Having interviewed David Arquette two years ago for the release of his documentary, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak to the actor again, but this time, for something a little different. Arquette is one of the stars taking on a role in new interactive horror video game, developed by Supermassive and published by 2K Games, and is released on all major platforms today. We discussed his own relationship with games growing up, whether he’s competitive, and what it’s like seeing his own face in a game. He also talks about the return of Scream, and discussing the most recent sequel with fans – and we of course ask whether he may return for another….
How did you come to be involved in The Quarry?
They came to me and were interested in me doing it because of my horror background. Y’know it being this teen horror video game, they thought I’d be a good addition to it, and I was really honoured to, cause it’s got wonderful actors in it, and to be part of such a technologically advanced game, a real cinematic sort of experience, was fun. I really love working with Supermassive, we went to digital domain which is this incredible special effects house in Los Angeles and they scanned our bodies and put these little dots all over our faces and you know, it was an interesting experience just to see behind the scenes and all the tech that 2K brought to it and just being able to see what we’re doing, and then how the cameras are reacting and some of the initial designs for the characters and the scenery and the sound. It was really cool to get a sneak peek at.
When you were asked to do this, when you get the script, or the proposal to sign up for something like this, do you approach it and look at this whole experience in exactly the same way you would when being approached for a movie? Did it feel like something quite different right from the ground up for you?
A little bit, I mean there’s other elements that are involved like how is it gonna look and who else is involved, but it’s a very similar experience, you know, you don’t get all the script necessarily you get portions of it that you’re involved in, so I didn’t really have an overall understanding of all the different outcomes cause there’s over 200 or whatever, so it was very cool to do certain things several times with several different outcomes, but my character is not a playable character like all the teens in it so it was a little less time consuming for me. But I got to work with Justice Smith and act opposite him, it was during Covid so there was a lot of precautions involving that but I did get to work with him and act, in those moments it felt very much like a film.
So I don’t know how much you’re allowed to say about your character, but how does Chris fit into the story?
Well he’s Chris Hackett, I guess it’s his camp, essentially, and he’s trying to convince these teens to get outta town because camps over and bad things happen, and so they don’t listen as they’re typical teens, and they’re all caught up in their emotional relationship drama that they’ve just experienced from this camp that’s just ending so they make bad decisions like many teens do.
Yeah it’s bad decisions that make the best horror movies and video games. Did you ever go to any summer camps when you were a teenager at all?
Yeah I went to summer camps, my family was really interesting they always sent us to summer camps in Europe quite a bit so we went to Portugal and Italy, we went to summer camps there which gave a really sort of broad look at the world and we got to experience a lot more than your typical sort of camp in the woods. But we did that as well, I love camping and I love nature, you know it’s just right for something scary to happen, all the scary campfire stories and to then be able to play it in the Quarry is what adds to the fun.
You mention it being made during Covid times which means lots of precautions, did you get the chance to meet anyone in person while making this? Or if not, have you had the chance to catch up for the first time during the promotional tour?
Yeah I mean during the promotional tour I got to speak with Ted Raimi and I saw Brenda Song at the beginning, I got to work with Justice, and I met Halston Sage at the beginning, but aside from that I didn’t get to really get to know too many people I mean I got to meet Miles Robbins, and that was really thrilling, he’s such a master at what he does.
I mean it’s one thing I’m sure as an actor sort of watching yourself on screen, is something I guess you just have to get used over the course of your career seeing yourself on a huge cinema screen, but how is it seeing yourself in a video game – is that even weirder?
It is kind of bizarre, so that part is a little strange but it’s also really fun I mean just to see it on that level to be able to be part of a game like The Quarry, for my teenager self who did play a lot more video games than I do now, it is kind of a dream come true to be a part of.
So what was your first favourite video game growing up? What was the on that made you just fall in love with it as an art form?
Well I mean early early on we played Ms. Pac-Man or you know all those kinda games and early on Donkey Kong but then when I got older I always loved the sports games, I was really into the sports games, but I don’t know I’ve never been like a FPS game guy that much, I mean I love playing Halo or whatever but I would always, my favourite times were playing sports against my friends and just trying to beat them, those were my favourite times.
