The actor’s breakthrough role came in the teen comedy film, which became a sleeper hit upon its release in 1999.
At the time of being cast as Nadia in the film, Elizabeth only had a small number of credits to her name.
For the role, she was expected to do an accent considering Nadia’s character was from the Czech Republic.
However, after “working really hard with a dialect coach”, Elizabeth was left concerned when the sound team attempted to amend her accent once filming had been completed using Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR).
ADR is usually implemented when directors feel they need additional dialogue to what was filmed, and is essentially added as a voiceover to the completed scene.
“When I did American Pie, they called me in to do ADR,” Elizabeth said on Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum. “They were like, ‘We’re gonna play with the accent.’
“So I’d say something and then they’d go, ‘Ok, do less of an accent.’ I was like, ‘Why are they messing with this accent so much?’”
Elizabeth said the ADR session “devastated” her as she thought it was going to ruin her performance.
“I told all my friends, ‘This movie’s gonna suck’ ‘cause they messed with my accent so much! I was like, ‘No, they’re ruining it, don’t watch it.’ I was devastated after ADR.”
Elizabeth recalled receiving criticism for her accent once the film was released, which frustrated her due to the ADR experience.
“A lot of people did say my accent was terrible and I’m like, ‘Yeah, ‘cause they messed with it – they didn’t let me do what I wanted to do.’”
Elizabeth also revealed that, after getting paid “a couple thousand” for her role in the first American Pie, she repeatedly refused offers to return in the follow-up, released in 2001, until she felt she was offered the right amount.
“I walked away from a lot of offers many times,” Elizabeth said.
“My lawyer and my manager and agent all thought I was crazy. They were pushing me to say yes. I just kept saying no. I don’t know why – I guess I had a number in my head I felt like they should pay and I got them to that number.”
She continued: “You get 15 minutes, so you gotta milk it.”
Of being paid a low amount for the first film, Elizabeth said she “didn’t care” as “it was my first studio film”.
“I would have done it for free,” she said, adding: “I was so happy to book a role.”
Elizabeth previously reflected on her famous scene in the film, saying “there would definitely be a problem” with making it now.
During the scene, the film’s male characters set up a secret webcam to film Nadia changing her clothes in the bedroom of Jim (Jason Biggs) – and the video is accidentally broadcast to the entire school.
“If this had come out after the #MeToo movement, there would definitely be a problem. I think that it would have gone down differently,” she said.
Elizabeth’s other credits include Scary Movie, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, THIR13EN Ghosts, and Love Actually.
In 2001, the actor launched a foundation for wildlife conservation, which looks after a blind black rhino named Munu. Elizabeth is currently in the process of co-directing a docuseries about Munu’s journey.