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Why American Pie 2 Almost Didn't Star Alyson Hannigan's Michelle

It's hard to imagine the American Pie series without the quirky romance of Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame) and Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs), yet, according to Hannigan, her contributions nearly ended with the first installment. In an interview with Vulture, the actor declared that a pay issue almost prevented her from reprising her role in "American Pie 2."  

Noting that the performers in the ensemble comedy were grouped together via pay grade tiers, Hannigan admitted that she and Seann William Scott were placed together in the lowest tier of importance. "So it's just scale plus 10 [percent to an agent]. There's no negotiating on the C-tier because the character is not that important. I was like, "Okay, fine." It was seven days and it was more of a passion project," she said about her take from the first film.

Enter the sequel clause in her contract. "I said, 'Look, I'm getting paid scale plus 10. I'm not going to sign for a sequel. That doesn't make sense,'" she shared. "So they took that out, which ended up being really nice for me when I did the sequel. There were a couple smart things I did back then." While Hannigan says she thinks the anecdote makes her sound difficult, when one considers Michelle's eventual importance to the American Pie series, one can see her point.

Much of the American Pie series revolves around Michelle and Jim

It's a good thing that Alyson Hannigan said yes to "American Pie 2"; the rest of the franchise is strongly based upon Michelle and Jim's growing relationship. "American Wedding," naturally, tracks their wedding ceremony and the stir it causes among their friends; "American Reunion" sees the couple trying to keep their spark alive while parenting a 2-year-old. While Michelle and Jim have their off moments and the specter of infidelity sometimes hovers over them, they still keep it together and forge an important connection. From those humble beginnings, an entire American Pie franchise has spawned, producing films both jaw-dropping and memorable.

It turns out that Hannigan's relationship with Jason Biggs is as pleasant as the one Michelle has with Jim — though obviously not as romantic. "I loved him right away. He was adorable and sweet," she said of Biggs to Vulture. She also admitted she wished she'd texted him when she heard Taylor Swift's song "So High School," which references "American Pie." No matter which way you slice it, it looks like Michelle and Jim will always remain a vital part of the pie.