NEVE CAMPBELL SIDNEY PRESCOTT is & COURTENEY COX GALE WEATHERS is DAVID ARQUETTE is DEWEY RILEY
Why did you decide to be part of the first Scream movie?
Neve Campbell: Scream was the first lead in a film that I had ever come across. So for me, it was just a really, really big deal to get a lead and to be a part of something that was so well-written, with such a talented director and cast. That’s why I decided to do it. Courteney Cox: And I wanted to play a campy, selfish, real entitled nasty girl.
At what point did you realise it was a big deal?
CC: I think that there was such a genre-bending format. First of all, Wes Craven is an incredible, incredible director obviously – and also he’s so funny, which I didn’t know until working with him. But it’s just so different. I think we knew, because when your heroine dies in the first 13 minutes of a film, you know you have something special. You take Drew Barrymore and you kill her off, you know it’s gonna be different.
NC: This script was brilliant. You opened it and you had to read all the way to the end, because you just didn’t know what was gonna happen next and you needed to know. It’s so funny in the fact that it was a horror film, taking a look at the genre itself; that hadn’t really been done before. So it was really fresh and new, and really reinventing the genre in a lot of ways.
How was it for you going back to Woodsboro?
NC: We actually shot this in North Carolina, which was beautiful. It was a really great experience to step back into our characters and to imagine them going back to Woodsboro and back to that world. The way they built the sets to look identical to the original was quite breathtaking, to be honest. And exciting, nostalgic. CC: You could really feel Wes’s presence on the set, there was a lot dedicated to him. He was honoured in every way. And this is not a sequel, this is a relaunch.
It takes all the best stuff from Scream and all of them. But it’s elevated, it’s new, it’s fresh. It’s, I think, gorier. It’s scarier in some ways, because nothing scares us any more. As the world changes everything you have to be heightened…
NC: You get desensitised.
CC: Yeah that’s right. That’s a better way to say it!
NC: Matt and Tyler, the new directors... I’d been unsure about doing this without Wes because he was such a genius. They reached out, I received a letter from them saying how enthusiastic they were about making this film and how honoured they were, and that they are directors because of these movies, and their enthusiasm was really exhilarating. And certainly made me excited about jumping back on board.
Now you’re known as the legacy cast. How was the interaction with the new cast?
NC: It was really sweet. They’re really, really talented kids, like, did an amazing job – and you never know, right? But they had such a reverence for these movies and knowledge of these movies, and excitement being a part of it – and such a bond between them, as we did at the beginning of this process – that it really made me feel like they’ve got it. Like they know what they’re doing. They know how to do this, and they’re going to get it right.
CC: They were really obsessed with the original movies, and they became really close. They all lived together in this hotel and they played games every night. They’re still all such good friends. I was really blown away by their acting, and making this so real and believable. Because, you know, you can watch horror films and sometimes not everybody’s Jamie Lee Curtis. Sometimes you go, “Oh well, they didn’t try, they’re not taking it seriously” – they took it seriously. And that’s what’s great. The quality is fantastic in this film.
Why did you decide to come back to Scream?
I love playing the role of Dewey. He’s such a sweet character, and just had so much history for me. There’s not many film [roles] that you do that last 24 years. It’s really an incredible opportunity to be able to play a character for so long and see the growth. And how much of an impression Wes Craven made on my life.
It really has a lot more weight, and it’s a lot more important to me than just a one-off film or something. And this really is a reinvention, a new birth of it. So I’m really excited for the world to meet this new cast. They’re all really talented, wonderful actors. And it’s been a real joy to work with them.
Horror films have evolved. Can we expect to see that reflected in Scream?
You can expect that they [the directors] definitely took into consideration everything that had happened since, and they use all the tools that are available to them to make it a more exciting experience for the audience. They really take into consideration the internet and what people talk about and what’s different, film franchises in the past that have expanded on their original, so it’s really exciting… It crosses a lot of barriers, it expands. It’s a film that’s made for horror film lovers, and film lovers alike.
Has your favourite scary movie changed in the last 25 years?
I’m old school, I like The Shining. But I do love Get Out and High Tension. I love Hereditary. There’s been some incredible new horror films. And just in general, filmmaking in general is really exciting. The audience has really become one with films; you can see if you go to a Comic-con how diverse the different groups are, and how niche some things are, and then how a lot of stuff crosses over. You can have a horror fan, a wrestling fan, a comedy fan, and you could have an anime fan and they can all be the same fan. So I think it’s important to understand that, and to speak to that and not speak down. That’s one of the best parts of this new Scream coming out, that it really is made for a true film fan.
Have you been approached before to return to the franchise in some way?
This is the first time they’d really got it together in this new world. Obviously we lost Wes and that took a lot out of all of us. I didn’t really expect anything like this. Like I said, I love the experience I’ve had playing this character and love the opportunity to do it, but they really wrote a script that was really compelling and exciting. And I think you can see that by everybody that’s jumped on board.
Did you have any concerns about returning without Wes?
Yeah, absolutely. We missed
Wes, you know? It’s really sad. Personally, just having the world have lost Wes and then being on a set with something he was instrumental in creating, it makes it really kind of touching as well. I do like the fact that they’re carrying on his legacy. And Tyler and Matt are incredible directors; they really were inspired by Wes, which is also a testament to how wonderful he was and how much of an impression he left on filmmakers. So I think they’re doing him justice.
That’s part of it, but I’m doing really funny things like listening to a lot of music that was popular during the first film, just living a lot in the memories and thinking a lot about Wes. I don’t know if people are religious, but I sort of say prayers to him and you know, I can feel his spirit.
I don’t want the headline to be “David Arquette prays to Wes Craven” [laughs]. I just say a prayer and like to have him in my heart.
Scream is in cinemas from 14 January.