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Seth Green Talks About What Got Cut to Make Can’t Hardly Wait PG-13

Seth Green at the Turner upfront. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

It’s been nearly 20 years (!) since Can’t Hardly Wait was part of the late-’90s wave of teen comedies. But the film was originally supposed to be a raunchy R-rated flick, which was later downgraded to PG-13 and set at a high-school graduation party at the behest of Sony (this was before American Pie, you must remember). We caught up with one of the film’s many stars, Seth Green, who played virginal wannabe-rapper Kenny Fisher, at the Turner upfront to chat about what eventually got cut. We need a director’s cut!

I rewatched Can’t Hardly Wait recently. I understand there was a scene with Amber Benson that was taken out?
Oh yeah, there was like 40 minutes of that movie that was cut out. The movie was originally an R-rated movie. Sony, in the midst of putting it out — it was at the very beginning of the reemergence of the teen comedy — was scared. It was still three or four years before American Pie would come out. Everyone was really kind of concerned about what it was going to be.

The film had a kind of who’s-who lineup.
Yeah, but there’s a ton of R-rated scenes in that movie that are not in this PG-13 cut. If you look at it, you’ll see some really hilarious stuff, like when [Jennifer] Love [Hewitt] first walks into the party, there’s a kid behind her holding a balloon and covering his mouth. That used to be a beer bong, but the most expensive CG in the movie was to make it [look] like that kid was smiling and holding a balloon. And then, there’s a scene where Charlie [Korsmo] and Peter [Facinelli] are at the piano. They toast, and then they cut to a wide shot where neither of them are drinking and then cut back to a close-up of them putting their glasses down because you can’t show the kids drinking.

There’s a whole scene with Eric Balfour. He’s made pot brownies, and his girlfriend complains that you’re supposed to melt the pot in the butter. And it’s just like giant chunks of weed sticking out of the brownie, so she throws it at Lauren [Ambrose]. And then he tries to lick it off her face, and you sort of get that it’s probably drugs. But there’s so many things in that movie. Oh! [Jason] Segel’s got a watermelon that he’s filled with vodka and kept in his freezer for all of senior year, and then he brings it out to celebrate. Everybody goes for it, and it shatters on the ground. So that’s why he’s eating watermelon for the rest of the movie. [Laughs.]

Oh, man. They should release an extended cut of this movie.
We’ll see. Very funny.

 So what happened with Amber’s scene?
There’s a couple things. Amber was super high and I tried to hit on her.

Wait, so she was just stoned in the movie?
I don’t remember. I tried to hit on her, and she was completely disinterested in me. I’ve got a picture of us from behind the scenes. She’s just holding a banana staring intently and I’m like trying to talk her.

Seth Green on What Got Cut in Can’t Hardly Wait