They're as freaked out by Cats as you are.

Earlier this week, EW spoke with Neve Campbell about reprising her role of Sidney Prescott for a fifth time in the new Scream. But as always, Sidney's not facing Ghostface on her own — the movie introduces a new batch of characters who this time around are played by actors young enough to regard director Wes Craven's original film with genuine reverence. Franchise newbie Dylan Minnette, for example, cites that 1996 movie as his favorite horror film of all time.

"I was very persistent with my manager about wanting to be in this movie," says the actor. "I just would text every day being like, 'Is there a role? Is there a role?' I'm still pinching myself that it's real. I feel like I can retire. Unless they ask me back for more."

Below, fresh-faced Scream first-timers Minnette, Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Mikey Madison, Mason Gooding, Sonia Ammar, and Jasmin Savoy Brown discuss their characters — and pick their favorite scary movies ever (outside the Scream franchise, of course).

Scream 2022
Jack Quaid and Melissa Barrera in 2022's 'Scream'
| Credit: BROWNIE HARRIS/ Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group

DYLAN MINNETTE: I play Wes Hicks, and I think he is the most cautious and overprotective friend of the group, which easily makes him a little punching bag. I think Wes could be considered the "nice guy" of the new friends.

SONIA AMMAR: I play Liv McKenzie, a new addition to the Woodsboro High School friend group. She's dating Chad, who is played by the wonderful Mason [Gooding], and I feel like she's sometimes a little bit… misunderstood. And she has pink hair! [Laughs] That's pretty much what I can give away.

MIKEY MADISON: I play Amber, a high schooler at Woodsboro. I'm part of the friend group and best friends with Tara [Jenna Ortega]. She is a very protective friend.

JASMIN SAVOY BROWN: I play Mindy Meeks-Martin — not Mindy Martin-Meeks, as Mason kept referring to us. Mindy is the horror buff. She's very smart, pretty funny, and she also happens to be queer, which is pretty cool. I like her a lot.

MASON GOODING: I play Chad Meeks-Martin, the brother of Mindy Meeks-Martin and boyfriend to Liv. He's a jock.

MELISSA BARRERA: I play Sam Carpenter, everybody's mom. Just kidding. She's just not in the high school generation anymore. She is Tara Carpenter's older sister, and has left Woodsboro and hasn't been there for a while. But then, of course, she has to return, and gets sucked into the whole killing spree.

JACK QUAID: I play Richie Kirsch. He's everybody's dad in the sense that he's not part of the high school generation anymore either. He's dating Sam, and when you meet him he's working with her at a bowling alley and doesn't really know a lot about horror movies and the killings in Woodsboro. Let's say he gets a crash course in this movie.

Scream 2022
Dylan Minnette in 'Scream'
| Credit: BROWNIE HARRIS/ Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group

EW: What's your favorite scary movie not in the Scream franchise?

QUAID: My favorite scary movie has got to be Alien. That chest-burster scene still gives me nightmares.

BARRERA: My favorite scary movie — because it's tied to a lot of memories of me being young — is The Haunting. I used to watch it a lot — every weekend with my friends. It's Catherine Zeta-Jones, Liam Neeson, Lili Taylor, and Owen Wilson. I just loved it. I also loved all the Final Destinations. There was something really messed up about that. To this day, the first thing I do when I get on a plane is check that little table that drops is not broken. I don't know what I will do the day it actually breaks. I'll probably start screaming and get off the plane.

BROWN: My favorite scary movie has got to be Finding Nemo. I mean, that scene at the beginning when the mom dies? That's terrifying.

BARRERA: The butt.

BROWN: The butt! Don't. Touch. The butt! Nothing scarier.

MASON: Hands down, Toy Story. Those under-the-bed toys gave me nightmares for years, and that will never leave me.

MADISON: I love horror, so there's so many. But I think I have to say either Possession or The Wicker Man, which I think I made everybody who's on this Zoom watch on a projector.

