Jason Biggs Talks About Marriage, Pies and ‘American Reunion’

Jason Biggs went down in cinematic history as the guy who defiled a dessert in the first “American Pie.” He was, of course, playing the hapless and ever-randy Jim Levenstein, a high school student who, along with his friends, vowed to lose his virginity before high school graduation. The movie was a massive hit that spawned two sequels along with a quartet of straight-to-DVD spinoffs. It also redefined the level of raunch acceptable in a comedy. It’s hard to imagine the “Harold and Kumar” movies or “Bridesmaids” without “American Pie.”

For the movie’s third official sequel, “American Reunion,” Jim, Michelle, Finch, Oz, Stifler and the gang are getting back together for, you guessed it, a high school reunion.

I recently spoke with Biggs over the phone. He confessed that I was one of the first journalists he’s talked with about the movie, and his responses had the free, conversational air of someone who hasn’t talked about a subject ad nauseam.

“This story is more similar to ‘American Pie’ both dramatically and tonally than any of the other sequels, for sure,” said Biggs. “It’s a great trip down memory lane, and everybody is back. It really makes a difference.”

As you can see from the trailer, Jim and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) have a toddler and are struggling to keep flames of romance lit; Stifler (Seann William Scott) looks like he’s become a lawyer, of course; Oz (Chris Klein) has a landed himself a very attractive girlfriend (Katrina Bowen); and Vicky (Tara Reid), who greets her classmates in the trailer, has presumably graduated from Cornell.

The movie, which comes out in 2012, is about a get-together of the class of 1999. I asked Biggs if the film was set during the East Great Falls High School’s 13th reunion.

“Yeah, we referenced this in the movie. It really speaks more to the inability of real-life people to get this movie made by the 10-year mark. But in theory, it [was] meant to be like a 10-year reunion,” he said. “Normally, I would be like, ‘Oh, that’s such a movie, cheap, it’s so lame.’ But that actually is what happened with my reunion.”

Biggs related that his fellow classmates didn’t have a reunion on year 10, but thanks to the miracles of Facebook, got together for brews around year 12. In many ways, the film production was a reunion for the cast.

See stills from ‘American Reunion’ >>

“We’ve all changed so much. A lot of us are married, some of us have kids. We’ve all taken these different paths professionally and personally. And so, it was like we got to reintroduce ourselves to each other.”

Did Biggs do anything to prepare for the role?

“Oh, God, no. Well, I got married,” he said with a laugh. “That certainly helps with Jim’s current mindset of being in a forever relationship.”

So what was it like returning to a character that this hasn’t played since ’03?

“The truth is I know this character better than I know myself. It’s kind of second nature to me. And when you’re back on set and you’re around these other actors who know their character so well, and you put back into this very familiar ‘American Pie’ environment and you have the right directors and the right words to say, it was really organic and easy.”

See photos of Jason Biggs >>

“American Pie” became a hit in part because of its gross-out humor. “American Reunion” was written and directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, the guys responsible for the “Harold and Kumar” series — the current standard-bearer for cinematic raunch. Yet, in this jaded age of YouTube, Biggs relates that the one of the biggest challenges of production was making sure there were enough off-color gags for the movie.

“We’ve got the sweetness covered, we’ve got these characters, we’ve got the core heart of the story. But do we have enough raunchiness? And in the end, I think we did it.”

I asked whether any of that involved a pie. Biggs wasn’t sure; the final edit of the film has yet to be locked.

“It is TBD at this point. There may or may not be some baked goods in the film. I know I can tell you that I did something in this movie that made me just as, if not more, uncomfortable as when I [got busy with] the pie in the first movie.”

“American Reunion” opens April 6, 2012.

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November 2011

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