Five Favorite Films

Neve Campbell's Five Favorite Films

The Scream star talks her love of old-school musicals and Robert Altman, and shares the discoveries she made while working on new opioid-addiction drama Castle In the Ground.

by | May 12, 2020 | Comments

Neve Campbell
(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/WireImage)

Fans of the Scream series’ Sidney Prescott may not recognize Neve Campbell in her latest role, a terminally ill mom struggling with opioid addiction in the Canadian drama Castle In the Ground. The actress – most famous as the ass-kicking final girl of Wes Craven’s slasher franchise – gives a raw, vulnerable, and moving performance as Rebecca, who swings between guilt about her son (Alex Wolff) giving up so much of his life to care for her, and outbursts driven by her addiction to the meds numbing her pain. The movie, which follows Wolff’s character’s own journey through addiction and his relationship with a troubled neighbor (Imogen Poots), premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, where writer-director Joey Klein, Campbell, and the cast were heralded for their intimate look at the mammoth opioid crisis. Ahead of Castle In the Ground‘s at-home release, Campbell shared her Five Favorite Films with Rotten Tomatoes and explained what drew her to the new project. Plus – deep breath, Scream fans – she revealed she may not be done with Ghostface just yet.

Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso) (1988) 89%

My dad introduced me to cinema when I was a kid, to watch old films and foreign films, and so I think I was just touched by the idea of a young kid getting to know the projectionist in a village and falling in love with the world of cinema. I kind of related to that. And then I related to the idea of a kid’s passion for movies and eventually getting out and making movies himself. I like the idea of that. And the pacing of the film, and the beauty of the cinematography, and the relationship between the boy and the projectionist is very, very sweet and very touching.

Call Me by Your Name (2018) 95%

It’s such a touching, beautiful depiction of coming of age and discovering one’s sexuality and first love. I thought Timothée Chalamet’s performance was so beautiful and he captured youthful discoveries in such a way, I was moved for days. And again, the pacing of the film was so patient and thoughtful, and the cinematography and the location really brought you into the film. I felt transported.

The monologue with the father towards the end of the film, where he reveals that he perhaps had a similar experience, or his life could have been different had he allowed himself the room to be who he needed to be – I just thought it was such a beautiful moment.

That’s two movies set in beautiful parts of Italy. Do you have a thing for the Italian countryside?

I hadn’t even thought about that! I think maybe because my dad raised me on foreign films I lean in that direction. I don’t think it was specifically Italy, but obviously it’s a very romantic location.

The Big Chill (1983) 68%

I love intimate ensemble pieces that allow you to get to know the dynamic amongst a group of characters without overly complex plot lines. The movie certainly made me wish I’d grown up with those people. You know, despite their flaws. They really had such a wonderful, deep love and friendship between them that I think is meaningful. It’s a phenomenal cast and I just loved the history that was created amongst the characters without it being fed to you; it was unraveled for you throughout the film.

Singin' in the Rain (1952) 100%

I was a dancer, and this movie inspired me to become a dancer, I think. I grew up watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films, and they really inspired me. I loved watching the big dance sequences in this film. Gene Kelly is phenomenal. I love that the film has fun looking into the transition from silence into sound in the movie world as well. It was a big challenge for a lot of actors to go from one to the other, and I think they have a really hilarious look at that transition. But also I think it’s these big dance numbers and big choreographed pieces with a hundred dancers on top of their game. You just wouldn’t see that anymore. You wouldn’t see sets like that either – the shots are just phenomenal.

Do you have a favorite song or sequence from the movie?

In Singin’ in the Rain? “Singin’ In the Rain,” of course. He’s so brilliant in it, it’s so flawless and beautiful. I was thinking it must have been freezing. They still haven’t figured out how to do warm rain – it’s totally cold and he must have been freezing. When you think about that it’s pretty phenomenal.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) 87%

It’s not your typical Western movie, although it might be mistaken as one. There’s virtually no dialogue in it, which I love. You know, I’m obviously a big Robert Altman fan; I got to make a movie with him [The Company]. I love his work, and I actually hadn’t seen this film until I worked with him and had a look at it. I think the performances are very surprising and wonderful. I personally love a film that doesn’t have much dialogue in it and the story’s basically told through glances and sounds, and I just think it’s unique.

