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Anna Faris Opens up About Leaving Mom After Season 7

Anna Faris has had a stellar career over the past two decades, starring in movies and TV shows, and gaining adoration from fans all over the world. And yet she recently left her long running show, Mom, without any plans to act again. It seemed like Faris was potentially retiring from the business. Fortunately, she allowed her fans a sigh of relief, as she came back with a role in a movie, The Estate, not long after leaving the show. In this video, we’re taking a look at the reasons Anna left the show, how she contemplated calling it quits on acting forever, and what her future holds. We’ll also take a closer look at her amazing show, Mom, and how it forged out without her. So join Facts Verse, as we present: Anna Faris Opens Up About Leaving Mom After Season 7

Whenever an actor decides to leave a hit show, it causes waves in Hollywood, and among the many fans who tune in every episode. And it makes for a confusing time for fans of that actor as well. There’s a general misconception that if you’re on a hit how, then everything must be perfect in your work life (and your private life too!). But for many actors, there are compelling reasons to leave a show after many years. Anna Faris discovered this after season 7 of Mom, and chose to leave after many years on the CBS sitcom. What was particularly jarring about the decision was that there weren’t any rumblings of it, or rumors it was going to happen. Nor were the many fans of the show given a heads up in any way. One day Anna was on the show as its star, and the next she was gone. She tried to calm people down by saying that she was leaving to pursue some better opportunities. But it turns out there was more to it than that…

Anna’s Departure

Any business can have a tough time dealing with a sudden departure from a higher up, and Anna’s departure from Mom was no different. Reportedly it made things quite difficult for the rest of the cast, the crew, and the production and creative team. The show had revolved around her and co-star Allison Janney, so suddenly there was only half of the lead cast available. They had to scramble to get the 8th season made while completely shifting everything about the show. Though it should be mentioned that, unlike many instances in Hollywood, Anna didn’t leave with any bad blood. And she was generally loved by the people working on the show, so there weren’t on set issues that had come to a head.

Why She Left

Despite Anna’s initial statement that she simply wanted to move on to some new and exciting opportunities, her real reasons for leaving were quite different. Only now has Faris opened up about her decision. She talked to People Magazine about it, admitting that it was for kind of a mix of reasons. For starters, the pandemic had caused her to really slow things down and take a break from the rigorous world of being the lead on a show. And while she struggled, like everyone, to exist in the height of the pandemic, she found that she enjoyed the time off. Faris also talked about how it allowed her to not only take her foot off the gas, but also to spend time with her son that she wouldn’t have otherwise.

And over time, she discovered that she felt more comfortable in this slowed down and less stressful space. So she started to think about walking away from Mom. She told People Magazine that her first big question to herself was whether she had enough money to actually retire. So clearly at that point it wasn’t simply a matter of stepping away from a hit show. She was seriously considering stepping away from acting for good.

Fortunately for her many fans around the world, her potential retirement turned into more of a sabbatical. Since leaving Mom, she played a role in the movie “The Estate”, she’s done some animation voiceover work, and she recently appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Avocados from Mexico. And she talks about how her time off has given her a chance to reboot creatively. She’s been kicking around ideas for new projects and new characters she wants to work on. And she also said that that process makes her feel very proactive. Because while she enjoyed her time on the Mom set, being in a multicam sitcom doesn’t allow for a lot of room to explore creatively. Because those types of shows are fully scripted, fully choreographed, and filmed in front of a live audience, it’s more like a weekly play. There’s not a lot of space to improvise lines, or make new choices about your character, etc. So it can feel limiting as an actor, especially if you do it for years on end. So potentially joining on to new projects, or creating her own, could result in an increased amount of creative freedom for the actress.

Another benefit of her sabbatical was that she didn’t have to go through the rigors of the competitive and comparative nature of Hollywood. Despite being a star for multiple decades at this point, Faris said that she still felt those types of pressures constantly. So taking time off allowed her a respite from the anxiety of competition.

Anna’s Costars Had To Deal with Her Departure

Anna’s primary costars on Mom were Allison Janney, Kristen Johnston, Jaime Pressly, among others. Perhaps the most directly affected by the Faris’ departure was Allison Janney, the other lead. She suddenly had to take over as the show’s lead, having fallen into a pattern of sharing that light with Faris. In an interview, Janney talked about how integral Anna was in not only creating a character that everyone adored, but also in facilitating a wonderful relationship between her and Janney’s character. Janney said the thing that she misses the most from the first seven season is that close relationship between their characters. But Janney and the other cast members pointed out that they still almost feel as if Faris and her character are still there. They reference her, talk about her, and still love her. Jaime Pressly talked about how the relationships they had formed with Anna were. More important than the character or the show. She pointed out that each cast member truly wants he best for the others, and prioritizes their happiness over anything related to showbiz. As such, they were all very understanding of Faris’s need to step away.

The Show Ended After the 8th Season

While everyone in the cast, production, and crew for the show made the best of the situation for season 8, it ultimately proved to be too hard of a task. Of course, based on how long sitcoms generally run, it seems likely that the show might have only lasted a little longer even if Faris hadn’t left. Eventually most shows find that they don’t have that many more stories to tell, and call it a day. Or the creative process gets stale after so many seasons, causing ratings to dive. Then the networks cancel them. But the loss of one of the two leads of the show ultimately proved too hard to Mom. Fans around the world were impressed that they pulled it together enough to put out a quality season of TV. But in the end it was a different show than the ones people had loved for seven seasons. The network felt as if it had lost some of the magic, especially in the relationship between Janney and Faris’s characters, and that it would be gone as long as Faris wasn’t a part of the show.

Though it should be pointed out that even with all the challenges we talked about, it still came as a bit of a surprise when the show ended. Only two years before the cancellation, CBS had made big declarations about what a great show it was, both in terms of quality and ratings, and that they saw it having a long run. Of course, that was before Faris’s departure. After Mom was cancelled, the head of entertainment for CBS, Kelly Kahl, said that it was due to a number of factors. She talked about how it was still a creative juggernaut, and was still doing well for the network. So it was more a matter of looking to fund and find space for new shows.

Still, the decision came as a harsh one to Alison Janney and the rest of the cast. Janney expressed her dismay, saying she wished they’d been given at least one more season. That would have allowed the writers to ramp up the storylines and the season to come to a planned finale. To Janney, that would have been a much more fitting tribute to the long running and popular show.

Janney’s Connection to the Show

Janney played a alcoholic who was in recovery, a topic that hit close to home for her. For starters, she appreciated that it tackled some difficult and emotional aspects of the addiciotn world, and that it was able to provide not only humor, but hopefully support fo any viewers who struggle with addiction. And it was important to Janney’s life as well, because her brother, Hal, was an addict. Hal died a decade ago from his addictions, and it’s something Janney has had to struggle with ever since. But the show has brought her solace over the years. When it ended, she said she had a tough time, especially since she doesn’t do well with change. Hopefully in the time since the show ended, she’s been able to cope with the loss of the show, and move on to bigger and better things!

Now it’s time to hear from you. Did you watch Mom after Anna Faris left? Let us know in the comments section below!

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