Interview : Lily Mariye


From “American Pie : Band Camp”

Though it seemed the franchise had baked it’s last pastry, the success of direct-to-video sequels has ultimately led to an extra serve of American Pie. In this exclusive interview, Clint Morris talks to the cast and creator of “American Pie : Band Camp”, premiering exclusively on DVD this month.

Mike Elliot, producer of the new film and a former student of B-filmmaker Roger Corman’s, says DVD Premieres are popular for a number of reasons, “first, it’s the logical progression of technology, allowing greater and greater access to films, second, the market has a thirst for films beyond the capacity of theatrical releases to meet and lastly, DVD’s represent incredible value to the consumer and fan – they are inexpensive to buy, they are more and more sophisticated and entertaining, they are durable, and when fans are finished with them, they can be easily sold or traded”.

Elliot, whose other credits include “The Prince and Me 2” and “Turbulence 2”, still admits it’s not easy doing cheap sequels to huge hits like “American Pie”. “It’s not easy to make a sequel to those great movies – each one of them made over $100 million dollars! – but I have a feeling this one will make a few fans chuckle and barf.

The film “revolves around the younger brothers and sisters from the other American Pie movies, and centres on Steve Stifler’s little brother Matt – who is just as outrageous as Steve”, Elliot explains.

One of the film’s stars, Lily Mariye, is best known for playing nurse Lily Jarvik on “E.R” for 11 seasons.

“My agents set up a meeting for me with the casting director, Ty Harman. Then I met with the director, Steve Rash, who has to be one of the nicest men I’ve ever worked with. My agent called me the next day to tell me I got it”, she smiles.

In the film, Mariye plays “Dr. Susan Choi, a Ph.D. in music. She heads a very prestigious music school and seems very tough, but she’s just serious about her job. In the end she proves to be open-minded and appreciates talent. And saves the day”.

The actress says a couple of the stars of the original “American Pie” make appearances in the movie. “I had the privilege of working with one of the original stars, Eugene Levy, who is one of the funniest men working, as well as one of the most generous actors I’ve ever had the pleasure to act with”.

Her favourite scene in the film is one of her own. “When it looks like Elyse has blown her chances of being accepted to the Robards Conservatory of Music, I don’t turn out to be such a bad guy after all”, she says, adding, “The band playing was a real band from a college in Riverside and they were great! I didn’t have to act impressed, I really was. It’s really stupid, but I’m a sucker for marching bands and parades. They always make my eyes well up a little, isn’t that silly?”

Having spent so long on a hit series like “E.R”, the actress says she’s learnt a lot.

“I’ve been on ER for the past 11 years, I’m really blessed to have worked with this amazing cast and crew for so long. I’ve taken this opportunity to learn as much as I can about production for my second love, directing and writing.

“I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember, I started booking a lot of acting gigs at a really young age and that will always be my first love. But I’m starting out on this whole new phase of my creative life which I’m so totally hooked on. I just love directing. I recently returned from a trip to New York where I participated as a writer/director in the IFP (Independent Film Project) Film Market. My screenplay, “The Shangri-la Cafe,” was one of 40 scripts (out of 1600 submissions) to be chosen as part of their Emerging Narratives. The Shangri-la Cafe won “Best Screenplay” at the 22nd annual Brussels Independent International Film Festival in November 2000, and won “Best Short Film” at the Moondance International Film Festival, March 2001. The IFP was great, they set the 40 of us up with meetings with quite a few indie producers, and it was a really exciting opportunity. That’s what’s up next for me, within the next year I’m either going to make another short film or a (really) low budget indie feature. Life is good”.

AMERICAN PIE : BAND CAMP is on DVD October 19th