Seann William Scott talks about why American Pie: Reunion became such a passion project for him and why he had more fun making it than a lot of other movies. He also discusses why the role of Stifler changed his life as well as another of his recent roles in Goon, which afforded him the opportunity to star alongside one of his idols in a moment that replicated the classic diner scene from Heat.
American Pie: Reunion recaptures the vibe of those early films in almost seamless fashion...
Seann William Scott: It does, yeah. It's a combination of a really smart script for that franchise and also it's a solid comedy even if you don't know the franchise. But especially if you're a fan it works. All of the actors did a great job too. Every time I've seen it I've really appreciated a new performance. I'll be like: 'Wow, Chris Klein's really good in this!' Or: 'John Cho [Milf Guy No.2]... goodness!' It reminds me a lot of the first American Pie.
It certainly gets almost everyone back from that first movie for the first time. So, how easy was that to do?
Seann William Scott: Once a lot of the actors met with Hayden [Schlossberg] and Jon [Hurwitz] people got excited and then when the script came in and everyone saw what they were being asked to do. I mean, nobody had to do this movie. So, people were coming from a position of strength to be able to say they were only going to do it if the script was great. And the script was great. It was really smart and it was written by two fantastic writers who are super-fans of American Pie. So, then after that it was just about budget and getting everyone's schedules to work out. [Coffee arrives] Did you order coffee? I'll take some. Bring it here, thank you so much. Do you want me to sign for it? OK. Just give yourself a $20 tip! Seriously! This s**t would never work in real life [laughs]! If you know what I mean, just taking someone's coffee! But because we're doing movies we think we can just get away with s**t! Who knows if in the room next to us some f**king big UFC fighter ordered it and we just stole his coffee and added a $20 tip onto his budget!
You'd be quite well equipped anyway for going up against a UFC fighter given your recent training regime for Goon...
Seann William Scott: You saw that? Oh great! I like that movie too. It's another funny one. That movie did really well here... really well! I think it's Canada's biggest comedy in the UK. It'' like 'wow'
Your scenes with Liev Schreiber in that film were particularly great...
Seann William Scott: Cool! Thank you! But dude, you've got to be an absolutely awful actor to not come off cool when you're in a scene with him. That guy is just awesome, man! He was one of my favourite actors before I did the movie but then, to be in a scene with him, it was pretty incredible.
The diner scene in particular...
Seann William Scott: Do you know what? Like an idiot I never noticed the similarly to the scene in Heat. I think I was already thinking about what we needed to do in the scene but when we were shooting it, I forgot that we were in a two-shot, and he was just so good that I was kind of watching him as a viewer. And then I was like: 'Oh f**k, I'm in a f**king movie! And it's a two-shot!' But it worked because my character is supposed to be in awe of him [laughs]... that tells you how professional I am. Here he is, awesome method actor and there I am, 'man, he's awesome...'! [laughs]
Coming back to American Pie, how much of a reunion was it for you with the other cast members? Had you stayed in touch much?
Seann William Scott: It was like a reunion. I hadn't seen Tara Reid since the year 2000, Mena [Suvari] in a long time... I was excited. It was a combination of a reunion with the excitement of a kid on Christmas Eve, like an eight-year-old. I was that excited to see everybody. I had first-day-of-school jitters too. But honestly, I had more fun doing this movie than any movie I've done. I've enjoyed every opportunity, of course, and while some aren't as fun as others, I never would have expected that the fourth American Pie movie would have been so much fun to do. And I feel like that translates onscreen. But I think we're all so grateful and feel such lucky kids to be in a movie, and had such fun making it, that it really does translate to the audience. It was the same with the first one... I mean, obviously it's not the f**king Godfather! It's American Pie!
It's the Godfather of gross-out films...
Seann William Scott: Yeah right! It's the Godfather of dick and semen jokes [laughs]! But other than that...
So, would you describe this as a passion project for you, given it was you who first took it to the studio?
Seann William Scott: Well, when we started doing it I had no idea that Jason [Biggs] was independently thinking about it too and talking to the studio. I think actually he did that before I did but it wasn't working out with everyone's schedule. I was hanging out with Steve Conrad, who wrote and directed The Promotion, who is a good friend of mine, and I'd never thought about playing Stifler again. I'd been so anxious to do other things. But then I was like: 'You know, it's such a fun character and to see him at 30 allows me to do more comedically as an actor than a lot of other movies I had been reading or had even done'. So, it can offer a lot. And then I thought to utilise a high school reunion setting and bring everyone back could work. So, it did feel right and I pitched it to the studio and pitched a lot of the storylines and stuff that are actually in the movie and I'm really proud of. Jon and Hayden are the ones who actually wrote it, of course. But I am closer to it because of that and it is more rewarding to sit in the theatre and hear people respond to it and think: 'Wow, I might have been one of the guys that got this one going, even though everybody contributed.' And this is pretty risky for all of us... we'd all look like dicks if this movie sucked. So, I'm really grateful that the directors did such a great job because I really do think this is a good movie.
Is this it now or could we see a 40-year or 50-year reunion scenario?
Seann William Scott: I don't know. I think this wraps it up perfectly but f**k it, who knows. I almost would rather watch Stifler's mom and Jim's dad in a whole movie of their own. It would be great if he got her pregnant, so Jim and I would have a brother [laughs]! Maybe we'd find out... because we never meet Finch's dad or Stifler's dad, so maybe we find out that we have the same dad that got Stifler's mom and Finch's mom pregnant, so Jim and I are brothers and I'm brothers with Finch. Hey, there's a sequel there! It could be a really dark kind of David Lynch version of American Pie. And then I end up killing everybody! Viggo Mortensen comes in and he f**ks pie and then he kills Biggs with a couple of pieces of it, making sure Biggs chokes to death. I don't know what I'm talking about dude! [laughs]
Or you could go the other route and see you and Rebecca De Mornay going off on a whirlwind romance around Europe?
Seann William Scott: Yeah... we could do that. Or we could just do that in real life! But she's not returning my calls. I guess it was just an on-set romance. But that was so cool. When they told me that idea I thought it was brilliant. I mean, she's so hot and for me, I think the most significant role of hers for me was The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. I was like: 'Wow, she's the hottest psycho ever!' But Risky Business... do you recognise the line that she says to me? 'So, are you ready for me Stifler?' That's the line from Risky Business. I was like: 'Clever!'
How much would you credit Stifler with having changed your life?
Seann William Scott: Dude that was my first movie. It was my first job. It's everything. I probably wouldn't have a career and I clearly wouldn't have the opportunities to do the things I do... to take care of my family. So, this movie is everything to me. [Publicist wraps it up]
Can I quickly ask two more questions? We got interrupted by coffee...
Seann William Scott: Can I quickly ask two more questions? We got interrupted by coffee... [Publicist: No you didn't. I ordered it for you... It's what I do!] Thank you! Oh, I put a $20 tip on it because I thought it was somebody else's coffee and I was playing a joke! [Turns to me] But of course, ask away...
What's your favourite Stifler moment? And would Seann William Scott be friends with Stifler in real life?
Seann William Scott: I have to say the dance sequence in American Wedding. I love that. I like his logic about things. He just did that dance sequence and the whole dance-off just to prove to the guy that the guy wanted to f**k him! And would I be friends with Stifler? [Pauses] I don't know. I would be friends with Stifler in this movie. In the first three, he seems like a jack-ass... in small doses. I would just be a little more wary than the other four guys.
Interview: Rob Carnevale Photo: Universal
American Pie: Reunion is out in cinemas Wednesday 2 May