Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge interview: returning to American Pie: Reunion, sex comedies and more

With American Pie: Reunion out this week in the UK, we caught up with stars Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge for a pleasant chat...

In the second of our bout of American Pie: Reunion interviews, we talk to Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge about returning to their characters, their unexpected get-together, and what they think about the sex comedy genre.

How was finally getting the two characters together? Was it always planned?

Eugene Levy: It maybe wasn’t always planned, and it didn’t come from us. I heard about it when the story was pitched to me by Jon and Hayden way back before they started writing the script. There were a lot of great things that I was hearing, like getting me out of the house, I’m at a party, and there’s Stifler’s mom. I would never in a million years have guessed it would happen, as I assumed she’d always be with Finch. I just didn’t see it, but thought it was brilliant. That was their doing, though I wish I could claim it as mine.

Jennifer Coolidge: I liked that I got to corrupt a sad man, whose lost his wife and looks like he needs some cheering up. You can tell he’s innocent and the kindest guy I’ve ever dated.

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Was the final scene scripted? Or was there improv involved?

EL: The final scene wasn’t in the original story pitch when they were laying it out. Honestly, all I remember was the moment where I walk in and see her. I thought that moment alone was brilliant, and then that was all there was. They just meet, and then we can say who knows? If there’s another one, then something can happen. Then we got the script and they really gave us lots to do at the party, and then that final scene was ending the whole movie. I thought it might be too much, but then the way it was going, it’s actually perfect.

JC: I also pitched the other option for the ending, which was reversed. You have to realise how many male executives were hanging out on the set, and they didn’t think it would be real enough.

Would you consider ever doing a spin-off movie with your characters?

EL: That would be great fun. We’ve kind of talked about it, thinking where these characters might go. We thought that a Bonnie and Clyde thing would be good. Who knows? I think it would be great, but chances are this is probably the last one. If it does well, I wouldn’t be shocked if they said they were doing another one. What that would be about, I don’t know, but I think they’d be crazy  if they didn’t keep us together. They never really, outside of the movie scene, showed the stuff we did. There were other scenes that we did but were cut from the film. I think more of that in another movie would be fantastic.

JC: I always feel in movies, I don’t know if it’s because I’m jaded, but I always feel like we don’t go far enough. I know this is a really risqué movie, with a lot of good nudity and funny scenes, but I’m surprised that our scene getting stoned was cut down.

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EL: I understand why, just because it wasn’t moving the story along. They’ve got a two hour cut, so they’re looking for things to trim. Usually, if you’ve got a scene that’s not moving the story, even though I’d like to think us getting together was part of the story, it has to go.

How do you see the tradition of the high school sex comedy genre? Do you still relate to these movies?

EL: It’s an interesting question, as an adult do I find this kind of comedy funny? I think I was surprised when I first read the script, as there were things in there I hadn’t seen before. My part was written altogether differently, so it wasn’t appealing, but when I saw the movie I really did laugh. Yes it was pushing the envelope, but these characters were so real, the kids were so great, and I enjoyed watching it. In this movie, I think I do find things funny, but generally I’m not big on bodily function humour.

This movie was done, as with the original, with a kind of intelligence to it. It could have easily gone south, if the guys running it weren’t really smart with a great sense of comedy, keeping it all on the good side of bad taste. That’s what works, but you’ve got to be really, really careful with it. If you’re throwing these things in just to get a laugh, I think I’d have a problem with it. When it’s integral, organic and grounded, I think it’s fine.

Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge, thank you very much.

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