Courteney Cox reprises her role as tabloid reporter Gale Weathers in Scream 4, out this Friday, but it’s a very different Gale than we’ve seen in the other films. “Her life is pretty dull and she wants some excitement,” says the Cougar Town star. “She’s been married to Dewey for like 10 years. She’s been writing books. She’s completely tapped out and going through a major dry spell. Sidney comes into town to promote her book.” And that’s basically when all hell breaks lose and folks start dyin’. EW talked to Cox about the movie’s difficult production, her memories of the original film, and the status of her relationship with husband David Arquette.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Do you remember reading the original Scream script for the first time?
COURTENEY COX: Oh yeah. I went after it! I wanted to play that part. I loved it. I thought the script was funny and scary, and the opening with Drew Barrymore was insane. I was such a huge fan.
Why did you want to do Scream 4?
I just enjoy doing all three of them. That’s where I met David. Each Scream represents a huge turning point in my life: I met David on 1. We did not like each other on 2. We got married right before on 3. And [Cox and Arquette’s daughter] Coco was born right before 4. This series of movies means a lot to me. I loved Scream 1 so much and the thought of being able to do it again with the original cast, Wes Craven, Kevin Williamson, just bringing that back was really exciting to me.
How was the production of this one in comparison?
I would say the first Scream was the easiest production. This was par for the course for all the other Screams. It just seems like it’s just the way it goes when you make these Scream movies: the scripts aren’t ready, they’re difficult, the scripts aren’t ready, it’s ever changing. The only one I remember being real simple was the first one.
Probably because the script was done.
Yeah. I remember we socialized a lot [on the first film]. We actually had fun, we went out. I remember Wes hanging out and we used to go to this Italian restaurant in Santa Rosa. Wes wouldn’t have had a moment to have one bit of social life during this last film.
In the movie Dewey and Gale are going through marital issues and you and David were going through your own issues during production — was that awkward? Or cathartic?
I don’t think it was cathartic. The thing is David and I love each other so much and we get along so well.
You’re so affectionate with each other.
I love him so much. We are the closest of friends. I would say we’re probably better now than we were during that movie. The movie was just a little bit of a tough time. I don’t have the fondest memories of those particular moments during that film.
Does that make it hard to watch?
No, not at all. It’s not hard to watch because we’ve moved past that phase. Some times were really fun. Some times we had a ball there! But it definitely was the beginning of some issues.
Does that at all cloud the filming for you?
No. No. Because we did have a great time no matter what, but there were some awkward moments. I don’t remember us ever getting into a fight. It wasn’t like that.
You told me last summer that you bonded more with Neve Campbell on this film than any of these previous ones. Why is that?
I don’t know. For some reason, I just think maybe our lives are different now. We really had a great time. I did get to know her for the first time, and now she will forever be my friend and I feel very close with her. We’re getting older and the kids were much younger. Before she was the kids’ age and I was the older woman. Now I’m the much older woman and she’s more where I was.
What’s your relationship with Wes like?
I feel like Wes was very instrumental in David and I getting married. I feel Wes is like family. We even kind of argue like family. We’ve just known each other so long. It’s almost like I could have been his kid and now I’m grown up. I don’t think this was his easiest shoot either. It was intense. All the way around. But I think he did an amazing job.