Shannon Elizabeth’s memorable appearances
as Nadia in the American Pie franchise shot her to instant fame, but it’s rare to see
her in anything high-profile these days. Here’s why we don’t hear much from her anymore. When American Pie came out in 1999, it was
a mildly scandalous cultural phenomenon, and Shannon Elizabeth was a big part of that. While she doesn’t get busy with a pastry or
discuss “that one time at band camp,” she does nearly go all the way with Jason Biggs’
Jim in full view of his friends via webcam. That makes for an auspicious breakthrough
role, and it’s one that’s stuck to Elizabeth’s reputation in the decades since. On the one hand, that’s impressive, because
Nadia is only on screen for about ten minutes. But on the other hand, it’s a one-note role
that wasn’t designed to show off much acting talent, so it’s not too surprising that it
didn’t lead to more challenging roles. Elizabeth addressed her conflict over the
strange staying power of the role in a July 2019 chat with Page Six, in which she said, “I am honored by it. But there’s a part of my being that doesn’t
believe it. You know, like, no that’s not me … I almost
don’t associate with it because, I don’t know, it’s just so surreal to me. To be remembered I think for anything and
anything positive in that sense, I mean, I’m blessed and grateful for it. I really, really am.” “More, more, you bad boy!” The late 90s and 2000s were a boom era for
coarse teen comedies, thanks in large part to the blockbuster success of American Pie. In its wake came the likes of EuroTrip, Van
Wilder, and Road Trip, just to name a few. Just as the films of John Hughes are so beloved
by kids growing up in the 80s, so too are raunchy teen comedies a cultural touchstone
for millennials. However, these movies aren’t exactly the wokest
things ever filmed. They usually revolve around guys trying to
get girls in bed, and those girls often aren’t very well-defined characters. Elizabeth was an integral part of American
Pie, as her character served a central role for the film’s perhaps now outdated themes. Unfortunately, that means she’ll forever be
associated with a certain kind of movie that isn’t really getting made anymore. And she can certainly see the problem with
her famous scene. As she told Page Six, “If this had come out after the #MeToo movement,
there would definitely be a problem. I think that it would have gone down differently.” It’s not like Elizabeth stopped acting after
American Pie. In fact, she’s appeared in more than two dozen
films in the years since. But a big problem is that the majority of
them are low-budget, forgettable affairs. Some of them are so obscure that they don’t
even have enough reviews to merit a score on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately, many of Elizabeth’s more high-profile
films haven’t fared too well either. The likes of 13 Ghosts, Tomcats, and Johnson
Family Vacation, for example, all have Tomatometer scores under 20%. Her most well-received flicks have been franchise
entries, like the first Scary Movie and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. “It’s not stealing a monkey, it’s liberating
it. Wait a second. Did you say no problem?” Then there’s her appearance in the perennial
Christmas classic Love, Actually, which probably brings her some nice royalty checks, but the
role is thankless. She plays a one-dimensional American woman
who thinks a British guy is hot simply because he has an accent. Her character name is telling, as she’s credited
as “Harriet, The Sexy One.” Between 2015 and 2019, Shannon Elizabeth acted
in just five projects, and one of them was a short film. Maybe it’s possible that she’s not cramming
her schedule with gigs because her heart just isn’t in it anymore. A look at her Instagram feed reveals that
she spends a lot of time working on a cause outside of acting that clearly means a lot
to her: animal rights. Back in 2001, Elizabeth started a Los Angeles-area
animal rescue organization called Animal Avengers. By 2014, it had extended far beyond saving
stray cats and dogs and into The Shannon Elizabeth Foundation, which promotes conservation and
stands up to poachers in Africa. In 2016, she even ditched the Hollywood life
completely and relocated to Cape Town, South Africa. When she does make a red carpet appearance
these days, it’s more likely to be one outside a charity event instead of a movie premiere. “It’s hard to find good, you know, good people
that you trust and so when you find them, you really want to support them and work with
them.” Hollywood loves to put people in simple boxes
and cast them in similar roles over and over again. In other words, “typecasting.” But what’s an actor to do when she no longer
fits within the parameters that once defined her career? After American Pie, Shannon Elizabeth was
typecast as a young, bubbly, lusted-after woman. But Elizabeth turned 46 in 2019. While she hasn’t seemed to physically age
too much, she has nevertheless aged out of the kind of parts that made her famous. Hollywood can be a notoriously challenging
place for actresses over 40, and it’s especially hostile for the ones who mostly served as
set decoration in bro movies. Elizabeth probably isn’t being courted by
the film industry as much now that she’s heading into middle age. But there’s always an opportunity for a comeback,
and Elizabeth does have a couple of projects in the offing. She reprised her role of Justice in 2019’s
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, and she’s signed on to co-direct a movie about a trio of teen
girls attempting to keep their virginity before college. That sounds a lot like a gender-flipped version
of American Pie, so things may just come full circle for Shannon Elizabeth. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Nicki Swift videos about your
favorite stars are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. 13 ghost and Jay and silent Bob strike back are cult classics and Johnson's Family Vacation is still played in black households til this day. i hope she knows nobody cares that much about what rotten tomatoes has to say about them.

  2. I am exactly the target demo for Jay and Silent Bob's 2019 movie and this is my first time hearing about it. Someone somewhere failed at their job.

  3. What doe's not being "woke" or "gender" "me too movement "have to do with career?
    Stop putting those words in videos that have nothing to do with them.

  4. I remember seeing American Pie thinking she'll be in everything, it sucks that she didn't make it big. Love Actually and Jay and Silent Bob. I'm grateful that she's doing the Shannon Elizabeth foundation ❤️💙💚We LOVE you.

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