In honor of the release of Scream 4 this Friday, EW is looking back on the original 1996 film and talking to cast about their best production memories. Jamie Kennedy played Randy, the resident film geek, who taught everyone the rules of surviving a horror film. (Example: “You can never have sex.”) Kennedy, whose character was killed off in Scream 2, looks back fondly on the first film but remains a little bitter that Randy bit the dust. Says Kennedy, “Honestly, part of me thought that he should have gone to the dark side. He never got sex and he knew it, and underneath him, he was maniacal. Just to kill him off was like, ‘Come on, man!'” The star talked to EW about the first Scream, shooting in wine country, and watching Courteney Cox and David Arquette fall in love.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY What was your first reaction when you first read the script? Did you immediately think it was something special.
JAMIE KENNEDY: Very much so. I remember I was at the gym, and I was reading it, and it was so good but so easy to read. A lot of scripts have a lot of description, but this one had dialogue. The very first character — when she got killed right away — I was hooked and I stopped working out and I started reading it. When I heard that Drew Barrymore was going to play that part, I thought that was really cool because they’re going to kill a star.
What are your most vivid memories of shooting Scream?
Tons of stuff. I’d just gotten a part in [Baz Luhrmann’s] Romeo + Juliet and I’d literally just finished that movie, and a week later I was up in NoCal from Mexico. Romeo + Juliet was a very intensive shoot: wildly physical and stuff. And then I go to wine country. We had a very nice table reading and then we had a great dinner, and everyone’s drinking wine, and I’m like, “This is so relaxing!” We’d go home at night to the Double Tree Hotel, and it was the first hotel I ever went to that gave you a cookie at night. Then, Wes is like, “Your call time is at 9:40.” I’m like, “WHAT? What about 5 a.m.?” We’re making a horror movie about horror and death. But he’s like, “It doesn’t have to be horrific.” I remember that he made it — it was just very relaxed.
Those night shoots must have gone on forever. Was that difficult, doing so many night shoots?
I’m really kind of a vampire at heart. I’m a night person, so shooting at night was very cool, and we had shot for like two and a half weeks straight at night. I think it was scene 142, it was called — it was the lengthiest scene in Wes’ career. It was the big killing scene, and it was just crazy.
Was that the finale?
That was the big finale. I had to lay in the same bloody clothes and lay in the same bloody spot, for night after night.
Do you remember noticing Courteney and David getting closer?
One hundred percent. I feel like I was right there when it happened. We had a table read, and their characters just had a lot of interaction. And I just said, “Jesus, that’s really good chemistry.” Afterwards, we were going home to the airport. Courteney had to go back to Friends, and I had to go to Mexico to finish Romeo + Juliet, and David had to go back to finish shooting something, so we all shared a limo. And it was literally like, Okay, that wasn’t acting. They were just getting along so well in the limousine, and I was like, “I’ll just sit on this part of this partition.” It was actually very beautiful. It was very nice to see people fall in love.
Why do you think Scream had such a lasting impact?
Well, I think it was fresh. First of all, you had a guy that’s on the top of his game in Wes. He’s really great at scaring people. I think there was a great script. I mean, killing Drew [Barrymore] was huge. It’s fun, it’s scary, it’s sexy. I think it just hit at the right time and horror movies were kind of dead at that point, and it kind of brought them back in a really smart way, so I think all the pieces came together.
For more on the battle over Scream 4 plus a look back at the original Scream with memories from Arquette, Cox, Campbell and Drew Barrymore, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands now.