Seann William Scott Plays a Killer in ‘Bloodline’

Seann William Scott is best known for comedies, particularly playing Stifler in the American Pie movies. He’s always taken risks, like the twisted sci-fi film Southland Tales or TV’s action drama Lethal Weapon. He’s never been as dark as in the horror film Bloodline though. Scott plays Evan, a new dad and counselor who murders the abusive fathers of his subjects by night. 

Seann William Scott
Seann William Scott | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Bloodline director Henry Jacobson spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone this week about Scott’s horror turn and his own connection to Bloodline. You can see Seann William Scott as a killer and loving father in Bloodline in theaters now. 

Seann William Scott was a horror fan

Seann William Scott’s second movie was the horror film Final Destination. It took him 20 years of comedies to get back to horror.

Bloodline
Seann William Scott and Nick Boraine in Bloodline | Momentum Pictures

“He’s actually a big horror fan,” Jacobson said. “He was attached to the project before I came onto it and he was really involved in developing the story and the character. I do think it’s surprising. I think he really goes to these dark places and is very effective. I don’t know how it will be received but I certainly think it should at least show what a brilliant actor he is and what incredible range he has.”

Seann William Scott was always game for the darkest ideas in ‘Bloodline’

Seann William Scott was hands on as Jacobson was developing Bloodline. He encouraged the filmmaker to get as dark as possible.

Seann William Scott in Bloodline | Momentum Pictures

“He was really involved when we were writing it and he wanted to go as dark as we could,” Jacobson said. “Every time we would come up with an idea and think, ‘Sean would never want to do this’ he would be the biggest champion of that idea and want to push it even darker.”

Seann William Scott also made the money count on ‘Bloodline’

Horror movies often have smaller budgets than comedies, and Bloodline wasn’t even a studio horror movie. They only had a little money to make it, but Scott made sure production went smoothly. 

Seann William Scott in Bloodline
Seann William Scott in Bloodline | Momentum Pictures

“I was very, very lucky to have my first narrative feature because he was such a pro,” Jacobson said. “He was ready to go. I didn’t have to do 10 takes to get the performance. He was there. You have to work in the 3-5 take range at that budget and he could do it and he was great. So no, I don’t think he was out of his depth at all. I think he jumped right in. He loved it. He was totally in it.”

‘Bloodline’ is an expression of the fears of new parents

Bloodline may be more autobiographical than you think. Developing the script actually coincided with the birth of Jacobson’s son, who plays the baby in the movie.

Henry Jacobson
Writer/director Henry Jacobson | Momentum Pictures

“Everything except the murder part,” Jacobson admitted. “There’s a parenting section in the early part of the movie that felt very close to home for me and tried to draw on the experiences of being a first time parent. [Screenwriter] Avra [Fox-Lerner] is also a mother so we definitely drew a lot from the parenting side.” 

Evan’s bloodshed may be a wish fulfillment for parents who’d like to kill all the bad people in the world.

“One of the things that I was thinking about and that we talked about a lot is the sense of protection and fear that comes with becoming a parent, of something happening to your kid, “Jacobson said. “I think as a father that is something that was very new to me and that the lengths that I would go to make sure my son is safe. I certainly used that.”

Seann William Scott and Mariela Garriga in Bloodline | Momentum Pictures

Parents can live out their darker fantasies through Seann William Scott.

“I knew I wanted to make a slasher movie so I think this was a way to get into a motivation that obviously I took to a fantasy place,” Jacobson said. “I didn’t actually go kill people but I certainly felt the stress and the dark fantasies that I think are maybe more common than people want to talk about in early parenthood.”