Joel Meares for Rotten Tomatoes: What was Joey’s pitch to you to come on board for The Castle in the Ground? What was it that interested you about the film and the script?

Neve Campbell: Well, I think it’s a very important topic. The subject of the opioid crisis is very important at the moment. I think over half a million people have lost their lives to the opioid crisis and it’s tens of thousands of people a year, still. And I think so few people really realize how easily people can succumb to these medications and how dangerous they can be if not taken appropriately. So, for me that was really important.

I hadn’t seen Joey Klein’s work before, and when it was brought to me, I watched his movie The Other Half. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s stunning. The performances are amazing and the time that he allows actors to go to where they need to go to and the vulnerability that he gets out of actors is a beautiful thing. Joey himself is an actor, and it’s always nice to work with directors who are also actors, because it’s a different language, and it’s sort of nice to be able to relate in that way when you’re being guided.

Rotten Tomatoes: Was there something that you learned about the opioid crisis or how people get access to these drugs while making this film that surprised you?

Campbell: I watched a bunch of documentaries once I got the film, when I decided to do it, and I spoke to Joey’s dad, actually, who is a doctor in Montreal. He spoke to me about what people go through, and I hadn’t realized the impact that Purdue Pharma [which introduced OxyContin to the market] had on the amount of people whose lives were lost. [It’s] pretty awful to think about the knowledge that they already had about the addictive qualities of these medications and the fact that they were not being honest about it. It’s pretty horrific to learn about that. And as I said, I hadn’t really been aware of the numbers before. So for me it was very eye-opening, and then infuriating.

Rotten Tomatoes: The relationship that you have with Alex Wolff’s character in the beginning of the film is so beautifully rendered and important when we consider his journey in the movie. Had you worked with Alex before and how did you guys create that genuine-feeling mother-son intimacy?

Campbell: I had never met Alex before we got on set together and started our first scene. I think the fact that I’m a mother of two boys really helped me. It helped me be aware of what that dynamic would be already and added an understanding of how devastating this journey would be with my son if I were to go through that myself.

And Alex was very, very willing to be vulnerable, and it was so important for this character, and he really went there. He was so committed to it. I think we were really glad when we realized in that first scene that we were both going to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and that we could be; we were safe in that place together.

Rotten Tomatoes: We can’t let you go without asking about the upcoming Scream movie. Have you been approached about playing Sidney Prescott again?

Campbell: We’re having conversations – I have been approached about it. The timing’s a bit challenging because of COVID. You know, we only started the conversation maybe a month and a half ago, so it’s going to take some time to figure out how it’s all going to work out…. We’re negotiating, so we’ll see.

The two directors wrote me a very touching letter about Wes Craven and how he was such an inspiration to them and how they really want to honor him, and that meant a great, great deal to me. So, we’ll see. Hopefully we can all see eye to eye on the project and find a way to make it.

Rotten Tomatoes: Are you excited about the possibility of returning to the franchise?

Campbell: I’m so grateful for these films… I love Sidney Prescott. It’s always fun for me to step back in her shoes, and it’s always fun for me to see the cast come back and make one of these films again and try to make another good one.

Castle In the Ground is available to rent or buy on demand May 15, 2020. 

Adjusted Score: 64.732%
Critics Consensus: While it's far from a feelgood drama, the well-acted Castle in the Ground approaches addiction with admirable honesty.
Synopsis: A grieving teenager (Alex Wolff) befriends his charismatic but troubled next-door neighbor (Imogen Poots), only to become ensnared in a... [More]
Directed By: Joey Klein

