Anna Faris claims director Ivan Reitman was abusive on ‘My Super Ex-Girlfriend’ set

A blond woman posing in a light-colored dress against a black background
Anna Faris at the 2018 Paleyfest in Los Angeles.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP)

Actor Anna Faris has accused director Ivan Reitman of berating her and slapping her butt on the set of the 2006 romantic comedy “My Super Ex-Girlfriend.”

During Wednesday’s episode of her podcast, “Anna Faris Is Unqualified,” the “Mom” star spoke with writer-director Lena Dunham about her experience working with Reitman, who died in February at age 75.

“One of my hardest film experiences was with Ivan Reitman,” Faris told Dunham. “The idea of attempting to make a comedy under this reign of terror. He was a yeller. He would bring down somebody every day. And my first day, it was me.”

Ivan Reitman, the filmmaker and producer behind beloved comedies such as “Animal House” and “Ghostbusters,” died Saturday night.

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Faris said that while preparing to shoot her first scene for “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” — the beginning of a fight sequence with co-star Uma Thurman — a hairstylist accidentally spilled “a quart” of wig glue all over her costume. She was wearing one of two identical Yves Saint Laurent sweaters the costume department had acquired for the shoot.

As a result of the wardrobe malfunction, Faris showed up 20 to 25 minutes late to film the action scene. She said that at the time she was “terrified” that Reitman — known for directing “Ghostbusters” and other hit comedies — would perceive her as “some kind of diva” because of her tardiness.


“It’s a night shoot, and Ivan is just taking me down,” she recalled. “He always called me Annie. He’s like, ‘You can’t play like that around here’ ... and I [internally] was like, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t cry. No crying.’ And I felt angry and hurt and humiliated and defensive.”

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At a certain point, Faris said, she eventually asked the filmmaker, “Did no one tell you what happened?” — after which he “kind of just shut up and ... went behind the camera.”

“Then later he slapped my a— too,” she added. “That was a weird moment.”

The Times was not able to contact a representative for Reitman’s estate.

Without naming the person, Faris said in a 2017 episode of her podcast that, on a movie set early in her a career, all she could do was “giggle” after a director slapped her “a— in front of the crew so hard.”

“I remember looking around and ... seeing the crew members being like, ‘Wait, what are you going to do about that? That seemed weird,’ ” she said in 2017. “And that’s how I dismissed it. I was like ... ‘It’s not that big of a deal. Buck up, Faris. Just giggle.’

“But it made me feel small,” she added. “He wouldn’t have done that to the lead male.”


Faris also alleged in 2017 that the same unnamed director told her agent she landed a role in his film partially because she “had great legs.”

In conversation with Dunham, the “House Bunny” actor mused that Reitman’s alleged behavior aligned with an antiquated Hollywood “mentality” that a leader “was supposed to be an a— ... a scary one.”

“On one hand, it wasn’t anything. Whatever, my a— is fine,” Faris told Dunham. “On the other hand, I did have, like, 30 people around me expecting me to do something, and I didn’t.”