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Fantasia 2020: Interview – David Arquette Talks Wrestling & Self-Discovery in Doc YOU CANNOT KILL DAVID ARQUETTE

I’m here to tell you a story about a man created by God. No! A man created by Hollywood. Not MacGyver, not Vin Diesel, not Stallone, not Schwarzenegger. I’m talking about David Arquette. The man is invincible. He’s in Scream 1, Scream 2, Scream 3. If they make a Scream 4, he’s coming back as a goddamn cyborg. He was in Ready to Rumble, he was the WCW Champion for two weeks. He was in Eight Legged Freaks where he battled giant spiders. Giant spiders for God sakes! He was also in See Spot Run, but only because he needed the money, and that’s why you cannot kill David Arquette!

– The Black Math Experiment

After seeing the new documentary, You Cannot Kill David Arquette, directed by David Darg and Price James, which is premiering at the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival on August 24th, I can tell you that the song by The Black Math Experiment is accurate. David Arquette is indestructible. The film begins with Arquette winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship title in 2000, while he was promoting the film Ready to Rumble, and follows him on, a sometimes painful, journey of introspection after wrestling fans turned on him for winning the title.

Arquette is forced to deal with the aftermath of, not only angry wrestling fans, but a heart attack, and decides to improve his health and train to be a wrestler. After training in Mexico with actual luchadors, he embarks on a training program in the U.S. and finds himself wrestling with professional wrestler RJ City. Later, with his friend Luke Perry watching, he finds himself involved in a terrifying death match where he ends up covered in blood and rushed to the hospital. Look, I’m just as excited as you are about Scream 5, but this documentary is incredibly inspiring. In fact, I’ve seen some amazing films as part of Fantasia 2020, but You Cannot Kill David Arquette, is one of the movies I haven’t stopped thinking about.

Dread Central was excited to have the opportunity to talk with David Arquette about the personal aspect of making the documentary, proving himself to the wrestling community and a lot more. Read on to find out what we talked about!


Dread Central: Hi, David! Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me today!

David Arquette: Of course! I love Dread Central.

DC: I loved the documentary! Now that it’s twenty years later, how do you feel about winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship? Do you feel like you have redeemed yourself to wrestling fans?

DA: I don’t know if I’ve redeemed myself for that part of it [laughs]. I would never make that same mistake again. You know, it’s funny. I set out to prove to the wrestling fans that I was tough and not a pushover, but ultimately what I learned was I had to prove it to myself and stop beating myself up and being my worst enemy. That’s really what that is. When you read the things that they are writing and when you believe it is when you get so angry [laughs]. So, when you stop believing it, you can read it and it doesn’t hurt you as much. It’s really an interesting dynamic.

DC: After having a heart attack, what inspired you to get back in the ring, and were you concerned about your health?

DA: Yeah, I had two stents put in my heart from a bad reaction to a stress test and then, when I came out of surgery, my wife was there and I was like, “I’ve been thinking about wrestling a lot [laughs].” She was like, “What? Why are you talking about that?” [laughs] It was really something that was on the forefront of my mind. It’s one of those things when you’re thinking about your whole life. I knew at that point that I had to resolve this experience and just kind of prove myself.

You Cannot Kill David Arquette 3 1024x576 - Fantasia 2020: Interview – David Arquette Talks Wrestling & Self-Discovery in Doc YOU CANNOT KILL DAVID ARQUETTE
David Arquette in You Cannot Kill David Arquette

DC: Tell me about Mexican street wrestling! What was that like? And how did it feel to be honored with a luchador mask?

DA: Oh man, it was so incredible to wrestle there. Those street performers were just like the greatest wrestlers in the world. They do that just in their spare time and then at night they are wrestling in the biggest venue in Tijuana, so it’s so amazing that they continue to do that, and that they love doing it and it’s a part of their lives. When I got the luchador mask, that was really sweet. I had this whole costume made beforehand, not knowing if I was going to use it or not. It had Bret Hart’s colors on it [laughs]. I love Bret Hart. I didn’t know if I would be able to wear it or not, so the fact that they allowed me to wear it after my training was great. Wrestling in Central and South America is just adored in a way that is different than it is here. It’s almost religious in a sense. They’ve grown up with it, it’s multigenerational, and it means a lot to them. I did something in the ring that was, you know, because we’re the good guys, that might have come off as bad. So, I had to go to each side of the ring and apologize to the audience [laughs]. It’s a really funny world. They take it so seriously, but you really have to honor that.

DC: I think the documentary is extremely inspiring. Was it difficult for you to share such a personal journey?

DA: Well, I’ve been pretty much an open book in my life. I know the kind of documentaries that I like are very open, very revealing, very vulnerable. The subject is just an open book and I wanted to be that too. I wasn’t afraid to share some of my obstacles and some of the things I was going through, especially because I think a lot of the time, a lot of people are going through that as well and need to feel like they’re not alone, and that what they’re feeling isn’t crazy.

DC: Honestly, I have to say I’m not planning on wrestling, but I was inspired by this documentary. If you can go out there and do that, then I can, too.

DA: Oh, absolutely! It’s about going after your dreams and believing in yourself and not letting anyone stop you and doing whatever you set your mind out to. We can do so much more than we think we can. At least, that’s what I learned through this. You can really put your mind and heart and soul and pour it into something, and magic stuff happens.

DC: Do you plan to continue wrestling?

DA: I’m not really sure. I mean, I love wrestling. My favorite aspect of wrestling is being a fan, to be honest with you [laughs]. That’s where I get the most enjoyment, when I don’t have to worry about it. I get really nervous when I go into the ring and it tears me up inside. It’s super painful. It’s a hard sport. It’s like a play on steroids. It’s just insanity.

DC: I couldn’t tell you were nervous in the documentary!

DA: Oh good! That’s part of the whole thing is just hiding that you’re nervous. When you’re doing a play, they don’t know the lines if you mess up a line. You sometimes beat yourself up, but if it doesn’t mess up their understanding of the story, you can get away with some stuff.

DC: Well, I hope that if you do continue to wrestle, you will take good care of yourself.

DA: I will. Thank you!

Written by Michelle Swope

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