Are you quite competitive then as a person, would you say?
I’m not a relatively competitive person, I like to win but it’s not like the end of the world for me, I can roll with it either way I know it’s all about the fun ultimately so I try to keep that in mind. But I play basketball, I get competitive with basketball, it’s a kind of relatively physical game, so sometimes it depends on who you’re playing with, some people get it, some people are a little elbow-y so I can give it back if I have to.
I’m surprised you got to play many video games when you were a teenager, because when I was a teenager, whoever was the youngest kid of the siblings was always the one who had to watch, we’d all play and they’d always be asking ‘when am I gonna get a go?’, we’d be like when we die, and we never die because we’d be playing Madden.
Yeah, but you know I was just at a Retro video game place and they had the old Tron game, that was a good one early one. But yeah I did have to sort of sit back quite a bit, but the other thing is if you get good at it, so sometimes when you’re the youngest you have to learn quickly and become good so that you could stay on the games.
Just to go to the technical side of things, you mentioned it before in terms of capturing your likeness, so was it motion capture? Was it capturing your movements, how did they create your likeness in The Quarry?
Yeah, they scan you completely scan your body and your face they have close-up cameras they have cameras that capture all your movements. You have a body suit with all these kinds of pinpoints all over them and then whilst you’re doing it they can show you your movement in like a stick figure kind of way but it definitely captures your posture and uhh haha captures your soul.
The Quarry is tonally quite in line with the kind of projects we get to see you in, in film and TV, that darker side of storytelling but with a light touch to it. What is it that attracts you to that this type of storytelling, like The Quarry and Scream for example?
I love when they know their audience, you know. The Quarry knows its audience they are really creating this world that horror fan or just a cinema fan, in general, can have fun with whilst referencing Evil Dead or whatever. Having these layers of humour behind it, having characters that have you know real attitudes and specific thoughts of view it’s really kind of fun to take it to that level, then you get to play them. You get to make decisions, or you can be dismissive or be you know apologetic and all these kinds of things that’s fun and you can decide all these things. I think it adds layers and you know responds different ways or you know during the scenes is really interesting the experience as an actor where you get to go back and play one scene this way you can make another choice you can play it that way, it kind of opens it up it’s a fun experience to be a part of and is awesome to play.
A franchise that knows its audience is Scream. When I interviewed you a year or so ago before it had been released you said you were looking forward to seeing how the fans took to it. Well, the fans took to it well and it was well-received. How was it sharing that whole experience with them and how pleased are you that people really enjoyed the most recent Scream film?
I was really thrilled it was really great and they did a wonderful job, and I was really excited for the fans to see it. Keep this franchise alive I think, Ghostface is such an exciting character. I was really thrilled that the fans loved it and I’m excited for this video game it has similar qualities to it. As this sort of horror element that really understands the fans that are playing it and they sort of plays to them, so hopefully we can create more sort of or I can be part of projects like that because if you go to horror conventions, meeting the fans is one of my favourite things, you understand how much you have been a part of their life as far as Scream goes or if somebody fell in love with this game, it provides them entertainment, it’s an escape for them they can have fun with it. That’s sort of my job in a way to help entertain people I feel honoured to be able to do that.
I guess in part every actor one of the main things that drives them is to entertain. With someone like you, your career seems so dedicated to doing that even with the wrestling, which is one of the purest forms of entertainment. Do you feel, not a responsibility, but is it this need to entertain that drives you?
For sure. I feel like it’s a gift to be in that position anyway it takes a lot of hard work and rejection you end up like what you see is the things I actually get you don’t see the months of auditions, you don’t hear back form or this and that but when they do come together or the right people come together like Miles and Supermassive and 2K, when you bring all these and all the actors involved you find something special and when that happens I really enjoyed to be part of those projects you’re doing something that resonates with the audience and that what it’s all about.
The Quarry is out now and is available on PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and Windows PC via Steam. Rated 18 by PEGI.