It took a while for Wes Craven to accept that making Scream was his destiny: the horror maestro actually turned the script down TWICE, telling Fangoria TV:
''I read the opening of Scream, and it was just brutal. And I thought, ‘I can’t kill another poor girl!’''
However, it was that opening scene that really cemented Scream's place in the horror canon. It was fast, brutal, smart and unexpected, largely due to the inclusion (and quick dispatching) of America's Sweetheart, that cute li'l kid from E.T....
Drew Barrymore Makes Horror History
Killing off a big star — and the actress given pride of place in Scream's theatrical posters — gave fans a genuine fright, and this was totally intentional. Scream producer Cary Woods told NYT that killing Drew in the first 10 minutes was a deliberate ploy to fuck with audiences:
''It was our way of saying: ‘Hold onto your hats. Anything can happen in this movie.‘''
Drew herself was in on the ploy, of course, and got super into the role, even coming up with little ad-libs and personal touches to make Casey Becker her own. She explained in a Scream promo interview:
''Casey’s demeanor was very relaxed. She’s barefoot, and I remember the day I came up with that.''
Barrymore developed a strong relationship with director Wes Craven, eating dinner together every day for four months to prepare for the scene. Barrymore adds:
''We really got to know each other, because it was really important to me to have a strong relationship with him — and to have that trust, so that I could look him in the eye and tell him my secrets of how to get me to that emotional level.''
Check out this really beautiful little video of Drew and the crew behind the scenes, applying fake tears to her eyes, dabbing on fake blood, gently dragging her across the floor and finally hoisting a Drew dummy up into a tree.
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If you want more insight into the process behind the making of Scream, check out the documentary Still Screaming. One of the coolest details from that doc came from Scream prop-master J.P. Jones, who recounted a mishap during Casey's frenzied 911 call when he forgot to unplug Drew's prop phone:
''So [Drew] starts dialing 911, screaming, hanging up, 911, screaming, hanging up. We’re in the middle of a take, and the phone starts ringing, and we’re like, ‘What’s going on? Why is the phone ringing?’ And it’s the police asking what the hell we’re doing, and why do we keep calling them?''
Oh, Casey, you so almost made it...
Will any opening scene ever have quite the same impact as Casey Becker's untimely demise? Discuss in the comments below.