What’s your favorite scary movie? Jenna Ortega, Courteney Cox, Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Dermot Mulroney, and Hayden Panettiere sat down with RT correspondent Perri Nemiroff to discuss the highly anticipated Scream VI. The cast revealed where they’d hide in NYC if Ghostface was chasing after them, how they found out who the killer was, how their characters have grown since the previous movie, and more.
Perri Nemiroff for Rotten Tomatoes: Melissa, I will come your way first. I said this to you the other day. I love how you establish a foundation for Sam in Scream 5 and then just run with it here. What is one thing you wanted to keep consistent about the character from Five to Six, but then also what is something that you wanted to show the audience that’s new to her now based on how she responded to the events of Five?
Melissa Barrera: Sam is a tough girl and I think I wanted that to continue, but I definitely wanted to show a more vulnerable side of her in this one and get to show more shades to her, because now that the dam has burst, there’s just so much that naturally would come out, and that fear of having to protect her sister, I think, would just give way to have a lot more emotions come out. And I think that’s what I was really excited to explore in this next movie.
PN: I can’t emphasize how well that works here. That complexity is just on point and I love it. Jenna, you’ve obviously had your fair share of horror experience. Not only does Scream in general now feel like a unique franchise overall, but this movie in particular feels like a really unique installment of it. So is there anything even with all that horror experience that caught you by surprise in terms of what it took to make Scream VI in particular?
Jenna Ortega: Well, I think often times in horror films I am just screaming and crying. I feel like I’m often either really annoying or I play the stupid character. And Tara, this time around, had a personality, which was interesting to kind of play with. And then also the change of atmosphere. I think because Scream has never left Woodsboro before, I felt like it made it a lot more intimidating and it kind of gave us more room to kind of play or isolated our main cast in a way that we’ve never seen in a Scream film before, so I think that there was a really interesting dynamic that automatically came with that and kind of something a bit more horrific and kind of grounding in a way.
PN: Very successful with that here. I will say there’s screaming and crying in X, but she makes choices and she has her own personal drive there.
Jenna Ortega: She’s cool for a second, and then she goes back on it. She just becomes really judgmental and gross.
PN: Courteney, you’re getting a very specific question from me because it was emphasized quite a few times in Scream 5 that Gail was not going to write another book. She writes another book, and we don’t see her make that choice because it happens in between the events of the two films. In your mind, why does she make that choice? Is there a specific life event that kind of turned her on that path again?
Courteney Cox: I think she loves fame. She loves to be recognized and thought of, and, as she says, somebody was gonna do it, and why wouldn’t she get the credit? She knows the story.
PN: I have another very specific question because there is the lightest mention in the movie that also didn’t have the best relationship with her parents, and I’m surprised, over the years, I haven’t thought about this, but is there any backstory work you’ve done over the years to determine why Gail is the person she is and why she’s gone on this particular career path?
Courteney Cox: I would definitely say why. I mean, that’s what usually happens, isn’t it? Where your family, you’ve been neglected, or you have so many triggers in life, and I think that she had many.
PN: For all three of you, now. At what point in the making of this movie did you learn who the killer was?
Jenna Ortega: Reading the script?
Melissa Barrera: Yeah, I remember specifically Matt [Bettinelli-Olpin] and Tyler [Gillett] withholding the third act of the script when they sent it to us to read. And it wasn’t until I think we were about to start shooting that they actually gave us the last act.
Jenna Ortega: Yeah, right. What I will say is it was interesting once you knew who Ghostface was, watching them set up their play, because they would say a line a certain way or give you a certain look and you’d think, “I’m on to you.”
Courteney Cox: I agree. I loved that I did not know who the killer was gonna be, because once Gail dies or lives, whatever, once she left, I loved not knowing. And I loved watching the actors going, “Wait a minute, are you a good actor? Or are you a good actor acting like you’re acting?”
Melissa Barrera: Courteney is so funny because we’d be on set and she was like, “I didn’t read the script. I just read my parts.”
Courteney Cox: I read the script until I die, or I’m not in it anymore.
Melissa Barrera: But she plays the game behind the scenes. She’s like, “I’m gonna figure it out because…”
Courteney Cox: Guess what?
PN: You figured it out.
Melissa Barrera: Yeah, she was right.
Scream VI opens in theaters on March 10, 2023.