The MTV series Scream, based on the hit horror franchise, follows what happens after a cyber-bullying incident results in a brutal murder and the shocking violence stirs up memories of a killing spree from the past. Now, a group of local teens will quickly become victims or suspects, as secrets are revealed that could tie some of them a little too closely a killer who’s out for blood. The show stars Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Carlson Young, Amadeus Serafini, John Karna, Connor Weil, Tracy Middendorf and Jason Wiles.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Bex Taylor-Klaus (who plays Audrey, Audrey a strong-minded and fearless outcast teen whose romantic tryst with another girl leads to a cyber-bullying incident that kicks the whole story off) talked about being at Disneyland when she got the call that she landed this role, why she wanted to play this character, how exciting it is to have Wes Craven’s support, what she thinks of the Scream movies, what viewers can expect from the arc this season, how quickly people started rooting for Audrey and Emma (Willa Fitzgerald), and the reasons that her character could both be the killer and not be the killer. She also talked about how much fun she had on The CW series Arrow.
How did you come to this? Was this a role that you auditioned for?
BEX TAYLOR-KLAUS: Yeah, I auditioned for it. I auditioned for it in March of last year, and it was just another audition that came through the circuit. I read the character breakdown, the sides for Audrey, and the logline of what they wanted the series to be about, and I fell in love with the writing. I fell in love with the way the character was written, and the way that they chose to create and describe her. I was just excited for the opportunity to try to bring it to life, even if it was just for an audition. So, I went in for the audition, and then nothing happened. I didn’t get a callback. I didn’t go for testing. Nothing happened. I was bummed, but it didn’t work out. Two months later, I heard that someone else had gotten the role, so I completely put it out of my head. A few months later, I got a call while I was at an amusement park for my birthday. I was at Splash Mountain for an early birthday celebration with a friend of mine, and I got this call that was like, “Hey, do you remember Scream? Did you like that? ‘Cause they want to talk to you about it.” So, a few days later, I started shooting. It was not the normal way to get a role.
Had you been a fan of the Scream franchise, or was it this specific version that appealed to you?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: Actually, I didn’t really put two and two together, that the Scream television show that I was auditioning for was part of the original Scream franchise because it felt so stand-alone. I also didn’t see the full script. I knew that Audrey’s video leaks and murders start happening that connect to some murders from the past, potentially, but I didn’t know that Wes Craven was on board. I just didn’t make the connection in my head. But once I did, I was like, “Oh, my god! How did I miss that?!” I love the movies. I’ve watched them far too many times, in the past few months. It’s probably unhealthy, but I don’t have a problem with that. I can quote them now.
What’s it like to know that you have Wes Craven’s endorsement, support and approval?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: When I saw the Tweet that he put out, that he approved of the mask, I was like, “This is just the greatest thing that’s ever happened!”
Do you remember when you saw the first Scream movie, and what your initial reaction was to it?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: When I was 15 or 16, I only watched the first two. But as soon as I got the role, I went through and marathoned all of them, and I couldn’t understand why it had taken me so long to get to them. I adore them. They’re so much fun. I saw the first section of the first one when I was 12 or 13. Whoever I was watching it with – and I cannot remember who I was watching it with, for the life of me – couldn’t handle the gore, so we had to stop watching. I wanted to be a forensic scientist when I was younger. For a long time, I was studying because I wanted to do that sort of stuff. So, anything crime related and anything excessively bloody and violent, my brain immediately goes to the science. I think about, “How did you do this? How can we catch you?”
What can you tease about what we can expect to see this season, especially with your character’s journey?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: Everyone has secrets and everyone tells lies, and Audrey is no exception. It’s going to be exciting for everyone to figure out exactly what her secrets are. One secret already got blown, in the very first episode, but of course, she’s going to have more than one secret. You’re going to see some more of Audrey and Noah together because they are best friends and are definitely the geeks of the show. So, when things start going wrong, who wants to figure out what’s happening? It’s going to be the Scooby gang.
If everyone has secrets and every tells lies, and everyone is fair game until there’s no one left, with so many people lying and playing games with each other, can anyone be trusted or should we be suspicious of everybody?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: I think the most fun part of this show is that you get to be suspicious of everybody. Everybody has got at least something shady going on that makes them have a reason to do something. Even if they don’t have a reason, they’re just creepy enough that maybe they did it because they’re crazy. Not a single person, except maybe Emma, is free of suspicion.
With what she’s gone through, maybe Audrey can identify with the story of Brandon James, in a way that the other characters can’t.
