'Scream 4' star Neve Campbell on the film's difficult production: 'It wasn’t an easy shoot'
Tomorrow is the day Scream fans have been waiting over ten years for: Scream 4 finally hits theaters. Neve Campbell once again reprises her role as Sidney Prescott, who now is a self-help author returning home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. Says Campbell, “She’s come to a place in her life where she’s overcome all of her issues and found a way to come out into the world again and be happy.” Being a Scream film, it takes mere minutes for the blood to begin spilling. EW talked to Campbell about Scream 4’s tumultuous production, whether she’d do a Scream 5, and her memories of shooting the original classic.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What do you remember about reading the original Scream script?
NEVE CAMPBELL: I thought it was amazing. I thought it was really great. I truthfully hadn’t read that many feature scripts but I definitely had the instinct that it was fantastic. When you don’t wanna put the thing down when you’re reading it, you know that it’s good.
What do you remember about filming the first movie?
It was easy because everyone got along. There were no bad apples. We were all excited to be there and enjoying Northern California. It was really beautiful there. We went to a lot of dinners. A lot of bottles of wine [laughs]. A lot of laughter and goofing around and making a horror film.
What was your initial reaction to meeting Wes Craven?
I thought he was lovely. I think at that age I was pretty nervous. I remember at the screen test him being really supportive and lovely and giving really good direction and very calming energy and that’s how he is on set as well. And he has a very coy, funny side as well.
Matthew Lillard and Jamie Kennedy both said the climax was the most difficult part of the shoot.
The last three weeks of the shoot were a bit grueling because you’re in the same location for that period of time. And the death and the fear level and all of that was so heightened at that point in the film, but we still had a great amount of fun. We watched the sun rise every morning and we’d get into our cars covered in blood and go back to our hotel. It was hard to get it out of my hair [laughs].
Did you notice your co-stars David Arquette and Courteney Cox pairing up?
Yeah. Absolutely. They were having a great amount of fun together. They were laughing a lot and flirting a bit.
Were there any other on-set romances?
There weren’t really. You would think there would have been more. I mean, I ended up dating Matthew Lillard for a while afterwards. We dated for a couple years after the film but not during.
Why did you want to sign up for Scream 4?
At first I was hesitant, because we had said 10 years ago it wouldn’t make sense to revisit it. But for me, finally it was Kevin’s pitch to me, his idea, that sold me. Then I heard that Courteney and David and Wes were interested. I thought it might be fun to revisit. And I realized it also might be fun for the audiences. I think 10 years ago we were right to not do it again. But I think now enough time has gone by that it’s gonna be a gas for people to see again.
There were rumors that Kevin Williamson left the project — what’s your take on that?
I’ll be honest: I don’t know what went down. I haven’t been given a very straight answer about it. I think there were some differences, but a lot of Kevin’s ideas are still there.
Did you find Scream 4 to be a stressful shoot? How did it compare to other Screams?
It wasn’t an easy shoot. I think because there had been some shifts in the writing, it wasn’t as smooth. I’m really pleased with how it came together considering the challenges. I think Wes did a phenomenal job under the circumstances. It’s a big challenge to make this film. People have high expectations. To introduce new characters and have them be the kinds people will be interested in watching. It’s kind of like shooting a pilot: You have to introduce a whole new slew of people and have the audience get engaged in them and then include everything in the past as well.
Did you get a chance to bond with the younger cast?
Yeah they’re lovely. Three of them became legal — turned 21 — during the shoot. Courteney and I were like, “You’re kidding me?!?”
Obviously, Courteney and David were going through some personal issues during shooting — were you aware of that?
No. They were so professional. They were so professional about the whole thing. The truth is they weren’t pretending: They love each other and they love making these films.
If Sidney lives in Scream 4, would you do another Scream?
Yeah, I think I would.
Despite this one having a tumultuous production?
Yeah, I mean, I’d love to have a script sooner than we did [laughs]. But you know what? I have a feeling that would happen. I’m sure if there was another one, Bob [Weinstein] would wanna have a script ready sooner because it would be easier on us all.