During the mid-90s, the teen slasher films were all the rage in Hollywood. Films depicting teens in states of terror and horror were box office gold. Movies such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legends were driving moviegoers to the theaters in droves. One particular movie became the gold standard for teen slasher films and spawned several sequels.
In 1996, Wes Craven released his classic film Scream and changed the slasher genre forever. The film was funny, brutal and struck a chord with audiences everywhere. Almost 20 years later, MTV has decided to put a new spin on the franchise and bring Scream to the small screen. The series will premiere on Tuesday, June 30th at 10/9c.
One of the stars of the Scream series is the talented Bex Taylor-Klaus. The Atlanta, Georgia native has made several memorable appearances in television series such as The Killing, House of Lies and Arrow. Bex sits down with us to discuss her new role, what she did to prepare for the role and how the series will stand on its own from the movie franchise.
Pop Culture Principle – Before you signed on for the series, how much did you know about the Scream franchise?
Bex Taylor-Klaus – Before I signed on I knew there were four movies and very nearly everyone I knew had seen at least one and liked it a lot.
Pop Culture Principle – Did you watch the Scream movies to prepare for your part?
Bex Taylor-KLaus – Yes I did! I got to marathon all four in one day! If you ever get a chance I recommend doing that by the way. It’s really fun. Get pizza.
Pop Culture Principle – Does the series tie into the Scream franchise at all or is it completely separate?
Bex Taylor-Klaus – No, the series is a brand new world. Woodsboro doesn’t exist in the Lakewood world.
Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us about your character Audrey Jensen?
Bex Taylor-Klaus – Audrey is a bit of a loner with a lot going on. She’s bi-curious, her father is a pastor, and the only real connection she has at school is with Noah after she and Emma fell apart. She’s also really tough and determined to get to the bottom of things.
Pop Culture Principle – The Scream franchise was a huge success. Did you feel any pressure or concern having to live up to that success with this series?
Bex Taylor-Klaus – I think we have the chance to take the success of the original franchise and do it all over again. Fans of the originals fell in love with not only the characters, but also the tone and feel of the entire film. I hope we get to illicit that same response with new characters and a slightly updated tone.
Pop Culture Principle – Since the original Scream mask is so iconic, do you think it was important that the Scream mask be completely different for this series to succeed and set itself apart?
Bex Taylor-Klaus – I think it’s important that we have our own mask, yes. The old Scream mask is a classic, of course, but it’s been done. Nobody sees it and is afraid of it unless they exist in the old movies. Our new mask is stand-alone scary and it ties into the plot, solidifying a little extra fear factor. Things have changed from the 90s. A startled scare just isn’t enough anymore.
Pop Culture Principle – Now that Scream is a series, the writers can really flesh out the characters over time instead of 90 minutes in a movie. Is that exciting for you as an actor?
Bex Taylor-Klaus – It’s incredibly exciting! Personally I love diving deep into characters, especially ones with a little bit of darkness. Also it’s exciting because the audience gets more time to meet and know these characters that have had so much work put into them.
Pop Culture Principle – Why do you think teen slasher films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer where so successful in the 90s?
Bex Taylor-Klaus – Scream and IKWYDLS started bringing gore and suspense together with a little bit of tongue-in-cheek silliness. You found yourself yelling at the kids on screen, rooting for them and screaming with them when the bad guy popped up. Also, things happened faster — instead of a painfully slow buildup, the films were running with the times and jumping in headfirst with what the audience came to see. The world started moving faster and so did these movies.
Pop Culture Principle – Although the series is a reboot, will it appeal to the fans of the original movie franchise?
Bex Taylor-Klaus – I believe yes for sure! We may be rebooting and tweaking, but we aren’t taking away the core concept of Scream. We are still a self-aware slasher film at heart.
Pop Culture Principle – What can fans look forward to with the first season of Scream?
Bex Taylor-Klaus – I think the fans are going to fall in love with Noah. He’s just the best and I really think fans are going to connect to him! Also we have a killer on the loose and how could that not be a fun show to watch.
The series premiere of Scream will air this coming Tuesday, June 30th at 10/9c. We would like to thank Bex for taking time out of her schedule to talk with us. Stay up to date with all of Bex’s latest news and projects by following her on her official Twitter account here.
**Photos credit Eliza Morse/MTV**