Jamie Kennedy, Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard talk to Yahoo Entertainment about Scream, 25 years later, for the latest installment of MVP’s of Horror. ¬†Click here to view full video https://news.yahoo.com/mvps-horror-jamie-kennedy-skeet-120000088.html

scream jamie kennedy

Video Transcript

You like scary movies?

Uh-huh.

You never told me your name.

Why do you want to know my name?

Because I want to know who I’m looking at.

KEVIN POLOWY: “Scream” is coming up on its 25th anniversary, which Paramount is celebrating with a new 4K Ultra HD release this month. Obviously, it had a very strong pedigree with Wes and Kevin behind it and a very talented and very handsome and beautiful cast, I must say. But what were your own expectations going into this one? I mean, I can’t imagine you guys had any clue it would be so seismic?

JAMIE KENNEDY: We had hopes, we had dreams, we had aspirations. We knew it was good. I didn’t know if people would see it or not. But it was so good that it was the little engine that could.

MATTHEW LILLARD: I had a very distinct memory of lying in the back of a van on the way to work. And everyone sort of talks, as actors do, about what you’re doing next. And I had just done a pilot for NBC. And I’m like this stupid horror movie is never doing anything and I’m going to go off to do this pilot for NBC and it’s going to be a huge hit. It’s by the people that did “Thirtysomething.” My future is television. And cut to that show didn’t get picked up and this movie ends up becoming, you know, something we’re talking about 25 years later.

KEVIN POLOWY: Going back to the beginning, was there ever any secrecy with the script? I mean, I’m assuming you guys knew who the killers were from the beginning.

MATTHEW LILLARD: We did. I mean, it was before the internet. It was really before the internet. It was before the idea of like, you know, hiding ending. I’ll never forget “Scream 2.” The script had like a red line through it, so you couldn’t photocopy it. You have to remember, like “Scream” was made by a director that was not hot at the time. It was starring two women that were on television.

Like the idea that this movie was going to be something other than just another horror movie is crazy. Because nobody expected it, from Kevin on down. It wasn’t until they got it into post and they understood that there was a really sort of cool movie there did it start to get the attention that the franchise has now. So it was a surprise to everyone.

SKEET ULRICH: They had shot the beginning stuff with Drew. And Miramax was going to pull the plug on continuing to shoot the film. They didn’t get it. They weren’t into it. And Wes, Marianne Maddalena, and Cathy Konrad spent, you know, a couple of days cutting together at the beginning of it and rushed it to Miramax so they could see what they were doing with it. And they saw that cut for opening and were all back on board, thank god. It’s not something we were made aware of while shooting it. It was something that, you know, we were told years after.

KEVIN POLOWY: You mentioned Drew Barrymore, who, obviously, I think she was originally going to play Sydney, but so memorably cameos in the film’s opening sequence, almost like a separate movie. I mean, did you guys even meet her until like the premiere?

JAMIE KENNEDY: I never– no, I never met Drew on the set. That was the week before she was shot in and out in like eight days or something. So that was kind of its own little micro baby. And then the title comes, “Scream.”

SKEET ULRICH: I met her at the photo shoot, the poster shoot that we did a couple of months after filming. I can’t even remember it.

MATTHEW LILLARD: I wasn’t on the poster shoot. They only had the pretty people on the poster. And I never made the poster. But I will say that in terms of scheduling of the movie coming out on Christmas Day, the idea that you’re promoting the movie with Drew Barrymore as the lead, which is a huge mislead, we got lucky. Miramax hit the right tone.

I mean, if that movie comes out a different time, if you don’t have that sort of mislead in the moment, you know, with Nev, I mean, who knows if that movie has the same impact 25 years later. I mean, a lot of things have to go right for a movie to to be successful. But for a movie to be where this movie is at at this point with the fifth movie coming out in the franchise and multigenerational success, I mean, a lot had to go right.

KEVIN POLOWY: I just read a fun fact. Is it true that Ghostface’s robe was originally going to be white but changed in fear of possible comparisons to the Ku Klux Klan? Have you heard about this?

