See the Cast of ‘Scream’ Then and Now
In 1996, a horror movie was released that reinvigorated the genre by flipping it on its head. Wes Craven’s ‘Scream’ starred Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, a young woman tormented by a psycho killer in a ghost-face mask that would instantly become iconic. The film took a meta approach to tired old horror tropes, directly calling them out and utilizing them in inventive ways. ‘Scream’ spawned three sequels (and will soon be a series on MTV), making it one of the most beloved horror franchises. Seventeen years later, we revisit the cast of the film and see what they’re up to now.
Drew Barrymore, Casey Becker
Then: Drew Barrymore, the former child actress who appeared in ‘E.T.’ and ‘Firestarter,’ made a cameo in ‘Scream,’ and had the honor of being the first person to die on screen. Barrymore had read the script and approached the production herself. She was initially cast in the lead role of Sidney Prescott, but due to other commitments she had to take the smaller role of Casey.
Now: Since then, Barrymore has appeared in numerous successful films, including ‘The Wedding Singer,’ ‘Ever After,’ ‘Never Been Kissed’ and ’50 First Dates.’ In 2009, she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her portrayal of Little Edie Beale in the HBO film ‘Grey Gardens.’ That same year, she made her directorial debut with — and co-starred in — ‘Whip It.’ Barrymore will reunite with Adam Sandler for their third film together, the upcoming comedy ‘The Familymoon.’
Neve Campbell, Sidney Prescott
Then: Alicia Witt and Brittany Murphy were considered for the role of Sidney Prescott, as was Reese Witherspoon (though she never auditioned). The part went to Neve Campbell, star of ‘Party of Five.’ Campbell was initially reluctant to take another role in a horror film so soon after she starred in ‘The Craft.’
Now: Campbell went on to star in ‘Wild Things’ and reprised the role of Sidney for three more ‘Scream’ films. Her recent acting credits include a part in the TV miniseries ‘Titanic: Blood and Steel’ and the television film ‘An Amish Murder.’
Rose McGowan, Tatum Riley
Then: Melinda Clarke (of ‘The O.C.’) and Rebecca Gayheart (of ‘Urban Legend’) auditioned for the part of Sidney’s best friend, Tatum, but the part went to Rose McGowan, whom the producers believed was the perfect mixture of spunky and cynical. McGowan had previously appeared in the films ‘The Doom Generation’ and ‘Bio-Dome.’
Now: McGowan starred in the films ‘Phantoms’ and ‘Jawbreaker,’ and starred in the WB series ‘Charmed.’ In more recent years, the actress has appeared in ‘Conan the Barbarian’ and had a recurring role on ‘Nip/Tuck,’ replacing Katee Sackhoff’s character.
Skeet Ulrich, Billy Loomis
Then: Skeet Ulrich, who previously starred in ‘The Craft’ with Neve Campbell, was cast as Billy Loomis (whose last name is a nod to Dr. Loomis from ‘Halloween’), Sidney’s love interest. Wes Craven noted how much he looked like a young Johnny Depp, who had appeared in the director’s ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ in the ’80s.
Now: Ulrich appeared in the films ‘As Good As it Gets,’ ‘The Newton Boys’ and ‘Ride with the Devil,’ and his last film appearance was in 2009′s ‘Armored.’ He starred on the CBS series ‘Jericho,’ and in the spinoff ‘Law & Order: L.A.’ — shortly after signing on, Ulrich was released from his contract and his character was killed off in a drive-by.
Matthew Lillard, Stu Macher
Then: Matthew Lillard, star of ‘Serial Mom’ and ‘Hackers,’ landed the role of Billy’s friend Stu sort of on accident. He was going with his then-girlfriend to an audition on a nearby lot, when a producer approached him and asked him to read for the part. He landed it immediately.
Now: Lillard garnered acclaim two years later for his performance in ‘SLC Punk,’ and went on to star in the films ‘Wicker Park,’ ‘Thirteen Ghosts’ and the ‘Scooby-Doo’ live-action films, in which he played Shaggy. In 2011, he co-starred with George Clooney in ‘The Descendants,’ and in 2012 he directed, produced and starred in the indie film ‘Fat Kid Rules the World.’ He provides the voice of Shaggy in the ‘Scooby-Doo’ animated films, and currently appears on the FX series ‘The Bridge.’
Jamie Kennedy, Randy Meeks
Then: The role of horror movie nerd Randy Meeks, whose big speech about horror cliches serves as one of the most memorable moments of the film, was a contest between actors Breckin Meyer (of ‘Clueless’) and Jamie Kennedy, a then little-known actor who also had a very small role in ‘Romeo + Juliet.’
Now: Kennedy reprised the role of Randy in ‘Scream 2′ and ‘Scream 3,’ and appeared in the films ‘Three Kings’ and ‘Boiler Room.’ He created and hosted the series ‘The Jamie Kennedy Experiment,’ which ran from 2002 to 2004, and had a recurring role on ‘Ghost Whisperer.’ This year he appeared in the indie film ‘Lost & Found in Armenia.’
Courteney Cox, Gale Weathers
Then: Brooke Shields and Janeane Garofalo auditioned for the role of rabid reporter Gale Weathers, gunning for her 15 minutes of fame. ‘Friends’ star Courteney Cox was eager to play a role much different from the one she played on TV and personally contacted the production for the part.
Now: Cox played Gale Weathers in all three ‘Scream’ sequels, and has appeared in the films ’3000 Miles to Graceland’ and ‘The Longest Yard.’ She currently stars in the sitcom ‘Cougartown,’ which moved from ABC to TBS in 2012. In the ‘Scream’ films, Cox’s character develops a relationship with — and eventually marries — David Arquette’s deputy Dewey Riley. In real life, the couple married in 1999 and separated in 2010.
David Arquette, Dewey Riley
Then: The production originally wanted a more hunky actor to play the role of deputy Dewey Riley, but Wes Craven really admired comedic actor David Arquette’s more earnest reading of the part.
Now: Arquette reprised the role of Dewey in all three ‘Scream’ sequels, and appeared alongside his now ex-wife Courteney Cox in ’3000 Miles to Graceland.’ In recent years he’s appeared in the films ‘Hamlet 2′ and ‘Conception,’ guest starred on ‘Cougartown,’ and provided the role of Link in the animated series ‘Tron: Uprising.’
Henry Winkler, Principal Himbry
Then: Henry Winkler, best known for playing Fonzie on the classic sitcom ‘Happy Days,’ had a small supporting role as high school Principal Himbry. Winkler asked that he be uncredited so as not to draw attention from the main cast.
Now: Winkler appears on the series ‘Arrested Development’ as bumbling Bluth family lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn — former ‘Happy Days’ stars Ron Howard and Scott Baio also appear. He stars on the Adult Swim series ‘Children’s Hospital,’ and recently guest starred on ‘Parks and Recreation’ as Jean-Ralphio and Mona Lisa’s dad.