American Pie’s Tara Reid is Hollywood’s Wild Child

Early in her career, Tara Reid was a promising young starlet with dreams of making it in Hollywood. She acted in commercials as a child and knew she wanted to perform ever since. As much as she wanted to be an accomplished actress, it’s not easy to make it in such a cut-throat industry like showbiz.

Jason Biggs, Tara Reid / Tara Reid / Tara Reid / Tara Reid
Source: Getty Images

Tara Reid is mainly known for her role as Vicky Lathum in American Pie, but it didn’t take long for her reputation to overshadow her talent. Reid quickly made a name for herself as a party girl and didn’t understand why people had such a problem with that. She kind of became a joke in Hollywood and wasn’t really taken seriously as an actress. Despite the mockery and controversy, Reid is still making movies.

This is the good, the bad, and the ugly: Here’s everything you need to know about Tara Reid.

Tara Donna Reid Is Born

Tara Donna Reid was welcomed into the world on November 8, 1975 in Wyckoff, New Jersey. She has the same birthday as her Josie and the Pussycats costar, Parker Posey (except Posey was born a few years earlier in 1968). Tara’s parents, Thomas and Donna Reid, were both teachers and owned a daycare center. Thomas also spent time working on Wall Street.

Tara Reid, Rachel Leigh Cook, and Rosario Dawson in a still from Josie and the Pussycats.
Source: Copyright: MGM

Before her movie career, Tara Reid was an aspiring child actress featured in over 100 commercials for popular brands, including Crayola, Milton Bradley, and McDonald’s. In 1997, when Tara was 22, she moved to Hollywood to follow her acting dreams.

Her Famous Classmates

When Reid was growing up, she attended Manhattan’s Professional Children’s School. Other famous alumni from the school include her Urban Legend costar Sarah Michelle Gellar, Macauley Culkin, Jerry O’Connell, Christina Ricci, and her American Pie costar Eddie Kaye Thomas.

Sarah Michelle Gellar / Macauley Culkin / Christina Ricci / Eddie Kaye Thomas.

She isn’t the only one in her family who got into the entertainment industry. Her brother Tommy is also in showbiz; he works as a producer and has his own production company. His best project is arguably the historical gangster film The Irishman, which depicts the life of notorious gangster Danny Greene.

The Book Was Better

Like many other Hollywood actors, Tara Reid’s movie debut was in a low-budget horror flick. A Return to Salem’s Lot was directed by B-movie maker Larry Cohen and was a sequel to the 1979 mini-series Salem’s Lot, which is a Stephen King book adaptation.

Salem’s Lot publicity still.
Reggie Nalder. Source: Copyright: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. gave the film a limited theatrical release in the United States in 1987. The following year, Warner Home Video released it on VHS. Reid played the role of Amanda when she was just 13 years old; unfortunately, the movie wasn’t as popular as King’s original novel.

The First Person To…

Although she is not as iconic as some other Hollywood starlets, Tara Reid can claim to have an interesting “first.” She was actually the first person to be featured on multiple covers of Maxim magazine. But it doesn’t look like that accomplishment got her into the Guinness Book of World Records.

A still from Tara Reid in the game show Child’s Play.
Source: YouTube

Reid’s first television appearance was when she was just six years old and was featured in the game show Child’s Play in 1982. When she first moved to Hollywood, Reid was roommates with Danielle Harris, and the two got to costar together in the 1998 film Urban Legend.

She’s a Soap Opera Star Somewhere

One of Reid’s earliest credits was her role on the long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives. Despite the show’s insane number of episodes, Reid was only featured in four, all of which were aired in 1995.

Tara Reid and Steve Burton attend the Soap Opera Digest Awards.
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images

Depending on how you feel about soap operas, it was either a good thing or a bad thing that she didn’t get a longer run on Days of Our Lives. Can you imagine Tara Reid as a soap opera star?! You never know what could have been. Maybe there is an alternate universe where she is.

The Big Lebowski

Tara Reid landed her breakout role in the late 1990s when she was cast in the Coen Brothers’ crime comedy, The Big Lebowski. Reid played the role of Bunny Lebowski, the young ditzy trophy wife who was kidnapped for ransom, which was basically the movie’s entire plot.

Tara Reid sits by the swimming pool in The Big Lebowski.
Source: Copyright: Working Title Films

Upon its initial release, The Big Lebowski was a box office disappointment in the United States but had more success overseas. However, in the years after the movie came out, it has become one of the most beloved cult classics of the 1990s. The Big Lebowski is arguably Reid’s more critically acclaimed movie.

