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- Mark Schwed Interview -
( Personal Life )


You've done a lot of sitcoms for kids.
Yeah. I love sitcom work; the live audience is such an adrenaline rush. My manager worries, but nobody looks at this stuff and says, "Oh, well, we'll never give you another shot." I don't think there's anything you can do, except porno, that's going to hurt you down the line now. I mean, every day they're giving new shows to people who lost their old shows because they sucked.

Let's make your manager happy. Tell us about American Pie.
It's a cross between Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Animal House and Porky's—I think mainly because they were all teenage sex comedies. I play the Czech ballet dancer exchange student. I approach Jason Biggs's character to help tutor me.

Nice ...
..and I tell him I'm coming over to his house, but I have to change because I'm coming from ballet class. So all his friends say, "Hey, dude, she's changing clothes at your house—set up a Web cam!"

So what happens?
I look at myself in the mirror, start going through some of his things—stuff like that. I don't want to give away the ending.

Are you naked?

Was that hard for you to do?
Yeah, but I was prepared. I tried to get my body really ready for it. I spent a lot of time at the gym. Cardiovascular, weights—everything.

Tell us about Dish Dogs. The first movie's the hardest to get, obviously. How'd you swing it?
I went to the audition, and they said, "You'll be reading with Sean Astin." And I said, "Really?" It was kind of intimidating, because I'd grown up watching him. But I went in and he really liked me, so we worked on our dialogue ourselves before we brought it in to the producers. And I got the job.

Ever have to kick someone's ass?
No, but I threatened to a lot. That stuff happens daily in high school. You gotta talk it, but you never have to do it.

You're obviously very health conscious. What don't you eat?
Oils, unless it's olive oil. Butter, cream, sugar. And I try not to eat red meat.

But you're a Texas girl! It's a sin not to eat beef.
I know. I ate it all the time when I was growing up, but now it's like once a year.

Can you make a pie?
With a recipe in front of me. I'm not the greatest cook in the world—I'll just buy stuff I can heat up easily and stick in the toaster oven so I don't have to get all the pots and pans dirty.

Besides pretending to be interviewing you for a men's magazine, how should a guy go about hitting on you?
I hate it when guys hit on me every time I go to the gym. It's not a pick-up joint—it's a gym.

So what should we do?
I like guys who are sweet—to parents, older people, kids, animals, anything like that. I think that's much sexier than a guy coming on to me. I'm much more attracted to the shy guy in the corner than the guy sitting next to me trying to be cool.

What kind of guy are you looking for?
I like sweet, scruffy boys. No macho guys, no bodybuilders, no pretty boys, although I've dated a couple of those. Just the average, cool hangout guy.

Physical type?
He's got dark hair, light eyes, dark skin. I've never dated a blond—no reason, I just haven't. He doesn't have to be tall, but a little taller than me. I'm 5' 9". Long hair, and maybe a goatee, tattoos and body piercings.

What about you—would you ever do any body modification?
I always wanted a tattoo, but because of modeling and acting, I could never put it somewhere where it wouldn't show. I used to take my old boyfriend's hoop earring out and press it into my belly button and pretend I had one.

How do you dump a guy?
Just start fighting with him all the time. That way you have something to look back on and say, "I remember why I hated you."

I don't know if you're qualified to answer this since you don't drink anymore, but what's more effective on men: liquor or lingerie?
Probably the lingerie.

And on you? Oysters or smelly candles?
The candles. I'm really into scents and fragrances. I love vanilla and rose. I have lots of dogs, so anything that covers up the dog odor is great.

Speaking of dogs, if men weren't dogs, what would they be?
Slaves! (Laughs) I have a great guy. He does everything for me. I wouldn't say he's my slave, but he might as well be my assistant. He'll do everything I need him to do. He's the perfect boyfriend.

He's a slave.
I wouldn't call him a slave. I don't whip him when he does something wrong. Just when he does something good. (Laughs)

When you become famous, what deep, dark secrets will your angry ex-boyfriend tell the tabloids?
Probably that I'm overly obsessed with my weight—specifically, with my stomach. I hate my stomach. I'll complain about it until the day I die.

Your current boyfriend must think you're insane.
Yeah, he does. He likes my stomach. He's fine with it.

