I was told Chris Weitz was a brilliant yet down-to-earth man, but it is hard not to be in awe when you sit down to have a conversation with a Hollywood Director who can list on his credits Twilight New Moon, one of the top grossing movies of, umm, ever! But from the moment he mentioned that Star Wars: A New Hope was what made him want to get into film, I knew this guy was cool. We caught up with Chris in Chicago while he was in town to speak about his recent film A Better Life and get the inside word on the up and coming return of the American Pie series, American Reunion as well as what is next.
It is hard to imagine that it has been 13 years since we were introduced to the kids from American Pie and we are told that American Reunion has everyone back including Stifler’s Mom. “It is a 10 year high school reunion and we rejoin the characters to find out in many ways they are very much the same.” Chris tells us. “They get to re-approach relationships they had. For Jason Biggs character, his marriage gets tested.”
We hesitated to inquire if there would be a pie involved but had to ask the question, why did he feel it was time to bring the group back together? “We know that there is a great sense of nostalgia for the series and the characters.” Chris told us. And there is, but for those of us who have grown up with American Pie, now is the time when we have to go to, or at least contemplate the reality of a high school reunion. From a generational perspective, the timing is right.
Was the subtle New Moon reference in the trailer intentional (see trailer below)? “Yes,” says Chris, “but it wasn’t me. It was the directors and a pretty obvious wink at me.”
So what is next on his (pardon the reference) plate? “For me it is doing more advocacy for A Better Life across the country speaking out on the issues of immigration that the film raises. Also supporting Demian Bichir and hoping he gets an Oscar nod for his amazing work.”
As for his next film, “I’ve always been interested in doing a western as it is one of genres I have never done before. My father was a German refugee and part of the Greatest Generation and fought in World War II. I would love to tell his story about coming to the United States, serving in the Army and doing undercover work. It would be a great way to get back in touch with my roots.”
If this all sounds like a strong leap from talking animals in The Golden Compass and Vampire and Werewolves in New Moon, we can see by Weitz bio that he has a history of changing things up. “I like switching genres and people look at my IMBD pages and say it doesn’t make sense.” Chirs said. “Character actors get to do all sorts of different roles and I’m a character director in that sense as I like to do different things.”
American Reunion hits theaters April 6th, 2012. Stay tuned for the rest of our interview with Chris on A Better Life.