Chris Klein feels like he dodged a bullet playing Oz in 'Pie' franchise | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Chris Klein feels like he dodged a bullet playing Oz in 'Pie' franchise

TORONTO - Jim cosied up to pie, Michelle dropped her band-camp flute bomb, Finch romanced Stifler's mom, and Stifler had a whole host of sight gags.

But in the history of the "American Pie" comedy film franchise, fellow character Oz hasn't done anything terribly embarrassing, much to actor Chris Klein's relief.

"I kind of feel like in this franchise I dodge a bit of a bullet playing Oz, because he doesn't necessarily get himself into the real zany humour of the whole thing," Klein said in a recent telephone interview.

Still, Klein did have to learn a "ridiculous hip-hop dance routine" for "American Reunion," which comes out on DVD, Blu-ray, and on demand on July 10. The scene involves Oz, the former high-school jock and choir member, going on a televised dance competition.

Klein said when directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg pitched the idea to him over lunch, he laughed so hard people from other tables were staring at him.

"I really went for that in a very, very big way."

But not so big that he's brought those new moves to the dance clubs, he noted.

"Listen, I keep my dancing strictly for the comedy set lest I set myself up for massive amounts of mockery, because one thing I learned about hip-hop dancing is that a six-foot-tall, 205-pound man has no business doing hip hop, especially at 32," said Klein.

"Maybe at 22 I might've been able to pull it off, but hip hop is a young man's game and I will definitely sit on the sidelines when it's for real."

In "American Reunion," all the characters from the hit original 1999 film come together for one wild weekend at their Michigan high school.

Among them is Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), who are now married with a child; Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), who's now a married architect; Oz, now an NFL sportscaster with a supermodel girlfriend (Katrina Bowden); and Stifler (Seann William Scott), who is up to his old tricks.

Klein said there were many antics onset, most of them led by "ringleader" Biggs. "You might not necessarily expect it, but he is an incredibly raunchy, very funny, funny man."

"American Reunion" is one of three sequels in the franchise after "American Pie 2" and "American Wedding." The franchise also has four spin-off films.

Klein said he and his castmates from the original '99 film have remained "incredibly close" over the years and have a "very cohesive, incredibly unique relationship and bond based on these movies."

He wasn't in "American Wedding," so this latest film marked the first time he got to work with the "Pie" crew in over a decade.

"These are men who I cannot see for however long and when we come back together, whether it be for a dinner that we had planned or whether it be for another movie in the 'American Pie' franchise, we pick up right where we left off, like no time has passed at all," said Klein, noting that's one of the reasons the franchise has endured.

"The fans of these movies, they feel that, they get that, and these movies wouldn't be near as fun to watch if we didn't have that, and it's an experience that I'll be forever grateful for."

But is it an experience Klein would want to have again?

Such decisions are "far and away above" his pay grade, said the Illinois native, whose other credits include the films "Election" and "Rollerball," and the recent TV series "Wilfred."

"No matter how many of these I'm involved in and no matter how it plays out, I still need to wait for an invitation to be a part of these movies, so if Universal decides that it makes sense to continue with the franchise, and they continue to get incredibly talented writer-directors to develop these scripts and then they invite me to be a part of it, I will happily jump aboard," said Klein.

"Because to be a part of something that has transcended three generations of fans is such an incredible thing and I would definitely be stoked to do it again."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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