Seann William Scott said his role on new Fox sitcom Welcome to Flatch reminded him of some of his favorite shows.
“The only other experience I’ve had on a half-hour TV show was when I [guest-starred on] an episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny,'” Scott, 45, told The Post. “I figured if these shows really work, it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. And two of my favorite sitcoms are Parks and Recreation and The Office. I just really love this kind of fake documentaries.
“So when I heard that ‘Welcome to Flatch’ had that kind of vibe, it was exciting.”
Based on the British series This Country, Welcome to Flatch, which premieres Thursday (March 17) at 9:30 p.m Flatch, Ohio (pop. 1,526).
Among the townsfolk are “Father Joe” (Scott), a reverend who recently relocated from the big city; The cousins of sinister pranksters Kelly (Chelsea Holmes) and Shrub (Sam Straley); Cheryl (Aya Cash), who moved to Flatch with Father Joe before he left and stayed to run the local newspaper; Kelly’s overzealous nemesis Nadine (Taylor Ortega); and the weird Big Mandy (Krystal Smith).
It’s a rare small screen role for Scott, who’s best known for films like American Pie and the Ice Age franchise — though he said American Pie remains the project fans most often reach out to him about .
“I still can’t believe I’m a working actor. When I got this film I was just so excited about the opportunity that I tried to make the most of it. I feel blessed and lucky that people still remember this character. It blows my mind.”
He also appeared in the action series Lethal Weapon and, as he mentioned, in 2013’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
“I don’t really have a preference [between TV and movies]. I think it just depends on the project,” he said. “One of the things about ‘Welcome to Flatch’ was that I wasn’t really looking to play a main character – I didn’t want to be on set 16 hours a day. I wanted to spend more time with my family. And when I heard it [Father Joe] was a former lead singer for a spiritual boy band, I was like, ‘I’m in. Oh, that’s the guy.’ Once he decided to go solo and that crashed, and his whole life crashed and he never really got past his old glory days…that’s a character that might be fun to play.”
It also helped that Scott has a similar background to the characters on the show, having grown up in a small Midwestern town of Cottage Grove, Minn.
“It was a bit bigger than our fictional town of Flatch, Ohio, but I could definitely relate to the closeness in the community and everyone knows each other and has a bunch of eccentric personalities,” he said. “And good people doing their best and supporting each other and trying to make ends meet.”
However, in preparation for playing a spiritual leader, Scott didn’t delve into the scriptures.
“When I met [showrunner Jenny Bicks and exec producer Paul Feig], I was in pretty good shape. And they said, ‘We don’t really think Father Joe should be a guy who works out every day,'” he said. “And I was like, ‘Okay, I’m a method actor,’ which I’m not. “I’m going to gain some weight for Father Joe.” So I did, and when I showed up on set it wasn’t that they were shocked, it wasn’t like I was Marlon Brando when he was on “Apocalypse.” Now” popped up, but I was definitely a little hoarse. That’s the main prep I did for the character, that’s the kind of actor I am – ‘I’m going to eat pizza, let’s shoot!’”