Seann William Scott Interview, Role ModelsPosted by: Sheila Roberts
We sit down with Sean William Smith who reveals why he is a Role Model! Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott star in “Role Models” as Danny and Wheeler, two salesmen who trash a company truck on an energy drink-fueled bender. Upon their arrest, the court gives them a choice: do hard time or spend 150 service hours with a mentorship program. After one day with the kids, however, jail doesn’t look half bad.
Seann is a fabulous guy and we really appreciated his time. Here’s what he had to tell us:
MoviesOnline: How horrible was it wearing that Minotaur suit? Was it hot as hell?
SEANN: It was horrible. I was like “I guess I'll do anything for a laugh.” I just kept thinking “Guys, is this funny because it sucks.” They're like “Oh, it's funny. It's funny.” I'm like “No, it's not. I'm a clown.” Then the KISS outfit and then we had a scene where I wear a chipmunk outfit at Chipmunk Charlies and it's not in the movie. So, I'm naked, Chipmunk Charlie, Minotaur and KISS. I'm just a glorified clown in this movie.
MoviesOnline: Which one was the worst?
SEANN: The Minotaur was terrible. It was gross and it smelled terrible and all my own smell too so even more embarrassing, “Wow, this is me. I smell this bad.”
MoviesOnline: Could you see where you were going?
SEANN: With that mask on, no. Because when they put the mask on I went..[breathy sounds]. I felt like Darth Vader. I was like [more breathy sounds] “I can't breathe in here. Shoot the film, shoot the film.” Then, at a certain point I was like “Guys, this could be anybody. You can't even tell it's me.” “Oh, the body language.” “Oh, really? It's doing this [he indicates sticking his arms and legs out to the side]? People are going to know it's me? Come on.”
MoviesOnline: Who did you look up to as a kid? Who was your role model?
SEANN: My dad. My dad was my role model. He was great. I'm gonna say my dad and my oldest brother who was one of the guys who started "The Onion" newspaper. He was a really great mentor for me. All my brothers too... I don't want my other brothers to read this and be like “What the? I was your mentor” so we'll just leave it with my dad. It's a safer answer.
MoviesOnline: Do you think you would be a good mentor to a child?
SEANN: Yeah. You would probably be surprised with that answer, but yeah. My nephew is like eight and I could totally be his dad I think, although when his dad's away, I'll have him watch "American Pie" movies and "Road Trip" and stuff and "Old School." I have him watch all the crazy stuff because I feel like it's awesome to see him say “Uncle Seann!” I'm like “Com'on, you're going to be hearing this in like five years. This is just to get you started now.”
MoviesOnline: Then you must have had a great rapport with little Bobb'e (Bobb'e J. Thompson)?
SEANN: Yeah, well, he's a little bit crazier than my nephew. We had a great rapport. I ended up kind of being his big brother in a way because he's got such a brilliant mind. He's a stand-up comedian. He performed at The Apollo or Children's Apollo or something like that. Is there a Children's Apollo? Somebody said that to me. I know he's done some stand-up. In the beginning, the first couple of days, I can't imagine doing a film at that age. I would be so stressed out, so freaked out. He reminded me of an Eddie Murphy, just how spontaneous he is. The energy he had was kind of like Eddie Murphy in "Delirious." He had that same mouth too. I'm like “Dude, you're making me seem like a saint.” But, after a couple of days, he let his guard down a little bit. He got more comfortable. He showed himself to be this sweet, eleven-year-old kid....who swore all the time.
MoviesOnline: Jane was saying if he felt like doing his lines, he'd do it. Otherwise, it was like "Whatever."
SEANN: Yeah. It was true. I've never worked with a child before and that's so true, animals and children. Never again. No. With Bobb'e it’s because he has that mind, even at that young age, he has the ability and the instinct to just want to riff which I love doing but being a comedian at that age, he wants to say whatever is on his mind and, a lot of stuff is fantastic. Sometimes, he had to stick to the script. But whatever he did, I watch the movie now and he steals the movie. He's so funny. Even if he wasn't as awesome as he is, just hearing a little kid drop F-bombs is fantastic to me. To me, it's the whole reason to see the movie.
MoviesOnline: Did anyone get hurt in the battle sequences with the stick swords?
SEANN: I don't know. I was only in the end scene. I never saw them film those first two scenes and I was like “What the hell is this? This is so bizarre” which is great for the character, and then I was like “I want to do this. I really want to rock people.” I would probably add some things in my foam axe to make it hurt a little bit more [laughter]. It's kind of like the batter who adds a little cork in his bat to get a little bit more power. I would not be able to hold back. I remember just walking into this, and these people are serious about it. I don't begrudge them at all because I think it would be kind of great to whack people with foam swords.
MoviesOnline: Where did Paul [Rudd] get the idea for these events?
SEANN: I don't know if it was Paul's idea or David's [Wain] idea but they did a really good job looking into it. There is a cool documentary out there about it. I’ve never seen it. I want to say something 'Drakkar' or...something like that.
MoviesOnline: The name of the mythical country?
