Spoiler alert: The star of Mom is as laid-back and lovely as you'd expect. Just don't correct her workout form.
Credit: Matthias Vriens-McGrath

Matthias Vriens-McGrath "Do you have anything you're craving?" Anna Faris asks, looking over the menu. We're at her regular sushi spot in Los Angeles, located just down the road from the Hollywood Hills home she shares with actor Chris Pratt, her husband since 2009, and their 2 1/2-year-old son, Jack. "Whatever you're up for," I say, and so she orders a smattering: bluefin toro, baked crab rolls, a yellowtail tasting, tuna and lobster soba pasta—Jack's favorite. "I love sushi so much, but I just can't bring myself to eat it healthy-style, as you can see. Do you mind if I carbo-load on you?"

One thing is abundantly clear within the first five minutes of meeting Anna: She is not your typical famous actress. Although she's constantly in the public eye, thanks to her hit CBS sitcom, Mom, now in its second season, she isn't about to stop living the life she loves. She eats. She drinks. And she's not interested in the Next Big Diet fad, whether it be a cleanse or a gluten-free craze.

This isn't to say she isn't healthy, because she is—and she looks super fit in her skinny jeans. The 38-year-old just does health in her own way, preferring hikes over classes and meat that her hunting-enthusiast husband has killed himself (like antelope sausage, their breakfast this morning) over a vegan tofu scramble.

Maybe it's because she was raised nearly 1,200 miles away from Los Angeles, in Edmonds, Wash., by a special education assistant teacher mother and a sociologist father. In 2000, she got her big-screen break, starring in the horror film parody Scary Movie—and, later, three of its four sequels. Along the way she has killed it in drama (Brokeback Mountain), comedy (The House Bunny) and even award-show hosting (People's Choice Awards). So what's next up? Baby gates! Chris put together Jack's toddler bed too early and now they need more barriers, stat.

Can you eat what you want or do you have to watch it?
I do kind of have to watch it, but things are working in my favor right now. My job is so physical. I just don't have time to sit down. I'll get, like, a 15-minute break to eat a little bit, and then they're like, "C'mon, we have to go!" The other thing is that Chris is on a diet, which is helping me.

Chris has become famous for transforming his body for roles. Has your body ever changed dramatically?
Yeah, I definitely gained a bit of weight with my pregnancy. I love to cook big, fattening meals. I make a really good roast chicken with homemade croutons that are fried and delicious. I used to be able to spend all day making a meal—drinking wine, cooking and watching television. That was the best way to spend a Saturday. Right now, I'm chasing Jack all day long. As he gets older, I'm sure I'll find it trickier to keep the weight off because we'll start to sit down for meals. And Chris won't let me cook those meals for him anymore. It's just sad. [Laughs]

After you had Jack, did you feel pressure to snap back into shape?
I think I would have felt a lot of pressure if we had had a really "normal" experience. But because he was two months premature and we were so scared, I don't remember thinking too much about that.

That must have been hard.
Jack's doing so well—I think that's why we can talk about it now a little bit. He's just so happy, bright and funny. For a while I thought maybe I'd be a stay-at-home mom for a couple of years. But in Hollywood, it's not as though it's always a choice, you know? You feel very little control over the trajectory of your own career. That said, one of the great things about Mom is that when we did the pilot, I was a little heavier than maybe I would've liked, but I never felt any pressure from [creator] Chuck Lorre or CBS to be fit. Sometimes, studios are kind of delicate the way they approach that. They'll say, "We got you a gym membership" or "We're gonna pay for your trainer." And you're like, "OK...I guess that means they want me to lose weight." [Laughs]

Do you guys want to have more kids?


Matthias Vriens-McGrath We want to, very much so, but it will definitely be a whole new complication because now I'm, like, a high-risk pregnancy, so it requires some different monitoring. My doctor's like, "I don't think you'll have to be on bed rest the whole time." And I'm like, "I'm on a show."

