Interview: Scream 4's Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin And Anthony Anderson
Itís pretty crazy to think that Wes Cravenís Scream came on the scene 15 years ago. In that time, a lot of things have changed and that goes for the franchiseís cast as well. While Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox are all back for Scream 4, theyíre joined by the next generation of stars, including Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin and Anthony Anderson.
A few weeks back (yes, Iíve known who the killer is for nearly a month now), the franchiseís newest stars gathered together for a press conference, where they talked about the experience working on the film, from working with the surprisingly funny Wes Craven, to their relationship with the original movies and scaring each other on set. Check it out below, and be sure to check out Perriís exclusive interview with Craven that we posted last week.
Have you watched the whole series? What did you think when you were offered this?
Anthony Anderson: Well I did, I grew up watching this franchise, and you have a trivia question now, or it will be. I actually spoofed this movie in Scary Movie 3 and 4, and now Iím a part of the franchise that I spoofed. So I think itís Scary Movie 5 that I will be a part of now. But, the genre, the franchise itself was fun to be a part of and to watch growing up. The way that Wes Craven tells his stories and intertwines the horror with humor, I think thatís what really separates this franchise of horror movies from the others. What do you guys think?
Emma Roberts: For me, I was obviously too young to ever see it when it came out in theaters, but it was one of those movies that I saw when I was a teenager and all my friends were obsessed with wanting to watch scary movies and this was one of the first few I saw. And I remember thinking, it was probably the scariest, just because, out of all of the horror movies of my generation, I think this was the most real kind of? You know, itís the most plausible. And thatís why itís so freaky, you know, like when a phone rings, youíre kind of freaked out. And when you see those big glass windows, you know what Iím talking about, itís scary. So it was definitely creepy.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were with some friends at night and then somebody gets a mysterious phone call, or youíre watching a scary movie?
Emma Roberts: You know, my friends keep calling me and doing the voice and saying, ďWhatís your favorite scary movie?Ē and as much as I know itís a joke I still canít help like looking over my shoulder a little bit, because itís creepy!
Rory Culkin: Yeah, I saw the first one when I was like eight years old, around. I was scarred for a little while. And then, after I got this part I went back and watched all three. Pretty solid. Not really dated, but it says a lot about its time.
Anthony Anderson: I just want to say that, I just found out who the real killer is in this movie. I did. I donít know if they couldnít trust me with the script, but they never gave me a script with the ending. I really just found out who the killers were.
Emma Roberts: Did you really? [laughs]
Anthony Anderson: Like fifteen, twentyÖAnd I havenít seen the movie yet! So I really donít know who the killers are. Fifteen minutes ago I found out who the killers were! I mean of course they know because they saw it but dammit! I just found out. That it was the black guy! New decade, new room baby. The black guy doesnít die first anymore.
Emma Roberts: I mean for me, when I read the script, before I signed on to do the movie, I had to go to Wes Cravenís house and sit down and read it. And when we got our scripts, we were all, I think all of us were scared because they were all watermarked, and so if you lost it, you knew who lost it, it would say ďEmma RobertsĒ across the script. So we were all just, I was scared because I was just gonna be embarrassed if mine got lost and itís on the internet with my name on it, so there were a couple times when I just was like, do I shred them? What do I do? Because there were times when I almost lost it.
Anthony Anderson: Well I did lose mine. And thatís why, I think, they never gave me the real script. What else has happened? I never thought I really had the real script because every time I would go home and study these lines, Iíd show up on set, theyíd give me a completely new set of sides for the day. And I was like, ďThis is just not the shit that you told me to study for yesterday!Ē So thatís how I knew they were pulling tricks on me, at least.
Emma Roberts: It was just him, for the record. [To Anthony] Just you.
How easy or hard to scare are you guys, either watching scary movies or in your real life? Is it hard to scare you or very easy to scare you?
Emma Roberts: Iím very easily scared. I was covering my eyes through most of Scream 4, and I was in the movie! [laughs] I saw it with my mom and she was like, ďHoney I love you but I have to step out for a moment, Iím too scared,Ē and I was like, ďYouíre too scared? Itís me,Ē and she was like, ďItís just scary.Ē So we were all horrified. I was sitting next to a bunch of people and we were all in our seats with our knees up.
So you experience a lot of action in this movie, a lot of physical stuff, did it empower you at all to do a more physical role?
Emma Roberts: Iíd love to do more action roles. Iím not very athletic, I have to say. I always played, like, ďgirl sports,Ē I was never really a big sport person. So this was definitely, for me, as far as the physical aspect of it, difficult. Iíve never been able to really run convincingly so I had to learn how to do that in this movie.
Anthony Anderson: Sheís pigeon toed, knock-kneed and bowlegged. That makes it difficult to run in a straight line.