Haters Gonna Hate

The very same year that The Big Lebowski became a critical victory but a financial failure, the opposite happened with another one of her films. Urban Legend was a psychological slasher film which also starred Jared Leto and Alicia Witt.

Urban Legend publicity still.
Source: / Copyright: TriStar Pictures

Noted for reenacting several famous urban legends throughout its plot, the film was evidently ripped apart by the critics. Luckily, it struck a chord with audiences resulting in a successful profit. The film made an astonishing $70 million at the box office with a $14 million budget.

That’s What Friends Are For

Tara Reid acted in the 2007 sports comedy 7-10 Split, alongside bestselling author and part-time actor Ross Patterson. Patterson had quite a successful career and eventually wrote and starred in Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story.

Tara Reid arrives at an event.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Although Reid didn’t appear in this movie, she did get a special thank you in the credits, but the reason why she was appreciated is unclear. Although we couldn’t uncover the reason, feel free to come up with your own conspiracy theories as to what the actress had to do with that film getting made.

To Make a Sequel or Not to Make a Sequel?

The Big Lebowski was a fan favorite; audiences couldn’t help but laugh and fall in love with the film. Since its initial release, people have been wondering whether they should make a sequel. It would either be just as successful or ruin the essence of the original. The conversation has continued until today.

Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey ‘The Dude’ Lebowski in a publicity still from the film.
Source: Copyright: Working Title Films

Reid played the Dude in the trailer in the sequel The Big Lebowski 2. Not as memorable as her role in the first one, but at least she was involved. Also, I should point out that in 2011, there was a spoof trailer made and produced by the comedy website Funny or Die.

Landing Movie Roles!

Tara Reid and Dominique Swain costarred in the coming-of-age film Girl back in 1998. Swain was promised the lead role in Devil’s Pond years later, but the role was given to Reid instead.

A wounded Tara Reid in Devil’s Pond.
Source: / Copyright: Davis Entertainment

Tara Reid was one of two actors to perform in all the Sharkando films. The other one is Ian Ziering, who plays the main character Fin Shepard, who is Reid’s character April’s love interest. We’ll let you decide if appearing in all of the Sharknado films is a good thing or not.

At Least She Didn’t Win the Razzie

Throughout her career thus far, Tara Reid has been nominated for three Razzie Awards! Two of them were for the same movie, My Boss’s Daughter – she was nominated for Worst Supporting Actress and Worst on Screen Couple, an award she shared with her on-screen boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher. Her third Razzie nomination was for her performance in Alone in the Dark by infamous director Uwe Boll.

Tara Reid arrives at an awards event.
Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Say what you want about Tara Reid, but you can’t say she never won anything. The actress and her castmates won the 2000 Young Hollywood Award for Best Ensemble Cast for the hit comedy American Pie. It’s a nice thing to throw on your acting resume.

Surrounded by Hollywood Hunks!

Sure, she made a splash in movies, but you wouldn’t expect someone like Tara Reid to be friends with the biggest A-listers in showbiz. However, on multiple occasions, she has said that Leonardo DiCaprio is someone who has always had her back, and she referred to the movie star as “one of the nicest guys in Hollywood.”

Leonardo DiCaprio / Tara Reid
Source: Getty Images

Some of the men that Tara Reid has been romantically linked to include Michael Axtmann, businessman Michael Lillelund, musician Erez Eisen, financial advisor Zachary Kehayov, Motley Cruë drummer, Tommy Lee Kyle Boller, Jay Leyon, Julien Juarmoune, and Dough Reinhardt.

Have We Learned Nothing?!

In order to get ready for her role in the film Josie and the Pussycats, Reid and her two costars, Rachel Leigh Cook and Rosario Dawson, went to “band camp” for two weeks in order to make the actors proficient in the musical instruments their characters play in the movie.

Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid, and Rosario Dawson are lying on a couch.
Photo by DMIPhoto/FilmMagic/Getty Images

However, the actors weren’t as talented as their characters; unfortunately, two weeks wasn’t enough time to teach them how to become musical experts. Instead, their music was dubbed over by studio musicians. So, if you ever want to learn a new instrument, give it more than a couple of weeks of practice.

Almost Kind of a Drummer

As we mentioned, Tara Reid was unable to become a musical prodigy in two weeks. However, that doesn’t mean she didn’t try. In preparation for Josie and the Pussycats, Reid also attempted to learn the drums. She was trained by Drew Thomas, a band member of several groups, such as Youth of Today, Bold, and Into Another.

