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In a bygone era, before Seth Rogen and his unnamed writing partner cemented cannabis culture’s place in the mainstream, it was hard to come by weed references in films without mention of a cartel. Outside of Cheech & Chong, “The Karate Kid,” “Platoon,” “Caddyshack” and around 125 other 80s comedies, it wasn’t until “That 70’s Show” premiered in the summer of ‘99 that we could laugh at our heroes’ stoned antics in our living room with the whole family.
In honor of accidentally rear-ending him in a Wendy’s drive-through, we caught up with the surprisingly top-billed Topher Grace from “That 70’s Show” to discuss his first time pretending to get high for America’s pleasure those many years ago.
Oregano: What sort of research did you do for your scenes as a stoned Eric Foreman in the infamous “Circle?”
Topher Grace: I did what actors do: I watched. I bought a front row ticket to Cypress Hill and spent the whole show with my back to the stage, though I learned everything I needed to know before Funkdoobiest finished their opening set. I toyed with the idea of actually getting high myself, but how would I be able to study how high I was if I were high? And what if I got too high, or not high enough? I couldn’t take the chance.
O: Can you tell us what filming that first scene was like?
TG: I was terrified. Walking from my dressing room to set, avoiding eye contact with the crew and producers all like, “They know! They all know I’m not high!” I was just so green in the wrong way. Fortunately, it was all there on the page. We had the best writers, the best in the business. I wish I’d met them.
O: Did the rest of the cast take a more hands-on approach?
TG: I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you for sure that Ashton [Kutcher] never smoked because there was no smoking allowed in hair & makeup, which is where he spent every spare minute. Mila Kunis was always doing homework, Laura Prepon spent all her time running lines, and whatshisname — Wilmer Valderrama, the guy who played Fez — he’s a fitness nut. I thought maybe Danny Masterson was getting stoned with girls in his trailer, but they always left way too quickly for them to be on pot.
O: What did you take with you from your time as a “pot smoker?”
TG: First, it really helped me later on when I played a consumer of freebase cocaine in the film “Traffic.” It’s basically the same technique, except to prepare, you study the producers and you get to say “Fuck.” It also helped get me into editing when I got the idea to make a supercut of my best moments playing stoned on the show. The producers won’t admit it, but they know my version is better.
O: Mr. Grace, thank you for your time.
TG: Wait… like, what IS time, you know? Does it move through us or do we move through it… ha! Huh? Huh? See? I’ve still got it! Tell me you didn’t think I was stoned just then!
O: Holy shit that was awesome.
Kyle Stanley didn’t mean to go all Frankie Muniz on you. Twitter @KGordonStanley
Disclaimer: This Article Is a Joke
Speaking of absurdity, did you know there are still over 40,000 people locked up on nonviolent cannabis-related charges around the US? It’s time to let them out.