Samara Weaving on Being a “Scream Queen” and the Universal Monster She’d Love to Play


The term “scream queen” gets thrown around a lot, even applied to actors who have only done a handful of horror films. But if any young performer deserves the title, it’s Samara Weaving. Not only does she star in the very gruesome post-apocalyptic horror-action movie Azrael, directed by E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills) and written by Simon Barrett (The Guest), which just premiered at SXSW 2024, but she’s been in The Babysitter, Scream VI, and Ready or Not, among others. In fact, when we ask Weaving at the festival whether she likes being referred to as a “scream queen,” she answers quickly, “Yeah, why not? ‘Scream Queen’ is great. I’ll take it!”

For Weaving, the appeal of horror movies goes beyond the guts and gore most often associated with the genre. “It’s such a good vehicle to explore so many things,” she tells Den of Geek. “For [Azrael], it’s ‘What is family and is betrayal and what is superstition?” The horror genre allows Weaving and her co-creators to explore these themes, “But on an insane level.”

However, it’s not all about the cerebral stuff. It’s about the physical aspect, too. “I love doing stunt work,” Weaving says. But she is quick to put a qualifier on her enthusiasm. “I don’t love being covered in blood, because it’s made out of caramel syrup and it’s so sticky.” Mayhem and Ready or Not certainly overlooked that preference, instead giving Weaving’s characters some of the most blood soaked scenes in horror cinema history.

However, the experience wasn’t enough to put Weaving off on Ready or Not creative team Radio Silence, which includes directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and Scream VI producer Chad Villella. “They’re the greatest,” she says of her horror collaborators, confirming that she would gladly join any project they had for her.

For Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, those projects now include Universal horror pictures, including this year’s Abigail, a pseudo-remake of 1936’s Dracula’s Daughter. As a lover of the genre, Universal Horror looms large in Weaving’s mind. The actor gives an enthusiastic “Oh my gosh, yes,” when asked if she’d like to work with Radio Silence on a Universal Horror movie, although she doesn’t yet know which monster she’d want to play were she to get the call.

“An alien monster,” she guesses first, moving away from the more Gothic and Victorian figures from the most famous Universal Monsters. But no sooner do the words escape her lips that she recalls her dislike of sticky blood and the like. “But that’s a lot of prosthetics, I assume,” Weaving observes. “Let’s stick to some kind of human,” she concludes. “The less prosthetics, the better.”

There are a couple of options that fit Weaving’s tastes. How about a reimagining of Boris Karloff’s role as a menacing human in a movie like The Raven or The Black Cat? Or should she remake a lesser known entry from the era, such as Cult of the Cobra? Or should she stick to the classics? There’s of course Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Bride of Frankenstein remake or is it time for a gender-swapped version of The Phantom of the Opera?

For now, we have Azrael, which brings us a post-apocalypse heavily influenced by the Bible, as Weaving’s title character goes on the run from a murderous cult. That may sound like a nightmare to you but Weaving loves it.

Azrael premiered at SXSW 2024 on March 9.

The post Samara Weaving on Being a “Scream Queen” and the Universal Monster She’d Love to Play appeared first on Den of Geek.

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