was born on November 29, 1976, in Baltimore, Maryland, the second child of Jack, a sociology professor, and Karen Faris, a special education teacher. Both her parents, natives of Seattle, Washington, were living in Baltimore at the time of Faris' birth, as her father had accepted a professorship at Towson University. When Faris was six years old, the family relocated from Baltimore to Edmonds, Washington. Her father worked at the University of Washington as a vice president of internal communications, and later headed the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association, while her mother taught at Seaview Elementary School in Edmonds. Faris has an older brother, Robert, who is also a sociologist and professor at the University of California, Davis. In interviews, Faris has described her parents as "ultra liberal" and said that she and her brother were raised in an irreligious but "very conservative," traditional atmosphere. At age six, her parents enrolled her in a community drama class for kids as they usually encouraged her to act. She enjoyed watching plays and eventually produced her own material in her bedroom with friends who lived in her neighborhood. Faris has said in interviews she often imagined her retainer talking to her, remarking that she would picture herself "on talk shows to talk about talking retainer". Faris attended Edmonds-Woodway High School (from where she graduated in 1994), and while studying, she performed onstage with a Seattle repertory company and in nationally broadcast radio plays. She once described herself as a drama-club "dork", stating that she used to wear a Christmas-tree skirt in school and did not date until senior year. "I liked guys, but no one really liked me", she recalled. She then attended the University of Washington and earned a degree in English literature in 1999. Despite her love for acting, Faris admitted she "never really thought wanted to become a movie star" and continued to act "just to make some extra money", hoping one day to publish a novel. After graduating from college, Faris was going to travel to London, where she had a receptionist job lined up at an ad agency. However, she ended up living in Los Angeles "at the last minute", once she committed to the idea of pursuing mainstream acting, eventually getting the starring role in Scary Movie. At 22, she lived on her own in a studio apartment located at the Ravenswood in Hancock Park.
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