Tara Reid plays the drums in Josie and the Pussycats’ publicity still.
Source: / Copyright: MGM

Unfortunately, she wasn’t as naturally inclined to the instrument as she had hoped. In her defense, she never claimed to be a drummer or a musician of any sort. Her goal in the entertainment industry is to become an accomplished actress – not a singer.

Toxic Work Environment

German director Uwe Boll is widely considered one of the worst filmmakers of all time. That claim could be argued, but what isn’t debatable is the massive failure of his film Alone in the Dark. The movie is loosely based off the video game franchise of the same name, but the film is noted as one of the worst ever made.

A publicity still of Tara Reid standing in a museum holding a pen and paper.
Source: Copyright: Lionsgate

Tara Reid costarred in the movie along with Christian Slater and Stephen Dorff. Needless to say, it wasn’t any of their finest hours, but Boll really had it in for Reid. He even admitted on record that he regrets casting her in the film. Ouch! She probably doesn’t have nice things to say about him either.

Sounding It Out

There was one specific moment of Reid’s Alone in the Dark performance that gained considerable infamy. It was when she mispronounced the word “Newfoundland,” a province in Canada. Her mistake was so hilarious that it became a popular online catchphrase.

Tara Reid attends a movie premiere.
Photo by James Devaney/WireImage/Getty Images

And remember, this was way back in 2005 before memes and GIFs were easily created or even existed. That’s how funny it was. But in the actress’s defense, she was in a room with an entire casting crew, and nobody told her it’s not pronounced NewFOUNDland! The flub also made it past an editing team.

American Pie Stardom

American Pie was definitely a popular movie. It was funny, different, and never failed to make audiences laugh. The American Pie sensation certainly secured Reid’s stardom, but the actress has mixed feelings about how the course of her career turned out after the film’s surprising success.

A publicity still from American Pie.
Photo by Eric Robert/Sygma/Getty Images

Reid was very open and upfront about it, admitting that she felt like her career took a serious “nosedive” in the years following American Pie. But now, she remains optimistic because, in 2019 alone, she managed to act in 13 different movies.

Reality Television Debut

The television network E! produced the travelogue series Wild On! which aired from 1997 to 2003. In 2005, the producers hired Tara Reid to become the special host in the new season of the show. However, there were a lot of changes made during production, like the purpose, format, and even title of the show.

Tara Reid celebrates the launch of her new series.
Photo by Andy Butterton – PA Images/Getty Images

What ended up happening was that E! released a debut season of a reality show called Taradise. The entire series changed! Reid was seen visiting diverse locations, including Spain, Monaco, and France, and she was filmed performing tourist tasks.

She’s Just Too Famous

Sadly, Taradise wasn’t the reality show success Reid was hoping for; the Kardashian empire took over reality television less than two years later. Unfortunately, Reid’s show only lasted one season. Apparently, it was difficult to create a series because of Reid’s apparent celebrity status. Make of that what you will.

Tara Reid arrives at Wild on the launching event.
Photo by Andy Butterton – PA Images/Getty Images

One of the downsides (or upsides) of fame is that you can be asked to appear in movies or fictional television shows as yourself, and Reid is no exception. She showed up as herself in a 2019 episode in the Amazon comic-based series The Boys. A guest appearance isn’t always a bad thing, though.

Crossing the Reality Show Pond

In 2011, Tara Reid made an appearance on British television, hoping to try her luck in the reality world once again. She became a housemate on Season Eight of the popular reality show Celebrity Big Brother.

Tara Reid arrives as a guest in the Big Brother House.
Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

In case you’re confused about this show, Big Brother puts a group of people in a house together and films them so audiences can enjoy their drama and unbelievable behavior. While many people might think someone like Tara Reid would thrive in that type of situation, that wasn’t really the case. She left the show quite early as the third person to be voted off.

She’s a Huge Jedward Fan

Despite the fact that her appearance on Big Brother was cut short, Reid was thankful that she got to be in the house with the Irish celebrity twins John and Edward Grimes, known as Jedward. According to Reid, she is still close with the musical twins today.

Jedward kisses Tara Reid in her cheeks.
Photo by Barry King/FilmMagic/Getty Images

In fact, in September 2011, Tara Reid took to Twitter to announce that she would be featured in Jedward’s new music video for “Wow oh Wow.” Additionally, in 2014, she appeared in their music video for “Ferocious.” Wow! They must have really made her day since she was such a big fan!

She Has Bigger Dreams

Reid is known for her part in American Pie. She appeared in the original, the sequel, and the fourth film, American Reunion. She didn’t appear in the third film, American Wedding, and she didn’t show up in the made-for-TV sequels either, which were created because of the film’s incredible success.

