Scream: Henry Winkler remembers being insulted by the studio during the movie’s marketing

Henry Winkler loved being in Scream, but had a hard time swallowing a major insult from the studio when marketing the film.

Last Updated on June 30, 2024

henry winkler scream

Henry Winkler will be forever known for playing The Fonz in Happy Days, but that notoriety, while a benefit in many ways, also turned out to be something of a handicap for the actor when the show ended in 1984. In his great new book, “Being Henry: The Fonz… and Beyond” (buy it here), Winkler remembers a particular slight that came his way via Dimension Films, the studio behind Scream, when they were marketing the movie.

Winkler has an extended cameo in the movie as the doomed Principal Arthur Himbry. He fondly recalls working on the film, which was a favor for his friend, director Wes Craven. He particularly enjoyed filming his death scene, in which he remembers that “I screamed louder than I believed any human could.” He also says that the famous sequence where you see the reflection of Ghostface in his eye took over two hours to get just right, as this was in the days before such a shot could be easily done with CGI.

Yet, while he enjoyed working with Craven and on the film itself, he was thoroughly insulted when the studio declined to give him any on-screen credit. As he recalls, they said, “We cannot put Henry’s name on the movie. We can’t put Henry’s picture on the poster. He is the Fonz. He will knock the balance of the horror off.” Winkler says Craven himself apologized for the slight, with it not his call, but ironically, when they started testing the movie, audience members loved Winkler’s role in it. As a result, despite his still lacking on-screen credit, they asked him to start promoting the movie (it opened poorly at the box office but was a huge word-of-mouth hit). He said that while “I extended my middle finger in the privacy of my own home”, he eventually agreed because he realized the publicity would benefit Craven, as well as himself. Now, he says that even if his name isn’t on the movie, he’s forever associated with it in the minds of fans and loves signing Scream memorabilia at comic conventions.

Indeed, Winkler is a class act in Hollywood. I have fond memories of meeting him at the Critic’s Choice Awards in 2020, when he politely stopped me and my partner at the time to compliment her on her hair and dress. Of course, being a massive fan, I became ultra star-struck and he couldn’t have been nicer.

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.