SEANN: Yeah, right. Credit to Paul and David. I was like “Is this going to become a LAIRE movie? There's a lot of this stuff in it.” But I've read some responses and I think that the environment adds a lot of heart. It's not only funny because you get to add all these great comedians in this mixed up, strange world, but it did add heart to the film. Without that environment, without seeing Christopher Mintz-Plasse dealing with his identity and feeling kind of nerdy, it would have just been a movie about swearing and breasts.
MoviesOnline: You really want to see him win and be crowned king.
SEANN: Yeah, it seems like it.
MoviesOnline: Are you a fan of KISS?
SEANN: I'm like a Rolling Stones guy but when I learned more about it, I was like “These guys are awesome.” When I learned the whole theory behind "Love Gun," I was like “That's fantastic.” [laughter]. It's so wrong and awesome.
MoviesOnline: Did you get to pick which KISS person you would get to be?
SEANN: No. They picked it for us but I kept thinking of Lou Diamond Phillips in "Young Guns." I kind of looked like him with that long black hair. I was like “I could do a Western some day. I could do ‘Young Guns Three.’”
MoviesOnline: What did Bobb'e think about KISS?
SEANN: I think he had no idea who they were. I'm not sure but I think he was like “Who are these people, KISS?” “They're a big rock band Bobb'e.” It's not quite Tupac. Not really.
MoviesOnline: How much input did you have when you were talking with Paul about your character and the dialogue?
SEANN: The process was like this. I was attached first to the script and they gave me a list of guys. But there was originally another director attached and Paul was huge at that point but not as big as he is now, so I thought he'd be a great straight man. He's funny and really bright. We got Paul attached and then we went through a process. We got a bunch of writers on board and then, with his relationship with David Wain....I think Paul took a pass at the script and then David Wain came on and he really wrote the script with Ken Marino. I'd already had a year to think about a guy that I wanted to play. David wrote some fantastic dialogue so credit to him but we improvised a ton. He really let us just kind of go off the page and it seemed like my favorite moments in the movie were things we improvised. Paul had an idea of what he wanted to do and he wrote his stuff, I wrote my stuff. I didn't do anything for anybody else. Paul had a lot of influence on a bunch of things. I think what really worked is I kept thinking we should be best friends like "Wedding Crashers" which was so great because those guy were best friends and would finish each other's sentences. Paul's idea, which I really think was a really smart one, was that we should be more of an Odd Couple and that forced us to improvise in a different way so it was a really good idea on his part.
MoviesOnline: Do they have anything else they do at their job? Is that all they did, just go from high school to high school?
SEANN: I guess that was it. I think the guy doesn’t want to work. I think he loves his job because all he does is put on a bull outfit and he just dances around and then he’s done after 4 hours and he can go party and hook up with girls, and Paul is just angry. But I was like I think that’s their job. They would just go to little auditoriums and try to convince kids to stay off drugs while I’m smoking a joint and then they would donate the money to the Stay Off Drugs Foundation buying these energy drinks. I think that was their job.
MoviesOnline: Whose idea was the whispering eye?
SEANN: Oh, I don’t know.
MoviesOnline: Is that real?
SEANN: I don’t know. I’d never heard that before. I don’t know. It could’ve beenâ€¦ I think it was actuallyâ€¦ I feel like it was Christopher Mintz-Plasse. I think it was his idea. Naughty kid. [laughs] He’s a naughty boy. It could’ve been Paul too. I don’t know.
MoviesOnline: But it wasn’t in the script?
SEANN: No. Oh no. We added some stuff. The studio saw the movie and we were like “Whoa, they’re really psyched. Let’s add some stuff.” So we went back and shot more stuff and added that whispering eye. The thing that was so funny is that Chris was like [high pitched excited whisper] “It means vagina!” He was just so excited he repeats it like four times, “Vagina!” “We get it!” It was so funny. He was really great in that scene.
MoviesOnline: Are you just a big kid at heart like some of the characters you play or are you totally grown up and that’s just an act?
SEANN: I think it’s 50/50. I still feel like a kid but I think the only thing that I really shareâ€¦I think a lot of guys are probably like Wheeler, you know, a lot of guys are just inappropriate guys-guys. There’s an element of what I wanted to add just so he’s not a Stifler rip-off. I didn’t want him to beâ€¦and he’s not a jerk anyway. I think the big comparison between those two characters is that he swears all the time, he likes girls, he’s a party guy. But he really is pretty optimistic. He doesn’t really do anything bad in the movie. I mean seriously I was like he’s not really that bad of a guy. He’s been thrust into this situation and all he does is kind of leaves this kid to hook up with a girl for 5 minutes. You know, is that terrible?
MoviesOnline: He was in the passenger seat when they went to jail.
SEANN: I know. He was playing video games. I mean, c’mon. It should’ve been fine. He left the party. It’s not his fault. The element of him always giving off this bizarre, simple wisdom and that you never know, is he just doing this to get a rise out of somebody or does he actually believe it. I do that just to annoy my brothers, just like give them a little wisdom. I think I’m the big kid but, I don’t know, unfortunately I’ve had to grow up in the last couple years. I’d prefer to go back to my 22, 23-year-old time where I was much more naïve about the world. It was so much more fun. I didn’t stress out nearly as much.
