Liev Schreiber suggested Cotton Weary be killed off in Scream

Liev Schreiber was ready to kill off Cotton Weary in Scream, provided he be given the honor of being sliced and diced in the first act.

Drew Barrymore. Jada Pinkett-Smith. Liev Schreiber. We all know the common thread here…And while Barrymore’s is the most iconic opening murder in the Scream franchise (and all of horror?), Schreiber has the distinction of his character, Cotton Weary, being the only seasoned veteran to be knocked off in the opening act, a sort of honor in the series. But it may never have happened if it wasn’t for Schreiber’s insistence.

Speaking with GQ, Schreiber said he determined it was time for Cotton Weary to meet his fate in the Scream (then-) trilogy. But if he was going to go, it had to be in the first reel. “I kind of suggested that they knock me off. Part of the device of the movies was that somebody in the first five minutes get killed and we don’t really expect them to get killed.” This would come to fruition for Cotton in Scream 3, when he–now famous as a talk show host–is featured in the opening scene taking a phone call from a seductive voice who turns out to be, yes, Ghostface.

Cotton Weary has a pretty strong arc for being a low-tier supporting character. After falsely being accused of the rape and murder of Sidney Prescott’s mother, he next meets up with Sidney at Windsor College to spin the fame in a positive light, later rescuing her from killers Mickey and Debbie Salt/Mrs. Loomis. By the time we see him in Scream 3, he’s a full-fledged, billboard-blasted celeb.

Many might wonder what would have become of Cotton Weary had he outlasted Roman Bridger in Scream 3–Schreiber included. “At that point in my career, I didn’t really fully understand the value of being in a franchise. To be frank, I was like, ‘Let me get out of this while I can–get out while things are going well…’ I just thought it would be fun to be one of the iconic kills from the top. I was working and doing a lot of other stuff in New York in theater, and I was just like, ‘How many times can I play this character?’ Now I realize you can play that character as many times as they want you to.” In short, he wouldn’t have minded turning up in Scream 5.

Where does Cotton Weary’s knife through the head rank among your favorite opening act Scream kills? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: GQ

About the Author

2008 Articles Published

Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.