What's your most irritating habit?
That I'm always looking at my stomach.

Please, please show it to me.
You won't think anything's wrong with it. But I have to point out exactly what bothers me and why, and then you'll be like, "OK, I see it, but why?" I don't have an hourglass body; I have a really boxy figure.

So how do you keep getting cast in movies as a babe goddess? Babes don't have bum stomachs.
Because everyone is crazy but me.

- Carmen Electra and Shannon Elizabeth interview -
( Scary Movie )


Carmen, how was the big opening scene of the film for you?
Carmen: I have the opening scene of the movie, which is Drew Barrymore’s scene from ‘Scream’. It was fun because horror movies in themselves are so ridiculous, so to make fun of that and to play that part was fun. People always think I’m really stuck up or I don’t have a good sense of humour about myself, so that’s why I really wanted to do it. When I’m with my friends, hanging out and having fun, I have a good sense humour. I love to make people laugh. I loved doing it.

Where did you film it?
Carmen: In Canada. There’s a scene where I’m running away from the killer and he rips off my blouse. I’m in my bra and panties. The water sprinklers come on and I get soaking wet and I was freezing. You wouldn’t know that by watching it but it was in Canada and it was really, really cold. Keenen Wayans [director] was really sweet: he had huge heaters and lots of coats, so we got it done in a few takes and I didn’t have to suffer too much.

Shannon, what’s it like being beheaded?
Shannon: That was actually my favourite scene! It was a scene Keenen used as an audition scene for all the girls’ roles, for every girl that came in, because it’s such a physical scene.

Carmen: I had to do it to!

Shannon: It was so much fun. That was the main scene that I wanted to do. We spent the whole day working on it piece by piece. By the end I had on a blue suit to pull off the gag, and a prosthetic head that I now have at home in a glass case to greet people at the front door. It was just a fun scene to do because Keenen and I worked on it together and it was fun.

What was the atmosphere like on the set?
Carmen: Everyone keeps asking me about practical jokes but I didn’t get any practical jokes because I didn’t get to work with the rest of the cast. It was basically just me and Keenen. So it was just really professional, just a job, then I’d rush back to my hotel and go to sleep. So I didn’t get to have any fun – I mean I had fun, don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun. It was fun doing it and laughing but Shawn and Marlon Wayans weren’t there. They are the ones that pulled all the jokes and were so crazy on the set.

Shannon, do you think it was because of the amazing success of ‘American Pie’ that you were cast in this movie?

Shannon: I don’t think that hurt. I’m sure that helped me somewhat. I know Keenen originally wanted a blonde for my character and a brunette for the character of Cindy. Anna Faris, who plays Cindy, is blonde and he dyed her hair black. I had red hair at the time and I can’t really go blonde, so at the end of his casting he just compromised and went with who he felt were the best actresses. He compromised what he really wanted for each character and did what he felt was right for the film. I’m sure being in ‘American Pie’, and it being a comedy, was a big help for me getting the role.

Carmen, obviously the film is a spoof of other movies, but it gets more personal with the Prince thing. Were you happy to do that?
Carmen: Actually, when I read the script, it said that it would just be a boyfriend, maybe a guy dressed like a football player or something. So I shot my half of the scene not knowing, or assuming they were going to use this football player-looking guy. I guess Keenen went out and found a Prince look-alike and used him for the part. So I thought it was really funny and I hope that Prince has a good sense of humour about it and knows that I had nothing to do with it. It was all Keenan! Prince is wonderful and gave me my first opportunity to do music. I thought it was funny, so hopefully he’ll laugh.

Shannon, what would it take for you to do ‘American Pie 2’?
Shannon: Just a good script. I know they are working on the script now. The writer talked to me and asked me what he could write for me that I would want to do. I know he’s trying to put something together so that we can all get back together and do it.

Would you like to keep your clothes on this time?
Shannon: It’s actually not a choice. They know that. They have no choice. If they want me in it, I do!

‘Scary Movie 2’ is scheduled in the States for May. Both your characters are dead but is there a possibility you will return?
Carmen: I don’t know. I guess when Keenen and Marlon [Wayans, co-writer] turn up, I’ll have a little talk with them. I die so I don’t know what they would do. Maybe I didn’t die. Maybe…

Shannon: …it was all a dream.

