Jason Biggs Plays Gay

by Fred Topel

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday January 30, 2008

Jason Biggs will do anything for a laugh. The American Pie franchise alone had him make love to a pastry, glue his hand to his crotch and get a BJ in front of his dad and a whole restaurant full of diners.

In Over Her Dead Body (out this week,) he plays a psychic chef Lake Bell's gay friend Dan. Why? Because every psychic chef needs a gay friend, right?

Biggs was careful about how he approached a role that could fall into stereotypes.

"Just don't go too big and that's always been my thing with everything I've done," said Biggs. "In comedy, you have a tendency to sometimes go a little bigger for the joke. It's very easy to fall into the trap of going too big and this was a perfect role to. On paper, you could read it and be like all right, I know where I'm going with this, and just go to this big, extravagant place and he was with me."

"Over Her Dead Body" gave Biggs a twist though. Later in the film, it becomes apparent that Dan's sexuality may not be so certain. That helped him figure out a more natural way to play it.

"I had to figure out sort of what his idea of gay was. I didn't want to go to the sort of stereotypical clich? place. I just thought that would be over the top and not credible, so in the end we decided the more subdued the better but I was nervous and insecure about it. I kept asking the director for help because I was really afraid that either not enough was coming across or too much was coming across. He kept saying he thought that what I was doing was fine. He, like I, would just err on the side of downplaying it."

When it comes to the cooking part, Biggs related to Dan's ineptitude. "I like to cook. I can't but I like to. I like to attempt. My girlfriend's a great cook so I'm her soux chef. I'll go in and just be her little assistant. Chopping, no. Sweep the bread crumbs off the floor. I wash dishes. She'll mix everything and I'll pour. Like, 'Put that in the bowl.' 'You got it, you got it.' I'm not very good but I want to learn. She's teaching me some stuff. I want to take some cooking lessons."

The film stars Eva Longoria as a spirit trying to sabotage her fiance's attempts to move on. Since he is dating said psychic, she can appear to her and cause problems. This does not affect Dan though. He has problems of his own, like lighting himself on fire in the kitchen.

"It was really fun. It was but I was so psyched. I was like, 'Yeah, I'm the guy who will do anything. Yeah, you want to set me on fire? Fuck, yeah.' They were like, 'Jason, are you sure? We could shoot around it.' I'm like, 'Are you crazy? I will do all my own stunt in this movie.' So all talk, all talk, all talk and then moments before filming, this happened with fucking the pie as well actually. I was like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.' And then right before it, I was like, 'Am I really going to fuck a pie.' Same thing with this. I was like, 'Am I really going to set myself on fire?' But it was really awesome and they fire proofed me and I had all kinds of crazy layers and gels."

Fire proofing only goes so far though. "I don't think I had anything on my face and the fire was right there. I didn't realize that until afterwards. I was like, 'Thanks for protecting my arm. What about the rest of my body that was not protected?' But we did it and they said that, they were like, 'You have a certain window of time to work with.' I forget what it was and they were like, 'You have this much time and then this stuff will not protect you forever. It will find its way to your skin.' And I'm like, 'Oh, that's cool.' So they gave me this time window and they said, 'You'll know and it'll start to feel hot. Just put it in the water. Just err on the side of caution. Put it in the water.'"

Perhaps Biggs erred too far. "So I did the first take, I was like agh, agh, agh, water. Then they come in and they're like, 'Okay, listen. You don't have to do it again, that was great, but if you can, if you want to do it again, we'd love for you to stay on fire a little bit longer.' I'm like, 'Oh, okay.' So we did it and that's the take that you see. We only did it twice but it was fun. It was really fun. The pictures are great. It looked funny in the movie."

Biggs will return to the sexual comedy with which he first earned infamy in his next film, Lower Learning, also costarring Eva Longoria Parker. The school centered comedy features flashbacks to when their teacher characters were once students.

"Yours truly wearing a prom tuxedo with pimples all over his face masturbating into a bathroom sink. I think, and I'm really proud, I think I've shown that I am willing to do anything for the sake of a laugh if I think it's not gratuitous and in the proper context. If it's there and it's not lame, I'll do anything if I think people will laugh. I will do literally anything."

Anything that is not permanent, that is. In his other upcoming film, My Best Friend's Girl, he demanded special effects. "I shave my eyebrows off. I had prosthetics. I didn't actually shave. I was going to shave, I was actually going to do it. Again, they were like, 'Would you actually do it?' I'm like, 'Fuck yeah. I'll shave my eyebrows off. Are you kidding? I'm Jason 'I'll do anything for comedy' Biggs.' So then I did some research online and I was just like, 'You know, before I take the plunge, I should just check and just see' because I started asking around. One or two people on set were like, 'Oh yeah, I accidentally something and it took a while to grow back.' Then another person was like, 'It never grew back the same.' So I did a bunch of research and I went to these postings where people had written about eyebrow shaving disasters or tweezing disasters or something. It was horrible. People were like, 'Mine look awful. I can't believe I did it.' I was just like, 'Fuck that, I'm not doing it. It's a big time Hollywood production. You guys are going to have to figure out how to do prosthetics.' So we did a prosthetic test and it looked incredible. It looked really, really funny. I've seen the gag. It really works well."

With Super Bowl coming up, New Jersey native Biggs is picking the nearby Giants for the big game. Football is fine, but baseball is his preferred sport. "I'm a baseball fan. I don't have any one team. I was in Boston during the autumn and I'm friends with a couple players because I'm a big time Hollywood guy and that's what we do. We hoard as many celebrity friends as possible, but I'm friends with a player, some players on the Dodgers and on the Red Sox. So when I'm here [in L.A.], I love rooting for the Dodgers and I go to the games. I happened to be in Boston this fall and my buddy was playing for the team so we went to a bunch of games, we went to the playoffs."

That star athlete friend is Josh Beckett. He did not make it to Beckett Bowl but donated some autographs for the cause. He did witness some other Boston milestones though. "In any event, I was at the game that Manny hit the home run, the walkoff homer, the playoff game in the bottom of the ninth. It was my first time sitting in the green monster, front row of the green monster and the ball came right over our heads. It was one of the most amazing sports experiences I've ever had. It was incredible. It was unreal."

Over Her Dead Body opens Friday.