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Published: 03/31/2012 | 0 Comments Posted
Read Drew Lazor's review of Goon, written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg and directed by Michael Dowse. Below, star Seann William Scott talks to Critical Mass about the physicality of the sports role, his desire to play a sociopath and the upcoming American Reunion.
City Paper: How did you physically prepare for the role of Doug Glatt?
Seann William Scott: It was kind of a process. I've been training pretty much my whole life, whether for sports or to stay in shape. When I found out about the movie, I thought it wouldn't make sense for me to be this big bruiser since I'm only 6' tall and these guys are like 6'3", so I packed on 30 pounds of some muscle but mostly just weight. I didn't think he should be this muscle-bound guy, so then we just did some featuring for like a month before the shoot, then we went and did the movie.
CP: Did you have a stunt double?
SWS: I had a great stunt double and he was a great team member. But we just knew that the movie would really work best if I did almost every shot he could possibly have me do for the fights to make it the most believable, so I did. Jim did the majority of the stunts.
CP: What sports did you do in high school?
SWS: Baseball, basketball and football. Unfortunately, this is the one movie I've done that involves a sport, and it's the one I know the least about. All my friends in Minnesota know hockey, and I'd go and watch them, and I had a great appreciation for the game, but I just couldn't play. I'm just terrible. But I got a good introductory course filming the movie, being surrounded by legitimate hockey players and being on the ice a lot.
CP: What drew you to the role of Doug?
SWS: The script was different. It was the only movie I've done where they were thinking I would be right for the role even during the writing process. That was a huge incentive to know the filmmakers think you're great for the part, and it's a part that's very different than the kind of roles I've done throughout my career. But also, just the role in itself seemed like a really great challenge. He's a super nice guy, but the challenge of making sure there were more colors to the character than just being a guy who sees the world black and white, right and wrong was appealing. I just found it to be the first real acting challenge that I've had since I've played more kind of one-dimensional party guys. From an actor's standpoint, it was a chance to show a little bit of range and also fulfilled a childhood dream of playing a superhero kind of guy. He gets to fight and win and get the girl and he gets beat up and gets back up and beat down. There were a lot of different elements. Also Liev Schreiber is one of my favorite actors, so being able to be on screen with him was a total treat.
CP: A lot of your past roles have been lighthearted. Did you tend to choose those because you like comedic roles more, or was that just how it played out?
SWS: It's kind of what played out just by doing American Pie. As much as it'd be great to do something dark and dramatic after American Pie, in the business it's such that very few people take risks. From my understanding, there's a lot of money involved. One thing led to another, and you do Dude Where's My Car?, and then you do Road Trip, and you try to make the best of the opportunities that you're given and still try to fight and pursue things that are different. As much as Goon has comedic elements, it's still a different role. You need a chance. You can't help but be typecast. Once you get an opportunity that shows you doing something different, you still need people to see the movie. It's kind of a tricky game.
CP: Any accidents while filming?
SWS: [Chuckles] Nothing major, surprisingly, since it was physically demanding. It was pretty rough. As you can see in the movie, it was no joke. I got rocked a couple times, everybody got pegged at one point or another, and it was kind of accepted that it was the kind of movie where you get hit and bruised up. My body was bruised big time. It was frustrating while we were filming because it seemed more violent than necessary. But then when I watched the movie, I realized that the director had a master plan. He clearly knew how he wanted the fights to go, and they were certainly the most real, visceral, gut wrenching fights in film, let alone a comedy.
I almost broke my hand and it wasn't from any of the fights. It was the brutal clip of glass from the car commercial where he punches the windshield and it shatters. I got upset. This is a real windshield, this shouldn't be breaking, what about special effects? We didn't have it in the budget. They put a weird iron contraption in my hockey glove and I'm supposed to literally break a windshield? I was so mad.
CP: Was there one specific scene where you felt the movie came together?
SWS: Two moments actually. The first time we filmed with the whole team, that's when the movie was taking over. You really felt the energy of all the actors playing teammates; they were all improvising and knew what they were going to do. These actors haven't been in a lot of things before, so they were seizing the opportunities and adding all these funny lines, and I thought, oh — here it is, the Major League with all these funny characters.
The moment where it all came together and I could see how everything we had shot was moving into this fantastic scenario was when I shot the fight scene with Liev, partly because he's my favorite actor of all time, I'm just in awe of the guy. It was so physical, as real as it could possibly get, without clocking each other, and I was like, this could be super intense. When I watched it, it reminded me of a Rocky movie. It was a culmination of the whole experience.
CP: After filming this movie, are you more or less likely to play hockey?
SWS: I'm more likely to see a game. I get so envious of the hockey players since it's such a great sport but I'm just horrible at it. It's so hard to pick up a sport like hockey at 35 and go, hey you know what, that was fun, I'm going to go play in the league now. I suck! But it's so much fun to watch and I feel like I missed out on all the games I could've been watching. But I'm a huge fan now.
CP: Was American Reunion an emotional reunion? What's new that we can expect?
SWS: It did feel a little bit like a reunion. Everyone's schedules work out, and when we first got together to do the table read, I felt like more of an intense excitement than I did even in the first American Pie. To see everybody happy and looking great and excited and reading their roles out loud was great. We had the best time during the shoot. The objective was making a great film. People who haven't watched the American Pie films aren't going to miss anything because this movie will be up there with the best R-rated movies. People who love American Pie will be rewarded since it feels like a direct sequel to the first movie. Everyone has an equal importance to the film. There's an emphasis on relationships to each other, stuff they're dealing with, legitimate stuff that holds some weight — while trying to make it one of the funniest movies ever. I'm seeing the movie and I'm blown away. As much as I love the Stifler stuff, I came away being more excited about all the other characters and their arcs in the movie. The movie's hilarious and has a whole lot of heart in it and a lot of romance for an R-rated movie. I think people are going be really surprised.
CP: Are there any types of projects or a genre in the industry that you haven't had the chance to delve into that you would like to?
SWS: Well the kind of movies that I typically watch are foreign films, dark movies. I think Eric Bana — his role in this Austrian film Chopper — is something I'd love to do, or Tom Hardy in Bronson. I grew up with my hero being Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange. I had always wanted to play a sociopath in a dark and really good movie, as opposed to the comedy guy trying to be the psycho. But I love doing comedy as well. There's a bunch of different genres that I'd like to do. And as long as they're good movies… I just don't want to be embarrassed by it.
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