April 15th, 2011
12:35 PM ET
Neve Campbell hasn’t had to contend with "Scream's" knife-wielding masked killer in a decade, but the 37-year-old actress says that from the first day of working on “Scream 4," it was just like old times.
“It was fun. It’s not just a similar cast, but a good deal of our crew from the last 15 years, so the first days definitely felt like a reunion,” Campbell said in an interview, adding that not everything stayed the same: “Everyone’s a little bit rounder and a little bit older,” she laughed.
But keeping the heart of the cast together was crucial for Campbell as she stepped into the role of Sidney Prescott for a fourth time.
“It was very important to me that [director] Wes Craven and Courteney [Cox] and David [Arquette] came back,” Campbell said. “We hadn’t kept in touch a huge amount because I live in London, so it’s a challenge for me to stay in touch. But on this [‘Scream’ installment], I really ended up bonding with Courteney in ways that we hadn’t in the past.”
Of course, “Scream” vet Kevin Williamson, who brought us the original story of the sadistic slasher in 1996, was back on board as well. Campbell recalled how impressed she was when she read that first “Scream” script.
“It’s very rare that you pick up a script and you don’t put it down and come back with a cup of coffee, and this one was a real page-turner - I read it from start to finish,” Campbell said.
She was 21 at the time and fresh off “The Craft," and "it was the first lead in a film that I’d even come close to. It wasn’t a terribly conscious choice, but it happened to be really great,” she said.
Nonetheless, she never thought that her character would still be battling Ghostface in a fourth film.
“I remember the cast during the first film up in Santa Rosa joking about the fact that next Halloween, if it does well, there might be a ‘Scream’ costume, and wouldn’t that be funny,” she said. “We never imagined it would happen – to us it was just this tiny little independent that happened to have Drew Barrymore and Courteney Cox, but the rest of us were all newcomers.”
Now, 15 years later, Campbell is quite aware of “Scream’s” fanbase.
“There’s definitely a pressure after 10 years, because there’s such a buzz. There’s a pressure in making a good film, definitely, and not disappointing people, and I think we all felt that collectively,” she acknowledged. But, she added, this “Scream” finds a way to retain what everyone loves about the franchise while still firmly planting the story in the way we live now, another major reason why she signed on for a fourth installment.
“I wanted to know that we could bring something new and fun to these films, and keep what people loved about them,” she said. “For me, it was definitely about Kevin Williamson being more aware of what was going on with [today's] generation, and that’s definitely what he brought to this film.”
It’s "wonderful," she goes on, “because I think there’s a lot to be said about the changes that people experience now with social networking and media and the Internet and all of that. Things have definitely shifted. The way kids look at fame and fortune, there’s been a shift, and the film takes a look at that.”
She’s played Sidney Prescott for so long that returning to the character doesn't faze her, but the idea of watching scary movies? Well, that does strike a little fear in her heart.
“I’m not good at watching [horror movies],” Campbell laughed. “I’m not a big one for sitting down and scaring myself for two hours.They can be great fun and a roller-coaster ride, but I have to be with a good amount of friends. I’m a bit of a pussycat when it comes to that stuff.”
Catch Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott return to Woodsboro today when “Scream 4” opens in theaters nationwide.
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