Tara Reid and Eugene Levy attend the
Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage/Getty Images

Throughout the years, Reid gained a reputation as a party girl. She once brushed it off by asking, “Why is partying and having a good time bad?” Despite her strange attitude to her public image, Reid has since looked back and admitted that her ultimate dream is to have children with a person she loves and to win an Academy Award.

Not So Fast…

Reid began a relationship with radio DJ and MTV television host, Carson Daly back in 2000. The two met on the set of MTV’s Total Request Live and then got to spend more quality time together on the set of Josie and the Pussycats.

Carson Daly and Tara Reid during Super Bowl Saturday Night.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Shortly after they met, the couple moved into an apartment in New York together. In October of that same year, the pair was engaged and ready to walk down the aisle. However, things may have moved a little quickly because they broke up in June 2001. I guess their relationship wasn’t meant to last forever.

Fame Ruined Her Relationship With Carson Daly

Reid had an explanation for her breakup with Carson Daly. From her perspective, the tabloids and media played a massive role in destroying their relationship. Like, she would read that Daly was seen with strippers, and even though it wasn’t true, the thought was planted in her mind.

Carson Daly and an actress who portrays Tara Reid during MTV Bash - Carson Daly.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Daly, on the other hand, was insecure about Reid kissing other actors in movies – even though that was part of her job as an actress. The tabloids fueled Daly’s suspicions when they gossiped about Reid getting too cozy with her costars, even though that wasn’t true either.

That Doesn’t Seem Fair

In 2012, Reid returned to the American Pie film series and was paid an astonishing $250,000 to reprise her role as Vicky Lathum in American Reunion. When you first hear that number, that sounds like a considerable amount of money, but it wasn’t as much as you think.

Tara Reid as Vicky in an American Reunion publicity shot.
Source: Copyright: Universal Studios

Keep in mind that Reid’s costars received paychecks ranging from $500,000 to $700,000. That’s more than double what she made. Eugene Levy and Alyson Hannigan each made a hefty $3 million! But the biggest winners were actors Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott, who earned $5 million, plus a percentage of the profits.

It Comes With the Territory

Reid did an interview for Us Weekly in 2006, where she confessed to undergoing liposculpting. This type of plastic surgery involved adjusting her bosom, as well as her abdomen. Reid claimed that she was trying to get a “six-pack” for a specific film role.

Tara Reid talks to the press at an event.
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Unfortunately, the surgery didn’t go as planned. Something went wrong during the procedure, which resulted in a deformity. Unfortunately for the actress, the tabloids got ahold of photos, and gossip magazines and paparazzi started following Reid all the time.

Her Other Endeavors

On multiple occasions, Tara Reid attempted to branch out from the Hollywood bubble and embark on more business-oriented projects. In 2007 specifically, Reid gained shares in three different dining establishments: Shore, Bella, and Geisha House. With her new restaurant passion, she opened a Los Angeles-based fast-food joint known as Ketchup.

Tara Reid attends the launch of the 'ED HARDY' boutique store.
Photo by Marc Grimwade/WireImage/Getty Images

Other than her interest in restaurants, Reid teamed up with Ed Hardy designer Christina Audigier, and the two designed Mantra, a clothing line that hit fancy department stores in 2009. By 2014, she released a bathing suit line and a new perfume, Shark by Tara, named after the movie franchise Sharknado.


Tara Reid was the subject of one of the most infamous celebrity wardrobe malfunctions of the 21st century. In 2004, the actress attended a birthday party for Sean “P-Diddy” Combs, when her dress slipped, and her chest was exposed to the world. Reid wasn’t even aware that her boobs were showing until someone went over it and adjusted it for her. Awkward.

Tara Reid arrives at Sean's
Photo by Sylvain Gaboury, FilmMagic, Getty Images / Brian ZAK, Gamma-Rapho, Getty Images

Unfortunately for the actress, cameras were around, and many people captured that embarrassing moment. But it really makes me wonder why nobody had the decency to tell her and decided to take pictures instead. How rude! This incident sparked a lot of gossip in the press.

No Musical Credits

If you haven’t seen the movie Urban Legend, there is a crazy chase scene involving Tara Reid’s character Sasha Thomas. As she is running away from an ax-wielding pursuer, not only did the actress perform her own stunts during production (with the help of a harness, of course), but the stuntman who was running after her was wielding a real ax! Sounds like a good way to get in your daily adrenaline rush.

