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Oh, The Places They're Going

By Soman S. Chainani, Crimson Staff Writer

We took a Road Trip of our own to New York City to talk to the young stars of what promises to be the sleeper hit of the summer

The cast of Road Trip know they're going to be famous after this Friday. Each member of the cast, though, handles this foresight differently. When I got a chance to interview the actors in New York City recently, I tried to find out how exactly each one is anticipating instant fame. A couple of the actors seem well-rehearsed in their answers and a couple well, aren't so rehearsed. See for yourself.

Paulo Costanzo & Sean Scott

The Harvard Crimson: It's your first movie, Paulo. How'd you handle it?

Paulo Costanzo: It was a nervewracking hell. I was very neurotic. It was my first movie, the director and I didn't hit it off from the start, I had food poisoning for the first week of the shoot. Literally, the day before shooting, I decided to get a sarsparilla root beer with no preservatives and I was like, "Whoa. This tastes good. Must be the sarsparilla. Glug glug glug." And then, "Hey Sean, I have food poisoning."

THC: Wait a minute. Back up. You said you didn't hit it off with the director. Let's hear the story.

PC: (Sighs.) I got to set, I was nervous and insecure. Todd is a brash person. I just didn't take to his brash way of giving criticism. I wanted more respect from him and we sort of clashed. But that's how he was with everyone and I had to learn to deal with it- but it was really difficult. We didn't have an understanding for the first half of the film. Once we had a big fight on the set, then we talked and you know, we're not bosom buddies but I respect him a lot. [I make a note to cause trouble and ask Todd Phillips about it later.]

Cut to later:

THC: Okay. Let's get straight to it. Paulo came in and said he clashed with you at the beginning. Was it something you worried about?

TP: What? You're kidding. I don't know what you're talking about.

THC: He came in and said you didn't get along.

TP: Whoa, I wasn't aware of it. He's probably looking for a story.

THC: He said you had a big fight on the set.

TP: Bring him in here. (Laughs.) I'm not aware of the incident-I might say things because I tend to shoot from the hip and maybe he took it too hard. I'm a New Yorker and I don't like beating around the bush. I'll just say what I want to say and I won't sugarcoat it. But I'm not snobby, I'm just direct. Wow, I can't believe he said that.

Back to present:

THC: The aspiring actors want to know how you got the part.

PC: I did a national talent search-somehow they liked me and the rest is history. One week I was sitting in my apartment looking at Internet porn thinking I'd never work again, going click click click. Then the next week I'm in a giant hotel room looking at Internet porn on my laptop, but this time I was in a movie.

THC: How'd you survive Los Angeles while waiting to get your big break, Sean?

SS: Lots of jobs. I worked at a restaurant, at the zoo, a law firm, as a utility guy, at City Walk-I did everything.

THC: Back up. The zoo?

SS: For like two days. I did American Pie but then no one would give me jobs! So then I got a job at a law firm as a handyman-I was painting the walls and fixing toilets and I was like, "Dude. I just did a Universal Studios movie. This sucks!" But then I got rid of that job and my friend hooked me up with the zoo job. I was like, "Yo, animals, riding around in a cart, kiddies, what could be better?" So I get there and the manager goes, "Sean, this will be your food stand. Here's your hat and your uniform. Here are all the prices." And I'm like, "Wait, I need a calculator. I can't do math." I remember that day I did an interview with Rolling Stone for American Pie and I'm sitting there in the sun working at zoo going, "Man this really really sucks." This guy drives buy in a golf cart flicking me off. But then I got Final Destination and I was like, "Never again."

THC: American Pie was huge for all of the cast, but playing Steve Stifler got you a cult following, Sean. Were you prepared at all for success?

Sean Scott: We were filming American Pie when There's Something About Mary came out and Jason Biggs was like, "You know what, our movie could make $100 million easy." I mean we were making a movie like Dumb and Dumber. Kids like this stuff. But still, I was totally shocked. I couldn't go anywhere after it. It's wild because I thought I had a small part, but I played a guy that everybody knew in high school.

THC: And in this one, you again play a guy that everybody knows in college. It's the same basic part. Aren't you worried about typecasting this early in your career?

SS: I just wanted to keep working. American Pie was my first thing, but this was such a big part. I mean I wanted the characters to be different-this character has more of a sweet, charming side. I don't know what I'm going to do next. I actually always wanted to drama, but now I'm addicted to this comedy thing-hearing people laugh at something you say is great, you know?

THC: When I saw the movie this week, when your character walks in, everybody recognized you. The kids were screeching.

SS: I heard that and I was like, "You're kidding me." There was just an amazing following for Steve Stifler.

