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David Arquette!!!

How can you NOT love DAVID ARQUETTE?! Most genre fans know him thru his portrayal of Dewey, probably the best character from the entire 'SCREAM' franchise. He's also appeared in the giant-spider flick 'Eight Legged Freaks', the original movie version of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' and dozens of comedies. Now, he makes his return to the horror genre - not as an actor, but as the writer and director of 'THE TRIPPER'! We caught up with David via e-mail. Read on!!! - by Robg. 10/06

What are your earliest recollections of the horror genre? Do you remember the first movie to really scare you and open up your world to the genre?

The first horror film I remember seeing in the theatre was HALLOWEEN and from the first scene when the kid puts on the mask and it is his POV, I was hooked.

You come from a rather large family all involved in some way in the entertainment industry. Was it always a natural choice to pursue acting or was there ever a point where you thought about doing something else as a career?

I got into acting in High school, although I had tried earlier but only got rejected. I had an awesome teacher Ben DeBaldo at Fairfax and he really gave me the confidence to pursue my goals.

I guess your first foray into horror territory was the vampire comedy Buffy The Vampire Slayer. How’d that gig come about? And how do you feel about Buffy now in retrospect, considering the cult following the radically different television series has generated?

I love that I was a part of that film. It had some great people in it and Paul Reubens became a lifelong friend and Thomas Jane was also in it and now he's now my brother in law. Both are now in ‘The Tripper’. So Shazam! Life is crazy. I also did two T.V. shows that were taken from movies so when a movie I did became a T.V. show I felt I broke the curse. The two shows were The Outsiders and Parenthood.

I just want to dabble into one of the comedy films you've done briefly. I love Airheads. And you practically steal all your scenes in it! You worked with Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, Chris Farley, Michael Richards, Lemmy (!) all in the same flick. What do you remember most about the experience on Airheads and what’d you learn from working with those guys?

I had a blast on that flick. I was just stuck in this room so I really had to milk it. I drew from some hesher friends of mine, most of whom you can't understand what the hell they are saying half the time.

What were your initial reactions to reading the script for SCREAM (titled at the time Scary Movie)?

They originally wanted me to read for the part of Billy in Scream? I think that's what his name was, Skeet's character but I wanted to play Dewey. Dewey at the time was written as this Big Beefcake guy but I knew I could do something special with it and I really wanted to kiss Courteney Cox. Thank you Wes Craven in more ways then one.

How much of yourself did you inject into the role of Dewey? I mean, Dewey’s probably the most beloved character out of that entire series, and wasn’t he initially scripted to die at the end of the first one?

Yeah, Dewey and I are very similar but people always call me Doofy from the next Scary Movie and that bug’s me. I'm not so much like that guy except with my fascination with vacuum cleaners. I was supposed to die but thankfully I didn't. If I think of how my life may have turned out differently if I had I thank my lucky stars.

Did you have any inkling as to just how successful the first SCREAM film would become? When did you realize it was huge?

I think we all felt that while we were doing Scream we were part of something really special.

Any intimidation at first in working with Wes Craven on SCREAM? He is after all considered a master of the genre!

Wes is by far one of the greatest human beings I have had the pleasure of working with. He is so cool and never tries to intimidate. He actually sat me down at the end of Scream 2 when I was going nuts in my personal life and said get it together or you're going to lose Courteney and possibly more. He is a fantastic man.

I’ll never forget sitting in screenings of both SCREAM 2 & 3 and having the audience yelling for Dewey to make it. What is it about that character that you think has made him one of the most popular characters from the SCREAM franchise?

I think he was the geeky guy with a heart of gold that usually dies in these films but he didn't. I was sad when Jaime's character died in Scream 2. That just wasn't right.

Agreed!!! There’s often been rumors of a SCREAM 4, especially in the last few years. Your name always comes up as a potential returning character. Would you want to jump in Dewey’s shoes again should the opportunity present itself?

Are you kidding...? I would love to do a Scream 4. I would hope that all of the original players were involved Wes, Kevin Williamson, Marianne (Wes' partner), Neve, and of course Courteney.

Eight-Legged Freaks was another movie of yours that has developed a cult following. Didn’t you actually coin the name of the movie from an improv during one of the scenes?

Yeah I did come up with the name in a scene and I'm glad they used it although I'm not sure if it hurt it at the box office. But ultimately what’s better then a cult hit.

Eight-Legged Freaks also was an homage to all the 50’s monster movies. Were you a fan of those types of films growing up? It was fun to see a big bug movie in theaters again when it came out!

Yeah I loved watching those 50's films and waiting for Elvira to come back during the breaks.

Just so you know, I remember the year that Eight Legged Freaks came out, the only other trailer at the Fangoria convention that got even close to the response that it did was Spider-man! The audience really seemed to love the title, your delivery of that line and that trailer. (And spider movies that year, I guess.)

Can you tell me a bit about the origins of your latest flick The Tripper, which you co-scripted? Why a horror film as your directorial debut?

I learned a lot from Wes as I have already mentioned but I also watched him closely. I love how he made a whole audience jump. I wanted to do that. I had been thinking about ‘The Tripper’ for years. I grew up in L.A. when Reagan was the governor and president and my parents hated his politics. I remember the day I saw homeless people everywhere and my mom let me know it was because of his tax cuts to mental health. I also became a Grateful Dead parking lot crasher and made it up to an amazing concert Reggae on the River and it was there that I thought it would be great to see all these hippies massacred.

How’d you hook up with Steve Niles and Raw Entertainment? Were you familiar with Steve’s writing before this project?

Steve and Thomas Jane started Raw and Thomas was instrumental in jumping aboard early on. Steve is a genius when it comes to this genre and his help has been amazing. I know the comic we have coming out is really going to kill. With him and Joe Harris (my co-writer on The Tripper and comic master) and the art of Nat Jones, how could it not?

The killer in The Tripper has an unhealthy obsession with actor/former president Ronald Reagan. Hell, you wrote it why an obsession with the gipper?

Answered above.

On The Tripper, how difficult was it for you to make the transition from actor to director? Was it easy for you to work with the actors considering your previous experience?

Fingers hurting... (from typing)

You also had a killer cast in The Tripper, consisting of Lukas Haas, Paul Reubens, Thomas Jane, Jason Mewes, Jamie King, Chris Nelson. (to name a few) A lot of these actors you were friends with before making this movie. What was it like to be in control of a project with so many people that you’ve worked with on other films in the past? The flick looks like it must have been a blast to make!

It was a blast to make and I must say Lukas is an incredible actor, so real but he was my buddy and ultimately doing me a favor as was Thomas and Paul. But Jaime King and Jason Mewes saved my ass. They both turn out performances that are unbelievable. I am so thankful to them. Chris Nelson I had worked with as an F/X artist but I never forgot him and always wanted to work with him as an actor and I am so happy I went with my instincts.

What do you want horror fans to walk away with when they see The Tripper? And what’s the status of its release as of now?

I want people to laugh, scream and have a blast when they leave the theatre after The Tripper and I think they will or at least most of them. We are going to open Screamfest and hope to sell it there.
Are there any horror films as of late that you’ve seen and really enjoyed?

High Tension rocked.

Agreed! Last question and its from our buddy Steve Niles. He wants to know where his tape is?

Let Steve know that we don't really use TAPE anymore in the film business but I'm sure some of his favorite old classics could be found on that medium. -DA

Check out our interview with THE TRIPPER writer
Joe Harris!

Visit David's My Space page at: www.myspace.com/thetrippermovie
Special Thanks to Steve Niles!!!

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