20 Juni 2024

American Pie’s Seann William Scott Unveils His Surprisingly Unremarkable Pay For the First Film

3 min read

In an industry where astronomical movie budgets and multi-million dollar actor salaries are common, it might come as a shock to some when a film’s breakout star is handed a rather paltry sum. This was precisely the situation for Seann William Scott, the actor who rose to stardom portraying the memorable character Stifler in the 1999 teen comedy, American Pie.


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Recently on The Rich Eisen Show, Scott provided an insight into his initial experiences in the movie world, particularly emphasizing the meager pay he took home from a blockbuster that garnered a massive $235.5 million against a modest $11 million budget. This teen laugh-riot didn’t just secure its spot as the year’s 17th highest earner; it went on to overshadow recognized titles like Inspector Gadget and the award-winning Shakespeare in Love. Nonetheless, the bounty Scott pocketed from this success was unexpectedly limited.

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Confirming a longstanding rumor, Scott unveiled that he was paid just $8,000 for his contribution to American Pie. With a sense of irony and a touch of nostalgia, he mentioned that a considerable portion of this amount was spent on acquiring a used Thunderbird. And if you’re wondering what happened to the rest of the sum, Scott humorously reminisced about the days leading up to the film’s release, where he found employment at the LA Zoo, selling churros.

Scott shared:

[It] was a lot of money for me at the time. I remember afterwards I bought a used Thunderbird for like $5000 or maybe $6000, I’m like, “Oh yeah, baby.” I don’t know what happened to the other $2000, because I ended up having to work at the LA Zoo as a churro guy, so maybe it was even less than $8000.

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Beyond American Pie: Scott’s Evolving Roles and the Stark Realities of Hollywood Paychecks

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Seann William Scott in American Pie
Universal Pictures 

The release of American Pie marked a turning point in Scott’s career. His portrayal of Stifler not only established him as an audience favorite but also ensured his return in the movie’s subsequent sequels including American Pie 2, American Wedding, and American Reunion. While Scott chose not to associate with the direct-to-DVD spinoffs that fell under the American Pie Presents umbrella, these offerings retained the Stifler legacy, with at least one character in each film related to the iconic role.

As time passed, so did Scott’s career trajectory. Moving away from the world of Stifler, he showcased his versatility with roles in various other films. The early 2000s saw him dabbling in a mix of comedy and supernatural genres, with movies like Road Trip, Dude, Where’s My Car?, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Old School, and Final Destination. By 2012, when he revisited his iconic role in American Reunion, the industry’s acknowledgment of his talent was evident. Scott secured a $5 million payment for the film, a stark contrast to his initial $8,000.

This revelation about Scott’s paycheck is especially pertinent today, amidst the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. As actors rally for equitable compensation, tales of meager salaries and negligible residuals for blockbuster projects are emerging, shedding light on the grim realities many face in the glittering world of cinema. Although Scott didn’t explicitly connect his narrative to the strike, his story undoubtedly mirrors the experiences of numerous performers, underscoring the need for fair remuneration in the entertainment industry.