American Pie was wildly popular upon its release thanks to quotable lines, the infamous introduction to the pie, Stifler’s mom and yes, even some nudity. Shannon Elizabeth went topless in the R-rated flick and as part of the recent nudity-filled documentary Skin: A History Of Nudity In The Movies, she reminisced about the role and her feelings on going nude onscreen more than 20 years later.
In fact, Shannon Elizabeth has no regrets about showing her assets on the big screen. Speaking in the documentary, she actually credits the nudity and the character of Nadia as have kickstarted her career in Hollywood. She said:
If I hadn’t done American Pie and I hadn’t done the role of Nadia and the nudity that came along with it, I might not have a career today.
Interestingly, Shannon Elizabeth’s co-star Jason Biggs spoke out about American Pie and his scenes with the actress just a few months ago, mentioning that they really haven’t held up that well over time. If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen American Pie, basically the whole gist is that Biggs’ character is trying to hook up with Elizabeth’s character, and he’s also secretly recording the interaction with his computer. Per Biggs, that wouldn’t really fly today. He noted:
It was a very specific time. It was right as the internet was starting. You know, we had that whole scene with the internet camera — which, by the way, would never get made now... It wouldn't get made now and it couldn't get made now. It would be unacceptable what that represents, but at the time I remember reading the script and reading that part and being shocked that there was cameras on computers! That's what I took away from it originally.
Whether or not the scene holds up as well as it did in 1999, it did lead to Shannon Elizabeth getting a three-movie deal and thus jumpstarting her career in Hollywood. She would later appear in subsequent American Pie sequels and starred in Scary Movie, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Thirteen Ghosts – not to mention a notable appearance in the well-liked Love Actually.
Five weeks ago, when American Pie turned 21, Shannon Elizabeth also expounded on how grateful she was for the role of Nadia in the franchise and also shared that scene mentioned above. Take a look.
Not every actress interviewed for Skins had the same big screen experience with nudity as other movies listed including Star 80 are also brought up in the doc. (That’s also likely one of the reasons why intimacy coordinators and more are added to sets these days.) But for Shannon Elizabeth, alls well that ended in American Pie 2. Catch Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies now, as it is currently available on Video On Demand.