In the raunchy comedy American Reunion, East Great Falls High’s Class of 1999 is back, more than a decade later. Husband and wife duo Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) have come home to reminisce with Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Vicky (Tara Reid), Oz (Chris Klein), Heather (Mena Suvari), Finch (Eddie Kay Thomas) and Stifler (Seann William Scott), who out of all of them remains the same as he ever was, while Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) gets to know Stifler’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) a little better. In one long-overdue weekend, they will learn that time and distance cannot break the bonds of friendship.
At the film’s press day, co-stars Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan talked about the ways they most related to this story and their characters now, how it was about time for Biggs to be showing his penis, and what they thought of their dominatrix scene. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Alyson Hannigan: Definitely balancing the married relationship with parenthood was something 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.” You just get so wrapped up. It was brilliant and there was no problem there, but we were 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.
Jason Biggs: For me, the biggest change in my life, personally, since the last film has been getting married. Getting married 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!” 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.
Jason, what was the conversation like, as far as how you would show your penis? And Alyson, now that two of your on screen husbands – Jason Biggs and Jason Segel – have shown their goods, are you to blame?
Hannigan: I guess. Honestly, I think with 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 that we all get to see it.
Biggs: The penis has been a major player in the American Pie franchise. It has been its own character.
Hannigan: It’s the Rosebud.
Biggs: Yeah, so it was about time.
Hannigan: We needed the reveal.
Biggs: 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 that, so I gave them carte blanche. 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!” I laughed out loud when they pitched me the idea. I was like, “That sounds great!”
Hannigan: That was my first day of shooting, by the way.
Biggs: Yeah, it was like, “Welcome back to the franchise, Alyson! Here’s my penis!”
Biggs: It was not easy.
Hannigan: There were so many positions, and we had to decide which one was the funniest.
Do you feel like Jim has grown up much?
Biggs: 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 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, we make a film. The truth is that, after 30 years old, men still masturbate. There are still sexual problems that arise for guys.
Do you think that men, after 30, are naturally included toward barely legal girls?
Biggs: 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.
Hannigan: Good answer!
What did you think of the dominatrix scene?
Biggs: 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.” When I read the script, 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.
Hannigan: They were the perfect combination of the Weitz brothers and Adam, together.
Biggs: 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 be not acceptable for a 30-year-old. So, they had to update it, if you will. That’s why the penis scene works, organically. Organ being the appropriate root word there.
Alyson, did it seem natural that Michelle would be the dominatrix?
Hannigan: Yeah! She was, in the first film.
Biggs: She was! She made me her bitch.
Hannigan: 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.
For all our previous American Reunion coverage which includes clips, images, interviews and more, click here.