American Pie hit theaters in 1999, and almost instantly became the ultimate American youth film, with a cult following and three sequels. Providing hilariously embarrassing and quotable scenes one after the other, American Pie has shaped the raw, hormone infused mind of adolescents around America: finally someone understood, maybe, that the key to teenagers hearts is in the erratic and awkward first touches at love and physicality, and the admission of the undeniable truth — dudes will, forever, be dudes.
American Pie follows four libidinous high schoolers — Jim, Finch, Oz, and Kevin — on their quest to prove their manhood to one another, after making a pact to find a girl each before graduation. Paul and Chris Weltz, writers and directors, were the first to the be shocked when the film, starring a bunch of 20-something almost famous actors, surpassed all expectations, grossing $325 million at the box office and becoming a definitive experience for almost all American teenagers. Not only that, the film inspired a whole genre of teen comedies, but not one, most would claim, could content with the original.
Described as riotous and raunchy, maybe it was that first time touch for first time writers and directors making a film about first times that landed the film the social reverence it has. American Pie certainly did include racy scenes that, well, included most if not all bodily fluids. So, yes, now we all know what people actually do at band camp. And now we also all know the different and creative uses of baked goods — especially freshly made, of course — but American Pie wasn’t all bawdy. Somehow it managed to feature some real naiveté and sweetness, and in an unexpected way, managed to uniquely combine vulgarity with a lot of real heart to create a real legacy film. And make absolutely sure no one would ever look at a simple apple pie the same way ever, ever again. So we mostly know what happened to Jason Biggs, nerdy and down on his luck protagonist Jim, whose career was jumpstarted by the film. But what happened to the rest of the East Great Falls High students — namely, the girls the non-hitters pursued desperately? Just like in any high school, some rose to fame with the film’s instant success, some soared and then fell off, and some steadily climbed up — and stayed there. Here are the women who helped make American Pie THE teen film now — 18 years later.
Alyson Hannigan – “Michelle”
One time, at band camp, Michelle was the underdog we all loved; a secretly wild camp nerd, she was the most unexpected match (and last resort) for Jim after the guys’ prom pact. With all her undying devotion to Tall Oaks Band Camp, where she notably, uh, played the flute, Michelle grows to be extremely self-secure and confident, and after a typical romantic comedy cat-and-mouse chase, dates and eventually marries and settles down with Jim.
Alyson Hannigan: Now
Alyson Hannigan was already quite famous due to her role as Willow Rosenberg on cult TV show Buffy. Hannigan went on to star in another definitive hit sitcom, How I Met Your Mother, where she played Lily. Hannigan is married to Alexis Denisof, whom she met on the cast of Buffy, and has two daughters, Satyana Marie and Keeva Jane, and with a net worth of about $18 million, she seems at ease enough taking on the role of real-life mom.
Mena Suvari – “Heather”
Mena Suvari, the epitome of temptation in American Beauty, played an innocent school girl in American Pie, whom Oz courted only to fulfill the guys’ pact — but ended up falling deeply in love with. Heather travels to France in the sequels, providing the film series with another serious interruption moment, and then wins Oz’s heart again. In the coming sequels, she eventually settles down with him, after a usual romantic comedy pursuit.
Mena Suvari: Now
Mena Suvari is a successful actress who starred in many Hollywood feature films. She also appeared on the World Poker Tour and is an avid poker player. Suvari is most known for her role in American Beauty, but appeared in shows like American Horror Story (we’re sensing a theme) and Chicago Fire. Suvari has been married and divorced twice. She currently models for cosmetics company Lancome. Mena Suvari is involved in several charities, namely End Violence Against Women which targets young adults and gives them tools to deal with abuse.
JoAnna Garcia – “Christy”
Really only appearing in one scene, but a pivotal one, in the first sequel film, JoAnna Garcia plays an East Great Falls student who is present at one of Stifler’s party. Intoxicated, she meets Stifler in the back garden after he makes advances at him, and as the situation becomes raunchy, a classic American Pie bodily fluid interruption occurs, paving the way for even more classic American Pie racy slapstick humor.
JoAnna Garcia: Now
Pretty much unknown when she appeared on American Pie 2 (though an actress since long before), JoAnna Garcia now actually has a fairly steady Hollywood presence. She’s a frequent guest on TV show Once Upon a Time as mermaid Ariel, and played the lead in a show called The Astronauts Wives Club. Garcia dated to a childhood friend of Justin Timberlake’s, but is now married to baseball player Nick Swisher. She is involved in an organization that helps teach English as a second language around the world.
Molly Cheek – “Mrs. Levenstein”
Unforgettably the unfortunate witness of the key scene in American Pie (and the movie’s namesake), actress Molly Cheek played Mrs. Levenstein, Jim’s mom. While Jim’s father, Noah, embarrasses him with “advice” and speeches, Mrs. Levenstein remains very caring and tolerant of her son’s various hormonal teenage shenanigans, even when they include her famous Apple Pie being destroyed. She is mainly seen comforting Jim and advising his father to be “cool”, though she has a small role in one of the sequels and is then never seen again.
