That Time Jessica Simpson Totally Auditioned For The Scream Franchise

screenshot of Jessica Simpson
(Image credit: Jessica Simpson's YouTube)

The horror genre has been experiencing a renaissance for years now, but that wasn’t always the case. Indeed, slashers got new life thanks to Wes Craven’s original Scream movie, which was a massive hit and started a beloved franchise. And it turns out that pop star/businesswoman Jessica Simpson totally auditioned for a role opposite the villainous Ghostface. Here’s the story.

Shortly after the huge box office success of Scream, the studio quickly greenlit a sequel from Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson. Scream 2 was cast and shot at a brisk pace in order to get it released less than a year after the original, and included some tragic deaths. Williamson recently spoke to THR about working on that first sequel, revealing that Jessica Simpson actually auditioned for a role. In his words,

I was in the auditions, partially, but for Scream one, I was there all the time. But for Scream 2, I was already doing so much. So I don’t remember his audition, but I remember Jessica Simpson auditioning. (Laughs.) But I do think I saw his screen test. I think I saw the tape.

Talk about FOMO. Landing a role in the Scream franchise is a dream for many actors out there, and it looks like Jessica Simpson was one of the many hopefuls who were hoping to get in on the bloody fun for the 1997 sequel. This would come years before she actually got to appear in any movie roles, and I have to wonder how her career might have changed if she was cast. 

Kevin Williamson’s comments to THR come as he celebrated the 25th anniversary of Scream 2’s release. News of Jessica Simpson’s audition is sure to turn a few heads, especially considering just how iconic the characters and performances ended up being. Of course, the question is: who exactly could the “Public Affair” singer have played in the beloved slasher flick?

Elise Neal as Hallie in Scream 2

(Image credit: Dimension Films)

Given Jessica Simpson’s look, many Scream fans might assume that she got to audition for the role of Cece Cooper. The character was famously played by scream queen Sarah Michelle Gellar, who signed onto the project without even reading its script. But luckily Kevin Williamson shared some more insider information, revealing:

No, if I remember correctly, I think she auditioned for [Sidney’s] roommate.

Scream 2 fans will know that Williamson is referencing the character Hallie, played to pitch perfection by actress Elise Neal. It turns out that Wes Craven could have brought a bonafide pop star into his sophomore entry into the Scream franchise, but for one reason or another she didn’t get the gig. Although at this point it’s hard to imagine anyone besides Neal playing the role. 

In the end it would take years before Jessica Simpson took movie roles in projects like Dukes of Hazzard and The Love Guru– although she reportedly was offered in the lead of The Notebook. But that doesn’t mean she’s been struggling, as she’s a wildly successful businesswoman, with her clothing brand earning over $1 billion. And hey, with the Scream franchise back in theaters from the filmmakers at Radio Silence, maybe she could end up having a role in a future project. Stranger things have happened.

The upcoming sixth Scream movie is currently expected to arrive in theaters on March 10th (and it’s going to be bloody). In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your trips to the theater in the New Year. And hardcore fans will be pleased to know that Kevin Williamson is once again involved, serving as an executive producer. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.