Animal House: 'People tease me and refer to it often'

Animal House: 'People tease me and refer to it often' »Play Video
John Belushi and extras on the set of Animal House

EUGENE, Ore. -- Together they were the wacky members of Delta House, the fraternity that  made Eugene into a part of movie history.

The producers of Animal House were having trouble finding a willing university to make the film.  After being rejected by campus after campus, the University of Oregon stepped in.

Toga parties were never quite the same. Some critics called it low humor of a high order.

"It was a B drive-in movie with a pretty much unknown director and totally unknown cast, except for Belushi on Saturday Night Live," recalled Katherine Wilson, a McKenzie River resident and casting director for the movie.

34 years ago, Animal House turned the UO campus into a giant movie lot. It was the first movie for comedian John Belushi.

When asked if she got to know John pretty well Wilson replied "Yes I did; yeah that's me," while pointing to a picture of her and Belushi.

She added that they didn't know it at the time, but Animal House and Eugene turned out to be a perfect match.

"Eugene was a place that welcomed new ideas.  It had this beautiful liberal arts college," Wilson said.

Very few of the shooting locations are still around town. The old Delta House was torn down to make way for medical offices, but a boulder and plaque mark the spot on East 11th.

Tuesday marked a happy reunion between casting director (Wilson) and the character called "Lucky Boy," played by Sean McCartin.

In the memorable scene shot at the Cottage Grove Armory, a scantily clad stunt girl flies off a parade float into Lucky Boy's bedroom, crashes on his bed and the boy says, "Thank you God." McCartin said that the first take didn't work out.

"She actually elbows me in the rib cage,'" McCartin said.

Director John Landis told the 7th grader to try it again.

"He said great. That's it, cut, wrap. It was literally about 5 minutes," joked McCartin.

Today he thanks God a different way.  He was called to the ministry, was pastor at a Eugene church and now coaches track at Eugene's New Hope College - but he still remembers his brush with movie fame.

"People tease me and refer to it often and it was a lot of fun," said Sean McCartin.

For McCartin, it is the movie that keeps on paying.

McCartin said he still gets $30 residual checks every 3 months from the Screen Actors Guild.


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