In the realm of horror, no studio is more prolific than Blumhouse. The studio has carved out a sizeable niche and a stellar reputation for low budget, creator-driven films that push boundaries and provoke audiences. Despite the studio's history of terror, it's not an overstatement to suggest that Bloodline is their most shocking film yet. The chilling character study stars Seann William Scott as Evan, a serial killer and new father. He's a family man with a severely skewed psyche, and the resultant film is one of the most gloriously uncomfortable cinematic experiences of 2019.
Seans William Scott is best known for his charmingly audacious performances in raunchy comedies like Dude, Where's My Car? and American Pie, but he's stunning as Evan, a cold-blooded killer who makes Dexter look like Mister Rogers. While promoting his role in Bloodline, Scott spoke to Screen Rant about making the film, and how it had to be submitted multiple times to the MPAA to secure an R rating. He discusses owing his career and livelihood to American Pie, and why he isn't the least bit bothered at being recognized for playing Steve Stifler, even twenty years after he first appeared as the iconic comedy character.
Not to understate my feelings about Bloodline, but holy s***, that was nasty and scary and cool and awesome.
That's f****** awesome, thank you so much.
For me, the more uncomfortable a movie makes me, the more I'm into it. Is that what drew you into it?
Absolutely. I mean, I tend to watch really dark s***. I don't really actually watch comedies! My entire career, it's all I've done, and I love them, there are amazing comedies that come out, but I tend to watch movies in this horror genre. I love Blumhouse movies. I actively sought them out. I was like, "I want to work with you guys." But also, like, dark, foreign films and stuff like that. You're right. You can watch these movies and feel so weird, uncomfortable, and awesome. I want to feel a little sick. (laughs)
Right? You mentioned not watching comedies, and that kinda ties into a question I have. I'm sure you're sick and tired of being asked about being typecast into comedy and finally getting this opportunity to do something wild. A lot of people are surprised, but I'm like, "Yeah, of course, finally!" In this industry, even journalists and critics don't always understand that comedic acting is acting, and actors shouldn't be pigeonholed into a specific type.
It's true. You know what? To be honest, when I got American Pie, I knew I won the lottery. The fact I was in a movie, I got a movie where I got the chance to improvise and create this character... And people liked it. I mean, my career could have been done there, and I would have been fine. I achieved the dream come true. I moved to L.A. to really work on darker films, more drama. There was definitely, in the very beginning, I was like, okay, now that this movie made $100 million, maybe now I'll have the chance at doing dramatic stuff. But then comedies kept coming my way. Very quickly, I realized, this is a gift. The fact I can actually feel like I can maybe have a career doing this and trying to make people laugh, it's like, I can let go of my desire to want to do other types of projects, because I get the business. I understand how this works. If I'm going to do comedies, I'm definitely going to play characters who operate at that speed, because they're more fun! It's more interesting to play people who you shouldn't like, but you do. You can get away with saying anything you want! I think, over my career... I think I typecast myself, because I was like, "What the f*** else am I gonna do?" I molded a career where I've gotta make the best of the best opportunities that come my way. With this movie, it was such a thrill to be able to work on a project with a company that's been killing it. I have so much respect for them. And I finally have the chance to do something quite different, which was so much fun. But yeah, I was kind of doing the same thing for 20 years, until this movie!
You've always struck me as a very sincere actor. A big part of the reason Stifler is so iconic to this day is because of your performance. There's a soul in that character. He's not a cork board of jokes, you know?
(Laughs) That's a great way to describe it, that's hilarious!
I guess there's worse things in life than to be remembered as a pop culture legend, but do you get bothered when you're... I dunno, when college kids see you and shout out, "Yoooooo, Stifler!"
Oh man, I lean into it. I wouldn't have the life that I've had. Being able to take care of my family. I love movies! The fact I've had a career in movies, whether people like them or not, it's unbelievable to me. It wouldn't have happened without that character. It was literally the most fun you could ever have, in my opinion, doing those comedies. That character could get away with everything. I'm blown away. From the beginning of my career until now, if someone recognizes me or brings up Stifler, man, it's incredible. It makes me so happy. I love that character. So I've never been like, (in an exaggerated snooty voice:) "Well, have you seen Southland Tales?" No, man, I did f****** four American Pie movies! Of course I'm going to be known for that character!
That's a fantastic attitude to have. It makes me glad to know that you're not that kind of tortured soul! At least in that regard.
I f****** hate it when actors talk about s*** like that! Dude, you are making movies, here, alright? Shut up! (Laughs)
Bloodline, we've established, is delightfully eff'd up. I'm shouting from the hilltops to get my friends to see it, to get the Screen Rant reader to see it. I want them to get really mad at me during that one particular scene near the beginning, you know the one. I was by myself when I watched it, and no one could hear me scream at what was happening on screen. I had never seen anything like that before. The inter-cutting... I won't spoil it for the reader, but woah, man.
(Laughs) Did you see the NC-17 version?
I saw a press screener of it... I don't know how it could have possibly been more graphic than what I saw. If I saw the R-rated version, I honestly don't know what it could have been edited down from. (Note: I saw the R-rated version.)
I think the version that played at a couple of festivals, that was the Director's Cut. I was told by the Blumhouse guys that this is the first movie they did that took three edits to get it down to an R. I don't know if that birthing scene is going to be in the theatrical cut, but I hope so. It's so f***** up!
Yeah, it is so f***** up! It slaps you on the face and grabs your attention, like, "This is what we're doing now, put away your cell phone, you're in this world now." For this role, did you have to do any additional training or method stuff or anything like that, I mean, not that you had to go out and kill people on the street at night or anything, but did you have any rituals or anything to get you pumped up?
(Laughs) No, you know what, I talked to the director a lot. We wanted to try to keep the characters as grounded as possible, and also... I honestly can't remember what I was thinking during those scenes. I don't know. It was a four week shoot, and it's interesting, because I could tell you, for any other thing I've done, especially the broad comedies, I always think about things and improvise and rewriting stuff so I have a bunch of things I can pull out on the day, but this was a completely different experience. I didn't work with an acting coach... Actually, I probably should have worked with an acting coach! I remember just thinking with each scene, and trying as much as possible to be completely in the moment.
Bloodline is out now in theaters and Digital, and releases on DVD on October 22.