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Interview: Devyn Nekoda Talks ‘Scream VI,’ Representation in the Horror Genre, and Her Favorite Scary Movie

March 13, 2023Ben MK

One of cinema's most tried and true genres, slasher horror has given moviegoers some of the most memorable antagonists ever to grace the silver screen. Whether it's Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers, these characters have come to not only epitomize the films they represent, but their names have become synonymous with the genre itself. It's an honor that has only been bestowed on the most iconic of big screen bad guys. And when it comes to horror movie icons, they don't get more iconic than Ghostface. Now, in Scream VI, Ghostface is back to terrorize a new generation of potential victims, including familiar faces like Sam and Tara Carpenter (Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega), Mindy and Chad Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding), and newcomers played by Devyn Nekoda, Liana Liberato and Jack Champion. The question is — who will survive to return for the inevitable next installment in the cult classic franchise?

I caught up with Devyn Nekoda to chat about her role in Scream VI, her experience working with the other actors in the talented ensemble cast, and, of course, to find out what her favorite scary movie is.

In Scream VI, you play a new character named Anika, who also happens to be Mindy's girlfriend. Can you tell me what it was like joining this iconic franchise and what drew you to the role?

Nekoda: At first, I had no idea I was auditioning for Scream. They were being super secretive about it, but once I found out, I'm like, "Obviously, I want to be a part of this iconic franchise." That was just a dream come true in itself. And then when I found out that I would be playing Mindy's girlfriend, and bringing a gay relationship to the Scream franchise — that's something that's super important to me. Representation, obviously, matters. And to see two women of color in a queer relationship, in such a huge film like this, it means the world to me.

In addition to playing one half of Scream's first LGBTQ couple, you're also the first Asian main character in the series. Can you talk about what it was like breaking these two barriers for the franchise?

Nekoda: I get emotional just thinking about it. Growing up, I didn't see a lot of people who looked like me on my screen. And so to be able to be a part of that — hopefully not many younger people are watching this movie [laughs], but in the future, just to see people who look like me looking up to me, it means everything.

You're from Toronto, and Scream VI filmed in Montreal. How was shooting the movie so close to home?

Nekoda: It was so cool. I'm one of the only Canadians in the cast, so, to do that, it meant so much to me. I was so close to home, so my friends got to visit. It was a lot of fun. And I've been to Montreal before, cuz it is so close. And so I felt like I was a little tour guide in the beginning for the rest of the cast.

Was there a particular scene in Scream VI that was the most memorable for you to film, personally?

Nekoda: Absolutely, it was the latter scene [in Sam's apartment]. That one took us, I think over a week, almost two weeks to film. And Jasmine, Melissa and I were just in this room doing that sequence so many times. It was, obviously, very gruesome, but we had the most fun doing it. It was so funny. Filming a horror film, you'd think that the vibes on set would be creepy, [or] I dunno, scary. But we had the best time filming it, it was really fun.

So what was the camaraderie among the cast like?

Nekoda: Filming with the [actors] who were in the previous film, just meeting them, just watching them, really — I think I learned the most from just sitting back and watching how they work. They're the hardest workers ever, and they all have fun while doing it. My mind was really blown getting to the set and seeing how close they are. They really are like a family, and I'm so honored to be a part of that now.

Not many horror movie villains have endured for as long as Ghostface has. What, in your opinion, makes the character such a fan-favorite, and such a long-lasting genre icon?

Nekoda: I think Ghostface is so iconic because he keeps coming back. But, obviously, it's different characters each time. The storyline keeps getting more and more intense. The fact that this one is in New York just heightens the stakes even more. And I think this movie really proves that they're not done with this franchise yet.

Last but not least, of course I have to ask, what's your favorite scary movie?

Nekoda: I am a total chicken, I don't love horror. But I'm gonna have to go with [the original] Scream, just because I feel like it's the most iconic of all time. And I love, I love, I love Skeet Ulrich, I love him so much. [laughs] So that's definitely my favorite. That is the most iconic opening scene, with Drew Barrymore. It's so good.

Scream VI is in theaters now.

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