Actor Nico Tortorella was kind enough to lend us some of his time this past Friday. We had a great conversation about Scream 4. Thank you to Nico and also to Page and Craig for setting up the interview. Don’t forget the film comes out on April 15!
Before the Trailer: My first question for you, and I’m sure you’ve gotten this a million times, is how did you get involved with the production of “Scream 4”?
Nico Tortorella: I knew that the audition was coming out for the fourth project and I actually had never seen the first three “Scream” movies until after I had auditioned, which is funny [because] the audition scene for the fourth was the Billy Loomis scene at the end of the first movie when he goes on his killing rampage. So I had pretty much no idea what was going on. So I went in and had my whole own interpretation of the scene, which I guess worked out in a way, and I auditioned five times after that and got the job basically months later. And just walked into this family that was already established and they just welcomed us with wide open arms and were ready just to get to work on the next installment.
Besides yourself were the other actors new to the film fans of the trilogy as far as you know?
Yeah, I mean. I don’t really know, and can’t really speak for anyone else in terms of them being fans of it. I know quite a few of us hadn’t seen them until right before we auditioned because a little bit passed by our age group.
The scream movies came out in the 90’s – early 90’s and mid 90’s and we were about 6 or 7 and ??? how much our parents wanted to expose to us. I mean, I remember the “Scary Movies” coming out, the spoofs, which I was definitely a fan of but in terms of the “Scream” movies, I never really did the whole scary movie, horror movie thing in the first place. I’d much rather go and be happy and excited during the movie rather than be scared, but after shooting this I have a whole new appreciation for the genre. And respect for anyone involved with this type of movie.
Can you tell us about your character and how your character fits into the overall story?
Yeah, his name is Trevor Sheldon and we kind of jump back right into Woodsboro High School with a new crew of kids in this new movie and it’s your basic stereotypes of the high school. I’m kind of alpha male and the kid that everyone loves to hate and the kid that everyone hates to love. He’s a good guy and he kind of masks his heart behind a lot of the aggression that he puts out on a lot of the other characters. I play opposite Emma Roberts and we have a good little thing that’s going on in the movie and that’s about all I can tell you.
Even though you didn’t see the original trilogy until afterwards, but knowing that scream is such a horror classic did you have any sort of feeling the first time you walked on to set or the first time you saw the ghost face killer as far as the history of the film?
For sure, before I arrived in Michigan to start shooting I had watched all three and I was familiar with Dewey and with Gail and with Sydney and I knew the back story behind all of them and who the killers were in the first three movies. So when you walk in and you actually see it first hand and its real, it has this strong impact and you right away think that ‘Oh, shit now I’m part of this.’ You know, a ‘I could be next’ type of thing. So yeah, for sure it was intense from the day we started to the day we wrapped.
Without going into too much detail, will we see some relation that connects the original trilogy and events to what is happening in the new movie?
With the first three movies and following it with the fourth movie there is a basic structure that is always withheld in terms of character relationships and this movie is no different.
But as far as you know there is no connecting storyline which carries over from the first three?
Well you know, Gail and Dewey are still doing their things and Sydney is still the same Syndey that we have from the first three, just a little bit wiser, and in terms of the rest of the characters we’re all newbies and our whole relationships kind of are the fresh faces of this new movie.
What would you say were the most difficult aspects for you during the filming?
You know I would say it’s just a fantasy world – the Woodsboro ghost face killer – and it’s this whole fantasy that Wes created awhile ago, and I think the biggest difficulty was making it as real as possible for all of our characters who were involved in this storyline. And just completely indulging in every aspect of it.
Yeah, that makes sense.
Was there any intimidation factor for working with Wes and other cast members or not really?
I try to walk into every situation when I’m meeting new people as having respect, the utmost respect for everybody but also having the ability to think of them as my peers, because, you know, we’re all here to do the same job in one way or another. But yeah, there was some intimidation, I think mostly with Wes cause you know he’s such an epic director, going back to the original “Last House On The Left” everything he’s done is just insane. He has broken so many barriers in terms of film and he’s such an utter genius when you talk in real life. He has this vocabulary that shouldn’t even exist and he just says these things that are completely unworldly, but at the same time he’s so easy to connect with, but he’s a little kid who loves making horror movies and seeing blood. And he has these little antics, like he’ll laugh a certain way or look at you a certain way and say something that’s funny or interesting to motivate you and rile you up to get into that moment, which was definitely more of the side that I connected with him versus Mr. Dictionary.
What type of tone is Wes going to bring to the film? I know the third felt more comedic than the first two so is it more scary, comedic, action:
It is most like the first one in having all of that and definitely being really scary. But you know Wes has a way of making scary human and interesting.
What was it like for you to film in Ann Arbor and the Detroit area?
I grew up in Chicago, actually, so I’m real familiar with Michigan. I played hockey while growing up so I was in Detroit all the time, once a month playing hockey. And you know, I know that weather well – brutal hot summers. And I was able to drive home and see my mom and dad, my grandma and my whole family once every couple of weeks, which is a beautiful thing because going from LA to Chicago isn’t that easy of a drive.
Do you have any memorable experiences or events that occurred during the filming? Either in the film or off camera that you can tell us about?
I mean just connecting with these people not only on screen, but off screen. You know we were all living together in a hotel, most of us besides the original crew, and just becoming a family is my favorite part about filming in any project. And this project especially we had to get together and become a unit because there was just crazy going on everywhere with the project in terms of a whole lot of things, and you know, just knowing that they were all there for me and I was there for everybody was definitely the most memorable experience.
Were you given the full script or were you only given parts to keep the script secretive as possible?
The script kept changing. We were given the full script on day one. By day seven it was just somewhat of a different script, and by the end of it there were so many rewrites and drafts that script that I had was maybe 195 pages with the rewrites and crazy stuff that was going on. I mean to the point that the day we would start shooting there would be some changes on the script, not, you know, huge storyline changes but, you know, relationships and how one would get from A to B or to C or to D for that matter. And that does keep it fresh and that does keep it exciting, because you walk into a scene thinking it’s going to go one way and then it could go a completely different way. But we got the whole script from the beginning and we knew basically what was happening, it was just the means to get there.
Did you know who the killer was or was that even kept from the actors?
As far as the storyline, it’s going to be a trilogy. Is the story from “Scream 4,” is it a story on it’s own or is it 1/3 of a story or as far as you know, how will that work?
We’re all just going to have to wait and see how it all unfolds.
Source: Before The Trailer