Samara Weaving was just four years old when cult 90s slasher film Scream hit cinemas in 1996. Back then, her version of a scary movie was 101 Dalmatians staring Glenn Close. “I couldn’t sit through it,” she recalls. “My parents took my sister and I, and I got so scared that mum had to take me out and we sat in the lobby eating ice cream while my dad and sister watched the rest of the movie.”
Fast forward thirty plus years and Weaving is now a bona fide scream queen. Her staring role in the 2019 Radio Silence film Ready or Not was her first foray into the genre and required some serious slasher studying. Her first point of reference? Wes Craven’s iconic movie Scream.
“The original is so good. I love the two killers, but I especially love Drew Barrymore in the opening scene…” she trails off and then adds, “it’s definitely one of my favourite movies now.”
Radio Silence revived the franchise in 2020 with a fifth installment that was a box office hit, and so they went again for Scream VI and when it came to casting, Weaving was the top of their list.
“When we first read the opening, Samara was at the top of our mind, we just knew that this would be perfect for her,” director Tyler Gillett said during a recent interview with IndieWire. “We gave her a call, and she agreed in a moment. There’s a connection and a friendship that we formed so fast on ‘Ready or Not.’ She’s just one of those people that we’ll be friends with forever. She’s one of our favorites and she has the best scream in the world!”
Weaving joined a cast that included OG member Courtney Cox, and the likes of Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere and Melissa Barrera, who are all reprising their role from the 2022 Scream film. “The cast is such a sweet group of people and they’ve worked together before so there was this feeling of being the new girl on the first day of school. We all went out to dinner and they were so welcoming and just a great group to work and be on set with.”
The Australian born and bred actor spent much of her childhood being the new girl at school. With parents that moved around constantly for work, Weaving wrestles with the answer when asked what she considers to be ‘home.’ “I’ve lived here in LA for nearly nine years now and I was away for quite a while. I did feel that sense of relief you get when you’ve been away and arrive home, so it definitely is feeling much more like it’s my home. But Australia will always be my home, because it’s the people who make it feel like home to me.”
Weaving visited in January this year to promote Babylon, which she appears in alongside fellow Aussies Margot Robbie and Phoebe Tonkin. Having not been back in a while, she discovered many of her usual haunts had disappeared. “When I arrived, I was really excited. But at the same time, kind of shocked because I didn’t know where anything was anymore. I didn’t really know where to go. All my favourite restaurants were gone. I just didn’t feel like I was part of the fabric anymore, which was surreal. But I walked around Broadway in Sydney, near where I used to live, and I was reminiscing about my time in that neck of the woods. That felt very much the same and I had that sense of returning ‘home’.
Another part of Weaving’s life that sees her jet-setting around the world is her relationship with luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton. Weaving is a friend of the brand and when she chats to marie claire she admits to being a little jetlagged, having just returned from Paris Fashion Week where she had sat front row alongside Zendaya, Sophie Turner, Ana de Armas and Alicia Vikander. “Nicholas [Ghesquière]’s collection was fabulous, as always,” she gushes. “I can’t wait to wear everything. It’s such a cool collection.”
When she’s not travelling, the actor confesses she’s a real homebody, preferring to spend time ensconced in her LA abode with husband, film writer Jimmy Warden. Rather than a wild party on the town with Hollywood friends, Weaving who turned 31 just days after her marie claire shoot celebrated in a much more low key way. “I didn’t really do anything this year, which I was really excited about. I embraced my inner introvert level on my actual birthday, but we did have a party the weekend before. My girlfriends friend baked me a peanut butter and chocolate cake and we sat on my bed eating cake and playing the new Harry Potter game, Hogwarts Legacy.”
Her next role will see her forging the fake blood and donning a pair of bunny ears as she plays Holly Maddison in Down the Rabbit Hole, based on Maddison’s time as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend. ‘Holly is a producer and she’s giving us incredible insights and be generous with her time and her stories. We’re in pre-production now so we’re waiting for all the pieces to come together before we can start doing do exciting things like casting. We’ve got to find our Hef! But I’m so passionate and excited about this. Holly is so fun and such a magnetic personality, but the story has a lot of trauma there too. I’m looking forward to exploring that.”
Read the full story in the April issue of marie claire, out on 23 March.