Years from now, when film
historians look back at the most memorable movie moments of 1999,
they'll talk about John Cusack being dumped onto the side of the
New Jersey turnpike in Being John Malkovich, The Blair
Witch Project's grainy and ambiguous final shot, and the Kevin
Spacey/Mena Suvari rose-colored dream sequence in American Beauty.
Thousands of sex-crazed male teens, however, will most likely recall
Shannon Elizabeth's steamy, scene-stealing performance as Nadia,
American Pie's naughty Czech exchange student. In a scene
that opened the floodgates to a river of pubescent wet dreams, the
luscious Elizabeth strips, lays semi-naked on the bed, and casually
"reads" a few porn magazines (talk about an indelible cinematic
image). When Jim (Jason Biggs), Pie's virginal hero, arrives
to nervously "lend a hand," Elizabeth seduces him in a classic scene
that's equal parts lust and laughs.
So what will she do for
an encore? Well, after making her privates public in Playboy
and gracing the current issue of Maxim, the sexy-model-turned-scrumptious-starlet
can be seen in the upcoming Keenan Ivory Wayans' comedy, Scary
Movie, the first of her three-picture deal with Miramax. After
that, who knows? Elizabeth, who once dreamed of becoming a pro tennis
player, now finds herself knee-deep in film offers, the bonus for
a job done right. "I want to play a good, strong female character,"
she says. "I want to get away from the high school thing and do
other types of roles. And," she adds, "I'm not doing any more nudity."
drDrew.com: In a recent
interview, you talked about the lack of direction in American
Pie's famous "seduction scene." Did you discuss the shot with
Jason Biggs beforehand?
Shannon Elizabeth: Jason wouldn't talk to me [laughs]. He
was terrified. That was one of the first scenes we had done together,
so we still didn't know each other very well. He actually talked
to Joe [Reitman, Elizabeth's boyfriend, and an actor himself] more
than he talked to me. They already knew each other, so I think he
felt more comfortable around him.
drDrew.com: Do you think
Joe's presence made him uncomfortable?
SE: Yeah, I think he was a little nervous that Joe was there, but
so was everybody else [laughs]. Everyone was like, "Your
boyfriend's here?!? Is he okay with this?!? Is he gonna be cool?"
They all started catering to him because they were afraid he was
gonna freak out. It was like, "Hey man, do you need some water?
Can we get you anything? Here, take these headphones!" Finally,
I was like, "Hell-ooo? I'm the one getting naked here! Nobody's
drDrew.com: How long did
it take for Jason to finally relax?
SE: Well, that scene took more than half a day to shoot. We did
it in a warehouse and it was really hot and we were all dying from
the heat, so I don't know if he ever did get completely comfortable.
I thought it was kind of weird when I lay down on top of him and
kissed him and he didn't kiss me back. I couldn't figure out if
he was staying in character and just didn't want to, or if he was
still really terrified.
drDrew.com: You took your
parents to the film's premiere. Did you have to sit them down beforehand
and brace them for the big scene?
SE: I had been preparing them for awhile, giving them little hints
here and there. By the time they saw the film, I think they knew
what to expect.
drDrew.com: What was it
like to sit next to them and watch it?
SE: I wasn't sure how my dad would react. My friends and I kept
glancing over at them, but they loved it. There was an agent sitting
behind them and he told me he was embarrassed to watch the scenes
because he knew they were in front of him. My parents have always
been very open and they trust my decisions.
drDrew.com: Does Joe get
jealous when you kiss another actor?
SE: Joe is so understanding. He knows that it's all part of the
business and that there's nothing he can do about it. Besides, he
knows I love him.
drDrew.com: How do you
handle it when the roles are reversed and he's the one kissing a
SE: I haven't had to deal with anything like that yet, so I don't
know. I do know he loves me and we come home to each other every
night, and if there's anything either of us feels weird about, we
discuss it. At the end of the day, you have to learn to deal with
it. Besides, it's just acting.
from drDrew.com 2001