Carmen: …it was a dream or maybe I have a twin. I’ve been thinking of all these things, so who knows?

What are your favourite spoof films?
Shannon: I don’t like spoofs! When I read the script for this it was the first time ever that I actually thought anything spoof related was funny. I really have never watched all the others straight through. I tried to watch them and hated them. So now I know what goes into making them, I can probably go back and watch them, but I just didn’t like them growing up.

Carmen: And I love them. There are some really bad ones that have been out lately. It’s been a long time since there’s been a really good spoof. What’s my favourite one that Keenen did a long time ago?

‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’?
Carmen: No not that one, before that one. With the pimps.

The one that’s based on `The Boys in the Hood’?
Carmen: No, not that one. Wait…you know what I’m talking about. Nobody knows? With all the pimps…

‘Don’t Be A Threat To South Central’?
Carmen: No, before that. I can’t remember.

Anyway, it’s a spoof and it’s about pimps and that’s the one you like.

‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’?
Carmen: Yes! That’s the one.

Matthew Lillard, who was in ‘Scream’, went on to do ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ with Alicia Silverstone. Would you come over to England and do Shakespeare after this?
Shannon: Well, I’m not very good at Shakespeare. I’d leave that to my fiancé: he’s brilliant at it. He’s the best. I never really studied it so I don’t think I would do it justice. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t want to do it. I’d just have to study a lot in order to be able to do it.

Carmen: Oh, same thing! I know people who are so into Shakespeare. I just can’t get into Shakespeare at all. I remember memorizing a little in school. No. No interest at all.

You’re both starting out on your film careers. What sort of work do you aspire to?
Carmen: With me, I’m a dancer. I started dancing when I was five years old. That’s my passion. I was in a ballet company when I was 12. My dream was to dance on Broadway. Then I got a job at MTV. I didn’t want to be an actress. I never thought about it. Then I just started to get offers so it was really weird. I felt like I couldn’t turn them down, so I just decided to go for it and see what happened. Now I’m starting to like it more and more and I take classes now. Honestly, I would like to continue doing films but I want to get back to music. It’s my passion.

Shannon: I just finished a film that’s a romantic comedy. It gave me a chance to do a little more dramatic stuff. I’m really leaning towards that direction, since I’ve already done the two big comedies and this third one was pretty much a comedy. It was a different type. For my next film, short of ‘American Pie 2’ or something, I’m really looking for a dramatic role or a thriller. I’m turning down all the comedies right now because I really want to stretch in other directions. I’m just kind of bored with the comedy because I’ve done it so many years in a row that I want to look for some other things. I’ll come back to the comedy when I’m bored with the other stuff. I want to keep doing new things and stretching and growing.

How do you both deal with celebrity?
Carmen: For me it’s different everywhere I go. People react different. For me it’s crazy because I had a really insane year. My Mom had cancer; I married Dennis Rodman. It was really bizarre and that’s when the press went ballistic. I married this controversial person and all of a sudden I’m in the tabloids and I’m dealing with this completely different life. It’s weird. Certain places I go, a lot of people will come up to me. For the most part everyone’s very sweet and cool. It’s exciting. I love it. You know that when you get into this business. You accept the bad with the good, the tabloids and the positive side of it.

Do you regret the Dennis Rodman thing at all?
Carmen: Not at all. I don’t regret it because that’s where I was, at that time of my life. I learned a lot from it. I realised that with losing my Mom I had so much pain that I wasn’t facing, so I was doing things to hurt myself. I thought I was this tough girl – and I couldn’t face the loss of her. During that time I met Dennis and it was fun and exciting. It was this distraction from actually facing things I needed to face in my life. I learned a lot. Stepping away from everything and him, I think I understand him more now. We’re friends and we get along great. It’s much better that way.

Shannon: Sometimes I get mobbed depending on where I am, and sometimes nobody has any idea. When I go with no make-up and a hat on and my hair’s back, people don’t really recognize me and I can get away with going places. But when I go out to a party or something it can get a little crazy. The main thing that’s been hard has been more for my fiancée worrying about keeping me safe – security issues. There have been incidents where people have jumped on the car and tried to write down our license plate and videotaped the car. There were times when he couldn’t sleep because he was worried about protecting me and worried just because you don’t always know what somebody could do to you, even though you think they’re harmless.

