A&F Quarterly Ė Summer 2000

Mr. Biggs

Thereís more to Jason Biggs than his character in last summerís blockbuster American Pie. † Sure, he was the guy who did it with an apple pie, got a little overexcited with the foreign exchange student and learned a thing or two about what really went on at band camp. But A&Fís Patrick Carone discovered that, in real life, this 22 year-old is cool, calm, and, with two new movies coming out this summer, about to explode all over again. (Hopefully this time a little less prematurely.)

Written by Patrick Carone

PATRICK CARONE: When did you realize that it was your destiny to become famous from a movie in which you screw pastry?

JASON BIGGS: The first time I read it, I knew American Pie could be really, really funny. † Actually, back then it was called Untitled Teenage Sex Comedy That Studios Will Probably Hate But We Think You Will Like That Can Be Made for Under $10 Million. It was hilarious, and I just knew it had amazing potential.

PC: So the movie explodes, and you go from being virtually unknown to being famous for having sex with desserts.

JB: It all happened very quickly. † Because of the buzz the movie generated, people in the industry started to take notice of who I was before the movie opened. † But July 9, 1999, was the date that my life pretty much changed forever. Thatís when American Pie opened No. 1 at the box office, and suddenly millions of people knew who I was. It was surreal.

PC: Have you had any weird experiences with it?

JB: Soon after the movie opened, my roommate and I were getting ready to go out one night. † I was in my bedroom, and I hear him out on the balcony talking to some people. I was curious what was going on, so I started to walk out into the living room, but he quickly rushes back to me and is like, ďBiggs, stay in your bedroom, donít come out here on the balcony!Ē I was like, ďWhy, whatís up?Ē He says, ďThereís four or five girls out here who say that they saw the guy from American Pie walk into this apartment building, and theyíre staying out here waiting for you to come out.Ē They were literally like, ďWell, weíre not gonna move,Ē and I was ready to go out. † It was really kind of freaky, and this was right after the movie opened, so I was like, ďWhoa, is this what itís going to be like all the time?Ē But luckily, nothing like that has happened since, at least not at my house.

PC: So what post-Pie projects have you been working on?

JB: I just completed work on two movies. The first is Loser, a romantic comedy that Amy Heckerling [Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Clueless] wrote and directed. I play the titular loser, whoís an unpopular guy that dresses kinda funny and talks kinda funny. Heís struggling through college, until he meets this girl played by Mena Suvari. † She befriends him and he falls for her, but sheís having an affair with one of their professors, played by Greg Kinnear. † So really itís their story, these two moral people trapped in an immoral world. † Itís really cool, itís funny, and itís very sweet. † And Amy Heckerling is just amazing; I canít sing her praises enough.

PC: What about the other movie?

JB: Itís called Boys and Girls, and itís also a romantic comedy. It stars Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Claire Forlani, and itís pretty much their love story. I play Freddieís best friend, a guy who thinks he knows more about women than he really does and whoís always trying to give Freddie advice, even though itís usually misguided. † Itís also very funny.

PC: Gee, Jason, all the characters you play seem to share a certain lack of skill with the ladies. † Did you have any bad experiences growing up youíd like to share?

JB: Actually, I think I was pretty average when it comes to that. I had my first steady girlfriend my sophomore year in high school, and I was with her for a long time. I wasnít a player, but I wasnít a big dork either, you know? I wasnít out humping pies every night.

PC: And now youíre a bona fide movie star. † Are you living the good life?

JB: I just love doing what Iím doing, and I wanna keep doing it as long as I can; Iím never happier than when Iím pretending to be somebody else. All the other things that come with it Ė the press and the premieres and the parties and whatever Ė I mean, Iím not huge into that scene, but itís certainly fun.

PC: Do you ever get starstruck?

JB: Not to the point where Iím staring at the person constantly, but still, you go to a premiere or something, and you canít help but look twice when Brad Pitt walks down the red carpet, or when you see them at the same party that youíre at. Itís like, ďWhoa! Thereís Tom Hanks.Ē How cool is that, you know? † And that happens all the time. I was up in San Francisco for the basketball All Star game, which if I wasnít out here living in L.A. being an actor I probably would not have gone to. And here I am meeting sports stars who I idolized growing up, like Ricky Henderson and Jerry Rice. Iím in the same small room with them talking about the basketball game. I mean, I was sitting right next to Magic Johnson. † That just trips me out.

PC: How have your friends reacted to your success?

JB: Iím a young guy, and all my friends are young and in college, and American Pie, thatís our film. I have friends that I grew up with going back to grad school who hear random people at their fraternities or whatever saying that American Pie is the greatest movie ever. † They know that Iím just the guy they grew up with, you know? Itís trippy for them, just like it is for me.

PC: So youíre pretty sure you want to continue acting?

JB: Oh yeah, itís official. †This is my thing, this is what I love to do, itís what I do best and, God willing, Iíd like to make a career out of it. † Thatís why the decisions I make now are very important, because theyíre gonna affect the rest of my career. † My main goal is to be working on projects that Iím proud of in 20 or 30 years from now. † I want to make a career out of this Ė thatís my goal.

On going back to his hometown when American Pie was #1, nonacting jobs (a "Sandwich Artist" at Subway) and being hot for older women.

Jason and Mena Suvari go shopping and chat about their lives and recent movie experiences.

Jersey boy makes good, his Broadway debut at 13 with Judd Hirsch in Conversations with My Father and being a stand-up guy.

Short, snappy answers to items like his first job, first crush, dating style and aspirations.