Jamie Kennedy Prepared For Scream With Some Deep Cut Horror Research

In 1996's "Scream," horror fans were introduced to a film that openly mocks the genre while exploiting its most famous tropes. Instead of expecting an audience to suspend their disbelief for two hours, "Scream" followed all the classic rules of horror while not so subtly offering the audience a wink and a nod. Final girl Sidney, spunky Tatum, and resident killers, Billy and Stu, all have main roles to play to keep the plot moving, but that doesn't mean that side characters are important.

As the central characters plan or flee death, horror fanatic, Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), acts as the dungeon master of the movie. The nerdy and socially awkward film buff doesn't offer much in the way of muscle, so he relies on an expansive knowledge of scary movie rules and cliches to survive sticky situations, which he is kind enough to share with the audience. For this reason, Randy is one of the most beloved characters in the franchise.

Prior to portraying Randy, Jamie Kennedy was a casual viewer of horror movies, so he had a lot of catching up to do. According to Bloody Disgusting, to prepare for the role, the actor performed a deep dive into gritty horror classics.

'Watch a few movies, take a few notes.'

Throughout "Scream," Randy Meeks has three crucial scenes. The first is when he tells a group of drunk teenagers how to survive horror films, the second is when he's watching "Halloween," begging Jamie Lee Curtis to turn around as Ghostface hovers over him, and the third is when he warns Sidney about the Killer's last scare

The character's obsession with horror films is evident in all of these scenes, so it would be easy to dismiss him as simply another horror fan. But Kennedy understood there was more to the character's fascination with scary films than just fanaticism:

"Randy really was on his own island, but that's why he loves movies so much because they're his safe place, his happy place. He can cope with life through movies and learn tropes of movies, tropes of life, through movies, really, and art imitating life imitating art."

Given Kennedy's awesome portrayal of the character, you might think he shared Randy's connection to the horror genre, but the actor was a casual viewer of the genre prior to taking on the role. He'd seen the more famous movies like "Halloween," and "The Exorcist," but he knew he had to go a lot further than that to pull of the role.

"I already watched a lot of movies, but Randy was more like those classics, but he's the type of guy that would know I Spit on Your Grave, the original Texas Chain Saw. He's the type of dude that would know the fan film that inspired. I watched more stuff that was more low-key genre gritty to prepare."

Besides providing Kennedy with a role in one of the most successful franchises ever, "Scream" also gave him a thorough horror education that would make Randy proud.