Hey, did ya hear the dude who played Stifler is in a hockey comedy?
Seann William Scott can't escape the raucous, hilarious, horny and slightly Oedipal creation that was Steve Stifler in the "American Pie" films; to the point where he's back in the role this year in "American Reunion." He's played variations of that comedic imp in other films, ranging from "The Rundown" to "Role Models."
So when it was announced he'd star in "Goon" as Doug Glatt, a bar bouncer-turned-hockey enforcer, the initial reaction was "Stifler on Ice." Which is what makes his performance in the film so refreshing and effective: He's not so much playing against type as he's not playing a caricature for once. He carries the film with a performance that's funny, vulnerable and — ladies … — actually rather sweet.
"Goon" opened as the No. 1 film in Canada last weekend and is available On Demand in the U.S., with a theatrical release on March 30. After our chat with Liev Schreiber about the film, we spoke with Seann about hockey, movies and bodily fluids. Enjoy!
Q. On behalf of hockey fans, thanks for making a movie that's so vividly gory.
SWS: That's awesome.
I did add a little bit to it. In the end, that last fight with Liev, I was adding as much blood to my mouth as possible. I just had this image of every time we have a punch, the blood just spraying out.
I loved it. I definitely feel the brutality of it … some of it is definitely skewed from reality, but I do think the fights look pretty real. I think it adds to the whole love letter to hockey.
Did you talk to any players about what it's like to take a puck to the face before the film?
Not to prep for the film, but when I spoke to Georges Laraque when I met him — right before I was supposed to fight him — I asked him. He's just so cool, but also the sweetest guy. I didn't get into getting hit too much with him, because I knew he was the guy that was knocking other guys out.
I thought it was so hilarious that these guys are so polite. Like that scene with Georges when he's like 'You wanna go?' And I'm like 'Yeah, sure.' That actually happened to him when he was mic'd up during a game. He's like, 'Hey man, you wanna go … you wanna go [expletive] kill each other?'
I was so impressed with Georges. He owns a chain of Vegan restaurants, and he's such an eloquent guy. And it's not just the enforcers, it's every hockey player, in general. They're so sweet, so funny. I didn't know any of the stuff going in. I played football, baseball, basketball. I didn't know jack [squat] about hockey, even though I loved it when my buddies played it in Minnesota. Hockey was like someone speaking Japanese to me. And I can barely speak English.
So I learned so much about the game, and made me come away loving it even more than the sports I grew up playing.
I read an interview in which you said that you were jealous of the hockey players you grew up with in Minnesota because they were funny and had a better understanding of each other than other athletes do. Where do you think that comes from?
I don't know if it's intrinsically part of the sport, and how the guys relate to each other, or what. I don't know where the loyalty lies in baseball. You really don't have to protect each other much, unless there's like a bench-clearing brawl. In hockey, it's important that they look out for each other.
They also spend a lot of time with each other. I've heard some weird stories from my hockey buddies. Crazy [crap]. I don't think we'd be having a contest in which we're masturbating to see you can [ejaculate] first, alright? Like he told me he did. We wouldn't be doing that in basketball.
Were you a fan of "Slap Shot"?
I was. And the funny thing is that … if I can make any comparison between "Goon" and "Slap Shot," it's that [my] not knowing anything about hockey and watching "Slap Shot", I was able to love the movie. You don't have to be a hockey fan to love that movie. I'd say the same thing about "Goon."
It's so funny I'm doing a hockey movie, because when I started off in "American Pie," I'd get comparisons to Paul Newman all the time. They'd be like, "Dude, your acting skills are just like Paul Newman's."
So naturally I'd be in the "Slap Shot" for this generation ...
It was either this or remake "Cool Hand Luke."
That's in the works. And then "HUD."
And as you get older, "Nobody's Fool" and things of that nature.
Follow the career path, really, and you'll one day end up with your own salad dressing. Do you have a favorite sports movie of all time, by the way? You haven't done but two of them in your career.
Oh yeah, I did "Gary The Tennis Coach."
I gotta say my favorite's gotta be "Goon" for sure. Because I'm in it. But other than that … I gotta say the answer is "Rudy."
Now that both films have been released, who was the more authentic hockey player: You or your "The Rundown" co-star Dwayne Johnson in "The Tooth Fairy"?
[Laughs] Sadly, probably Dwayne. That's how bad I am, dude. What you saw in the movie is the best that I could give'em.
Is this because there was no "learning how to skate" montage in "The Tooth Fairy" like there was in "Goon"?
Exactly, exactly … also because the guy in that montage was not me.
The one thing I picked up on in watching the "Goon" premiere is that the skating montage happens early in the movie and in no way do I skate like that later in the movie.
Despite your lack of skating prowess, you were in demand to be in hockey movies in the last two years. Kevin Smith wanted you for "Hit Somebody."
I had been attached to do "Goon" for maybe a year before Kevin had told me about "Hit Somebody." We were waiting for financing for "Goon", but I loved the script for it too. I thought it was something I needed to do, and that I'd benefit from it greatly. After Kevin did "Cop Out", he showed me the idea for "Hit Somebody" and it was awesome. I told him that I was attached to "Goon"; he said he didn't think "Goon" would end up getting the financing. He hadn't started writing it yet.
Of course, "Goon" ended up getting the financing. I'm excited to see how it comes together for him.
You should do them both. If Ryan Reynolds can play Green Lantern and Deadpool, there's no reason you can't be a hockey player twice.
You know the only reason that he got those parts was because I turned them down.
I'm joking …
I thought Ryan Reynolds was awesome as Deadpool. The funny thing is that, since I know there's no [expletive] way I'm ever getting offered a comic book movie, "Goon" was the closest to that as possible.
The scene with you and Liev in the restaurant was like a hockey-centric version of Pacino/DeNiro in "Heat." I also think it presented an idea — that the crowds and media just want you to bleed — that can be applied to other occupations. Do you see any correlation between actors and hockey enforcers?
Ah, [crap], I don't have any kind of [expletive] intelligent answer to that one. I guess it's like, you know, there's a reason why I'm not getting asked to play [expletive] Batman — it's because Hollywood knows the audience wants to see me drink [ejaculate]. That's about as eloquent an answer as I can give you.
Finally, has this project turned you into a puckhead?
I was a fan of hockey beforehand, in that I respected the sport. Now, getting a chance to be around the guys … if you don't know the sport, you don't get how fast it is and tough it is and beautiful it is and rich with hockey. How awesome the guys are.
It's just sad that I'm so [expletive] awful at it.
All I know is that when I have kids, they're [expletive] playing hockey. Because those guys are the ones who get all the girls.