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This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter’s AFM Daily on Nov. 7.
There’s always one scene in an actor’s career that will forever define them. For Marilyn Monroe, it’s the unforgettable subway grate moment in The Seven Year Itch; for Paul Newman, it’s Cool Hand Luke’s eggs; and for Jason Biggs, it involved a pan of apple pie.
Though Biggs had entered show business as a child actor at the age of 5, it wasn’t until the New Jersey native turned 19 that he landed a major film role, that of the awkward and naive Jim Levenstein in 1999’s American Pie who has a very close encounter with the titular pie. When the R-rated film’s red band trailer first was released, the public got a taste of what would come to be an international box-office hit.
“It really got people talking. Before the movie even came out, people started recognizing me on the streets,” Biggs tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I was like, ‘Man, this could really be something.’”
In 2000, just a year after the success of American Pie (which grossed more than $235?million worldwide and spawned three sequels and four spinoff films), the actor worked with Clueless director Amy Heckerling on the teen comedy Loser and attended the American Film Market for Miramax’s Boys and Girls. Now a married father with one son and a regular on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, the actor, 36, credits his risque sense of humor as the driving force behind his early career.
“For the pie scene, people asked if I read the script and said, ‘Oh my god, do I have to do that?’?” Biggs recalls. “No — I said, ‘I hope that’s me. I hope I get that part.’”
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