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Interview: ‘Scream’ Is More Than A Franchise For David Arquette

Deputy Dewey is back! Whenever a new Ghostface killer terrorizes Woodsboro, Dewey never fails to answer the call of duty and protect his community. Played by the charming David Arquette, the beloved cinnamon roll is easily the heart of the Scream franchise. And trust me, Arquette is just as happy as we are to see him take on the character again.

“I love playing this character,” he shared. “[Scream] has such a close place in my heart. You know, there’s not a lot of films that span 24 years, but I’m a part of it.”

Scream 5 - David Arquette
Who you gonna call? Deputy Dewey! (Courtesy of SpyGlass Media Group)

He credits those 24 years of the role for letting him get into the Dewey character so easily, but he also credits his wrestling career. “I mean, there’s a lot of stuff you learn wrestling that I’ve incorporated into acting in general. You learn how to be in the moment a lot more when you’re wrestling. When you’re in the ring, it happens really fast in your head, and you tend to really speed up. But once you understand it, you can slow down, you can take your time, you can find your moments, and you can really connect with people. You have to connect with people or something’s gonna go wrong,” Arquette said.

And Arquette certainly connected with people, both as Dewey and himself. Franchises tend to have a meaningful impact on the lives of their actors, but the impact Scream had on Arquette cannot be understated. He and costar Courtney Cox, who plays news anchor Gail Weathers, met on set and soon welcomed a child together. And in addition to that, he made a great friend in the late, legendary director Wes Craven. “It’s not just a film for me,” Arquette shared.

“It’s been an emotional experience for me,” he recalled about being back on set without Wes. “I’ve thought about Wes quite a bit. Really, I sort of talk to him in my head, just personal little prayers. Just feeling his energy around really.”

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not, V/H/S) have taken over the responsibilities of directing this latest installment of the franchise, but Arquette has full confidence in them. Arquette said, “Matt and Tyler were inspired by Wes and have a love for the genre and what he had done in the past. They have a great sensibility, for humor and for scares, and storytelling. I think it’s in really good hands.”

Arquette also has a deep admiration for his younger costars Jasmin Savoy Brown, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Dylan Minnette, Melissa Bererra, and Mikey Madison. “I’m so in awe of the talent that these young actors have and the how quick witted they are, what incredible people they are. They all have such big hearts and they’re really kind and they are really just so talented,” Arquette gushed. It’s also not the first time he’s met some of the cast members. He mentioned he knew Quaid when he was “just a little kid” and worked with Ortega in Saving Flora (2018) and knew “how amazing an actress she was.”

He also taught the younger ensemble how to fingerpaint. “Yeah,” he said. “There’s a fine line between being the cool dad and being creepy.”

Fingerpainting aside, with the newer generation comes a newer audience. Those who err on the side of caution and nostalgia would be skeptical of this, but Arquette is excited to see a fresher take on Scream. “Horror film has gone through an evolution with films like Get Out and Midsommar and all these sorts of wild films that keep pushing the envelope and expanding the genre. So, I think all of that comes into play as well as, you know, the internet and society. All of this stuff. It’s gonna be an exciting film for people to watch,” Arquette commented.

He couldn’t say much on how exactly this movie expands the franchise, but when asked how Dewey is doing these days, he said, “I can tell you he’s 10 years older.”

Scream 5 David Arquette - Poster
A lot can happen in ten years. Who’s to say Deputy Dewey didn’t turn? (Courtesy of SpyGlass Media Group)

And this secrecy goes hand-in-hand with the ambiguity of Ghostface’s identity. Some members got incomplete scripts, some got different scripts entirely, and others got multiple scripts. Arquette joked, “Have I read the full script? I’ve read several,” he joked. “It’s a really great script.” What script he’s talking about, however, remains to be seen.

Scream 4 came out in 2011. Eleven years is a long time to wait for a sequel, and a global pandemic makes it that much longer. “I think it’s definitely an understatement [to say] how crazy the world is right now. But it’s also pretty inspiring to watch this new generation of filmmakers and this new generation of actors. They’re just really kind of super talented, and I’m really just impressed. I don’t know, it gives me hope, to be honest. It gives me hope in just, you know, that everything’s gonna be alright,” Arquette said.

Be sure to catch David Arquette in Scream when it releases on January 14.

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