Scream 4 Press Conference Coverage: Anthony Anderson, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin

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Undoubtedly, the original Scream movies remain one of the most influential modern franchises in the horror genre, and now that director Wes Craven has re-teamed with the ghoulishly demented Ghostface for another installment in the franchise, it only seems right that we get to know the new blood in Scream 4

At least before a few of them end up on the pointy end of Ghostface’s knife when the movie hits theaters on April 15th.

Recently Dread Central caught up with Scream 4’s new cast members during their Los Angeles press day to find out how they felt coming on board one of the biggest horror franchises and how the rules have changed this time around in Scream 4.

Read on to hear more from the newest members of the Scream family, including Anthony Anderson, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin.

For Roberts, who portrays Sidney Prescott’s niece, Jill, who still lives in Woodsboro and in the shadow of what happened to her aunt some ten years back, the decision to come on to do Scream 4 was a quick one to make.

“I don’t know if I was necessarily intimidated to come into the franchise, but I was definitely excited to be a part of it. The only expectations I went into Scream 4 with were that I wanted the people to be cool, the script to be good and the movie to end up being great; and I definitely think all that happened with Scream 4,” Roberts added.

Panettiere, who is a bit of geek goddess herself due to her impressive performance as an indestructible cheerleader on the NBC series “Heroes”, felt the transition to doing horror was pretty easy based on her previous work.

“Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be in a Scream movie?” said Panettiere. “I was lucky enough to be on a show for four years that was sort of in this same genre world as horror since we did have some horror-type stuff on ‘Heroes’ every once in a while. So it’s very exciting for me to be a part of something this big again so early in my career. I am really lucky.”

“Plus, I love how long it’s been since the last film so Scream 4 is like a sequel but kind of a remake but also a combination of the two, which ultimately makes it its own stand-alone movie. It cleverly remembers where it comes from and grows along with the fans from the original but brings in a lot of new things for a brand new generation of fans, too,” Panettiere added.

Anderson was in a unique position when he signed on to Scream 4 since he was part of Scary Movie, the franchise of movies that spoofed the success and clichés of the original Scream trilogy. Anderson weighed in with his thoughts on being part of Craven’s latest genre effort. “Wes was really great at making us comfortable and encouraging all of us actors on a creative level to do things in scenes that may not have even been in the script, and that’s a dream gig for a lot of actors, but especially me. What’s funny is that there’d be a lot of times I’d show up on set and we wouldn’t be doing the scenes we thought we’d be doing, which can normally be nerve-wracking, but Wes always made the set a great place to be. There aren’t a lot of directors working today that are like that.”

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Even though Craven was very supportive of his actors, that doesn’t mean he was willing to let most of them in on some of the secrets surrounding the killers in Scream 4. Both Anderson and Panettiere, who hadn’t seen the movie at the time of the press conference, were surprised to find out they were duped early on by both Craven and producers about the film’s resolution.

Anderson said, “I actually haven’t even seen the movie yet so I just found out who the killers were today during an interview. That will tell you how secretive everything has been on Scream 4. My script never even had an ending on it- That’s how tight Wes kept things. Besides, you can’t trust actors with anything these days so I think that was a good idea on his part.”

“I still haven’t seen the movie either so I think they kind of lied to all of us on set to keep us confused, too, because I know they told me at one point who the killer was. But from what I’ve heard today, that’s definitely not who they told me was Ghostface so even we were kept in the dark. But that’s part of the fun of the Scream franchise- You just never know who the killer will end up being,” Panettiere added.

With new victims and a new generation of fans, that meant Craven and writers Kevin Williamson and Ehren Krueger had to come up with some new rules. Scream 4’s newcomers discussed their thoughts setting some new rules of the horror genre.

“Being the only person of color in this installment, you might think you know what’s going to happen to my character, but you never know,” explained Anderson. “Since it’s a new decade and new rules, I might actually make it out of it alive- Or at the very least, I should make it through the opening credits.”

Panettiere added, “Well, since my character Kirby is most definitely not a virgin, it’s quite possible I may not make it out either. But I guess with the new rules, though, even virgins can die so there are a lot of possibilities on victims in part four. No one is safe around Ghostface this time.”

Roberts said that there is one hard and fast rule that hasn’t changed since the first Scream hit theaters in 1996. “The one thing that hasn’t changed is that if you’re in your underwear, you’re dead. No one besides Sidney in the first one ever has ever survived Ghostface after being in their underwear onscreen. He apparently doesn’t like girls running around in their bras or something.”

Culkin, who plays film geek Charlie in Scream 4, discussed why he thinks Ghostface has become an iconic horror killer and what has kept him a chilling onscreen presence for fans for 15 years now.

“One of the reasons I think Ghostface is so scary is because he’s always a different person with different motives,” explained Culkin. “At the start of each movie, you don’t really know what this Ghostface’s motives are, and that uncertainty makes him so terrifying.”

“One of the really creepy things to me in Scream 4 is that everything is back in Woodsboro, and this massacre and Sidney’s legacy has been hanging over the whole town for ten years now. But the people there are actually celebrating it and celebrating Ghostface, which is a little twisted if you ask me,” Culkin added.

Don’t forget that we are hosting an exclusive live chat commentary with Dan Farrands and Thommy Hutson during the premiere of A&E’s BIO Channel’s “Scream: The Inside Story” on Wednesday, April 6th, at 8pm ET / 5pm PT, right here on Dread Central. Add this Facebook Event Listing to your profile as a reminder.

 Scream 4 Press Conference Coverage: Anthony Anderson, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin

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