From band camp to forever friends! American Pie became an instant classic upon its July 1999 release, in which viewers watched a quartet of high school seniors plot to lose their respective virginities before graduation day.
“I didn’t hear for a long [time],” Jason Biggs, who portrayed lead Jim Levenstein, exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2017 of his “excruciating” audition process. “I wanted it so badly! I knew I did well. I heard from the directors that I was their top choice but the studio kind of had someone else in mind: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, actually, from Home Improvement. They wanted to see that through because he was a [well-known] name.”
Biggs added at the time: “I never talked to JTT before or after, but I am incredibly grateful because I think he passed. I think he actually had the offer if I’m correct. … Theoretically, he could have done it but at the time, I think it didn’t fit with his more family-oriented brand.”
Taylor Thomas — who played one of Tim Allen’s sons on Home Improvement, a family-friendly sitcom that wrapped in 1998 — ultimately turned down the role of Jim, allowing producers to take a chance on the Orange Is the New Black alum.
American Pie — directed by Paul Weitz and written by Adam Herz — also starred Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Seann William Scott to round out Jim’s group of East Great Falls High friends. Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge also had scene-stealing roles as Jim’s dad and Stifler’s mom, respectively.
“The Weitz brothers kept me going,” Coolidge later gushed during her Golden Globes acceptance speech in January 2023 when she won Best Supporting Actress in a Limited/Anthology Series for The White Lotus, referring to the movie’s director Paul Weitz and producer Chris Weitz. “I milked [American Pie] to the bone. I mean, I’m still going for six or seven [movies], whatever they want, you know?”
The raunchy comedy, which debuted in the late ’90s, took its name from Jim’s infamous sexual experiment with a pie — a scene that Biggs is wary about sharing with his two sons. (The Outmatched alum and wife Jenny Mollen welcomed Sid and Lazlo in 2014 and 2017, respectively.)
“We both kind of struggle with [how to explain the movie to them],” Biggs said during a February 2023 appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan. “It’s coming — pun intended — we don’t want to be premature in telling them. We don’t want to give them the information too soon, they’re still pretty young, but we don’t want them to hear it from their friends either.”
The My Best Friend’s Girl star confessed at the time that his boys were aware of the film’s title and that “there is a pie” involved but they still remained in the dark about the more NSFW plot lines.
“We were flipping [channels] once, and American Pie was on, and I stopped on to for a minute because it was a scene that [Sid] could watch,” Biggs previously told Us in March 2019. “He was shocked at how I looked because I was 20, so I looked like a child. I was a child, so he was just kind of captivated by that. Then I knew that there was, like, a crazy scene coming up, so I had to change it.”
American Pie ultimately spawned three sequel films: 2001’s American Pie 2, 2003’s American Wedding and 2012’s American Reunion. While the cast, who all returned for the spinoffs, has since gone their separate ways professionally, they are still down for another flick in the popular franchise.
“That’s been sitting on a shelf at Universal collecting dust. There’s been a script for five years. Jon [Hurwitz] and Hayden [Schlossberg], who wrote and directed American Reunion, wrote it,” Nicholas, who played Kevin Myers, exclusively told Us in February 2018. “Universal hired them to write it. I thought we were doing it the following year. That was the plan and then I didn’t hear anything.”
He added at the time: “Hopefully, Disney doesn’t buy Universal and we get to make American Pie 5. I think there’s a chance. There’s always a chance. We never thought we were going to do the fourth one.”
Scroll below to check in with the American Pie stars more than two decades later: