit.
McPhee: I do it as a hobby on the side.
Willis: Oh, cool.
MTV: Does anyone else here have musical aspirations?
Stone: Yes. [Points to Rumer.]
McPhee: We all sang a lot on the set. I think Rumer eventually in her lifetime would like to do something with her singing.
MTV: Rumer, would you like to do an album?
Willis: Yeah. I would actually really like that. We had an opportunity to write part of a rap that’s at the end of the movie, and Katharine sang. We had a great time.
McPhee: You guys did background vocals as well.
Willis: We did. It was very fun.
MTV: Katharine, what are you hoping to accomplish with your next album?
McPhee: I’m really just hoping to bring me to the record. I would like to have an authentic record that comes from the heart and is really my story and my thoughts. Not that the first one wasn’t, but …
Stone: You’re over it.
McPhee: [Laughs] I’m over it. [Singing] I’m so moving on.
Check out everything we’ve got on “The House Bunny.”
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