SKEET ULRICH: I did not, no, I had never heard that. It doesn’t mean it’s not true. I mean, maybe in, you know–

MATTHEW LILLARD: I mean, the funny thing is, they didn’t have the mask for the first five or 10 days of shooting. I mean, the first day I shot was the day on the square around that fountain. But they were looking, they were opening boxes and pulling masks out of boxes to try to find a mask. I mean, they didn’t, they didn’t have any. So it wasn’t until a quarter of the way in the movie that they pulled this thing out from, you know, this little company in North Carolina owned the rights to, you know, the “Scream” mask.

And I don’t think that Miramax got the rights to the “Scream” mask when the movie came out. They had to go back and negotiate those rights later on, which, you know, that company is a little mom and pop company that was making masks out of art. I mean, they were looking at art projects being like, that’s a fun mask. I mean, can you imagine that company going, wait a second, our mask is now this iconic– and I’m sure they probably made a gazillion dollars off of that mask.

KEVIN POLOWY: You guys also mentioned the epic ending scene once you guys are all bloodied up and everything is sort of out in the open. What do you remember about those nights on set? I’ve heard you guys called it the longest night in horror history?

SKEET ULRICH: It was like five nights of shooting just that one scene. It was exhausting, but there was a real commitment to bringing the story home. And for me, and I’m sure for Matt, you know, almost hiding through the whole film in a way and then getting this release, you know, it was just really invigorating. There was a lot of fun that came out of those nights. There was a lot of work being done that just for Neve and Matt and I and Courteney and everybody in that sort of main part, that was the moment you’d been waiting for the entire shoot.

MATTHEW LILLARD: It was so bananas. I mean, the energy level of that last sequence is like so crazy. I mean, you watch it now, it’s so manic and weird. I mean, it’s a weird–

SKEET ULRICH: It is, yeah.

MATTHEW LILLARD: Like you would never, as a grown adult actor, make those choices again at this point I don’t think.

SKEET ULRICH: No.

MATTHEW LILLARD: I mean, and I would certainly never direct that. I would never be like, that was great, you screaming with spit coming out of your mouth, do it again. I mean, what was he doing? What was he doing? He was crazy.

KEVIN POLOWY: Jamie, are you actually the guy lying down during those scenes? Or was that a body double?

JAMIE KENNEDY: Dude, I lied down. I maybe– I probably had a double a couple of times like stand in. But there were times where like Wes wanted me in there and I wanted to be in there. And then there was times when I was like, the magic of Hollywood was wearing off. I’m like, all right, this is like my fourth night like laying here. I’m like, my kneecap could be anybody’s kneecap. You know, get Doug to do it. But I think I did do it. I did a lot of my own lying.

KEVIN POLOWY: Shout out to Doug for, you know, stepping in and lying down when he needed to. Plus, I mean, you could catch a nap too, I imagine, if you needed to.

JAMIE KENNEDY: I was, bro. I would catch a real nap.

KEVIN POLOWY: How do you feel when you see the Ghostface mask today? Like what emotions does that trigger?

JAMIE KENNEDY: Honestly, dude, none. You’d be amazed how many people have this stuff on them. Like, it’s crazy. I was at a Coffee Bean the other day, and some dude pulled it out. There’s no way he would’ve known I was going to be there.

KEVIN POLOWY: Amazing and also kind of disturbing that that many people, there are that many people just walking around with Ghostface masks out there.

JAMIE KENNEDY: Right? More than you think.

KEVIN POLOWY: I mean, the movie was so ridiculously popular when it came out. How were people reacting to you guys like when they’d see you out and about, given the like the film’s big twist ending? Did anyone like take it too little too seriously?

MATTHEW LILLARD: You’re always on your own journey. You’re just trying to find another job. And I definitely don’t remember anyone treating me different or being special or– I mean, I was hanging out with Neve a lot at that time. And I remember she was the belle of the ball everywhere she went at that point.

SKEET ULRICH: I had one small inkling on a flight. And the kid in front of me turns around and he’s like, you’re the guy in “Scream.” And I was, like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And he was like, why are you in coach?

MATTHEW LILLARD: I get that question still to this day. Why are you in preferred seating? I’m like, well.

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