Were you on bed rest?
I was for a week, but that was after my water broke. I was having an uneventful, happy pregnancy, and so it was really a huge surprise that my water broke in the middle of the night. I wish we didn't have this biological clock. I'm thinking we have to start talking about it, looking at all kinds of options. I'm so lucky that I have a partner in Chris who's in the same industry and really understands what's required of me in terms of time commitment. But I was like, "Oh man, this s--t is f---ing hard." And there's your headline for this story!

What's the key to maintaining a happy family life while the paparazzi constantly follow you around?
We're pretty low-key. We stay at home a lot. I don't know if my husband would necessarily agree, but most of them are pretty nice guys, just trying to make a living, and a lot of them are apologetic.

Like, Sorry, but just give us the shot and we'll go?
Yeah, if you're nice to them. I think some celebrities are so mean to them and resent them so much. I mostly feel scared just going out without makeup on. But at the same time, I don't want it to force a lifestyle change. Some people I work with wish that I would start dressing nicer. [Laughs] They're like, "Can you please not wear sweatpants everywhere you go?" So this is very dressed up for me today. But yeah, the scary part is that vulnerability of like, "Oh man, I'm gonna be in 'Stars Without Makeup' again!"

Is that a thing?
Yes! And I'm usually in there somewhere. [Paparazzi] are a part of the job Chris and I don't really understand, maybe because we both grew up in Washington State. We're definitely thinking about moving away when we can, a few years from now. Maybe Northern California, or Oregon, or Washington. Chris is a country boy. He really wants land, and I do, too. I love the idea of having horses, even though I don't really know how to ride or take care of them!


Matthias Vriens-McGrath What are your favorite ways to pamper yourself?
I'm all surface. [Laughs] I make sure my roots are good—although right now they're not. I would love to be in a place where somebody comes to my house and just, like, spray-tans me and does my roots. But I just don't have the patience for it. I don't want to spend my free time doing that stuff. Even with massage these days, I'm like, "Ugh." I like to unwind with some wine and movies, and spend time with Chris and Jack.

Besides wine, do you have a go-to drink?
I love gin and tonics, and I like beer. I drink the light beers and the crazy draft stuff. But in L.A. people don't really drink beer. And I also love champagne. Those are my vices.

Speaking of which, do you have any health regrets?
I wish that early on I had been more careful with my body when it came to stunts, especially in the silly comedies, like Scary Movie. I'm not a particularly coordinated person, but we didn't necessarily budget in a stunt double, so they'd be like, "Why don't you try it first? It's much funnier if we see you getting hit in the face." Now I would be like, "No, no, no. That might break my nose."

Are you a yoga person?
I want to do yoga, which is so good for me, but when I have to be quiet, I just kind of go crazy. I put mental pressure on myself, like, "Am I supposed to be feeling something? My mind is not clear. My mind is not clear."

What workout moves do you loathe?
All of them. When I work out with Chris at home, we go through a little routine. He has me do lunges and stuff, and the lunges get hard after a while. It's really frustrating when someone you love is telling you how to improve your form!

When do you feel sexy?
Probably at home with my husband. He makes me feel really beautiful even when I'm feeling disgusting. I'll be in boxer shorts and a grubby T-shirt with greasy hair, and he'll still be like, "Whoa, honey. Whoaaa."

When do you feel your absolute happiest?
Yesterday Chris and I took Jack to the train museum. There were paparazzi, but we were just like, "It's an odd thing that's happening, but let's not stress or stress Jack out." At one point, Chris turned to me and said, "I don't think I've ever been happier in my whole life." And I felt the same way.

Anna's Favorite Things
In my bag at award shows: Lip gloss, powder and tissues (not for crying, but for sweating)
Ultimate app: Shopbop
Go-to hair products: Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder and Klorane Dry Shampoo
Must-have makeup: Dual-purpose items, like Nars The Multiple in Na Pali Coast
Beauty trick: Velcro rollers on days off instead of heat on the hair—they cause less damage and give great volume
Favorite TV show: Parks and Recreation—it's the final season
Favorite movie: Overboard, with Goldie Hawn, is my sick-day movie