THC: Paulo, you play the intellectual. You look sort of like an intellectual. Let me guess. You were the nerd in school.

PC: Absolutely not. I was terrible. I was a terrible student. I didn't want to learn the things that school wanted to teach. I was more interested in the social stuff, learning about people. But you know what, I was an outcast at first. Like freshman year, I was really shy-but then I decided to be popular. I was like, "I want girls to like me, I want to be outgoing." So I made a conscious decision to be popular and I started being more flirtatious and rebellious. But I was still a terrible student.

THC: So Sean, you basically went from anonymity to stardom overnight in American Pie. Did the girls start calling?

SS: It was weird. When American Pie came out, I was in Vancouver shooting Final Destination. It had so much hype and I got back to Los Angeles right at the peak of Pie-dom and it was insane. My roommate and I don't really go out much, but when we'd go to clubs the girls would surround us. They'd never talk to me before but now they were all over me. So I didn't really take it too seriously. But my roommate did-he's like "Well I have this untitled tennis project coming out and I'm doing Urban Legend 4, etc. etc."

PC: It's easy to get laid when you're in a movie.

THC: Do either of you worry that any of the gags in the movie go too far? Do you even think you have to defend the comedy?

SS: Anything is possible in film now.

PC: But we're not really pushing the boundary, I don't think. American Pie pushed the envelope one way, we push it another way.

SS: I mean I have the raunchiest scene in the movie. But like for that one, I didn't want to show my bare butt and join that club of actors who shows their butt-but I thought, if I drank a beer laced with uh, stuff, in American Pie, I could definitely do this one. So we figured out a way around it.

Amy Smart & Breckin Meyer

The Harvard Crimson: Breckin, you're actually the veteran of the cast. That has to be a strange feeling.

Breckin Meyer: I feel old. I didn't realize who had done what until we started doing these press events. And now I realize that I am the veteran. But I'm still a kid in a candy store-I'm just amazed every time I get on a set. Like, "Whoa, look at this stuff." I'm still running, banging my head into walls. Enjoying myself.

THC: Well, you're the veteran of the cast but Amy's the veteran of love scenes. You've done a lot haven't you?

Amy Smart: I've had one in everything I've done. We're actually both veterans of it. Breckin's done a couple.

BM: Yeah, I made out with Ryan Phillippe in 54 and Salma Hyek also (laughs). Ryan's a good kisser. It got boring after the 30th take. Salma's a different story.

THC: It doesn't bother you that you have to take your clothes off for every role?

AS: It's a different experience every time. It's fine.

THC: Oh come on. How many actresses are honest about the fact that if they don't do the love scenes, then they won't get the parts. Does it not bother you at all?

AS: Really? Oh, I mean girls always get the romantic emotional little love scenes. But I disagree. I actually love those scenes. They're intimate and fun. They're no more difficult than others.

THC: Does it bother your respective significant others?

AS: Well, if you have respect for your significant other and they have respect for your art, for those kind of scenes, you don't bring them to the set. They don't want to see it and you don't want to flaunt it in their face, but you have to do what you have to do. It's part of the job.

BM: I've never brought my girlfriend to the set. I mean one of those two times I made out with Ryan whose my best friend so she can watch that all the time (laughs). We've been together five years and she's not the jealous type. She knows it's just a job- she's met Amy. I actually went to high school with Amy's boyfriend.

THC: And your girlfriend is in the business?

BM: Yeah, she's a director. She directed Can't Hardly Wait.

THC: And you, Amy?

AS: I'm dating an actor. Brandon Williams. He was actually in Can't Hardly Wait.

BM: My girlfriend's movie.

THC: Whoa, talk about a small world.

AS: But it makes sense that we're all in this little world. It just helps to have somebody who understands, somebody who you don't have to explain everything to at the end of every day. You don't want somebody incredibly insecure who doesn't understand what it all means. I just like having someone in my career.

THC: Why did Go fail, Breckin? It was such an incredible movie.

BM: Go was so cool. It was just a damn cool movie. The critics loved it and people come up to me all the time to tell me they loved it. But you know, I have no control over box office. I can't even begin to explain it. All I know is that I haven't liked anything I've done and I can't watch myself-but Go was the first time I watched my own movie and really adored it. I liked myself in it.

THC: Is Tom Green as psycho off camera as on camera?

AS: No way. Absolutely not. He's so low-key and cool. We were nervous he'd come on set and pull crazy stuff on us. But once that camera started rolling...

BM: He'd go nuts. Actually, all day we'd just sit around and make up songs on the guitar in our free time. Some of it actually shows up in the movie. The whole thing was just so chill.

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