Michael Russo's Sunday Insider: 92 minutes for 'Gooning'

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 11, 2012 - 1:04 AM

Minnesota native Seann William Scott plays a bouncer-turned-minor league hockey enforcer in a new comedy movie.

Seann William Scott showed his right at the premiere of “Goon” on Feb. 23 in New York. Scott said it took a while to recuperate from the fighting scenes after completing the movie.

Photo: Amanda Schwab, Associated Press - Ap

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Seann William Scott loves sports. He fancies himself an athlete and as a kid had a foolproof plan to "at least get college paid for through sports."

He played baseball, football and basketball at Park High School in Cottage Grove, where he was teammates with Sam Jacobson, the future Gopher and NBA player. But by Scott's junior year, "I just wasn't enjoying it anymore. I was putting way too much pressure on myself."

At the same time, Scott began working at a local movie theater. He got to watch movies for free and dreamed of being the star on the big screen.

"You're from Minnesota, you don't think being an actor is even possible," said Scott, 35. "It wasn't so much like, 'God, I want to act,' but when I go to a movie, if I see a good one, it gives me an hour and half to not think about all the other things that are going on in my life and gives me a chance to kind of dream.

"So I came up with a plan. I could use that same work ethic that I had as an athlete and put it toward becoming an actor and not feel like I was quitting something. I still don't really have like this huge desire to act. It's just that I love movies and I love that rare experience where the movie really works."

Well, it worked for Scott. He moved to L.A., has appeared in two dozen films and can't go anywhere without somebody yelling, "Stifler." One of the stars of the "American Pie" movies with the latest sequel, "American Reunion," coming out April 6, Scott stars in the hockey comedy "Goon," where he plays Doug Glatt, a bouncer-turned-minor league enforcer.

The No. 1 movie in the Canadian box office, "Goon," which was co-written by hockey lover Jay Baruchel ("Tropic Thunder," "Knocked Up") and co-stars Liev Schreiber ("Wolverine," HBO's "24/7" voiceovers), opens across the United States on March 30.

Scott may be an athlete and a born-and-bred Minnesotan, but he never envisioned himself playing a hockey player because "I'm terrible." He barely could even skate.

"But I knew the character never played hockey before, so it wouldn't make sense that he'd be great," Scott said.

The hockey captured looks authentic. So, especially, does the fighting.

"I've done fight training, but hockey fights are completely different," Scott said. "It was intense. And it was exhausting. And it was stressful because at any moment you make a mistake, you can get clocked."

And Scott did get clocked.

"I was pretty bruised up, man," Scott said. "It took a while to recuperate after the movie. I was physically drained. My brother took photos of my body and it was just black and blue. But it was worth it."

The final scene, in which he fights Schreiber's character, Ross Rhea, hockey's most feared enforcer on the verge of retirement, Scott called the goriest scene he's ever shot.

"I was adding as much blood as possible because I just felt that if it was filmed right, every punch to the head, every crack to the side, if the blood comes out at the right time, it'd look really cool," he said. "It's made with corn syrup and some other stuff, and oh man, I felt awful afterwards. I swallowed way too much of that fake blood."

Scott hopes the movie works on the same level as the cult hockey classic "Slap Shot," where, "even if you don't know much about hockey or aren't a huge hockey fan, you can still enjoy the movie."

Scott returns to Minnesota as often as possible and is planning a trip soon to visit family and friends.

"I can't wait to talk to my buddies in Minnesota, who are all great hockey players, and hear what they think of the movie," Scott said. "I can't wait to go to games with them now. I have a new appreciation for the sport. I'll be watching a lot more games while keeping in mind that I'll never be able to play because I'm just God-awful."

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