Movies

‘I Broke A Lot Frat Guys’ Hearts’: Seann William Scott On Playing A Psycho Killer And Escaping Stifler

There seem to be two distinct stages to Seann William Scott’s career. He became a break-out star playing Stifler, the loud-mouthed jock in American Pie, a character that will probably overshadow Scott’s career no matter what else he does. Scott naturally played a string of variations on “meathead livewire” in other films, like Role Models and Dude Where’s My Car.

While Scott expresses no regrets about being typecast, in Seann William Scott career phase 2.0, almost certainly ushered in by the sleeper hit hockey movie Goon, he’s showed he can play both introspective and inarticulate — brooding, even. Broody Scott achieves full flower in this month’s Bloodline, a new thriller from red hot horror studio Blumhouse hitting theaters and OnDemand this week.

Almost from the first seconds, you can sense Bloodline is something at least a little different than the movie you might expect. The first scene sees a nurse get her throat brutally slit in the shower. A few minutes later, Scott’s character sees his child being born, complete with a matter-of-fact close up of a child actually emerging from the birth canal — this intercut with flashbacks of disembowelings, Un Chien Andalou-style.

The fact that his character is a killer alone — Scott says it’s the first time he’s killed people in a movie — would make it a departure for him, but Bloodline‘s style differentiates it from similar titles. That’s largely due to director Henry Jacobsen and his cinematographer, Isaac Bauman (“an artist,” according to Scott). But it seems the perfect riff on Scott’s rebirth as a dramatic actor in the second half of his career.

I spoke to Scott by phone this week, and while he’s not Stifler, he does have an excitable golden retriever quality about him. It reminds you more of some of the verbose charmers he played early in his career than Doug Glatt or Evan in Bloodline, though he’s fairly articulate and incredibly candid about his career choices. What can I say, I liked the guy. As cheesy as it sounds, chatting with Scott on the phone actually brightened my day.

Is this the first time you played a character who kills people?

…Yeah, I think so. Let me think about it. …Yep, definitely. First time I’ve killed people in the movie.

What was the pitch to get you to sign on to this project? What made you say yes?

Well, I met with Blumhouse because I wanted to work with them and then they sent me this script and it was originally just pretty rough. It had just the kind of core ideas in there, but it just needed work. And then Henry Jacobson and his writing partner came in with a really fun kind of twisted take on it and they did a great job. So I was kind of a part of this from the beginning and it’s because I always wanted to do something a bit darker and I wanted to work with Blumhouse. That’s kind of how it all came together.

What had you seen of Blumhouse’s that made you want to work with them?

I love these genre films, so I’m trying to think of… at the time I’m not even sure Get Out had come out. Pretty much, dude, almost all of the stuff that they do. I honestly I can’t think of any movies that they’ve put out that I didn’t really enjoy. I’m a fan, but obviously their movies tend to be really successful, and they have a great formula for pairing really interesting, talented directors with actors. A lot of times you’re excited to do something different and find good material, but yeah, I mean, these guys are killing it.

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