In 'American Reunion', Thomas Ian Nicholas and Tara Reid return as former high school sweethearts, Kevin and Vicky.
First seen in 'American Pie' as teenagers navigating the waters of first love (and an impending separation as they prepare to go off to college), 'American Reunion' catches up with the couple 10-plus years later – when their old gang comes back together for a weekend none of them will ever forget.
With 'American Reunion' released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 8, Nicholas and Reid chat about what it was like returning to the popular movie franchise.
Q: What was it like coming back to American Reunion?
Tara Reid: From the beginning it's been an amazing journey and being with everyone together again is just wonderful. It's truly magical getting everyone back, seeing everyone together and doing it. It was very nostalgic, but it was also very fun.
Thomas Ian Nicholas: Same. When I first heard the rumour that this might be happening, I said yes before I even thought about it. But I wasn't sure that everyone's schedules would come together or that everyone would even want to reprise their roles. Once I heard that everyone was onboard, it was like, cool – we're actually doing this!
Q: Was there more pressure this time around with three successful films behind you?
TIN: It felt more like a responsibility just to put my best foot forward. When I first met with Jon and Hayden (American Reunion writer/directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg), they made it clear that that was their perspective as well. We all felt the same way. We were all on the same page of wanting to make a great movie.
Q: What did Jon and Hayden bring to 'American Reunion'?
TR: They were fans of the original movies to begin with. They knew these characters so well and they did such a great job of tying American Pie 1 to this film. We just loved working with them. They’re really great guys, great directors, great writers and great fun.
TIN: They both saw American Pie when it first came out in theatres and were instant fans. And so they respected the movies and the characters. Because of that, they brought the same heart from the first movie. 'American Reunion' is sort of like the ultimate sequel to the first film, because it has so much of that same tone.
Q: What were your expectations when you shot the first film?
TR: We never knew it was going to be as big as it was. Never...
TIN: The first time we saw the first film was actually at Tara's place. I think Jason (Biggs) had gotten a bootleg VHS of the movie. This was before the official screening, obviously. We were all watching it, going, ‘What have we done? Is this good?’ It was all grainy; you could barely make it out. But we were laughing and proud of it, even with that bad picture quality.
TR: Well, we didn't have flat screens back then.
TIN: Come on! It was on VHS... The new generation that's going to see 'American Reunion' might not even know what VHS is! Yeah, for us, its ultimate success was just mind-boggling!
Q: Do you have a favourite scene from the new film?
TIN: For Kevin and Vicky, it's the final scene that’s really sweet and kind of summarises our whole story together.
Q: It's a beautiful moment. But did you two always have that chemistry?
TR: Always. But we’ve definitely got closer. You know, there’s so many years, so much history. I have fun working with Thomas. He’s so supportive. He’s so much fun. He’s such a giving actor. You’re never alone in a scene with him. There are a lot of actors that you work with and it could be two people in the scene, but you’re still alone. I know I’m never going to drown when Thomas is around!
TIN: We actually talked a lot about that while we were shooting this one - that support in the scenes and how important it truly is.
Q: What was the biggest challenge this time around?
TIN: The weather.
TR: Yes, yes... He’s 100 percent right! In Atlanta, where we shot, you never knew when it was going to storm or not. And there were a lot of scenes that we had to shoot outside. Sometimes we didn’t know if we’d be able to complete our shooting day because a storm would come in. Some days we were really close. The sun would be coming out and we’d have like 15 minutes to get it right or we’d lose the shot entirely.
TIN: For me it was also the heat. Like literally, there were fans constantly coming out and cold washcloths in-between takes - I just sweat so much! I was joking around with the guys that you could play a drinking game while watching the DVD. Close up on Kevin – no sweat. Come back to Kevin – drips in sweat. Cut to Jim – back to Kevin – he’s dry! If you see that, then take a shot!
Q: How would you describe the films' importance to your careers?
TR: Huge. It opened up so many opportunities. Since the first one I think I’ve done 25 movies, and it was definitely instrumental. I mean, I did 'The Big Lebowski' before that with the Coen brothers, 'Urban Legend' (1998), a bunch of movies kind of coincided with it. But this one gave me that international, worldwide recognition. ‘That’s the girl from American Pie!’ It was really this movie that did that. I’m so thankful to be a part of it. It’s been great.
TIN: I had my first taste of success when I was a little kid. I was like 12, 13-years-old, when I did a film called 'Rookie of the Year' (1993). It wasn’t a worldwide success on the same scale because baseball isn’t huge everywhere, but it was still a very successful film that was at the top of the box office. 'American Pie', however, transitioned me from being a kid actor to an adult actor which was even more important. Statistically it’s only something like 3 percent of kids that have any sort of success as a child actor that go on to have a career as an adult. I’m so thankful for these movies.'American Reunion' is out on DVD and Blu-ray from August 8.