Tara Reid in a publicity still from Urban Legend.
Source: Copyright: TriStar Pictures

Tara Reid has more than just acting chops (and reality stardom). She was actually involved in the soundtracks for two of her movies: in Josie and the Pussycats she performed the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and in the documentary Backstage Pass she performed “I’m So Excited.” But the actress wasn’t credited for her soundtrack efforts.

What Happened to Tara Reid?

In 2016, Reid found herself in yet another scandal when she made an appearance on the show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars. For anyone who doesn’t know, this reality show puts couples in a home together, forcing them to confront their marital problems for pure entertainment, with audiences waiting to see if they decide to break up or try and make it work.

Tara Reid tells the truth on television.
Source: YouTube 

This sounds quite exploitative, but this wasn’t the extent of it. Things went to a whole new level when Reid needed to confess that she and actor Dean May (with whom she appeared on the show) weren’t actually dating and had lied their way onto the show!

Will You Marry Me… Right Now?

It seems as though many of Reid’s relationships were PR stunts rather than genuine loving romances… and the press certainly noticed. One example was when Reid and her boyfriend Zack Kehayov were vacationing in Greece together.

Tara Reid poses next to Zack Kehayov while holding a flowers bouquet.
Source: LIFE & STYLE

Reid posted on her Twitter that they were happily engaged! It all seemed normal until three hours later, the impulsive actress returned to Twitter to announce that she had walked down the aisle. That was fast! But she later confessed that the lovebirds were never legally married in the United States.

Cleaning Up Her Act

With her reputation and photos of her wasted on multiple occasions, Reid attempted to get sober in 2008 and decided to check into the celebrity rehab center, Promises. After completing a 60-day program successfully, Reid opened up to In Touch:

Tara Reid walks on the streets of London.
Photo by Mark Milan/FilmMagic/Getty Images

“I didn’t like the person I was. I was sad and conflicted. I went there by myself. I put myself there. It was the greatest decision I ever made. Rehab saved my life.” Unfortunately, it looked like she fell off the wagon in 2013 when TMZ released a video of Tara Reid intoxicated as she was leaving an L.A. party.

Marked for Life

In 2015, Reid was heading home from the Ultra Music Festival in Miami with her DJ friend. She was able to convince the young man to go straight to the tattoo parlor with her, and he may or may not have regretted it immediately.

A close-up on the tattoo.
Source: YouTube 

When they got there, she persuaded the DJ to get a tattoo of both of their names on his right arm. However, it didn’t seem to faze him much. According to The Daily Caller, when the heavily tattooed DJ was asked about the tattoo, he said: “Do I look like a guy who regrets things?”

Labeled a Party Girl

Tara Reid joined the celebrity party scene right around the same time as Lindsay Lohan, and the two actresses were often lumped together. Reportedly, when Reid was asked about Lohan, she said, “We don’t really like each other that much. If I get drunk, I’m a happy drunk. When she gets drunk, she’s just mean.” Reid later apologized and wished Lindsay well.

Tara Reid arrives at a party.
Photo by RJ Capak/WireImage/Getty Images

Even when it comes to her accomplishments, the media makes fun of her. When she was cast in the television show Scrubs−and did a wonderful job−Entertainment Weekly got a dig in, claiming “at least Tara Reid has found something to keep her busy for a while when she’s not dancing on tables.”

Her Hollywood Frenemies

Reid went on air with Jenny McCartney in order to promote her movie Sharknado. However, as McCarthy does, she kept bringing up topics that Tara Reid clearly did not want to talk about. Things got so uncomfortable for the actress that she walked out of the interview.

Tara Reid and Paris Hilton attend an event together.
Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images

Reid was also publicly ridiculed when she was denied entrance to a celeb hotspot. Apparently, her “friend” Paris Hilton, and the then-unknown Kim Kardashian, were the ones responsible for her ban. They ignored her and strolled right in. This was when the celebrity “mean girl” game really started.

The American Pie Curse

Many of the stars who were cast on American Pie have gone through some rough times – many of these issues had to do with multiple rehab stints to recover from their young stardom and the trauma that comes with fame. It wasn’t just Tara Reid who struggled.

A movie still of Natasha Lyonne and Tara Reid’s party conversation.
Source: Copyright: Universal Studios

Other costars, including Natasha Lyonne, Sean William Scott, and Chris Klein, all had a hard time remaining sober after the height of their success. Unfortunately, having a reputation for being volatile or an addict makes it more difficult to get movie roles or film insurance. As if it wasn’t hard enough to make it in Hollywood already.