The Making of 'Scream': Drew Barrymore looks back on filming the horror classic

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In honor of the release of Scream 4, which opens today, EW is looking back at the original 1996 film and talking to cast members about their best production memories. Drew Barrymore played teenager Casey Becker, who was famously killed off in the opening ten minutes of Scream. The actress was originally approached to play the lead role of Sidney Prescott, which was eventually given to Neve Campbell, but Barrymore gravitated towards the opening sequence. “The first scene was really reminiscent to me of When A Stranger Calls, like these great things that left you wanting more,” says Barrymore. “And it was absolutely my favorite part, but I loved the whole thing.” EW talked to Barrymore about the original film, shooting her terrifying death scene, and working with director Wes Craven.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you want to play Casey in Scream?
I just read the script one night at my house and I just said, “Oh my God, there hasn’t been anything like this for so long.” I loved that it actually got tongue and cheeky but it was still scary and it was this great game that sort of described genres and revived them at the same time and redefined them all in one script. I went bananas.

You’re only in the film for about ten minutes — how long did that take to shoot?
Exactly five days. We started on a Monday night and we ended on a Friday night at, like, five in the morning.

And did you shoot it in sequence?
Pretty much, yeah. And Wes and I, you know, had made this great agreement on how we wanted to approach the whole thing and we couldn’t have been more on the same page. I was like, “I never want fake tears, I will come up with a mechanism with which to really make me cry. I will run around until I’m hyperventilating.” He and I had this secret story. We would just talk about it every time cause it just made me cry every time I thought about it. That worked for tears — it didn’t work for hyperventilating. I would still have to run around a lot.

What was that like shooting such an intense moment?
That’s exactly the challenge I wanted. I just thought, “How could I make it real?” I’m sure it’s everybody’s worst f—ing nightmare. I loved getting the opportunity to work with [Wes] and I trusted him. I wanted to do like a unique acting challenge and I just thought it was such a fun, different script.

Were you a fan of horror movies?
I love Halloween and love Freddy [Krueger]. The ones now I can’t handle. But I love the old slasher films, and I just thought this one headed off into a new direction. I did love horror films from the ’70s and ’80s. That was my sweet spot.

Why do you think people love the Scream franchise so much?
I have no idea cause I know they terrify the ever-loving crap out of me. I’m actually genuinely scared, but I think people need to be thrilled in life. And if you can pack that into an hour and a half, I think that’s time efficient and money well-spent. I also think the romantic in me is gonna believe that date night never dies. And date night is great at a horror film. I also think that just from the filmmaker side of me, that there is an incredible art to scary film, whether its like Korean cinema or a Wes Craven movie or old-school [like] Evil Dead.

Did you like working with Wes?
He’s such a sweetheart. He’s just the coolest. He really did make me feel incredibly safe and I really gravitated toward him — I tend to do that with directors. I’m not really good at yukking it up with everyone and I kinda wanna stay in that concentrated, focused zone. So I love being able to go to a great, male director and sort of stay there in the shade of their tree and their safety. And Wes is completely that guy.

Read more:
‘Scream 4′ star Neve Campbell on the film’s difficult production: ‘It wasn’t an easy shoot’

The Making of ‘Scream’: Jamie Kennedy looks back on filming the horror classic
Courteney Cox talks filming ‘Scream 4′ with estranged husband David Arquette
‘Scream 4′ writer Kevin Williamson discusses his ‘massive fight’ with Bob Weinstein
Gallery: ‘Scream 4′ premiere


Comments (9 total) Add your comment
  • scream queen

    In one of the behind-the-scenes extras from the Scream box set, it said that “special story” was that got Drew so emotional. She’s a big animal lover, so before shooting a scene Wes would show her pictures of animals being killed and tell her stories about animal cruelty.

    • SaraJ

      Wow… intense.

    • whatevs

      Wow, talk about dedication to your craft! As an animal lover myself, I definitely couldn’t volunteer to see pictures like that to make myself cry.

  • LostBoy68

    I wonder how much the studio paid EW to post all these ads… I mean stories.

    • Le HIROSHI


      – –

      IMO, people are NOT that stupid to suspect not. . . on that topic. But that doesn’t mean we cannot simply enjoy reading them.

      – –

      Twilight sagas, SCREAM, etc. – yes, I think we some us smell it*. But so what? I myself do not expect any Pulitzer (. . .) soon. But, “here we are now, ENTERTAIN us.” *If it’s not true is another story.

      – –

      “I know you don’t wanna hear what I say. . .I know you’re gonna keep turnin’ away. . .” That’s fine, too.

  • SXiPPY

    Why can’t people on this site ever be happy and if they don’t like the media coverage on a movie, TV show, or artist, just avoid reading the article? “Glee”, Lady Gaga, now this with the comment by LostBoy68; if you don’t like the movie, don’t read the article! Realize however, that there are those of us who are fans who want to read these types of interviews and who greatly appreciate it.

    • Emmett

      well said, i agree 100%

  • John

    Really nice of Drew to get a Scream interview.


    @EW staff: Thanks beaucoup.

    – –

    @Drew Barrymore,

    – –

    Thanks for making it all worthwhile in SCREAM I. I ALWAYS enjoyed watching your characters in those films you were starring in.

    Back to SCREAM I: the platinum blond hair was just a perfect choice; it went so well with everything in those sequences.

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