You just never know. That’s been the main thing that we’ve been learning how to deal with, and learning that maybe I shouldn’t drive my own car certain places. I’ve always driven my car to premieres when I’ve gone. Now maybe I shouldn’t or maybe it’s better to stay home and not go out. I’m not a big party person anyway. For the most part things have been pretty safe. I’ve been some places when it’s been a little difficult, but we always find ways out and everything’s fine. I love the fans when they’re true fans. They are so sweet. When they are guys that want to sell your autograph, that’s a whole other issue.

Carmen, have you any music plans?
Carmen: I’m actually negotiating a deal right now. I just finished doing a movie with Omar Epps. It’s called `Perfume’. It’s hip-hop meets fashion. So I was busy doing that. And then I did a little cameo in a movie called ‘Getting Over Allison’ with Kirsten Dunst and Sisqo. So I’ve been busy doing that, doing the acting thing, but I’m definitely going to take off time and get back to music and go into the studio.

Shannon, is singing one of your talents?
Shannon: I did sing growing up. I was in the city choir, which was something you had to audition for and work on. I love to sing but I don’t know that I’m good enough at it to do, you know, what some of these people do. But I’ve always loved the idea of singing and dancing and performing in musicals and things like that. If the time ever comes when I would be able to do that, I would really like to, but for me to pursue it right now…my heart is just in the acting itself.

Carmen, has it been difficult to persuade casting directors to see beyond the glamorous image and realise that you can act as well?
Carmen: It’s interesting because being a dancer, I’ve never been ashamed of my body and my sexuality. I posed for Playboy and that was a choice that I made and something I wanted to do. I went on to do ‘Baywatch’ and shows like that, knowing it would be harder, because it’s just what I felt – and I just followed whatever I felt what I wanted to do, against my agents, against what everyone said to do. I do think it’s harder. You really have to prove yourself, but then if you do it’s great. It can be a positive thing.

Which actresses have influenced you?
Carmen: Personally I love old movie stars. I love Ann-Margaret, Sophia Loren and just the women that could sing and dance and act. That’s what I love; being on stage and being in front of an audience. I respect that they could so much back then. You don’t really see it that much anymore.

Shannon: I love Michelle Pfeiffer. I’ve loved her since I was a kid. I love the career direction and the choices Cameron Diaz has made in her career. I’ve always loved Audrey Hepburn since I was a little girl. Even Julia Roberts. I like the way she just lights up the screen and shines. She has a warmth about her. Whenever I smile really big on camera I always think of her smile and just hope I can light up the screen the way she does. She makes me feel good when I look at her. So there’s something I think I try to take from each person I admire.

What was it like working with the Wayans?
Shannon: They were the nicest guys and I not once ever saw them get in a fight or argue. Keenen is very Zen-like; he is very calm all the time. There was only one time that I thought he was going to get really angry at Marlon. Marlon was just like, “Come here a sec”, because he was trying to write some stuff and he came out and Keenan just walked up to him, talked to him, gave him a kiss on the forehead and that was it. Every day they were like that. They would come to the set, give each other a hug and a kiss, give us a hug and a kiss. They were a very close-knit family.

Do you think beautiful young actresses still have to fight to be taken seriously in Hollywood?
Shannon: I think they definitely have to fight, especially if they are just known for their looks. I think any time that you do a role that’s either a smaller role, or that you play just a really pretty girl, like what I did in ‘American Pie’. I didn’t do anything that really proved to people that I can act. So now I’m trying to find roles that have a lot of meat to them, that I can prove to people I can act. I’m trying to find roles that people will let me do that aren’t the pretty girl roles. I want to play things that are completely opposite of that. I want to be a chameleon and do different things. I think a lot of girls in Hollywood have to prove to people they can act in order to get some of the better roles that they may want. Otherwise they might be stuck in just one type of role, one stereotype and one-genre acting.