BROWN: Like the second day we met.

QUAID: It was amazing. So great.

AMMAR: I feel like mine changes every day. Today I'm going to go back to classic Hitchcock: I mean, Psycho, you can't go wrong. Oh, and Finding Nemo too, I guess.

BARRERA: What about Cats? What about Cats, guys? Cats is pretty scary.

BROWN: That's a horror film, certainly.

MINNETTE: My favorite scary movie, besides Scream, because that's honestly my real answer… I think the first thing that comes to mind is Hereditary. Like, I watched that for the first time just a couple of years ago, and I was convinced it was the scariest movie I'd ever seen, and I love horror, and it takes a lot to scare me, but that was a nice surprise. I love that movie.

Dylan, as Scream is your favorite horror film, what was it like making this new movie? I mean, it must have been like stepping into some kind of weird theme park. Did you need a second to calm down when you were first encountered the actors who appeared in the original movie?

MINNETTE: Yeah. At the beginning, I feel like the first week or so, it was mainly just us in this group right now. And I think the first person I met was David Arquette. And so when he walked in the room for the first time I was like, "Oh my god, right, we're shooting a Scream movie." It just sort of hits you.

QUAID: Oh, I know the exact moment. I remember when he walked into that common room in the hotel and all of us went like, "David's here???"

Sonia, what memory will you take away from the shoot?

AMMAR: I remember feeling the whole time, like, "Do I belong here? How am I here?" It's pretty mind-blowing. I have to say, what I really take away from this is the relationships I built with these wonderful humans — the connections we made, the memories we had even off screen. We have the shared album, and that is my favorite thing to do: to go back and look at all our silly videos and photos. I love you guys.

MADISON: I was pinching myself too. I've always loved horror, and I've always wanted to do a horror film, so I think for Scream to be the first horror film I did, it's so exciting because it's one of the most iconic horror franchises. I just felt incredibly humble the entire time. I mean, I've made so many incredible friends on this movie, too, so I'm really grateful for that.

Mikey Madison in 'Scream'
| Credit: Paramount Pictures

BARRERA: There's so many memories of us in the common room playing board games — a very specific board game called Secret Hitler. It sounds awful, but, honestly, it's so fun. We would just yell at each other and get very into it. But I feel like a very special memory was Halloween, because we were shooting during Halloween. They rebuilt the house from the first film on a stage with like a front lawn and everything. And so for Halloween we did a picnic on the lawn and ordered from this amazing Thai spot in Wilmington [N.C.], Indochine, and watched the first Scream movie together. And then we went into the house and toured it and did silly videos and had fun. That was a very special night.

BROWN: Did they ever release those videos? Or were we too goofy?

BARRERA: I hope not.

QUAID: [My memory] is we all got to be together with this community of people we never knew we would love this much during a terrible time in human history. We all felt really lucky. We went from basically isolating ourselves to being able to hang out with these wonderful people. You guys are this movie to me, and some of my dearest friends now, and I'll never forget that or stop being grateful for that.

If I had to pick one memory: David Arquette in, like, the first week sat us all down in this common room we had in the hotel where we played all the board games, and he taught us how to paint like Bob Ross. He is a certified Bob Ross painting instructor, because of course he is, and we were all on these tables around him. He sat in the middle and checked in on our artwork like he was a real art teacher, because he is. I don't know if this was intended as a hint or anything, but the philosophy of Bob Ross is very much like, "Don't overthink it." Like, I don't know if he was trying to send us a message of, like, "don't over think it, just have fun," but, intended or not, it got in there, and it was so great. I love David to bits. He's amazing.

MINNETTE: I left my painting behind because I'd rather forget it. I thought mine was really amazing, and then I remember looking at Melissa's and I was like, "Oh, no."

Scream opens in theaters January 14. Watch the trailer for it below.

Pick up a copy of Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to Screamavailable online or wherever magazines are sold.

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