The Brokeback Mountain actress wrote an essay for Cosmopolitan, adapted from her new book Unqualified. Faris, 40, used to believe being a “guy’s girl” was the cool thing to be. “In my 20s, I thought it was cool to say I was a guys’ girl,” she wrote. “I didn’t realize until later how lame I sounded, bragging as though having a lot of girlfriends was a bad thing… I touted my male friends as if my association with them spoke to how cool I really was. I was selling my own gender down the river, and I wasn’t even getting any fulfillment from the relationships with those dudes.”
And the actress admitted her perspective on friendships was skewed by high school bullying. “Growing up, I fell victim to plenty of mean girls who would sneak up on me and snap my bra strap,” she recalled. “It may sound like a small thing, but when you’re a quiet teenager trying to get through high school unnoticed, that kind of unwanted attention is rough. One day, I went to my locker, and the words ‘f**k you, b**ch’ were written across it. It was humiliating and confusing. I didn’t think I was worthy of that kind of hatred.”
That mindset followed her to the bright lights of Hollywood: “That’s why it took me longer than it should have to realize just how important female relationships are. It takes vulnerability of spirit to open yourself up to other women in a way that isn’t competitive, and that’s especially hard in Hollywood, where competition is built into almost every interaction.”
But these days, Faris doesn’t put all her chips on the table. It is important for Faris to have more than one close friend and that is why she doesn’t identify her ex Pratt as her “best friend.” “I was once told that I didn’t need a tight group of girlfriends because Chris should be my best friend,” she explained. “But I never bought that. The idea of your mate being your best friend – it’s overhyped. I really believe that your partner serves one purpose and each friend serves another.”
“Today, I’m lucky to have a handful of women I count as confidantes,” Faris continued. “Among them, Allison Janney, my costar on Mom, Meghan, a friend from my hometown of Edmonds, Washington, and Kate, a dear childhood friend who I probably have nothing in common with anymore – at least from an outsider’s perspective – but who totally gets me because… history.”
So who is Faris’ best friend? The answer isn’t so simple. “To be honest, I think the notion of best friends in general is messed up though,” she concluded. “It puts so much pressure on any one person, when I truly believe it’s okay to have intimacy with different people in different ways. And ranking your friends? It just shouldn’t happen, at least not beyond grade school.”
Faris and Pratt were a beloved Hollywood couple in the eyes of some fans, but the two legally separated in early August.