Alyson Hannigan Initially Refused American Pie 2

Alyson Hannigan Initially Refused American Pie 2

Alyson Hannigan Initially Refused American Pie 2

Alyson Hannigan, known for her iconic role as Michelle Flaherty in the American Pie series, almost didn’t return for the sequel. As the 25th anniversary of the 1999 teen comedy approaches, Hannigan shared some behind-the-scenes stories about her involvement in the franchise and her initial reluctance to sign on for American Pie 2.

Reflecting on her experience, Hannigan revealed that the original American Pie was a low-budget film with a tiered pay structure. “There was an A-tier and a B-tier. I think I was on the bottom C-tier with Seann [William Scott],” she told Vulture. The tiers determined the actors’ pay, and those on the C-tier, like Hannigan, received scale plus 10 percent to their agents, with no room for negotiation.

Hannigan explained that her character, Michelle, was not considered crucial to the plot initially, which influenced her pay grade. “I was like, ‘Okay, fine.’ It was seven days and it was more of a passion project,” she said. However, the contract included a sequel clause, which Hannigan found unreasonable given her modest pay. “I said, ‘Look, I’m getting paid scale plus 10. I’m not going to sign for a sequel. That doesn’t make sense.'”

Despite her concerns, the producers eventually removed the sequel clause from her contract, a decision that worked in her favor when she did return for American Pie 2. “There were a couple of smart things I did back then,” Hannigan noted.

Seann William Scott, who played the infamous Steve Stifler, also faced financial challenges with the first film. He revealed that he only made $8,000 for his role, despite the movie grossing $235 million at the box office.

American Pie, which starred Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, and Eddie Kaye Thomas, followed a group of high school friends on a quest to lose their virginities before graduation. Hannigan’s character, Michelle, became a fan favorite, leading to her reprisal in American Pie 2 (2001), American Wedding (2003), and American Reunion (2012).

At the time, Hannigan was also starring as Willow Rosenberg on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She found Michelle’s character appealing because it was a departure from her role on Buffy. “I was already playing, like, the perfect person on Buffy, and Michelle was the opposite,” she said.

Balancing both roles was challenging, as the movie’s producers had to coordinate with Buffy’s schedule. “The second one I worked 11 days because I was still on Buffy,” Hannigan recalled. “For the third one, I worked weekends and that was brutal because there was a day when I worked all night on American Pie and drove straight to the Buffy set. It was like a 36-hour day or something. Crazy.”

Despite the initial hesitation and the grueling schedule, Hannigan’s decision to return to the American Pie series proved to be a wise one. Her portrayal of Michelle Flaherty remains one of the most memorable aspects of the franchise, and her story serves as a reminder of the complexities actors face behind the scenes.

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