Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for years.
What Are the "Scream" Actors Up to Now?
Wes Craven's 1996 slasher film Scream is credited with revitalizing the horror genre and has become a beloved slasher cult classic. It was considered unique at its time of release for featuring characters who were aware of the many cliches of horror films. Let's take a look at what the cast members are up to today.
Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott)
Then: Neve Campbell starred as Sidney Prescott, the teenage character who is targeted by the killer Ghostface through a series of taunting phone calls and attacks. Sidney would go on to appear in each successive film in the series, and transitioned from that of a victim to the ultimate heroine. Prior to appearing in Scream, Campbell was starring in the TV show Party of Five, and had completed work on 1996's fellow horror film, The Craft. For her role as Sidney Prescott, she earned the Saturn Award for Best Actress.
Now: Campbell went on to find success in both television and film. She returned to her role in the Scream series, and was also featured in prominent films like Wild Things, Three to Tango, Relative Strangers and Walter. Most recently, she starred alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in 2018's summer blockbuster Skyscraper. Campbell appeared in television shows like Titanic: Blood and Steel, Grey's Anatomy and Mad Men. She portrayed LeAnn Harvey on Netflix's House of Cards from 2016-2017.
Skeet Ulrich (Billy Loomis)
Then: Skeet Ulrich starred as Billy Loomis, the boyfriend of Sidney Prescott and lover of all things horror film-related. Billy ultimately reveals himself to be the killer/Ghostface, alongside his accomplice Stu. Producers felt that Ulrich was the "perfect" choice for Billy partly due to his resemblance to Johnny Depp, who appeared in another Wes Craven classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street. Prior to the film, the actor starred alongside Neve Campbell in 1996's The Craft. Ulrich also appeared in the film Boys, opposite Winona Ryder.
Now: Since his days terrorizing the town of Woodsboro, Ulrich has found a lot of success in television. He appeared as Jake Green on the show Jericho, Detective Rex Winters on Law & Order: LA and provided his voice on the animated show Robot Chicken. Since 2017, Ulrich has been starring on the CW hit show Riverdale as FP Jones, father of Jughead Jones. He will be appearing in the upcoming science fiction film Bios in 2020, opposite Tom Hanks.
David Arquette (Dewey Riley)
Then: David Arquette portrayed Dewey Riley, the deputy sheriff of Woodsboro and older brother of Tatum Riley. He helps lead the investigation after the grisly murders and develops a romantic relationship with news reporters Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). Arquette was originally brought in to audition for the role of Billy Loomis, but opted to try for Dewey instead. Prior to Scream, Arquette appeared in films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Airheads, as well as TV shows such as Blossom, Beverly Hills, 90201 and Friends (sharing the screen again with future wife Courteney Cox).
Now: Arquette also went on to appear in each successive film of the Scream series, and has a colorful acting resume. His other movie credits include Never Been Kissed, Eight Legged Freaks, See Spot Run and Wild Bill. Arquette has appeared in a wide array of television shows like In Case of Emergency, Pushing Daisies, Cougar Town and Celebrity Name Game. He has gotten involved in the World Champion Wrestling (WCW) circuit and was a one time WCW World Heavyweight Champion.
Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers)
Then: Courteney Cox starred as the selfish and aggressive news reporter Gale Weathers, who returns to Woodsboro in order to cover the current murder spree plaguing the town. Cox was one of the most famous members of the cast at the time, with the success of Friends taking the world by storm. Her role as good girl Monica Geller had actually worked against her, with casting directors worried she couldn't convincingly portray a "b*tch." Cox lobbied hard for the role and rose to the occasion, giving a very memorable performance. Her other acting credits included Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Family Ties and Seinfeld.
Now: Cox rose to super-stardom with her portrayal of Monica on Friends, which had a mega-successful run from 1994-2004. She appeared in the subsequent Scream films, as well as Bedtime Stories, Just Before I Go and Mothers and Daughters. Her television credits include shows like Daisy Does America, Dirt and Scrubs. From 2009-2015 Cox starred on the hit ABC show Cougar Town, as Julie Cobb. Most recently she appeared on Showtime's Shameless.
