American Pie star Jason Biggs said a key scene in the 1990s teen sex comedy could never be made in the post-#MeToo era.
Biggs, who is now starring in the Fox comedy Outmatched, told TheNewstip' live Twitter morning show, AM to DM, on Wednesday that the moment his character used a hidden webcam to film a woman student changing and masturbating would be a no-go today.
“It was a very specific time. It was right as the internet was starting,” Biggs said. “We had that whole scene with the internet camera — which, by the way, would never get made now.”
In the scene, Biggs' character, Jim, sets up a webcam in his room to secretly record an exchange student, Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), change clothes ahead of a study session together. He and his friends secretly watch her undress and masturbate in his bedroom, before he is persuaded to join her but then prematurely ejaculates twice. Jim is unaware, though, that he has accidentally sent the live link to the whole school, including Nadia's angry sponsors, who send her home to Europe. None of the boys face any repercussions.
“It wouldn't get made now and it couldn't get made now,” Biggs told TheNewstip of the scene. “It would be unacceptable what that represents, but at the time I remember reading the script and reading that part and being shocked that there was cameras on computers! That's what I took away from it originally!”
Last July, Elizabeth told the New York Post's Page Six section she recalled filming the scene in a set inside a warehouse with just a boom mic operator present.
“Just me and the boom guy, and trying to make jokes with the directors and make light of it because if I wasn't nervous, maybe they wouldn't be so nervous,” she said. “I just tried to make it no big deal.”
Still, she seemed stunned to be reminded by Page Six what happened to her character — and also believed the scene would not be made today.
“Gosh, do I get sent home?” Elizabeth said. “If this had come out after the #MeToo movement, there would definitely be a problem. I think that it would have gone down differently.”
Biggs said it's understandable that the perception of the scene has changed, specifically due to the influence the internet has had on people's understanding of sex and consent.
“People are having these conversations, as they should be,” he said. “Again, the internet has changed everything, but specific to sex and teens, the conversation now is totally different now to what it was 20-plus years ago, so the art that's made surrounding it needs to be totally different.”
Still, he has no regrets about the movie which launched his career.
“You know, we're talking 21 years ago,” he said. “That's a full generation ago. Understandably it wouldn't get made now, but I'm still proud of the movie and my involvement in it and people's response to it.”