Anthony Anderson: Hold on! Rory is not a pedophile! [laughs]
How was it working with the originals?
Emma Roberts: It was fun, I mean it was cool! We all had a good time, I think everyone, we were in Michigan for three months so we all got to kind of bond and hang out. We would spend a lot of time together when we werenít flying home.
[Hayden Panettiere, who is arriving late to the press conference, sneaks in]
Anthony Anderson: [interrupting] Ladies and gentleman, Ladies and Gentleman! Hayden is here!
So, working with the originals?
Rory Culkin: Yeah, it was cool. They were sort of in our position ten, fifteen years earlier.
Emma Roberts: Fifteen.
Rory Culkin: So they understood where we were coming from and it was pretty cool.
Anthony Anderson: Theyíre all fossilized. Theyíre old. Weíre the new generation of the Scream franchise. I mean you know theyíre just tired and old and bitter. It was great, working with the, you know, David Arquette and Courtney Cox and I have been friends for thirteen, fourteen years now. David and I have worked together in the past. So it was great to finally work a gig with him in a franchise that I grew up watching and spoofed and parodied, and one that I enjoyed. And we bonded, weíd rent out a lake house and be out there for three, four days at a time just having water balloon fights and barbeques and lovemaking and all kinds of things.
Anthony Anderson: You should have been there.
Hayden Panettiere: It was more like, flames. [miming huge flames with her hands]
Anthony Anderson: You need fire! You need fire to cook red meat! [laughs]
Emma Roberts: I saw those flames
Anthony Anderson: Like David Arquette threw gasoline on the gasoline on the fire pit...
Hayden Panettiere: But then they were doing a photo shoot!
Anthony Anderson: You donít use gasoline at home when youíre cooking ribs!
Hayden Panettiere: You did not look too disturbed by it, you were like, ďIím a man! I make fire!Ē
Anthony Anderson: And you ate our meat!
Hayden Panettiere: I did eat the meat, I did.
Hayden, you havenít said what it was like working with the original cast in this movie and if you had seen the original movie, what you thought of it? Because we asked them all that before you came here.
Hayden Panettiere: Well I was seven when it came out, so I waited until a little bit later in life to experience Scream, and it was something that I was a big fan of. You know itís got that aspect, that Halloween aspect with the masked person but at the same time itís got that very realistic aspect of somebody, the fear of somebody breaking into your house, and thatís a terrifying thing. But it was a great experience. You know, itís always a little bit nerve wracking when you come into a family. It was something that was already established, the family that was already established, they had been through so much together, they had been through these films together, and you really have to tread lightly on that and have respect for that and find your way into that that group, that family, and where you fit in. But they were always great with that. They really had an interest in knowing us and including us and really made that effort, and it made it just a great experience.
Hayden Panettiere: You might have to quit acting for that afterward.
Anthony Anderson: I donít fight fair. Iím telling you that right now, you will never see it coming.
Hayden Panettiere: I know, I know. My dadís a fireman from Brooklyn, he always told me in a fight there are no rules.
Anthony Anderson: None, whatsoever.
Hayden Panettiere: You just swing. Thatís it.
Your character is very spunky and sheís very fearless. How similar are you to her?
Hayden Panettiere: Well Iíd like to think of myself as those things, but...It goes both ways. I was drawn to her because sheís not like anyone Iíve ever played before. Sheís very, she tries, sheís sarcastic, sheís got that tomboy aspect to her, which I can relate to. But sheís a horror movie buff, under it all, which is not what you expect from her. And then itís a really cool element to her personality thatís unexpected and kind of clever. I canít say that Iím the same in that way, but itís a fun character to play.
Emma Roberts: It was scary, I mean I would get, even though we knew who it was, I would get freaked out. Running away would get scary. There was a scene where I had to run up some stairs and he was really treading me down and I really almost just completely ate it and fell down because I was just getting really nervous. Yeah, itís scary.
Hayden Panettiere: You were also in stilettos.
Emma Roberts: I was also in eight inch heels because apparently, I was too short.
Hayden Panettiere: And lifts.
Emma Roberts: Yeah. Iím like 5í2Ē on a good day and I think I was probably 5í7Ē or 5í9Ē in the movie because I had shoes this big [motions with hands] that were not ideal for running away from a serial killer.
Hayden Panettiere: Itís scary. You know, youíve got the horror mask nowadays and a lot of them are very gruesome and theyíve got blood and scabs and this and that, but there is something just so scary about that mask. Itís so simple. And even the painting that itís based off, you know, that, itís just eerie. It just gets you in a way that only the simplistic, unexaggerated way that itís done can really make you scared. I donít like knives, either.