MoviesOnline: Did you do anything with Bobb’e to bond when you first met him? Did he come on the minute you met him as this character?
SEANN: Well, you know, we bonded right away. I just adore the kid and after a couple days he let his guard down and I think he just felt like he was in a groove just like I was. I felt more comfortable. I got the lines out, got my ideas out and my writing out. He just showed himself to be a sweet kid. We’d give him a hug all the time. He became my little buddy in a way. You know, we’d talk. I can’t imagine the pressure you’d feel being the lead in a movie like that at 11 years old. So no, he just was a really great kid. I’m sad that he’s not here because he wouldâ€¦although that would be a really interesting interview. [laughs] I wonder how it would turn out.
MoviesOnline: Maybe there’s a reason he isn’t here?
SEANN: [laughs] It’s possible, dude. It’s possible.
MoviesOnline: How many brothers do you have?
SEANN: I have 4 [brothers] and 2 sisters. I’m the youngest of 7 but we’re all half brothers. We all share a parent so it was the Brady Bunch. I was like Alice the housekeeper, the naughty one.
MoviesOnline: Did your oldest brother help found The Onion?
SEANN: It wasn’t his idea. It was his two best friends in Madison and then he came on right away and he was one of their main writers. They had it for years and then they were like “We’re sick of writing jokes.” They all wanted to start another paper and then they sold it I think for pretty much nothing to the New York place. So when you go and look at their books, my brother wrote most of those little jokes and so did his friends. But, yeah, I don’t know if they had any idea it was going to turn out to be as big as it did. I think the New York company or the Chicago company bought it.
MoviesOnline: When you go home for holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, is everybody a comedian in your family?
SEANN: Well my dad was. My dad was hilarious. My dad was like a Chevy Chase, Bill Murray kind of guy and my brother is like that too. No, it’s more crazy, it’s more dysfunctional. It’s like that movie where everybody is just completely crazy. I can’t think ofâ€¦ What is the most dysfunctional family movie you’ve seen? That’s us.
MoviesOnline: The Family Stone?
SEANN: Maybe. I haven’t seen that but I think I get that vibe.
MoviesOnline: Did you get bulled by your older brothers or were they all just as sweet as pie?
SEANN: No. I mean most of them were older. I had one brother who was 3 years older than me and he beat me up a couple times until I got â€¦ I was like this size in 7th grade [holds hand up to suggest someone really tall]. I’d go to basketball games and football games and they were like “No! That kid’s 20 years old!” And then some of the parents would feel bad for me, “Ah, he must be stupid. He must have been held back a few grades.” I was like “Shut up! I’m just big.” Yeah, there’s a couple times when my brotherâ€¦and then I got big enough where he was like “Alright. I’m not going to touch Seann anymore ‘cause he’s gonna beat me up.” Nah, I was good. We were lucky. I had a good family.
MoviesOnline: What music are you into right now?
SEANN: What music? Well I’m always listening to the Rolling Stones. I like Ryan Adams a lot. Ryan Adams I listen to probably the most, but I listen to so much. I would say I listen to Ryan Adams pretty much every day or every other day. Radio Head’s album, In Rainbow, is fantastic too.
MoviesOnline: Do you know what you’re doing next?
SEANN: I don’t. There’s a couple things that I really like but I haven’t made a decision on it. As much as I would love to do dramas, I just don’t think it’s right for my career. I don’t think people want to see me do that. I would be happy to do another R-rated crazy comedy and try to get some success even if it seems that the characters are similar because it’s a business. It doesn’t really matter. If the movie makes money, and even if you’re not good in it and the movie doesn’t work, you’ll get some more opportunities and all of a sudden you end up doing Green Hornet. Even though I think Seth’s movies are awesome. I actually love his movies and the fact that he writes them is incredible, but you know just having some success, you have a chance to branch off. I’ll need that because the last couple years I’ve tried some smaller films that haven’t worked and you lose a little bit of momentum. So as much as I’d like to attack a small indie drama, nobody will see it or it’ll take 2 years and it’ll go right to DVD and you’ve lost 2 years. I think I’d rather just do comedy.
MoviesOnline: But you’ve done a lot of physical action stuff too so couldn’t you do a funny action guy?
SEANN: I’d like to but there’s not that many out there. Thank you. I loved The Rundown. I really had a lot of fun and because I’m a physical guy I’d like to do that, but there’s just not a lot of good scripts out there and so whatever good ones are going to the big boys. They’re going to Seth and all those guys and they should. Those guys they deserve and own the right to have that first. They’re just making fewer movies now. The business has changed so much. I remember 6, 7 years ago they were green lighting everything. It’s a good fight though. I like it.
MoviesOnline: Don’t give up on the drama because I thought you were very good in The Promotion and there were a lot of scenes that were dramatic and I thought he’s like Jim Carrey. He can act as well as be funny.
SEANN: Fantastic. I appreciate that. I liked that movie a lot but nobody saw it. It came out for about 2 weeks. That’s very encouraging. Thank you.
“Role Models” opens in theaters on November 7th