J It of Your Screams

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), April 10, 2011 | Go to article overview

J It of Your Screams


Byline: Elaine Lipworth

Neve Campbell couldn't be further removed from her most famous on-screen persona. As the endangered heroine Sidney Prescott in the Scream movie series, she spent her time frantically fighting off knife-wielding maniacs in fright masks. Now, after a 10-year hiatus, she returns for a fourth round of the comedy horror.

Has she not had enough of slasher flicks at this point? No, it seems she considers the Scream franchise a cut above its imitators. 'I turn down 99 per cent of the scripts that come my way because they're terrible,' she laments. 'You do one type of film and all you're offered for the next couple of years are inferior versions of that movie. After the Scream films I was deluged by scripts for jaw-droppingly awful horror flicks. As soon as Scream 4 is released, the process will start all over again. And I also get offered reality shows. Do I really look like the kind of person who wants to be in a you Campbell's pronounced 'her Dutch name. It is Jewish jungle eating insects?' Having been childhood ballet prodigy in her native Canada, Campbell made her acting breakthrough in the teen drama series Party Of Five, which also launched the careers of Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Despite the mainstream success of the Scream franchise, she has specialised in smaller, independent movies including 2003's The Company, which she co-wrote, produced and starred in. She has also appeared in London's West End. All these achievements notwithstanding, she feels she missed out by not finishing her education. 'My big regret is leaving school at 15,' she admits. 'At the time it seemed like the only sane decision. I was dancing professionally and I had the opportunity to do musical theatre on a big scale. But it means there are huge gaps in my knowledge. I find myself in conversation with well-educated people and I sit there wishing I could hold my own in literature, politics, geography and history.' The pressures of the notoriously competitive world of ballet have certainly taken their toll on her. 'I've suffered more injuries than you've had hot dinners,' she laughs. 'My list goes on forever. I've had bunions, broken toes and fallen arches. I've suffered from tendonitis in my Achilles. I've had torn ligaments, snapping-hip syndrome, runner's knee, pulled calves, sprained ankles, sprained wrists, pulled hamstrings and been treated for shin splints. I've had sciatic problems in my back and arthritis in my neck. And while training for the latest Scream movie, my metatarsal collapsed. I was committed to three months of action and fight sequences so I had to ignore medical advice, with the result that I now need regular physical therapy. You could safely say I'm accident-prone.' Did know? given name is Nev' and was mother's maiden of Sephardic origin However, some of the worst challenges she has faced have been mental rather than physical. 'I had a nervous breakdown when I was 14,' she reveals. 'I was studying at the National Ballet School of Canada and found it incredibly challenging. Dance was all-consuming. Outside school I was deeply unhappy and didn't have the tools to cope. The stress got so extreme that I just broke down.

'At 23, I developed alopecia. I was horribly overworked and going through a divorce. Also, I had stalkers and started receiving threatening mail. I was so distressed by it all that my hair started falling out. Life hasn't always been a bowl of cherries.' Given her striking looks, a subsequent move into modelling would have seemed a perfect fit, but things didn't work out that way. 'I took to modelling like a duck to Tarmac,' she says.

'I only lasted a few months. I just hated it. I'd been training as a dancer, which takes talent to do. To spend my time putting on clothes and standing in front of a camera looking pretty didn't appeal to me in any way.' In fact, she wasn't always considered a beauty. 'I was picked on at school,' she recalls. …

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