Self-awareness is the MO of the Scream franchise, so it trades off the audience being intimately familiar with the previous entries in the series and even its characters are cognizant of the tropes of the horror genre. And yet, when one of the stars of the latest Scream was first cast, they had never seen any of the prior movies. This is pretty ironic given that their character is the biggest horror expert in the film.
Jasmin Savoy Brown plays Mindy Meeks-Martin in 2022’s Scream, the niece of fan-favorite original Scream character Randy Meeks. Just like her uncle, Mindy is a massive horror nerd and essentially fills his role in this movie’s plot, as she outlines the rules of how to survive when you find yourself in a slasher “requel” (a reboot/sequel). For her audition, then, Brown had to perform a monologue similar to Randy’s speeches in the first three Screams.
It would be a challenge to recreate the energy of these famous scenes from the franchise’s past, but the pressure was arguably lessened for Brown as she admits that she wasn’t familiar with the films before she got the part. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the Yellowjackets actress said she deliberately avoided revisiting 1996’s Scream until filming had already begun, so she didn’t “overthink” her performance.
“I was afraid that if I did that, I would overthink it and copy him,” Brown explains. “That monologue was part of my audition, but when I auditioned, I hadn’t seen Scream. I actually didn’t see the Scream films until after I was cast and we were shooting. So I just thought, ‘Well, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing when I auditioned and they liked it. I’m just going to trust that.’ So I only watched the first Scream one time while we were shooting, and I’ve since seen it a few more times. But I didn’t want to overthink it.”
Brown’s strategy seems to have paid off as her portrayal of Mindy has made her one of the most popular new additions to the franchise introduced in Scream ’22, as directed by Radio Silence filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. And while some of its stars might not be Scream experts, the film itself is so full of love and respect for what’s come before that it’s packed with Easter eggs and references.
Scream is playing in theaters now.