Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan are back as Jim and Michelle in the upcoming American Reunion, the fourth film in the American Pie franchise. It’s been a long time since Jim and Michelle first found each other at East Great Falls high school. Now, they’re settled down but their sex life has hit a snag. We recently had the chance to talk to very funny Biggs and Hannigan about making American Reunion as well as the new, um, ‘pie scene’. Check out the humorous interview below.
(SPOILER ALERT!) Jason, what was the conversation like about how you show your penis on-screen? And Alyson, now that two of your on-screen husbands – Jason Segel and Jason Biggs – have shown their goods, do we have you to blame for this?
Jason Biggs: She brings it out on guys. I don’t know what it is.
Alyson Hannigan: Honestly, I think with this Jason Biggs, it was about time! We spent three movies talking about it, and the pie got to see it, so it was about time we all get to see it.
JB: The penis has been a major player in the American Pie franchise. It has been its own character.
AH: It’s the Rosebud.
JB: Yeah, nailed it. So it was about time.
AH: We needed the reveal.
JB: It was about time. The conversation went something like – I kept pushing the guys – Jon [Hurwitz] and Hayden [Schlossberg], our writer/directors – for that pie scene. [I said], “What’s going to be the pie scene this time, guys?” Some earlier drafts felt like it was missing; I gave them carte blanche, just a blank canvas. I was like, “I will literally do anything, as long as it makes sense, in the context of the film and for the character and as long as I think it’s funny.” Jon wrote me when day and said, “Would you be willing to show your penis?,” and I said, “Yes, absolutely! If it’s funny.” I laughed out loud when they pitched me the idea. I was like, “That sounds great!”
AH: As far as the technicalities of doing the scene, which was my first day of shooting, by the way.
JB: Yeah, “Welcome back to the franchise, Alyson! Here’s my penis!”
AH: It was quite technically difficult because I had to become his eyes. He couldn’t lean down and see because then he wasn’t squishing it enough.
JB: It was not easy.
AH: There were so many positions, and we had to decide which one was the funniest.
JB: 2 o’clock or the Eiffel Tower or the Sidney Harbor Bridge or just the straight up hot dog bun.
AH: The dead insect on the windshield.
JB: Exactly. The drunk astronaut. The options were endless. I should also tell you that I use to star in Puppetry of the Penis in Sidney, Australia when it first came out so that’s why we had so many options.
AH: It was good you took out all the piercings for the scene.
JB: Two of the holes closed. Bummer. I pee through my mouth now.
AH: We’re a little punchy. Sorry.
Jason, your character is still very interested in sex. Do you feel like he has truly evolved?
JB: I love that Jim has grown up. Jim and Michelle are married now, and they’ve got a kid and he means well. In his mind, he has grown up. But, the problem is that he finds himself, much like in the first film and frankly all of the American Pie films, in a situation where he’s, once again, sexually frustrated. When Jim is sexually frustrated, he ends up making some poor decisions. When he makes some poor decisions –
AH: We make a movie.
JB: We make a film. When we make a film, we get rich. The thing that I love now that Jim is 30 years old, after that long, men still masturbate. There are still sexual problems that arise for guys.
AH: Jason do you want to tell us something?
JB: I’m masturbating right now, under the table. Is that what you meant? [laughs]
Do you think that men are naturally inclined toward young girls?
AH: It was more that this beautiful woman is aggressively coming on to him.
JB: There is that. Also, I think the fact that he used to babysit her is an element. She’s also just turned 18 and in high school, so maybe there’s something about the just legal aspect of it. I don’t know. I’m married. I’m not attracted to any other woman, ever.
AH: Good answer!
JB: I heard she showed her boobs in this movie, is that true? Did that happen? I turned my eyes.
What themes did you gravitate towards the most?
AH: Definitely balancing the married relationship with parenthood, I could relate to. My situation wasn’t as extreme as Jim and Michelle’s, of course, but when my daughter was first born, we were definitely all-consumed with just her. It was probably quite a few months before we realized, “Okay, wait, we do need to actually set aside a date night, instead of trying to fit it in between diaper changes or whatever.” You just get so wrapped up. It was brilliant and there was no problem there, but it’s like, “Okay, we can’t do this for 18 years. We still need to have our couple time.” So, we try to have a date night, every week, even if it’s just going to dinner and having a dinner that’s not interrupted by a 3-year-old. That’s just nice.
JB: For me, the biggest change in my life, personally, since the last film has been getting married. Getting married, for me, has shifted my focus in such a profound way. You just realize, “Oh, I can’t be so selfish anymore. There’s someone else.” And it’s not just about the other person, but it’s about the relationship as well. Your priorities are realigned. Now, the next step will be kids, and I can’t imagine what that’s going to do. That will be a game changer. It’s interesting to see Jim wrestle with those same big ideas. It’s not just about him anymore. If you think about the first movie, the whole movie rests upon these guys just wanting to get laid. It’s very, “Me, me, me! Get me laid.” Jim and his dad is also a great part of the film, for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that my dynamic with my parents has changed quite a bit. A lot of my favorite moments in this movie are not really the funny ones, but the more poignant, sweeter moments. That’s always been the case with the whole franchise. I love when Jim offers his dad advice, in this movie. It’s flipped. I think that’s really, really cool, and that’s another genius thing that our writer/director guys came up with. I found that my relationship with my old man has changed considerably. As an adult, it’s a different thing. It’s like he’s a new person to me, and it’s great. We have a totally different relationship then when I was growing up, as you’re supposed to. That resonated with me quite a bit. That’s cool.
What did you think of the dominatrix scene?
JB: The dominatrix scene was in the earlier draft and I was like, “Great! I think that will be really funny, but what’s the next step? There’s more to do here.” If there was any concern that I had with the very early, early drafts, and I mean a minor concern because when I tell you that the script was in the best shape, it blew my mind. You read the script, and I was like, “Did these guys write the first American Pie?” I felt that they had done such justice to Adam Herz’s original screenplay and the character that he had originally created, and I think it comes across on screen. I feel like this movie is more like the first one then any of the other ones.
AH: They were the perfect combination of the Weitz brothers and Adam, together.
JB: The Weitz brothers directed the first film and Adam wrote it, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. So, if there was anything, it was just me saying, “How much further can we go?” Now that you have these characters who are in their 30s, it’s tougher to credibly find these situations where you can push these boundaries and put them in these ridiculous scenarios that are believable, aren’t gratuitous, aren’t awkward and aren’t illegal, in some way. They’re older. Some of the things they did in the previous films would not acceptable for a 30-year-old. So, they had to update it, if you will. That’s why the penis scene, I think works, organically. Organ being the appropriate root word there.
Alyson, did it seem natural that Michelle would be the dominatrix?
AH: Yeah! She was in the first film.
JB: She was! You [Alyson] made me your bitch.
AH: Absolutely! He still is. So, yeah, definitely. She is feeling responsible for letting the spark fade a little in their sexual life. She’s been so focused on being a mom, so she sees this weekend as a way to reinvigorate their lives and remind themselves of where they started.
You guys are so close to this franchise and you’ve been there since the beginning, are there any characters that you wanted closure for?
AH: I loved the MILF guys storyline. We really don’t know why they broke up, but they’re back together.
JB: We’re not saying they were gay. We just means they’re buddies. We never intended for it to come off that way. People have been questioning, I heard. Maybe they had a MILF come between them.
American Reunion hits theaters April 6, 2012.