Jeff Schafer’s 2004 teenage comedy EuroTrip is a hilariously bad flick featuring the misfortunes of an American boy called Scotty (played by Scott Mechlowicz) who embarks on a trip across Europe to find his German pen pal. He makes this major life decision after finding out that his high school girlfriend had been cheating on him with a musician all along.
The film ended up being a critical and commercial failure, with many denouncing it as a deeply insecure and unfunny exploitation of the teenage condition. However, there was one memorable moment in the film, and it featured none other than one of the most prominent actors in the industry – Matt Damon. In an interview, Damon explained how he got the part: “So EuroTrip was written by three guys I went to college with, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and Dave Mandell. I was in Prague shooting The Brothers Grimm, we were in rehearsals, and I had a wig in that movie, and so Alec and Dave and Jeff were making EuroTrip and they said ‘Will you come play this, you know, Howard Rollins kind of insane, bad version of a suburban, you know, punk band guy?’.”
He also commented on his appearance for the part that he played – the punk rock band member who slept with Scotty’s ex-girlfriend: “And I said ‘Yeah, I’m in Prague’. So I showed up, and I’m sitting there, and I’m like ‘I’m wearing a wig, just shave my head, let’s just go for it.’ and we did it, and put a bunch of piercings all over. So it was kind of a family affair.”
Director Jeff Schafer revealed: “His head was already shaved for the part. He stopped smoking and as he said he ‘swelled up like a tick.’ We knew him. So we said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this part. Is there any way you’d want to do it?; He said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ We had to make it work with his schedule. His scene is a night party, and the only day he could do it was literally the shortest night of the year. We only had five hours of darkness to get all that stuff.”
Schafer added that Damon is actually proud of the tiny cameo, claiming that many people still reach out to him by shouting out his iconic chorus line from the song he performs: “He’s so funny about it. He says all the time, ‘I was Private Ryan in Saving Private Ryan. I was Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley. But when I walk down the street, people scream, ‘Scotty doesn’t know.'”