Thumbnail image: Courtesy the Everett Collection, © Sony Pictures Classics

Tag Cloud

critics facebook Endgame Pop TV Sundance a nightmare on elm street Star Wars FX docudrama Country AMC RT History chucky Apple TV Plus singing competition politics blockbuster Walt Disney Pictures IFC GLAAD Dark Horse Comics comics Comics on TV Countdown PBS series 2016 The Witch Superheroes Acorn TV dragons GIFs ITV indie Tubi Tarantino mutant Awards Tour BBC Funimation 71st Emmy Awards Holidays Mary poppins spy thriller Epix Peacock Discovery Channel directors serial killer Set visit 2019 Lionsgate Paramount Network Reality CNN ABC ESPN Fall TV San Diego Comic-Con HBO Max zombies The Walking Dead MSNBC Writers Guild of America streaming game show period drama joker 007 talk show Creative Arts Emmys Film Christmas vampires TV NBC comic DGA Premiere Dates 20th Century Fox versus WGN cults BBC America YouTube Red NYCC TIFF Brie Larson Disney Channel cancelled TV shows Nat Geo Stephen King MTV Oscars book Crunchyroll First Look cancelled TV series Rocketman rotten movies we love ABC Family Freeform miniseries science fiction aliens HBO Food Network psychological thriller kids hispanic DC Comics theme song die hard Mystery justice league Hulu Esquire Action movies Video Games golden globes Comedy Central comedies TCA Winter 2020 thriller Holiday Hallmark Television Academy Sneak Peek Disney Plus Sundance TV green book Western free movies Comic Book The CW Crackle The Purge what to watch SXSW halloween Marvel Television quibi President Horror Valentine's Day best scary movies Emmy Nominations FXX DC Universe DC streaming service supernatural FOX National Geographic screen actors guild SDCC Disney streaming service TCA criterion Heroines psycho 21st Century Fox Cannes Marathons Adult Swim crossover OneApp CBS space mockumentary Baby Yoda DirecTV Captain marvel Elton John diversity Winter TV TV Land Amazon reboot animated The Arrangement CMT YA Summer social media TBS Mudbound crime drama Tomatazos 4/20 American Society of Cinematographers documentary Columbia Pictures Fantasy game of thrones cats ratings canceled Amazon Prime Video dark Avengers Bravo renewed TV shows RT21 revenge 45 Nominations Trailer Family toy story sag awards Spring TV FX on Hulu cops Starz Watching Series comiccon PaleyFest SundanceTV Song of Ice and Fire Cosplay See It Skip It BET Logo Superheroe dceu harry potter Amazon Prime Character Guide Reality Competition hist Calendar Travel Channel finale cancelled television ghosts Paramount romance composers dc Masterpiece dogs Trophy Talk Teen Certified Fresh YouTube Premium Marvel Studios romantic comedy Lifetime Christmas movies spinoff CW Seed 2017 cooking boxoffice concert teaser Ghostbusters spain adaptation TNT south america disaster Pet Sematary Sony Pictures Apple TV+ reviews History parents children's TV Arrowverse TCM Drama Grammys TCA 2017 spanish language YouTube Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Lucasfilm TLC Turner all-time sports sequel robots casting political drama Winners Pride Month werewolf Chernobyl canceled TV shows Academy Awards Music Year in Review Britbox Netflix Christmas movies Syfy adventure cinemax Women's History Month universal monsters doctor who Showtime spider-man E3 asian-american WarnerMedia GoT VH1 cars Marvel Spike Sci-Fi Comedy elevated horror Best and Worst child's play dramedy festivals LGBTQ Trivia Mindy Kaling 2015 USA OWN LGBT IFC Films USA Network First Reviews Cartoon Network anime Podcast Netflix television TruTV Opinion medical drama blaxploitation Martial Arts Universal Vudu jamie lee curtis Extras Mary Tyler Moore Film Festival batman foreign zombie Box Office unscripted Mary Poppins Returns Super Bowl screenings Awards tv talk Ellie Kemper stoner A24 slashers E! Schedule Apple New York Comic Con crime historical drama travel richard e. Grant binge Thanksgiving Nickelodeon Disney Photos award winner VICE technology Black History Month movie natural history strong female leads latino Toys Anna Paquin Disney+ Disney Plus war CBS All Access crime thriller Musicals mission: impossible true crime Amazon Studios Shondaland Election Musical Rocky Pixar Red Carpet transformers anthology 24 frames Spectrum Originals cartoon Lifetime police drama El Rey Pirates X-Men Hear Us Out Emmys Rock sitcom Ovation zero dark thirty 2020 Animation Interview Shudder witnail Star Trek christmas movies cancelled nature Quiz Biopics Polls and Games Kids & Family independent Black Mirror Pop Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Hallmark Christmas movies TV renewals name the review franchise Tumblr Rom-Com Binge Guide stand-up comedy Infographic Warner Bros. biography Fox News video APB based on movie MCU Turner Classic Movies Sundance Now discovery breaking bad Classic Film A&E 2018