Entertainment News

Neve Campbell: Scream 5 will be an ‘experience’

Neve Campbell doesn’t miss the days of being one of the hottest stars on the planet — but she’s certainly glad she survived them.The Canadian-born actor first shot to fame in the hit ’90s teen drama Party Of Five, and parlayed that success on to the big screen in movies such as the supernatural horror…

Neve Campbell doesn’t miss the days of being one of the hottest stars on the planet — but she’s certainly glad she survived them.

The Canadian-born actor first shot to fame in the hit ’90s teen drama Party Of Five, and parlayed that success on to the big screen in movies such as the supernatural horror hit The Craft and the saucy crime thriller Wild Things. But it was her role as the resilient, resourceful, knife-dodging Sidney Prescott in the hugely successful Scream slasher franchise that truly pushed her into the Hollywood’s highest echelons and earned her a regular spot on the inevitable lists of the world’s sexiest stars towards the end of that decade.

As she prepares for the release of her new Disney+ drama, Clouds, this week and is about to start work on a fifth Scream movie — the first in nearly a decade — the now 47-year-old Campbell reflects on those heady days in the spotlight with a mix of gratitude for the opportunities they gave her and relief at making it to the other side.

“I don’t think anyone is equipped to deal with that level of fame,” she says via Zoom call from her New York home. “I am grateful that I managed through it — a lot of people turn to alcohol or drugs or all kinds of things. I think I was equipped in the sense that I had discipline from being a dancer and I was also working so hard and so many hours that it was not an option to fall off the rails. It’s also not in my personality, but I am grateful because it could have happened.”

While she never stopped working, Campbell stepped away from the Hollywood machine by moving to London for nine years with her then-husband, British actor John Light, and she says the change of scenery and pace gave her a chance to slow down and get some real life experience.

After returning to the US — she now lives in the hipster haven of Brooklyn with partner JJ Feild and their two sons — Campbell has returned to the limelight thanks to eye-catching roles in quality TV dramas such as Mad Men and House Of Cards, and has embraced the transition from “ingenue” to more complex, fulfilling roles.

“I don’t find it confronting — I find it to be a real blessing,” she says. “I know some actresses don’t want to take that next step because it means they have lost the last stage. Playing the young ingenue is one thing, but to play someone who has wisdom, who has depth, is complicated and has years behind them is a beautiful thing. It’s a whole other level and it’s a real pleasure to be in that stage now.”

Campbell’s latest role in Clouds, is as Laura Sobiech, the mother of a teenager stricken with a rare form of bone cancer. Sobiech wrote a memoir chronicling her son Zach’s final year, during which the aspiring musician became an unlikely internet sensation. His song Clouds, written about his battle with the disease, went viral, clocking up more than 3 million views on YouTube before his death in 2013 at the age of 18.

Campbell says Sobiech’s book left her in tears and she was afraid she would “ball my eyes out” before their first meeting once she had signed on to make the film. Sobiech immediately put the actor who was to play her at ease and the pair became fast friends, but Campbell says the emotional nature of some of the scenes still made for some very tough days at the office.

“To put yourself in that place of imagining what this dear and incredible person had to endure is tough,” Campbell says. “My heart went out to her. But at the same time, she’s so courageous and she took such wisdom from the experience and did such an amazing Momma Bear job of taking care of those kids and bringing that family through that experience, that I also learned a great deal.”

Clouds comes on the back of Campbell’s acclaimed performance in Castle In the Ground, in which she played cancer-stricken, opioid-addicted mother of a concerned teenage son. She thought long and hard before taking on projects back-to-back with such challenging subject matter, but was ultimately won over by the inspirational nature of Sobiech’s story and the chance to shine a spotlight on the plight of young cancer sufferers. She believes she couldn’t have done either story justice if it wasn’t for her own sons, Caspian and Raynor.

“My understanding of what that dynamic is, especially with my sons — I just know it so clearly. I know how to talk to my boys, I know how to be with my boys, I know how to humour them and uplift them and reprimand them and discipline them and bring them joy and hold them — all of that knowledge feeds into playing a mother.”

Campbell is champing at the bit to get back to work for the first time since March when she begins shooting Scream 5 next week. After the initial success of the franchise, there was a time where all she was offered was rip-off horror parts but she says she’s now comfortable enough with the breadth of her resume that she no longer fears typecasting.

“There was a time of that — but I feel like I have passed it now,” she says. “Coming off of Mad Men and House Of Cards and (Dwayne Johnson action blockbuster) Skyscraper and this, I am doing a whole slew of different things and I am about to do a TV show as well, so I don’t think I need to worry about that. It’s so interesting, in my 20s I was so famous for that one thing that people were apprehensive and would go ‘yeah, but she’s known for that’.

“Nowadays you’re more likely to be cast if you’re a Tik-Tok star than an actor and there’s nothing wrong with being famous for something. It’s so interesting how times have changed. I’m just excited to get back into it — I don’t have any fear about being locked into that any more.





“I am excited to get back into Sidney’s boots and play alongside Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette) again and be with them and meet this new young cast who sound like they are going to be great. They are fun movies — they are a good rollercoaster ride and there is a huge fan base for them and I hope people are excited. It will be a good experience.”

Clouds streams on Disney+ from Friday.

Leave a Comment


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus.