David Arquette Eight Legged Freaks

David Arquette Eight Legged Freaks


David Arquette is no stranger to the world of cinematic horror. After battling psychotic killers in the "Scream" franchise, Arquette does battle with some grisly spiders in the tongue-in-cheek "Eight Legged Freaks".

Arquette was drawn to the role of heroic mining engineer Chris McCormack, describing him as "sort of an heroic action character" which the actor admits he rarely has a chance to play. "Rick Overton and Doug E. Doug were in the film so they would sort of carry the humor element of the picture and it would allow me to be slightly subtler. I was virtually begging for it. I said, 'you didn't let me try out for "Scooby Doo" so you're gonna have to let me do this', Arquette adds laughingly.

While Arquette, 30, may not exactly identify with being an action hero, the contemplative star approached him by acting cooler than usual. "Nothing really shakes you and you've got to put on a calm exterior. Although, this character obviously had different quirks so he wasn't the most action-packed guy."

Of course working with real life spiders showed up the real Arquette, he recalls. "I didn't think I was really afraid of spiders until I had this big tarantula climbing up my arm and it got over here and then threw up its legs and I was like 'take it off me, take it off me!' So at that point my calm exterior crumbled. I'm not really afraid of spiders. Courtney will call me into the room and say 'there's a spider' and I'll rush in and say 'don't worry'. I'm the spider action hero."

Courtney of course, is Arquette's wife; "Friends" star Courtney Cox, whom he met on the set of the first "Scream". "We realized pretty quickly that we were falling for each other, but my addictions made it difficult for us to have a proper, lasting relationship. I desperately wanted a serious relationship, but that's impossible when you're as messed up as I was," Arquette once recalled. Then came "Scream 2", during which the actors played on-screen lovers and a real off-screen romance ensued. "We immediately reconnected, but because I was at a big crossroads in my life, we never committed." Arquette adds that Cox "was there for me like no other woman I'd ever been with. She didn't give up on me just because I'd given up on myself. I was actually shocked that when the smoke finally cleared, she was still there."

Arquette is the youngest sibling in the Arquette acting dynasty, which includes Rosanna, Patricia and Alexis Arquette. Their grandfather Cliff Arquette was a TV star in the 1950s and their father Lewis Arquette played J.D. Pickett on "The Waltons".

Arquette is now clean and sober and insists that these days, the busy actor is on a more natural and artistic high. "I love painting. Painting to me is just the best and I love making movies. I mean to be able to do this for a living is just so much fun. You get to embody these different worlds."

After battling spiders, audiences will see a very different Arquette in what could result in an Oscar-nominated performance in "The Grey Zone", a distinctive Holocaust drama which casts Arquette as a Jewish concentrate camp inmate who survives by assisting the Nazis in burning Jewish victims. "It's a departure for me. I started off doing a lot of independent films and I want to get back to doing that kind of stuff. A lot of the reason I did a movie like "The Grey Zone" is so I can build a name value so I can help with foreign financing to help produce independent films. This one is very serious and dramatic, and I'm incredibly proud of it."

As to whether he will join wife Courtney on her famous TV series, the actor is non-committal on the subject. "I actually did a guest spot on "Friends" after I shot the first "Scream" but it wasn't a good character. People didn't seem to react very well and it may have been the longest episode they ever shot, so I'm not sure I'm getting that call any time soon. I would love to do it again but I just don't know. There was actually talk at one point of doing a promo or true Hollywood story kind of thing of this one guy, the seventh friend, the one that got cut out. He's really bitter and running around saying 'I think it's Joey. He's behind this. He and Maurice the Monkey just think they can get rid of us'," Arquette laughingly adds.

But if he doesn't team up with his wife on "Friends", the actor says that the pair may turn up elsewhere. "I'm trying to produce something now, but I always mention things and then they don't seem to turn out. There is something. We love working together so we would love to work together again."

David Arquette/Eight Legged Freaks Interview by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.

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