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This '90s Teen Idol Was So High While Filming, He Can't Remember His Movie's Plot

"At the time, when we were shooting that, I was the world's biggest stoner."

Fans remember the 1998 teen comedy Can't Hardly Wait as a movie about a high school graduation party full of breakups, love confessions, and songs from a band called Love Burger. Star Ethan Embry, on the other hand, doesn't remember it at all. In an interview with VH1, Embry revealed that he was so high during production that he's not sure of the plot or even what he did in the movie.

In Can't Hardly Wait, Embry stars as Preston Meyers, an unpopular guy in love with the prom queen, Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt). He decides to share his feelings during a last day of school blow-out but struggles to build up the courage. The movie also features the shenanigans of other classmates, with a cast that includes Seth Green, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli, and Melissa Joan Hart.

Ask Embry for his memories of the film though, and he won't be able to come up with specifics. Read on to see what he had to say, years later, about his experience making Can't Hardly Wait.

READ THIS NEXT: '90s Teen Idol Says She Was "Used as a Sexual Prop" on Her Hit Show.

He called himself the "world's biggest stoner."

Ethan Embry at the premiere of "Can't Hardly Wait" in 1998
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In a 2013 interview with VH1 for the film's 15th anniversary, Embry was asked about "the craziest thing" to happen during the shoot.

"At the time, when we were shooting that, I was the world's biggest stoner," he responded. "I remember the director came up to me and asked if I was 'altered.' But other than that, nothing sticks out because I was so stoned the entire time."

He couldn't recall basic facts about the movie.

Lauren Ambrose and Ethan Embry in "Can't Hardly Wait"
Sony Pictures Releasing

Embry was also asked if fans quote the movie to him, and he replied, "Maybe that's what those weird people are saying. I haven't seen the movie all the way through, and I was stoned. I never read the script. If they are quoting it, then I don't know."

When a scene in which he supposedly does backflips in the background was brought up, the actor said, "I don't know! People say that. I heard that before too. Honestly, I wouldn't know. I was so stoned the time. I don't remember if it was me. It could be me. It's something that I would do."

As for what he does remember about the plot, Embry ventured, "Uh, uh, uh… It's about a party right? Underage kids drinking and smoking and having underage sex, right?"

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He did remember a detail about his kiss scene.

Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ethan Embry in "Can't Hardly Wait"
Sony Pictures Releasing

At the end of the movie, Preston and Amanda share a kiss. Embry remembers this part, because Hewitt gave him breath mints ahead of time.

"I remember going into my trailer there was this basket—'cause I was a smoker and the world's biggest pot head and probably smelled like a walking ashtray—and there was a basket of breath mints, you know?" he told VH1. "Like real pretty. Like almost you give somebody flowers or a fruit basket but she gave me 50 breath mints. And it's all different types. It was all very sweet. And that always makes me laugh thinking of that. Aww, Jennifer wanted me to smell good."

Embry also talked about this during a Reddit Ask Me Anything in 2015.

"The day we did the kissing scene at the end of the movie with Jennifer Love Hewitt, she got me this really big basket of breath mints, and a stuffed teddy bear, because she—pretty much everybody knew—I passed most of my time smoking massive bong rips in my trailer… she didn't want to make out with a skunk-scented chimney," he wrote. "I used the breath mints. They were rather nice cottonmouth alleviators."

He grew to appreciate the movie over time.

Ethan Embry at 2019 PaleyFest LA
Eugene Powers / Shutterstock

In a 2015 interview with Insider, Embry admitted that he wasn't always proud of Can't Hardly Wait but had come around to it over time.

"If we did this interview two or three years ago, and you brought up the movie, my reaction would have been 'Uuuggggghhhh," he said. "I now enjoy the celebration of it."

He explained further, "It was just work, but I so remember fighting really hard for the role. I feel lucky that I have it as a piece of my past … I can appreciate it more now. Who the [expletive] doesn't want, when they are nearing middle age, to look back on their youth in a celebratory way? So it's really a nice gift that has been given to me."

Other notable '90s roles the actor played include Marc in Empire Records, The Bass Player in That Thing You Do, and Rusty Griswold in Vegas Vacation. These days, 44-year-old Embry just finished starring on the Netflix series Grace and Frankie. And his most recent movie is this year's Last Seen Alive.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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