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American Pie: The Wedding - 'I remember reading it and thought it was pretty gross!'



Feature by: Jack Foley

BY the time the credits had finished rolling at the end of American Pie 2, very few people, let alone the cast members themselves, would have thought there would have been a third installment, so it took something special for them to say ‘I do’ to the completion of the trilogy.

Both Jason Biggs, who plays the accident-prone Jim, and Seann William Scott, as Stifler, the person everyone hates to love, expressed reservations about reprising their roles, particularly as the coming-of-age, rites of passage comedy had shown signs of running out of steam.

Yet speaking to both, ahead of the release of the ‘final’ film in the series, American Pie: The Wedding, along with other cast members at London’s Dorchester Hotel, they all felt that ‘taking it up the aisle’ was the natural progression for the story - and a good way of finishing with a ‘bang’.

"What won me over was the script, for sure," says Biggs. "Adam Herz, who wrote the previous two films, came back and wrote the screenplay for the third, and it made sense, dramatically. It was the logical next step, to get married. It's very simple, I've certainly seen the marriage used before as a way to end a franchise, or a television series, but it just seemed to make sense.

"And the other important script note, was the set pieces, and making sure that we were going to push the same buttons, and go to the same comedic extremes, without getting gratuitous.

"Some might argue that we have, but I actually don't think we have; in fact, I'm convinced that we haven't, because on paper, there is a sweet underlying story. The characters are so easy to get invested in, they're approachable, and endearing despite all of the other crazy scenes.

"Formulaically, it was exactly like the other two films, in terms of the balance of the raunch and the sweet, and I was very confident upon my first read, that this was going to make sense."

The same applies to Scott, despite claims, following the press conference for the second film, that the team would probably be requiring the services of Viagra for any future films.

"It's like Jason said, the script was so funny. I didn't think that we would, because we were so fortunate that the first two were so well-received. But the script was just really funny, and it made sense," he commented.

"I also thought that we had an opportunity to really do a comedy trilogy and tie them all together and finish off with a bang. It also just seemed like so much fun, particularly as the character had more to do, and interact with other characters. There was a different energy."

And given that there is now such a close bond between the actors, was there a tinge of regret, or a tear shed, when the final scenes were shot?

"I couldn't wait to stop working with these people," jokes Biggs, initially. "The first one was fun and all, but if it wasn't for the big trailer, I never would have come back…

"But seriously, it was, of course, incredibly sad, as it's been such a special experience for me, and for all of us. It sounds so corny, but it's such an interesting and very special bond that we all share. I mean, American Pie was tremendous for all of us, and it's just incredible the fact that we've been able to come back, twice more, which is above and beyond the initial blessing."

The same applies to Eugene Levy, the veteran actor who has made one of the biggest impressions in the series, as Jim’s well-meaning father.

"It was kind of sad," he reiterates. "I mean, it's such a good group and these guys are really, really good actors. Likewise, Adam and the producers, who can all put together something that works, particularly as this is touchy subject matter, for anybody.

"It works so well because it was in the right hands from the beginning, which is what sold me on doing the first one. I knew this was in good hands; and felt that they didn't seem like the kind of guys who would put out a stinker of a movie - they were too smart. They just knew where that line was, and were always on the good side of bad taste."

The bad taste in question, of course, is another key component of the series, and has included everything from pie shagging and ingesting bodily fluids, to getting carried away with superglue and finding new uses for musical instruments.

The third film, however, looks set to top all of those misdemeanours, with one sequence, in particular, involving a ‘chocolate truffle’, virtually guaranteed to have people wincing, as well as laughing hysterically.

And even by the cast’s own gross-out standards, the gag was deemed one of the worst in the series so far; particularly for Scott, who had to deal with it directly.

"I remember reading it and thought it was pretty gross, and I didn't even know whether it would come across as funny, but the other actors in the scene were so funny, and all the improvisation really helped it to work," he recalls.

"But even though it was play dough and chocolate, it did, in fact, taste like shit! My eyes were really watering and it was a day I'll never forget, I guess."

Biggs concurs: "That was actually the first time in any of the three films that I've been like, 'Oh, man!' But everything else was okay."

Audiences, it seems, have also found it okay, given that the film enjoyed a healthy opening weekend in the States, where it went straight in at number one with a $40 million-plus take. But will such a huge Box Office gross entice the cast and crew to reunite for a fourth time?

Biggs doesn’t think so, despite references to ‘American Pie: The Divorce’, or ‘American Pie: Stifler Comes Out’, even though he would leap at the opportunity of working with the same group of actors again.

"These guys have been so amazing to work with, and if not in the American Pie franchise, which I don't anticipate, then I certainly hope there will be other opportunities for me to work with these wonderful actors again," he concluded.

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