Molly Cheek – Now
Molly Cheek has been working in Hollywood since the 70s. She has starred in numerous films and TV shows, most notably The Gary Shandling Show and Harry and the Hendersons. She continues to be a regular presence with leading roles in popular shows such as Cold Case, Murder, She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, St. Elsewhere, and Family Ties. Following American Pie she also appeared in the films A Lot Like Love and Drag Me to Hell. Hailing from Connecticut, she now resides in Los Angeles.
Dania Ramirez – “Selena”
Only appearing in the Reunion film of American Pie, Dania Ramirez plays a former friend of Michelle and her classmate and, most importantly, a former member of Tall Oaks Band Camp. Considering the intense importance of the camp to the film’s arc and to Jim and Michelle’s relationship, even one scene discussing the “good old band camp days” with Michelle while the group is on vacation is enough to enter her into the American Pie Hall of Fame.
Dania Ramirez: Now
Dominican-American Dania Ramirez is known mostly for her roles as Herrera in Heroes, Alex in Entourage, and Bianca, whom she portrayed during the last season of The Sopranos. She notably also portrayed Callisto in one of the X-Men film franchise, The Last Stand. Ramirez was born in Santo Domingo and caught her break starring in music videos for Jay Z, De La Soul, Santana, and others. She has two sons and a daughter.
Katrina Bowden – “Mia”
Katrina Bowden, who also appears first in the Reunion of American Pie, plays Oz’s self-absorbed supermodel girlfriend after his break up with Heather. Though she mainly serves as an instrument for Heather and Oz’s eventual reunion and renewed relationship, Bowden jumpstarted her career following the film. Her character, Mia, is also responsible for a common rumor among fans that John had a thing for Oz when she asks, “who wants to see my baby shake his booty?” and John replies, “I know I do!”
Katrina Bowden: Now
Katrina Bowden is most notably known for portraying Cerie in Tina Fey’s hit sitcom 30 Rock. Following the film, she cemented her television presence with her key role in the show, a stunningly beautiful but completely incompetent secretary to the writing team of 30 Rock. She also guest starred in Law & Order, New Girl, and One Life to Live, and is married to musician Ben Jorgensen from the band Armor for Sleep.
Ali Cobrin – “Kara”
The very definition of the Girl Next Door, Ali Cobrin plays Kara in the Reunion film: Jim stars at her as she literally walks out of the neighboring house, and she reminds him that he used to babysit her. Her main role in the film is that of the cause of the fight between the group and Kara’s boyfriend, AJ, who mistreats her; she makes a move on Jim and he refuses, despite perhaps a slight temptation when she reminds him she had just turned 18. He later on gives her some fatherly advice on not moving too fast.
Ali Cobrin: Now
Ali Cobrin grew up in the world of dance and is a trained ballerina, even competing in the Junior Olympics. She later on attended Chicago Academy of the Arts where she decided to shift her major to theater, particularly musical theater. She has appeared in a few independent films, the most famous of which is Connected, but has sparsely appeared in Hollywood since. She is very active on social media and is a vocal advocate for causes such as human rights and environmental protection.
Eden Riegel – “Sarah the Sophomore Chick”
Only credited as “Sarah, the Sophomore Chick” in the original American Pie film, Eden Riegel, similarly to Katrina Bowden, had only a one-scene appearance in the feature. But her character, like so many other one-scene stars, is important, however, as she contributed so much to one of the many mythical scenes in the films (and undoubtedly one of the most vulgar ones). In this way, American Pie really is a full cast film.
Eden Riegel: Now
Eden Riegel is most known for portraying Bianca in the immortal soap opera All My Children. Her role in the show has brought on enormous critical acclaim and she presented a turning point in television when her character presented a new and unique plot line to the show. Though most known for her this role, which she held on and off between 2000 and 2013, she also does voiceover work and guest stars on various television shows.
Rebecca de Mornay – “Mrs. Finch”
Hollywood veteran Rebecca de Mornay plays Rachel Finch in the film, Finch’s mother, whose impactful scene in the movie series was that of another attractive older woman, almost a retort to the immortal character of Stifler’s mom. In a somewhat vindictive, somewhat sweet turn of event, she becomes a love interest for Stifler, who is still rageful over Finch’s advances with his mother, one of if not the most memorable characters in the film series and a quintessential example of the film’s raunchiness.
Rebecca de Mornay: Now
Rebecca de Mornay has been acting in Hollywood since the 80s, when her big breakthrough came when she played Lana in the film Risky Business. Since, she has been active in the industry, especially in the 80s and 90s, with parts in notable films such as Runaway Train and The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. American Pie seemed to have purposefully cast known and consistent older Hollywood actresses to play the role of the boys’ mothers.
Deborah Rush – “Mary Flaherty”
Deborah Rush, then, is no different — also a long standing Hollywood legend who portrays one of the characters’ mother. In American Pie, she portrays Michelle’s mother, Mary. She appears in American Wedding mainly as an instrument to Stifler’s childish slapstick jokes; since Deborah Rush is real Hollywood Elite, it well may be that her being cast in the film was simply a nod to her well-known status and a continuation of the Hollywood-veteran-as-a-parent tradition.
