Matthew Lillard reveals that Wes Craven was a “father figure” to the young stars


Scream was a game changer. The horror film sensation has carved its way into the hearts of an entire generation of fans who are terminally ill for the uninspired B-movie schlock. But what was it like behind the scenes? In a new interview, the original stars Matthew Lillard and Skeet Ulrich look back 25 years later.

Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell, Wes Craven, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy and Matthew Lillard | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Director Wes Craven had a recipe for success. And it started with a large helping of fresh talent.

To the gritty comedy / bloody horror scream festival, Craven brought Drew Barrymore, Jamie Kennedy, Rose McGowan and Matthew Lillard with him. Together they would fight the murderous slasher “Ghostface” – an iconic new masked killer in the style of Leatherface by The Texas chainsaw massacre and Michael Myers from the Halloween Movies.

Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox also appeared in the film. These three would star in a number of sequels.

Craven came up with a horror script that was as fresh as the talent of the film. Extremely funny, full of news about horror tropes of the 70s and 80s and really scary, Scream was the horror explosion Gen Xers and Millennials had been waiting for. On top of that, it received good ratings – something that horror films can often find difficult to achieve.

In addition, it hit the pop culture venue at the perfect time. According to Variety, the budget was only $ 14 million. Since its release in late 1996, it has grossed more than $ 173 million worldwide.

With all the turmoil, there are inevitable sequels. The now classic horror film spawned four sequels, including Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), and Scream 4 (2011). As the original film nears its 25th anniversary, another sequel threatens to hit the screens. Scream (named like the first film in the series, in the same style as 2018 Halloween) has a release date of January 14, 2022.

Matthew Lillard revealed that the cast was celebrated at Wes Craven’s home

In a 25th anniversary interview with Variety, original star Matthew Lillard, who played Stuart, said one of his fondest memories of famous director Wes Craven was a banquet.

“We had a festive dinner at his house shortly after the movie came out,” Lillard told Variety. “He was one of those people who was great at telling stories.”

“Because we were all so young and we were relatively naive about this film in our careers, there was something very fatherly about it,” Lillard continued. “He was definitely a father figure to many of us. He loved us so. I think the original cast represented that rebirth for his career, and he was super proud of it. For me he was without a doubt a father figure in this business. ”

Matthew Lillard and Skeet Ulrich can’t believe they’re still talking about the movie a quarter of a century later

On the subject of 25 years (!), Skeet Ulrich and Lillard couldn’t deal with the anniversary. When asked by Variety if they thought they would be discussing it so many years later, Ulrich quipped: “No, I couldn’t even think two years in advance, let alone 25 years in advance.”

Lillard didn’t hold back his feelings about the experience. “It has an emotional place for all of us because we were so young and had an amazing experience making the film,” he said. “When we got into that, neither of us had a clue, did we?”

To sum up, while Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard may not be returning for the sequel, they played a huge part in making it the enduring cult classic it is today.

TIED TOGETHER: Will the horror film “Scream 5” go straight to Paramount +?

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