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Scream’s Matthew Lillard And Skeet Ulrich Recall Filming The OG Movie And Freaking People Out While ‘Half Caked’ In Fake Blood

Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard as Billy and Stu in Scream 1996
(Image credit: Dimension Films)

SPOILERS are ahead for the Scream franchise. 

Ahead of The Batman’s inevitable big box office haul in a couple weeks, Hollywood’s return to Scream is 2022’s biggest hit so far, reaching a commercial milestone in theaters and paving the way for Scream 6 to be greenlit. As the horror offering sees a big moment back in the collective conversation, the original villains behind Ghostface are reflecting on their experience on the 1996 film. 

Matthew Lillard and Skeet Ulrich surprised audiences back then when the pair were revealed to be the killers under the mask, as Billy and Stu. The pair recently recalled what it was like to film the Wes Craven film before Scream became a massive franchise. In Lillard’s words: 

Nobody was out trying to make an iconic movie. We were just trying to make the best movie possible, and quite frankly, it was a horror movie at a time when Wes Craven hadn’t made a good horror movie in a long time. So it wasn’t like there were great expectations, but there was the sense that we were all in. Nobody was jaded. Nobody’s protecting themselves or being like, This is lame. Everyone was all in, and I think the power of that is sort of unappreciated and undeniable. It really speaks to the artistry. And I know that sounds really dramatic, but I know when you have a bunch of artists fully committed to making something incredible, great things happen.

These days, we know Scream was a big hit. The movie has such a massive cultural hold on pop culture and a huge fanbase that will never forget the first time they watched the Wes Craven movie. As Matthew Lillard shared to Vulture, when the original Scream cast was on the set of the film, there was no indication that they were about to make horror history with the clever slasher whodunnit. Skeet Ulrich added this: 

I agree completely. We did feel like a group of outcasts that came together. You know, 6 a.m. getting off work and we’d be rolling into the hotel half caked in sticky syrup and blood as people are rolling out to go on their wine tours in Napa Valley. We must have looked like the most insane group of people in this hotel complex! I mean, obviously there were relationships. There were children born of those bonds! You can’t undermine that at all, and Matt’s right. It’s not every film that you get to do that — less and less now as we get distracted by so many things. It really was an incredible time. I remember one of the first nights that we were all there — I don’t know if you remember, Matt — we all gathered in that field out in front of the hotel.

Scream brought together David Arquette and Courtney Cox on its set, who got married in 1999 and had their daughter Coco in 2004. The couple have since separated, but from that detail alone, it’s clear the cast really had a chance to bond and get along on set. 

Matthew Lillard spoke about sets being different in the age of technology, with people often glued to their phones in between takes. Scream came at a time before that which contributed to the actors getting close in their opinions. Lillard continued: 

Because of the hours we worked and the way we worked, we were inseparable. You get off work at six o’clock in the morning and you want your sort of traditional after-work beer, and you’re going to David Arquette’s room to grab a drink. Not only that, but the grips are there, the crew’s there, Wes is there. The entire cast is there, and the idea of being night owls on location adds to this really familia sort of vibe. I think that there was an innocence about it because we were all young. We all had a lot to gain.

Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard did not return to the Scream franchise for any of the following three sequels given their characters' fates at the end of the movie. However, Ulrich did get to return to the series for the 2022 movie to come back as the ghost of Billy Loomis as the movie explored a new character with a shared past. Lillard has yet to return to Stu, but he has a following of fans who believe and want to see the character return in a coming sequel. 

The latest Scream is now playing in theaters and will come to digital on March 1. You can check out what upcoming horror movies are next here on CinemaBlend. 

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.