Carmen: Definitely I agree with her. You really have to prove yourself. It’s hard because coming from stage I love make-up. I’m not going to lie. I love getting dressed up, I love it. That’s what’s so much fun to me. Then sometimes you do have to go in with no make-up on your face, with you hair pulled back. Once you do go in and you meet people you can show people you have another side to you. I definitely have a stereotype and so to get rid of it, it’s hard, it really is. But I knew getting into it, what I was getting myself into. I knew if I was posing nude for Playboy I knew that was going to happen and I knew that was going to happen with ‘Baywatch’ and other shows like that. So I just take everything one step at a time. Thanks to Keenen, it’s helping!

- Interview from 2001 -
( American Pie )


Years from now, when film historians look back at the most memorable movie moments of 1999, they'll talk about John Cusack being dumped onto the side of the New Jersey turnpike in Being John Malkovich, The Blair Witch Project's grainy and ambiguous final shot, and the Kevin Spacey/Mena Suvari rose-colored dream sequence in American Beauty. Thousands of sex-crazed male teens, however, will most likely recall Shannon Elizabeth's steamy, scene-stealing performance as Nadia, American Pie's naughty Czech exchange student. In a scene that opened the floodgates to a river of pubescent wet dreams, the luscious Elizabeth strips, lays semi-naked on the bed, and casually "reads" a few porn magazines (talk about an indelible cinematic image). When Jim (Jason Biggs), Pie's virginal hero, arrives to nervously "lend a hand," Elizabeth seduces him in a classic scene that's equal parts lust and laughs. So what will she do for an encore? Well, after making her privates public in Playboy and gracing the current issue of Maxim, the sexy-model-turned-scrumptious-starlet can be seen in the upcoming Keenan Ivory Wayans' comedy, Scary Movie, the first of her three-picture deal with Miramax. After that, who knows? Elizabeth, who once dreamed of becoming a pro tennis player, now finds herself knee-deep in film offers, the bonus for a job done right. "I want to play a good, strong female character," she says. "I want to get away from the high school thing and do other types of roles. And," she adds, "I'm not doing any more nudity."

In a recent interview, you talked about the lack of direction in American Pie's famous "seduction scene." Did you discuss the shot with Jason Biggs beforehand?

Jason wouldn't talk to me [laughs]. He was terrified. That was one of the first scenes we had done together, so we still didn't know each other very well. He actually talked to Joe [Reitman, Elizabeth's boyfriend, and an actor himself] more than he talked to me. They already knew each other, so I think he felt more comfortable around him.

Do you think Joe's presence made him uncomfortable?
Yeah, I think he was a little nervous that Joe was there, but so was everybody else [laughs]. Everyone was like, "Your boyfriend's here?!? Is he okay with this?!? Is he gonna be cool?" They all started catering to him because they were afraid he was gonna freak out. It was like, "Hey man, do you need some water? Can we get you anything? Here, take these headphones!" Finally, I was like, "Hell-ooo? I'm the one getting naked here! Nobody's helping me!?

How long did it take for Jason to finally relax?
Well, that scene took more than half a day to shoot. We did it in a warehouse and it was really hot and we were all dying from the heat, so I don't know if he ever did get completely comfortable. I thought it was kind of weird when I lay down on top of him and kissed him and he didn't kiss me back. I couldn't figure out if he was staying in character and just didn't want to, or if he was still really terrified.

You took your parents to the film's premiere. Did you have to sit them down beforehand and brace them for the big scene?
I had been preparing them for awhile, giving them little hints here and there. By the time they saw the film, I think they knew what to expect.

What was it like to sit next to them and watch it?
I wasn't sure how my dad would react. My friends and I kept glancing over at them, but they loved it. There was an agent sitting behind them and he told me he was embarrassed to watch the scenes because he knew they were in front of him. My parents have always been very open and they trust my decisions.

Does Joe get jealous when you kiss another actor?
Joe is so understanding. He knows that it's all part of the business and that there's nothing he can do about it. Besides, he knows I love him.

How do you handle it when the roles are reversed and he's the one kissing a co-star?
I haven't had to deal with anything like that yet, so I don't know. I do know he loves me and we come home to each other every night, and if there's anything either of us feels weird about, we discuss it. At the end of the day, you have to learn to deal with it. Besides, it's just acting.


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