David Arquette talks about the film, his future plans and what his daughter Coco is going to wear for Halloween

David Arquette is clearly one of the more interesting actors working in American Cinema today. Having played Dewey Riley in all three Scream films, the actor has gone on to create memorable roles in Eight Legged Freaks and Riding the Bullet among others. He recently stepped behind the camera to create the political/slasher film, The Tripper. This movie focuses on an axe wielding serial killer who has an obsession with Ronald Reagan.

Arquette recently sat down with us to talk about the film, his future plans and what his daughter Coco is going to be wearing for Halloween.

Where did you come up with the idea for The Tripper?

David Arquette: I went to this music festival in Humboldt County called "Rig on the River," and I was sitting there surrounded by redwood trees and it was getting dark out and I just thought it would be really crazy if a killer came out of the woods and started hacking up all these hippies. That was the initial thought because... (to his daughter Coco) what's that you want to talk? Hold on Evan, someone wants to talk to you.

Sure.

(At this moment David hands the phone to his daughter Coco.)

David Arquette: Say "hi" to Evan.

Coco Arquette: Hello...

Hello.

David Arquette: Anyway...

(Coco is heard saying, "Talk about me.")

David Arquette: Talk about you? Okay, Coco is a fantastic girl, she likes to sing, and right now she's pretending that she's going to go in the shower. Now she's laying down on the floor on a pillow. So then... I thought that it would be a fun juxtaposition between hippies and then a horror film and violence.

Why Ronald Reagan? Was that a political statement?

David Arquette: Not really too much. I saw a scary mask of Reagan and I was like, "Oh wow..." and I've always been kind of obsessed with the fact that William Shatner was one of them; that William Shatner made up the mask for Halloween. I was always obsessed with finding another iconic, creepy mask. So then I saw the mask and I thought that was scary and then it just kind of fit in. The things he'd said about the hippies, the fact that he said some things about the lumber industry, it just all kind of came together... his policies on mental health.

Can you talk about the weather conditions while you were shooting? I hear it rained a lot?

David Arquette: It did. It was supposed to rain 6 inches from the time that we were there but only ended up raining a couple of nights. We ended up having to create rain for one scene even for the finale. It all kind of worked out because it happened at a point where it was perfect for the film. We're trying on my daughter's Halloween costume right now.

That just adds that much more spice to this interview. It's Halloween, right?

David Arquette: She's taking it off now. (To Coco) We can put something soft on so it's not scratchy. You want to just wear the wig now?

Coco Arquette: Yeah.

When you make a movie like The Tripper what is your mindset? Are you going for a wide release or are you looking at a specific audience?

David Arquette: I wrote this film with horror fans truly in mind. I wanted it to appeal to their senses. I was like its gotta have nudity, its gotta have violence, its gotta have drugs and craziness. I wanted it to have that campy, humorous element to it too, just to sort of talk to that audience.

What do you think is the biggest lesson you learned while making this film? Maybe something that you didn't know before?

David Arquette: I never really realized how specific jobs, how intense they were. Like the First AD's job is just such a tremendous, tremendous job. They're in charge of everybody and everything. You really learn how important and how intensive each job is. The Director of Photography, they've got an amazingly difficult job. Just the crew, they work so hard, it gives you an idea. Then, how to convey your ideas through film. I'm just learning more and more since The Tripper. I just directed an episode of Medium, it's just been a really great learning experience.

Are you planning on directing more films? Do you want to stick to making horror films?

David Arquette: I do plan on making more films, for sure. I love the horror genre but I'm going to do other things as well. I want to do something that has kind of a Braveheart feeling to it. Its based in Ancient Rome.

Wow, that sounds different than The Tripper.

David Arquette: Yeah, it's still going to have real violence (laughs) that's what I like about that sort of thing. Stuff where you can do really hardcore violence.

What do you have coming up next?

David Arquette: I am directing an episode of Dirt, my wife's show that we produce for FX. That's going to be exciting, I really look forward to working with her. After that, I do have a part in a movie called Hamlet 2 where I play a sort of jocky, dumb guy. It's with Steve Coogan and Katherine Keener. I'm kind of waiting to find the right role. I've really been kind of selective recently as far as acting goes because certain movies they want me for I'm not really into them. There's other movies that I'd like to have, that I've auditioned for, I've gotten close but nothing's clicked yet.

The Tripper is currently available on DVD from Fox Home Entertainment.

Dont't forget to also check out: The Tripper

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs