The cast new and old lay out the rules for making this horror franchise, what scares them most, and why the series is such a scream.
More than 10 years have passed since the last Scream movie laid the ground rules for horror movies before twisting them around on movie audiences. With the fourth installment of the horror-thriller franchise gearing up for its April 15th release, the original cast members (Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette) joined director Wes Craven and a new generation of actors to talk about the film.
Q: Wes, you seem to hit upon some new rules regarding to the Internet age. How did you and writer Kevin Williamson go about creating them?
Wes Craven: Well, we spent a lot of time on the Internet. A lot of our lives revolve around that now. Even old fogeys like us can use it now and once you start using it you have to think of the possibilities of how people could misuse them.
Q: And do you think about the ways they affect the way we watch movies now?
Craven: Oh very much. If you’re in a theater today, people are texting all around you. You have the little glowing screen, that’s just one example of how annoying technology can be.
Q: Are horror movies bound by rules?
Craven: I think the very essence of the Scream films is that we state what the rules are and then immediately break them. We start right from scene one where you say, you know, if you say, “I’ll be right back,” you’ll die or the person who says that is one of the killers. Or if you have sex, you’ll die and Neve’s character has the first sexual encounter of her life and she’s one of the survivors. It makes the audience not know what to expect next. If they think they know what the rules are, we immediately say, “No you don’t.”
Q: Wes has a real gift for keeping this series fun and scary. What do you think the secret ingredient is?
Courtney Cox: He’s just an amazing filmmaker. He’s always watching and keeping himself current and learning new things. I don’t even know what Myspace is. He’s constantly bettering his mind. The way he directs Ghostface, he’s like a choreographer.
David Arquette: He actually made a swinging houseplant very scary in this film.
Q: Watching scary movies, are your eyes open, partially closed or are you a screamer?
Cox: The last two.
Arquette: I just chuckle through them. I just get a kick out of watching the audience too. I love when you go to a horror film with real horror fans and everybody there is watching and getting involved and screaming.
Neve Campbell: I’m covering my eyes and I’m screaming and I’m crying and all of it.
Q: What was it like playing alongside the newcomers?
Campbell: It was great, except Courtney and I looked at each other and were like, “We could be their mothers.” But they were great.
Q: After 10 years, how did the idea of Scream 4 come about?
Craven: Bob Weinstein is kind of the godfather of Scream, he’s the man who bought the original script from Kevin [Williamson]. He talked with Kevin and felt it was time. He originally told us after Scream 3 that there weren’t going to be any for a long time. He didn’t want it to feel like we were just knocking them out to make money. Of course there was the Scary Movie franchise, so we needed to get some distance from that, but I think there was a feeling that this was the perfect time to turn around and look at the first decade of the 21st century. The whole business is changing dramatically and the way fans follow and participate in movies and make movies that emulate those movies is profoundly different, so we felt it was time to make a Scream that reflected all this.
Q: What drew to you to this movie? Were you fans of the franchise?
Anthony Anderson: I was actually in another film that spoofed this franchise and now I’m in this franchise, so that was that. And seriously, to be the sole person of color in a horror film, you might think what my demise will be in this, but it’s a new decade and new rules, so I might make it out of the, uh, before the end of the opening credits. You never know.
Hayden Panettiere: Well my character’s not a virgin, so she might not. Apparently non-virgins are can die now.
Emma Roberts: If you’re in your underwear, you’re dead, that’s it. Bra and panties, that’s it, over, good-bye.
Q: Did you have any say in how you would get stabbed and is there anybody you would like to stab?
Roberts: We didn’t have any say in how we died. You guys have any say in how you die?
Anderson: I die in this? I’m the black guy, I can’t die in this!
Roberts: Sorry, you’re right, new rules.Scream 5, you’ll die.
Anderson: Yeah, Scream 5 I die. Um, you know, I didn’t have any say in anything. Sometimes the things that I’d studied for, we weren’t doing at all. Could be a bit nerve-wracking at times, but Wes made it a great place to be creative and to work with his creative mind. But say in who I stab or wanted to stab or how I were to die, if I were to die in this movie, uh, no.
Q: Hayden, what scares you the most in the world?
Panettiere: I actually had an experience where I thought someone was breaking into my house and that’s gotta be the most terrified I’ve ever been in my life. The fear, especially as a female in a house by yourself-- there happened to be a blackout in the area I was living in so my alarm was going off but nobody was coming and--you go into this survival instinct, what a person would do when they feel their life’s in jeopardy. I ran and grabbed my taser, I don’t know how I managed to do this but I found myself in my bathtub with my taser and hit my panic button … I wound up crawling out my window to find five or six guns pointed at me so of course, I’m like, “Don’t shoot me!”
Q: Did any of you try on the mask during the movie?
Panettiere: I never went near that mask.
Anderson: My head’s too big.