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Matthew Lillard (Stu Macher)
Then: Matthew Lillard starred as the best friend of Billy Loomis and boyfriend to Tatum Riley, Stu Macher. He is revealed to be the partner-in-crime of Billy and is also responsible for the murder spree. Lillard was cast by chance, after he accompanied his then-girlfriend to an audition in the same building Scream was casting. Casting director Lisa Beach saw Lillard and asked him to audition, and he ultimately nabbed the role. His other big-screen acting credits included Serial Mom and Hackers.
Now: Lillard was cast as Shaggy Rogers in the 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo film, as well as its 2004 sequel Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed. When the original voice actor of Shaggy, Casey Kasem, retired due to health reasons, Lillard was chosen as his replacement. He continues to provide his voice for the character in TV and film adaptions. The actor also has starred in movies like Without a Paddle, The Descendants and Match. His television works includes Criminal Mind, Bosh, Twin Peaks and Supernatural. Lillard currently stars as Dean Boland on NBC's Good Girls.
Rose McGowan (Tatum Riley)
Then: Rose McGowan portrays the fiercely protective Tatum Riley, best friend to Sidney Prescott and sister to Dewey Riley. Tatum was unknowingly dating one of the town's killers, Stu Macher and is ultimately murdered by the sadistic duo. McGowan was cast as Tatum because producers felt she embodied the "spunky" nature of the character. Tatum Riley was one of the actress' earliest roles, though she appeared in films like Encino Man, Kiss & Tell and Bio-Dome.
Now: McGowan went on to star on the fantasy drama Charmed from 2001-2006, portraying witch/whitelighter Paige Matthews. She starred in successful films like Jawbreaker, Monkeybone, The Black Dahlia and Grindhouse. Other TV shows include Nip/Tuck, Once Upon a Time and as herself in the docuseries Citizen Rose. She is a feminist activist and was recognized by Time magazine in 2017 for being one of the Silence Breakers, for speaking out about sexual assault and harassment.
Jamie Kennedy (Randy Meeks)
Then: Resident horror film aficionado Randy Meeks was portrayed by Jamie Kennedy, and the character constantly addresses horror film plots and cliches. He has romantic feelings for Sidney Prescott, and appears in two of the Scream sequels. He was cast because he would often improvise humor into his lines, cracking up director Wes Craven. Kennedy had little acting credits before starring in the film, with only small roles in shows like Unhappily Ever After and Ellen, as well as the film Romeo + Juliet.
Now: Kennedy went on to appear in a slew of film and television roles, as well as following a stand-up career. His major film credits include Malibu's Most Wanted, Son of the Mask, Kickin' It Old Skool and Tremors 5: Bloodlines. His extensive television resume features shows like The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Lucifer and voice work in The Cleveland Show and Fanboy & Chum Chum. He will be hosting the BET show Coming to the Stage.
Drew Barrymore (Casey Becker)
Then: Drew Barrymore appeared as Casey Becker, the former girlfriend of Stu who received a taunting and threatening phone call at the start of the film. She was famously killed at the beginning of Scream, showing audiences that anything can happen. Barrymore was initially cast as Sidney Prescott but opted for Casey, because no one would expect that a movie star of her caliber would be taken down by the killer. The actress was very successful in Hollywood and was the most well-known cast member, having starred in the cult classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Poison Ivy and Boys on the Side.
Now: Barrymore has remained a constant force in Hollywood, and has delivered many famous performances in both film and television. After appearing in Scream, she starred in popular films such as The Wedding Singer, Never Been Kissed, Donnie Darko, 50 First Dates and Blended. Barrymore is known for her role as Dylan Sanders in 2000's Charlie's Angels and the 2003 sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. She made her directorial debut with 2009's Whip It, in which she also appeared. Barrymore starred on the Netflix show Santa Clarita Diet from 2017-2019.
Roger L. Jackson (Voice of Ghostface)
Then: Roger L. Jackson famously provided the voice of Ghostface in all of the Scream installments, as well as in the upcoming third season the the MTV Scream TV series. His only other voice work prior to the horror film was an uncredited role in 1996's Mars Attacks!
Now: From 1998-2005, Jackson was the voice of Mojo Jojo and Butch in The Powerpuff Girls; he also returned for the reboot in 2016. Other voice over work includes Robot Chicken, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Happily N'ever After and Monster Island.
© 2019 Rachel M Johnson