By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 24, 2003 11:55 AM
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Just as “American Pie” actor Seann William Scott has been shedding his shirt for magazine covers, so has the 26-year-old actor been shedding his screen image of an oversexed party monster.

Scott, best known as “American Pie”‘s Stifler and for playing a slacker in the unforgettable “Dude, Where’s My Car,” is working to alter fans’ perception of him in more serious roles, such as his new one in “The Rundown,” an action film also starring the Rock which opens Friday.

“At times it’s been weird because for the first phase of my career, I’ve been really well-known for a character that I was so not like and a character I never anticipated doing,” Scott tells Reuters.

In “Rundown,” Scott plays Travis, who leaves behind his life in the U.S. to hunt for artifacts in the Brazilian jungle. Travis also is on the run from his bookie father who wants his son back in L.A. to settle an old score.

Scott, a Minnesota native (and the youngest of seven children), said he considers himself a “nice guy” taught to be “very respectful” of others, and he calls himself “really driven” when it comes to his career.

“There is opportunity to do so much more, and I feel like I can,” he says.

And, unlike his shallow prankster “American Pie” character Steve Stifler, “I don’t really party,” he says. “If I did, it would probably just be trying a new bottle of wine.”