This one time (not at band camp) we called Alyson Hannigan to talk about her returning to the role of the sweet, but raunchy, Michelle in the currently-being-shot American Pie sequel American Reunion. Read on to see what the How I Met Your Mother star had to say!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You recently had the first cast get together and script read through for American Reunion. What was that like?
ALYSON HANNIGAN: You know, I haven’t seen most of those guys for, goodness, we couldn’t even figure it out — probably, like, eight years or something. And more for the ladies. It’s a little strange, because you’ve kept up with them in the media. Like, everybody knew I had a kid. But it was really nice. We got to show pictures! It was one of those things where the dynamic with everyone is as if no time that has passed. You instantly get along.
What about the actual read-through?
The read-through was at the end of the day and some of the people had to go. Like, Jennifer Coolidge wasn’t there. There’s so many characters and some had yet to be cast. So it wasn’t actually a telling reading of what the full movie is going to be like, because there were a lot of substitute readers. But even if we shot it with the substitute readers, it’s going to be really good. So I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like when the parts are actually cast. It was really great.
While we’re on the subject of casting, I read there was a casting call for a role that required “upper frontal nudity.” The good news is that you can stop looking because I am absolutely prepared to do that.
You know what? I will call the directors right after I get off the phone. They will be so relieved.
Michelle and Jason Biggs’ character Jim got married in the last big screen American Pie movie. What can you tell us about the plot of this one?
We’ll, we’re still married, and we have a child. So we’re navigating the waters of parenthood and how that changes the dynamics of a relationship. But also they’re going back to their high school reunion and so there’s some nostalgia there of, “Aw, remember what we were like when we first met?” That kind of stuff. It’s really nice. I really love that relationship and they’ve stayed true to it. The great thing about this franchise is that, of course, there’s the raunchy humor but here’s also a lot of heart to it. And this fourth movie does not miss the boat on that at all.
The movie is being made by the Harold and Kumar guys, writer-directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. Did you talk to your HIMYM costar Neil Patrick Harris about them?
He sang their praises completely. I think Neil knew that Jon and Hayden were doing the movie before I did, actually. But Neil knows about everything before I do. [Jon and Hayden] are such big fans of the franchise. I met with them ages and ages ago, before they were going off to write the script. They had said that basically they wanted to write [a film like] the original movie and then one of them saw the trailer for it. He called the other sand said, “Somebody wrote our movie!” So they’ve been sort of kicking themselves that they missed the boat back in, whenever it was, ’99.
We had lunch and they talked about their ideas. This must have been a year ago, and they were going to hunker down and write the script. I sort of heard, “Oh, they’re looking at maybe trying to shoot it in January or something.” But obviously that would have been difficult for me as I’m on the show. So you just kept hearing yammerings and then it was like, “Okay, well, they’re going to aim for your hiatus.” You just sit there and wait and see if it actually comes true. And it did.
Does your character’s flute-playing prowess come into the plot this time around?
There will be some… Uh… Yes, you know, it’s a reunion. [Laughs] What’s great about what Jon and Hayden have done is they’ve made a really good movie that people who aren’t familiar with the franchise will love, but they’ve also given the people that love the franchise a lot of inside jokes and stuff that you’ll really appreciate if you’re a fan of the American Pies.
So flautism — if that’s a word — does come up?
[Laughs] You will see the old band room at least.
Okay. Well, if you could just tell me who Barney was getting married to at the end of the How I Met Your Mother season finale, then I’ll be on my way.
You know, I wish I could tell you. Even if I knew, I would not be able to.