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Best known for playing Stifler, the American Pie jock with the hot mom and unfortunate taste in beverages, Seann William Scott has finally grown up. In the best role of his career, he puts in a sweet and subtle performance as Doug Glatt in the brilliant ice-hockey comedy Goon. The self-deprecating actor talks to Roe McDermott about returning to the American Pie franchise, being snubbed by the Oscars (shocking) and how drinking semen became the defining moment in his career.
Roe McDermott, 20 Jan 2012
Truth be told, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to Goon. Sure, writers Evan Goldberg and Jay Baruchel are Apatow alumni, but frankly the trailers look like every other balls-out, brash sports comedy of the past decade. And, let’s face it, Stifler - I mean, Seann William Scott? The American Pie star isn’t exactly a critical or Academy favourite.
So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only is Goon hilarious and surprisingly sweet, but Scott is irresistibly charming. As a dim-witted bouncer who is recruited as an enforcer for a local ice-hockey team, Scott’s sweet, warm performance is easily the best of his career.
The modest actor feigns shock.
“What, you thought it was even better than Dude, Where’s My Car? Impossible!” he jokes. “I thought I was going to get nominated for an Academy Award for that, can’t believe I got snubbed! But yeah, I played a pretty rounded, three-dimensional character in The Promotion. Other than that it’s been a lot of fratboy action types, so it was nice to actually act for a change.”
And to be working, full stop. Before his Role Models co-star Paul Rudd recommended Scott for the lead role in Goon, the chatty and unaffected actor’s optimism had been waning, and he admits that he had prepared himself to be offered fewer and fewer roles as he got older.
“To be honest, I was just thrilled they even considered me for Goon. You see the guys from The Hangover and stuff doing so well, and you think that your chance to be a comic star is past, that the generation that found you funny in American Pie are now in their twenties and thirties and so you’re bowing out to a new generation of actors for a new generation of audience. I thought I might have been done.”
But not only did director Michael Dowse and the writers trust Scott to take the lead in Goon, which Dowse describes as “an ice-hockey film for football hooligans” – they even trusted him with their women. Jay Baruchel and Goon’s leading lady Alison Pill (who recently shone as Zelda Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris) fell in love onset, and are now engaged. Lovely for them, but with Baruchel always on set, surely it made Scott’s onscreen romance with Pill ever so slightly awkward?