TAYLOR-KLAUS: That’s a fair assumption, I suppose. Brandon has got a dark story, and we’re just starting to hear what it is. There are a lot more secrets to come out.
What do you most enjoy about playing Audrey?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: The reason I like Audrey is because we have things in common, and there are parts of her that just don’t reside in me, so I get to reach in and find them and try to make them connect to me, in some way. We have our similarities. There are times where I’m like, “I want to be like you,” and there are other times where I’m like, “Okay, cool down.” I like acting because I get to find different parts of myself, or at least create different parts that don’t already exist, and see the world through someone else’s eyes.
Whether it’s being mean to someone else online or hacking into a webcam in someone’s bedroom, it seems like there are endless ways to use technology to do horrible things to other people. And the worst part of what happened to Audrey is the fact that nobody should be forced to come out, if they’re not ready or they don’t want to. Will what happened make Audrey more confident and secure in who she is, or is she still going to have moments of doubt, like any teenager?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: One of the things that I love about Audrey is that she is very confident in herself. She’s still trying to figure out who she is, but she’s confident in the fact that she is working through things. She’s reached the point where she knows that she’s trying to figure things out, and she is okay with that. She is going to try to figure things out, and if the person she’s trying to figure things out with doesn’t want to do it publicly, that’s okay. She’s willing to come out whenever she’s ready, but she wants to figure out exactly who she is first. Unfortunately, she got outed. But as soon as she did, she rolled with the punches. It’s gonna hurt for awhile, the fact that people are looking at her differently and the fact that this wasn’t the way she wanted to do it, but it’s what happened, so she’s moving in the next direction. She’s not wallowing in the fact that it happened. She’s taking charge and doing something.
Are you surprised at how quickly people took to Audrey and Emma and are rooting for them?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: I did not even see that coming, at all. They created a ‘ship name almost instantaneously. I was not expecting that. I have this ongoing joke with a good friend of mine and a few other cast members on the show who want Noah and Audrey to happen. We’ve been laughing about that for so many weeks that I completely forgot about Audrey and Emma, and people wanting to see that. It was a good little boost.
Whether it was just around set or in a scene, what was it like, the first time you saw someone wearing the mask?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: Oh, man! There’s this one scene coming up with a bunch of people, and I turned around after they yelled, “Cut!,” to re-set up the shot. I didn’t know he was going to be there. We had our stunt guy standing in the back in full costume with the mask on and a raincoat. I turned around and I jumped. I did not expect that to freak me out. It was awesome! I love this mask. I really do think it’s freaky.
Are you somebody who, as soon as you started working on the show, you started trying to figure out who the killer could be, or do you like not knowing?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: The first show I ever worked on was The Killing, which was a whodunit crime show, and everyone was trying to figure out who it was. Everybody got different information pertaining to their characters from our showrunner. I went around and gathered information from everyone, so I figured out who the killer was before the script came out that said who it was. On this show, that’s been impossible. While we all know little tidbits of information about our characters, we all keep it close to our chests. You’re like, “I want to know, but I don’t want to tell you. It’s awesome, but you can’t know yet because it’s so exciting for when you find out.” We’re all just so excited for the things we get to do and the way our characters get to creep into the story, and we don’t want to give anything that we know away because we’re excited for everybody to see it, including our castmates. But, everyone has their own little theories. We have some really crazy theories, too. There are ones that we know can’t be possible, but if they were, it would be really funny. And we have an affair chart.
Since anyone and everyone could be a suspect, what’s your pitch for why Audrey could be the killer, and what’s your pitch for why there’s no way she could be the killer?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: My pitch for why Audrey could be the killer is because she connects to Brandon James and the outcast story. Also, with everything that Emma did to her, in the past, even though they seem to be trying to make a connection and start over, how badly did Emma hurt Audrey, and is it reason enough to torture her in revenge? But the reason that Audrey can’t be the killer is because I don’t think she’s that cold. I mean, she could be. You never know. It’s just so dark to be so hurt by this that you would go and start tormenting like that, and Audrey is a little bit too nice to do that. Also, she’s the loner. It’s too easy to have her be the killer. I don’t know if anybody knows. I’m just going to beg them because I want to live. She’s also working too hard to figure out who it is, to be the killer. Sorry, I’m just really excited about all of this.
What was it like to be a part of Arrow?
TAYLOR-KLAUS: That was really fun. Come on, it’s a superhero show! How can you go wrong with playing around on a superhero show? I got to work with some fantastic people. I got to learn from some fantastic people. Just the way that they do things and watching them do their thing was amazing to me. Also, superheroes are awesome!
Scream airs on Tuesday nights on MTV.