Who would have thought this would be the peak?
A scant 8 years ago, they were the free wheeling sta rs of a seemingly endless new teen comedy franchise- a story of a boy so horny he fucks a pie in his kitchen- a story that sadly, for so many of them, would be a high water mark in their careers.
Today, their names roll off the tongue like the cast of special guests gathered together to celebrate under-achievement. Biggs, Klein, Suvari, Reid, Elizabeth, Scott, Lyonne, Thomas and even Hannigan- 8 years removed from their greatest triumph, unable to eclipse the relative greatness that was American Pie.
For some, surrender was the only option. Natasha Lyonne (see below) would succumb to a life of crime, falling from grace in a spate of drug abuse and threats of dog molestation. The beautiful Shannon Elizabeth, who played an exchange student from Czechoslovakia even though the country did not exist at the time of the film (thanks Wikipedia!), would marry a really old and creepy guy only to have it all end as, in an ironic twist, her marriage became a casualty of the Ashton Kutcher show “Punk’d”. Later it would be revealed that she’s like 40 or something. And of course Tara Reid, perhaps the most high profile of the cast, would bounce from role to role in Hollywood B-list productions before her stark portrayal of a drunken whore in the short-lived but powerful E! drama “Tara-dise” would serve as a haunting indictment on American culture today.
Jason Biggs, Chris Klein and Mena Suvari may have had the most promise. Klein had been in the strong “Election” previously, and Biggs was headed to a Woody Allen film. Sadly Biggs’ Woody Allen film was shot in the 1990’s – 2000’s stage of Woody Allen’s career and thus sucked. Klein’s career would take an equally horrible turn when he made the “worse than being in gay porn” decision to do Rollerball.
As for Mena, she followed American Beauty with American Virgin- an unprecedented run of 3 straight films with the word “American” in the title- a late attempt to revive her credibility by kissing the girl in 6 Feet Under may have been too little too late.
Seann William Scott, the unforgettable Stifler in American Pie, went on to star in The Dukes Of Hazzard and save for a funny cameo in Old School, has not yet approached a character as nuanced as Stifler (who’s mom totally had sex with Finch by the way). The guy who played Finch? He was in “Freddy Got Fingered”.
Only Alyson Hannigan (Buffy, How I Met Your Mother) has come out of American Pie with a career. But at what cost?
“One time…in Band Camp…I watched the careers of my contemporaries self-destruct.”