Hayden, Wes Craven tweeted that he had Ghostface scare you off camera.
Hayden Panettiere: Yes, he did.
So can you tell us about your experience, was anybody else pranked on set?
Hayden Panettiere: Well we were doing a scene in the bedroom and itís this whole, ďDun dun DUNĒ scene, and you think he might be in the closet, and you open the closet, heís not there. And then all of a sudden, he was there! And he wasnít supposed to be there! It was JB, our prop guy, and he scared me half to death, and he disappeared. And I didnít see him until the next day, I was looking around for him, and I didnít see him until the next day and he was like, ďDude, I wanted to come back but I was, I felt so bad, you were so scared!Ē and so he definitely got me. You know you try to front like youíre all tough and them something jumps out of the closet and ďAAH!Ē That was the end of the story.
Hayden Panettiere: Heís a mastermind.
Anthony Anderson: I wouldnít go that far, Hayden. He just does what he does, Iím not gonna say heís a mastermind. [laughs] Heís good at what he does. Iím like the biggest and the baddest one on set, the loudest and...
Hayden Panettiere: Hey! Hey! Slow down I wouldnít say that.
Anthony Anderson: Okay, youíre a close second, Hayden. And so, not unlike Hayden, Wes did the same thing to me in the exact same scene. I had no idea that thatís what he did to her, but Iím upstairs in the bedroom of the house, Iím going through the closet, and you know, nobody is supposed to be in there and I opened up the door, and I didnít know the prop guyís name and he jumped out wearing the mask, with a knife, and he scared me shitless to the point where I soiled myself [laughs].
Hayden Panettiere: It wreaked in the house for days.
Anthony Anderson: And then, thatís when I found out, you know, Wes really has a sense of humor and really cool to work with and for. And I didnít know what to expect from Wes, given some of his earlier works. I grew up watching The Last House on the Left and some crazy stuff that Wes Craven did, and then you know, to get the opportunity to work with him, itís like, ďOkay, how is this guy, how is he really gonna be on set?Ē I was expecting this weirdo, this creep and all that. And I got a weirdo and a creep, but in a great way. Wes is the uncle, the grandfather that you want reading bedtime stories to your kids. It was just fun and interesting to see him that way and to work with him in that capacity and to be a part of a franchise like this and for it to be as successful as it is. As successful as we hope it continues to be.
Hayden Panettiere: Itís kind of like what you would expect Stephen King to be. You kind of expect him to be...
Anthony Anderson: No, heís crazy [laughs].
Hayden Panettiere: But you expect them all to be weird. You expect them all to have that creepy aspect to them and be just kind of an odd duck. It was very interesting because Wes is very, heís kind of shy, heís very quiet, and then he comes out with these, all of a sudden, you get to know his sense of humor. He comes out with these amazing one liners where youíre like, ďDude that was really funny. That was really really really funny.Ē Because you donít really know how to take him in the beginning, and then he comes out with these clever ones and heís got this kind of, ďHa ha ha!Ē smirk on his face. But he makes you feel very at home. He makes you feel very comfortable to try different things and throws different things at you. And when youíre coming into something thatís so established like a Scream franchise, itís sometimes the stuff outside the box you get a little bit nervous to try your own thing. Youíre kind of waiting for somebody to escort you down this path and tell you exactly how itís done. And whatís amazing, too, is the little nuances that go into making a horror movie, things that you donít even think about doing. Like, Wes would come up and go, ďAdd a little jump there. Just add a little jump.Ē And it doesnít feel right to you then, it feels odd and out of place, but you know that when itís all pieced together that itís just such a big part of having the audience come with you on this journey and really feeling that fear that the characters are feeling.
Hayden Panettiere: I have a little brother, thatís a given. And vice versa, I got it back as he got taller than me.
Rory Culkin: Yeah, when I was younger I actually had a ghostface mask, and I stood in my sisterís room in the corner for like half an hour until she saw in the reflection, me behind her, and she freaked out and started slapping me. Thatís the only story I got.
Hayden Panettiere: Itís dangerous. Itís dangerous to scare someone, you never know, like you see with those Americas Funniest Home Videos, this guy pops up on the porch and the guy punches him in the face. And heís apologizing afterward, but itís never a good idea to scare people.
Emma Roberts: Iím not good at scaring other people but I get scared so easily, I got scared on set. My sister is ten and she scares me with stupid things like fake spiders in my bed, so Iím really used to.
Hayden Panettiere: Well youíd be the person who would go, ďAH!Ē and the person screams and youíd go ďAaahhh!Ē
Emma Roberts: Yeah, yeah, thatís me.
Anthony Anderson: None for me, I grew up in an area where if you screamed, scared someone, you got your ass whooped. You know, just reflex. So you didnít play those games.
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