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Scream’s Neve Campbell Reveals She Was Once Attacked By A Bear On A Movie Set

Neve Campbell in Scream
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Neve Campbell knows a thing or two about scary movies. As a bonafide Scream Queen (or, queen of Scream if you’d prefer), she has endured some brutal moments on screen over the years. But it turns out one of her scariest on-set moments had nothing to do with Ghostface, because she was once attacked by a bear while filming a movie. 

Most people probably associate Neve Campbell with the Scream franchise – she has starred in all five films, after all. But before she played Sidney Prescott in Wes Craven's original movie, she worked hard to build a Hollywood career, racking up credits in film (like the spooky teen movie The Craft) and television (like her breakthrough role in the family drama Part of Five). One of her pre-Scream performances was noteworthy for a much less positive reason. During a visit to The Kelly Clarkson Show, Campbell shared a story about a terrifying experience she had on a Canadian film set. It started when she was asked to do something a little bit unconventional to prepare for a scene: 

I was playing this role where she’s ‘one with the animals’ and there was a scene where I was getting chased by a bear. They brought this bear on set and they first gave me this big bottle of Coke to feed it. [After feeding it], they said dip your hand in honey and just run. And when you get to the tree over there, turn your hand out and feed the bear.

Okay, there were probably safer ways to get the bear on board with his big cinematic moment, but the actress told Kelly Clarkson she set aside her reservations. She was just seventeen years old and assumed the crew knew what they were doing. Also, the star said that she was a “people pleaser” and eager to show she was capable of the scary stunt, so she followed the instructions: 

I dipped my hand in honey, and I run to this rock, and I turn around and I put my hand out – and the bear is not slowing down and he’s not coming for my hand. He grabs me by the leg and he pulls me through the forest. My mother was visiting set and she’s screaming. The whole crew is frozen because nobody can believe what’s happening. All I can think to say is, ‘He’s biting me,’ like it’s not obvious.

Luckily, one of the members of the crew was able to distract the bear by throwing rocks at it, and Neve Campbell was able to escape. She didn’t disclose which movie she was filming at the time, but it goes without saying that it probably wasn't her favorite filmmaking experience. 

These days, she’s still screaming on movie sets from time to time, albeit in a much more controlled environment. The latest Scream just debuted in theaters (with a solid opening night) and, while there are plenty of terrifying moments that have delighted critics, the film doesn’t feature a single bear.