How Scream, What Lies Beneath and Scarface are all linked, in a strange web of influences and inspirations.

It’s always fun and interesting to read about an actor’s process. How they quite often channel elements of another actor’s performance, wardrobe or more, to inspire their own performances. In a profession that is so self-reflexive, where Hollywood routinely awards movies about movies, it makes sense that the industry is in some ways so inwards-facing. But sometimes, those little flourishes line up in strange ways.

Whilst appearing as a guest on The Drew Barrymore Show, Michelle Pfeiffer revealed that her character Claire Spencer in the 2000 thriller What Lies Beneath was actually inspired by Drew Barrymore’s iconic turn as Casey Becker in 1996’s Scream. 

As Pfeiffer explained it to Barrymore, “here was a woman who was being stalked in her home – terrified. And I was prepping for it, around the same time that I saw you in that film, and your terror was so… it was so real. It was so real. And I thought oh! That’s it. I copied you, I completely copied you”.

In a strange coincidence that the pair called ‘trippy’, Barrymore went on to explain that the character of Casey Becker was modelled on Pfeiffer’s Elvira character from 1983’s Scarface, with Barrymore revealing her wig in the film was made to be a perfect copy of Pfeiffer’s hair in the Brian de Palma classic.

It’s one of those strange coincidences that show the mutual respect and admiration that the two actors clearly have for each other. You can see the full interview below, if you’re after a feel-good Monday morning moment.


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