Ten minutes on the phone with the Goon and American Pie star, convinces Harry Guerin that he's just talked to one of the nicest men in showbiz.
Harry Guerin: In your new sporting comedy Goon you play Doug 'The Thug' Glatt, a bouncer who embarks on a new career as an ice hockey enforcer. Is he the most tragic character you've ever played?
Seann William Scott: I think he's one of the first real, three-dimensional characters I've played! It was kind of tricky to play because it was like, 'Gosh, this guy is kind of depressed and he's kind of a loser'!
HG: You were attached to the film a long time before the cameras started rolling.
SWS: Probably about two years. I just loved the script. I was doing press for Role Models and [co-star] Paul Rudd, who's friends with the [Judd] Apatow crowd said to me, 'Evan Goldberg wants to talk to you because there's this really cool hockey movie he's writing and they really like you for it'. I was like, 'Really?! That's awesome!' It was the only time anybody's ever contacted me for a film and had me in mind when they were in the writing process. I felt really honoured about that, and because of that I was always loyal to the movie. I'm so glad it got made. I couldn't believe it because I was just waiting and waiting and then... here we are!
HG: Had you any experience on ice skates?
SWS: Noooo! I was terrible! Even though I grew up in hockey land in Minnesota, I played basketball, baseball and American football. So I suck! I did practise a little bit, a month before, and that was basically what you saw in the movie - I'm that bad. Awful, man. They [the crew] gave me so much s*** for it. I said, 'C'mon! Who cares?! The character's supposed to be crap!' It was like, 'Why couldn't I have done a sports movie with a sport I was actually good at?!'
HG: Did you have to do a lot of bulking up for the role or were you already bulked?
SWS: I bulked up for it, but it's easy for me to get bigger! I'm the kind of guy that, if I don't watch it, I'll look like an ex-athlete - the kind of guy who wasn't good enough to play professional sports and got a little bit fat! I worked out a little bit, and I ate a lot. But we never really had time to even rehearse the fight stuff. They'd be like, 'Ok, so we're going to do the fight scene. This guy's going to throw five punches at you and hit you in the head. You're going to throw 10 punches. Let's just shoot it'. And I was like, 'What?!' It was intense.
HG: Was it the best experience you've had on a set?
SWS: It was definitely one of the best, as far as an actor getting the opportunity to try something different. Truthfully, it wasn't always fun - oh man, the weather! And filming the fight stuff definitely wasn't fun; it was rewarding when I watched it. It was nice to be a guy that's tough because usually, like in The Rundown, I get my ass kicked. It was nice to be the guy who gets to kick a little ass!
HG: In Goon, Doug has been put in a box by people and typecast - they see him as the muscle and that's it. You have had a lot of success as a comedy actor, but would you like to do more serious roles?
SWS: I would love that. When I moved to LA to pursue acting, I never thought about comedy. I watched them growing up but my brother got me watching The Shining and A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket when I was like five! It was those guys [films] made me want to be an actor. But obviously I feel really super lucky to have a career and to be in the comedies. I would love to do the films that I typically watch, which are more dramatic kinds of films. But if it never happens, and I end up doing variations of what I've [already] done, I don't mind.
HG: It's amazing that you weren't into comedy, because you have great timing.
SWS: Oh thanks! I guess my dad was really funny. I was talking to my mom about this - my mom's really funny too. My dad had this kind of Bill Murray/Chevy Chase vibe – [he] just didn't really try to be funny. I was never funny growing up. I'd be jealous of a couple of guys that were really funny and all the girls would laugh at them! I was like, '**** I wish I knew how to tell a joke!' I remember auditioning for American Pie and my character, Stifler, was written totally different; he was written to be a dick! And I said, 'He's got to be the guy you hate to love'. So I rewrote some of it at the audition. I had never even auditioned for comedies because I was that bad! [I thought] 'I'm not going to get it. I'm a little bit old for it'... I said, 'Let me just change it up and use some of the vernacular that my friends use'. And I got the job! I remember going, 'Oh my God, I'm going to get fired from this movie. I don't know how to be funny!' I took all of these characteristics from my friends from school and put them all into one [character] and tried to make sure I didn't get fired. I'm surprised that I've had a career in comedy!
HG: And you're back with the American Pie gang for American Reunion this spring.
SWS: I watched it about a month ago and I loved it. I think it really works. For me, it's the funniest of the American Pie movies. It's really similar to the first one, in the sense that everybody's back for their high school reunion. They're in their thirties and it's a time in their lives where they're reflecting. Is this really where they thought they were going to be at? I think that's a relatable experience - it's almost like a quarter-life crisis. 'Wow, I'm married!' or 'I'm not married!' Not that the movie is dramatic at all, but it works. If you didn't like American Pie, I think you'll enjoy it. And if you like American Pie, you're definitely going to love this movie.
HG: And is Stifler as deluded as ever?
SWS: Oh yeah! It's not like the third movie, where he was totally off his rocker, but he hasn't grown up at all. He's been waiting for his high school reunion since the day he graduated high school! It's great, because you find out that ever since Jim [co-star Jason Biggs] got married nobody really calls him anymore! So he's obviously so psyched about everybody being back and just partying his ass off and screwing everybody's lives up! If you like Stifler, you're going to love him in this one.
Goon is in cinemas now.