Deborah Rush – Now
Deborah Rush is a Hollywood and Broadway legend, who was nominated for a Tony award for the musical Noises Off and appeared on The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo. Not only well-known for her acting and singing skills, she is celebrity elite: her husband is the son of late famed newscaster Walter Cronkite.
January Jones – “Cadence”
Not included in the original movie but an unforgettable addition to the sequel, American Wedding, which revolved around Jim and Michelle’s wedding, January Jones portrayed Cadence Flaherty, Michelle’s sister. Stifler attempts to add her to his conquests list, and she does indeed fall for him, though they break up right after their wedding. Though Jones not being included in the original film is considered a fluke on the writers’ part — why did Cadence not also attend the high school — she gave an unforgettable performance.
January Jones: Now
January Jones is an immensely successful actress, who rose to fame following the film, most memorably for portraying Betty in Mad Men. Jones is repeatedly including in the “most beautiful people” lists — even, or especially, at 39 years old. January Jones was involved in some Hollywood drama when she gave birth to a child in 2011 without revealing the father’s identity. She currently stars in another critically acclaimed TV show, The Last Man on Earth.
Shannon Elizabeth – “Nadia”
Shannon Elizabeth portrays Nadia, a gorgeous and unattainable exchange student from the Czech Republic with, seemingly, a special fetish for geeks. In another one of American Pie’s numerous quotable scenes, she attempts to seduce Jim after he catches her flipping through an adult magazine and stripping for him. Despite her undeniable looks, out of anxiety, Jim is unable to be with her and she becomes another non-hit, much to Jim’s dismay.
Shannon Elizabeth – Now
Not unlike her character in American Pie, Elizabeth’s appeal in Hollywood currently seems to revolve around her looks, as she stars in many modeling campaigns. She actually managed to appear in numerous films and TV shows, in small roles albeit: Love, Actually, The Outsider, Just Shoot Me!, A Green Story, and other. Her most notable and touching work is a charity she founded with her former husband, dedicated to find homes to abandoned pets, called Animal Avengers. Elizabeth has not been active in Hollywood in the past few years.
Jennifer Coolidge – “Stifler’s Mom”
The list ends with the most iconic, most quintessential, and most American Pie-ish character of all American Pie characters: Stifler’s mom. Not a single character represents the very essence of the show as Stifler’s mom does. Stifler’s mom has a name, actually, Jeanine, and is the epitome of all fantasies for the boys as she portrays an extremely attractive older woman. The mix of vulgar and sweet finds home in this immortal character, who also provides a delightful plot twist when she becomes a repeated love interest of Finch.
Jennifer Coolidge: Now
The proud owner of the unforgettable title, “Stifler’s mom”, which is now a synonym for an extremely attractive older woman, usually a mother, is actress Jennifer Coolidge. Coolidge is also well known from her part in Legally Blonde, and has guest starred in TV shows such as Friends, Inside Amy Schumer, The Closer, and others; but, as she herself attests, “I will always be, even on my deathbed, Stifler’s mom. And yeah, I’m okay with that.”
Tara Reid – “Vicky”
Tara Reid played Vicky, Kevin’s girlfriend, who later on accused him of only being with her for sex. Kevin spends a large portion of the film trying to mend their relationship. More notably, she contributed to one of the original film’s many memorable scenes, where she is late for dinner but reassures her father urgently that she is, indeed, coming. Vicky later on breaks up with Kevin, and they eventually part ways amicably; Tara Reid reserved the Hot Girl status from the film for years to come.
Tara Reid: Now
Before her appearance on American Pie, emphasis on appearance, Tara Reid was on The Big Lebowski, so she was semi-known, or at the very least recognizable, when she appeared in American Pie. Reid, now 42, was a child actress. Her career didn’t exactly soar following the American Pie films, and she was a lead in what was crowned the Worst Movie of All Times, Sharknado. Reid has other business ventures: shares in restaurants, and a clothing line with Ed Hardy. She continues to appear scantily clad most of the time.
Natasha Lyonne – “Jessica”
Natasha Lyonne appears in American Pie as Jessica, Vicky’s friend. As she is the only one experienced in the matter, Finch attempts to bribe her into spreading rumors regarding his mature escapades through the school in hopes it would help him find a date before prom. She also serves as a helping force is mending Kevin and Vicky’s relationship. In the sequel films, she has a much smaller role, but generally serves as the (perhaps only) voice of reason within the gang’s frantic attempts at fulfilling their pact.
Natasha Lyonne: Now
Natasha Lyonne is perhaps one of the most successful cast members of American Pie. Also a star of other teen films, most notably But I’m a Cheerleader, Lyonne has had a prolific film and television career in both comedy and drama — and a particularly interesting personal story: after damage to her heart, she had to undergo open heart surgery. She currently stars on the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black as Nicky, a role for which she has earned numerous awards.