The Movie That Helped Emma Roberts Land Her Ghostface Role In Scream 4, According To Casting Director

The Scream franchise is known for its stellar casting choices, and the fourth installment is no exception. After over a decade lying dormant, Wes Craven and crew relaunched the beloved ’90s meta-heavy horror movie franchise. In 2011, Emma Roberts delivered a standout and unhinged performance as a memorable Ghostface killer. And in an interview, the film’s casting director, Avy Kaufman, reveals what movie helped land Emma her role as the infamous telephone-taunting slasher. 

In the third follow-up to the 1996 original, the filmmakers introduced us to Jill (Emma Roberts), a typical high school student in Woodsboro, or so she seems, before she is revealed to be one-half of the duo behind the movie’s masked baddies. Before landing the starring role in one of the best horror movie franchises, Roberts was more known for her roles in family movies like 2007’s Nancy Drew. So what made Avy Kaufman so sure she could pull off the killer role? The seasoned casting director recently revealed the surprising connection that led her to cast the young actress in the film during an episode of Collider Ladies Night. According to her:

Because when she was maybe eight years old, I cast her as Penélope Cruz and Johnny Depp’s daughter in ‘Blow.’ I used to cast kids all the time, and I would just sit and talk to them for hours to find out who they were because I don’t think you can really teach a kid how to act. So because, at a young age, I got to know her a little bit, that’s why I knew she could do both.

Some may not remember, but that was indeed a young Emma Roberts in Ted Demme’s Blow. The crime drama, which was inspired by the life of real-life U.S. drug trafficker George Jung, served as a prime vehicle for Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. While Roberts’ role may not have been the biggest of her career, it still managed to help her make an impression it seems.

Avy Kaufman’s choice to cast the Valentine’s Day actress in Scream 4 proved to be inspired. She brought her undeniable talent to the role and injected depth and complexity into her character, turning her into an unforgettable figure within the franchise. While she initially appears to be a character set to take over for Sydney Prescott as the franchise’s final girl, she is revealed to be a new kind of killer. She isn’t obsessed with horror movies, but instead, with fame and being the center of attention. That’s a theme that, years ago, may have seemed niche to audiences, but time has only done favors for the movie. With the growth of social media and “influencers” over the past decade, the film’s themes resonate even more today than when it was released.

The effort to breathe new life into the franchise didn’t quite hit the mark, and the fourth movie fell short of its predecessors’ high box office standards. However, the narrative surrounding the film has evolved over time, with fans wholeheartedly embracing it as an integral chapter in the rich history and enduring history and legacy of the Scream series. And a lot of that has to do with the brilliant casting of its leads. 

Seeing how these early connections and experiences can profoundly influence an actor’s career path is intriguing. Without Scream 4, we might have missed Emma Roberts’ exceptional performances in the acclaimed American Horror Story series. Fans can now look forward to her return to the twelfth season of FX’s genre hit, titled American Horror Story: Delicate, adding another exciting chapter to her impressive acting journey. Though we’ll have to wait and see if the actress can top her incredible turn as Ghostface.

When it comes to revisiting the performance or streaming Scream 4, the movie’s availability is a bit unique. Unlike the other films in the franchise, which are all accessible with a Paramount+ subscription, you’ll need a Starz membership to watch the 2011 installment. However, there are alternative options for viewing as well. This outstanding sequel is available for digital rental/purchase on Amazon Prime, or if you prefer physical media, it can be found on Blu-ray for collectors to add to their movie libraries.

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