Let’s be real. David Arquette is a modern legend in the horror sphere. Most known for his role as Dewey Riley in the Scream franchise, he has gone to play notable horror roles in Eight Legged Freaks, Ravenous, Bone Tomahawk, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now he can be seen in Brea Grant’s 12 HOUR SHIFT. For the release of 12 HOUR SHIFT, I got a chance to chat with David, where we discussed everything from his character Jefferson, what it was like working with Brea Grant, and why the horror genre continues to pull him back in.
12 HOUR SHIFT takes place in 1998 over the course of one night at an Arkansas hospital where a junkie nurse, her scheming cousin, and a group of black market organ-trading criminals get caught up in a heist gone wrong.
Thank you so much for speaking with me today, David! To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about your character, Jefferson, and what drove you to be a part of this film?
David Arquette: I’d been wrestling so I had gotten my body in shape so I was like, let’s show it off a little, kind of like the hot mugshot guy (laughs). I figured [Jefferson] had probably done this just to get into the hospital to get drugs anyways. It just kind of worked out that he could plan his escape. He was just a fun character to play. I didn’t go too deep with him but Brea Grant had written such an incredible script that was so much fun. It’s just this crazy adventure based on these urban legends that she brought to life in such a fun way with Angela Bettis at the helm who really crushed it. [Angela] has such an incredible way of being grounded and down to earth and you can still feel emotionally connected to her even though she’s doing horrible things.
Can you talk about working with HCT Media as well as co-producing 12 HOUR SHIFT alongside your wife, Christina McLarty Arquette?
David Arquette: HCT Media is Jordan Long, Matt Glass, and Tara Perry and they’re really tremendous partners. But Christina, my wife, this was her first film as a producer and I was just so impressed with her. She was a journalist and went to NYU for journalism but the toolbox that she had for journalism fit right in so perfectly for producing. That was really wonderful to watch her blossom into this incredible producer, we had a great time. Jordan and Matt are amazing filmmakers and Matt did all the camera work and they were just great to work.
How was it working with Brea Grant not only as an actor that was being directed by her but also knowing that Grant is an actor herself? Additionally, you also get to work with former wrestler Mick Foley which I’m sure was exciting!
David Arquette: Yeah, that was the only downside to this film, I would have loved to been able to act opposite with her because that’s such a fun thing to do, just working with really tremendous actors, but she’s such a wonderful writer/director. She has such a great tone that she set with [the film], some horror, some humor, I just love the balance that she struck with all of these wonderful characters and the sort of feeling of the film that she brought. And then being able to work with Mick Foley was a real treat. I’ve been such a huge fan of his so I was like a little kid being able to talk and get to know him some more. I want to try and be able to put wrestlers in films that I do. I think they have such a tremendous skill at acting, it’s a lot harder than people might think. And some of the stuff you see wrestlers do is over the top as far as some of the promos go, but you’d be amazed at how hard those promos are and how hard it is to be so energized. So to be able to see Mick find the right tone and subtleties as an actor, I just think there’s incredible wrestlers that could be incredible actors if they are given the opportunity.
Obviously, you’ve been attached to a slew of horror films ranging from the Scream franchise to 2002’s Eight Legged Freaks to 2019’s Creepshow. What is it about this genre that you enjoy so much?
David Arquette: Horror fans are some of the greatest fans you’ll ever meet when you go to the conventions and stuff, they just have such a love for it. The movies live on for them and they’ll watch them multiple times. They’ll have discovered things in the film that I never even knew about or remembered. The loyalty and the commitment and the support that they give is just really outstanding. They’re just really the sweetest people. It’s funny, it’s like Wes Craven; Wes was one of the kindest people you’d ever meet, and to see what he did for a living, you’d never think it – that’s what a lot of the horror fans are really like. They really have huge hearts and they really love filmmaking.
Lastly, I just wanted to say that I’m really sad we didn’t get to hear you sing during the musical number in 12 HOUR SHIFT.
David Arquette: (laughs) I would have loved that, although I think the film is scary enough without me singing. I do love a good karaoke session, though!
12 HOUR SHIFT is now in theaters and On Demand. For more on the film, check out our review here.