Premiering in 1999, American Pie was a box office smash that spawned three sequels as well as several spin-off films grouped together under the umbrella, American Pie Presents. For a lot of its fans, the franchise’s success stemmed from its sort-of antagonist, Steve Stifler; the boozy, high school misogynist played by Seann William Scott. Since those early Blink 182 soundtracked days, Scott has continued to dabble in comedy, while looking further afield for new challenges.
Bloodline, the latest Blumhouse production from director Henry Jackson, marking his directorial debut, looks sure to put memories of Stifler firmly in the grave.
“I’m a huge fan of Blumhouse films and had been looking for the opportunity to play a darker character,” the 42-year-old actor tells us. “I had the chance to meet with Jason Blum and Couper Samuelson (CEO and President of Feature Films at Blumhouse respectively) to try and find a way to work together and not long after they sent over an early draft of Bloodline. Even though the script needed work, the role was very much in line with what I was aiming to do.”
Scott plays Evan, a high school social worker in charge of several high-risk students. He also happens to be a serial killer whose victims are the very family members who abuse his clients. Similar in vein to the TV show, Dexter, Evan has a wife, Lauren (Mariela Garriga) who knows nothing of his extracurricular activities. Conflict arises when Evan’s mother, Marie (Dale Dickey) appears on the scene to look after her newly born grandson.
“Dale Dicky is amazing!” Scott enthuses when we ask about working with the seasoned actor. “She’s awesome in everything she does and is just an incredible person! I loved getting the chance to work with her!”
Dickey’s role as Marie fleshes out the backstory of Bloodline’s murderous protagonist. While Evan balances parenthood with his bloodlust, Marie appears to have a hold over him that Lauren can’t shake. It’s a hold that adds a sense of tragedy to Scott’s role.
“I really haven’t had the chance to play a more dramatic role before Bloodline, which made the experience an absolute blast. The character was juuuuust a tad bit bleaker than previous roles,” Scott says. “Henry and I talked about the character quite a bit. I think our main goal was to really make Evan feel as grounded and sympathetic as possible.”
With characters like the aforementioned Stifler, and Doug the Thug from Goon, under his belt, it begs the question: what’s easier, getting into the mindset of a goofball or a murderer?
“I’m not sure what this says about me,” Scott admits. “But it was actually easiest for me to tap into this sort of character than Doug Glatt or Steve Stifler.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its subject matter, Bloodline is an incredibly violent movie at times, and those with a weak stomach will probably want to look elsewhere for their thrills. However, those who like their cinematography painted in claret, Bloodline will scratch that itch and more so. Was there ever a time when Scott and Jackson thought they might be going too far with the film?
“I’ve actually only seen the NC-17 cut of the film, and it is fantastic,” Scott says. “I don’t think the R Rated version is much different other than maybe a few less knife stabs and a little less blood here and there. Blumhouse is so supportive of their filmmakers and the process, and they really trusted Henry to make the movie he envisioned.”
Before our time is up with Scott, we have to ask if tapping into Evan’s psyche has encouraged the actor to further explore his dark side? Or is it a one and done deal with other genres demanding his attention?
“It was quite fun to play a darker character, and I’d love to continue playing more complex types of roles,” Scott muses. “An action film would be a ball as well! And I miss playing in comedies! It’s so much fun to try to make people laugh!”
Bloodline is available on DVD and Digital from May 20, 2020