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Melissa Barrera Says ‘Scream 6’ Cast Can’t Get ‘Too Hung Up’ on Neve Campbell’s Departure: ‘Her Essence Is Present’ (Exclusive)

Melissa Barrera Says Scream 6 Cast Can't Get Too Hung Up on Neve Campbell's Departure
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The show must go on. Melissa Barrera opened up about how the Scream cast is dealing with Neve Campbell’s departure as they get ready to film the sixth installment.

Related: Neve Campbell's Most Candid Quotes About the 'Scream' Franchise Before Exit

“It’s hard thinking that we’re making a movie without her,” Barrera, 32, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her upcoming Netflix limited series Keep Breathing. “We can’t get too hung up on that because we gotta make another movie.”

The actress pointed out that Scream 6 will continue to honor Campbell’s character, Sidney Prescott. “Of course Sidney is present. Her essence is present in the movie, you can’t just ignore that,” she explained. “We were all heartbroken, but we totally understand and respect her decision and hopefully if we get to make another one, we can have her back.”

Campbell, 48, previously shocked fans when she announced her departure from the franchise. “Sadly, I won’t be making the next Scream film. As a woman I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream,” the Panic star, who played the OG final girl in numerous films since 1996, told Us in a statement in June. “I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise.”

She added: “It’s been a very difficult decision to move on. To all my Scream fans, I love you. You’ve always been so incredibly supportive to me. I’m forever grateful to you and to what this franchise has given me over the past 25 years.”

Following the Saturn Award winner’s announcement, Hayden Panettiere revealed she would be reprising her role as Kirby Reed in the upcoming movie. “I called them up myself and was like, ‘So, you guys don’t, like, happen to want to bring Kirby back, do you?’” Panettiere, 32, said on Good Morning America earlier this month. “I wanted to be in it that badly.”

According to Barrera, it was a natural transition bringing new cast members into the mix. “Hayden [is a] legacy character that we get to have back and that’s exciting in itself. And then Dermot [Mulroney], who I grew up watching. I loved him,” she told Us. “[So] meeting him and knowing how much of a sweetheart he is and how funny — he just came right in and fit right into the group dynamic. It’s been fun.”

Related: ‘Scream 6’ Is Happening: Everything to Know

The Vida alum also noted that Scream 6 would take the story in a direction viewers might not expect. “They have us so tight-lipped around here. All I can say is how it feels. I don’t wanna say the wrong word, but it feels scarier,” she shared with Us. “This sixth movie feels scarier and we’re all on sets shooting some of the scenes and we’re like, ‘Oh my God, this is insane.’ I think people are gonna be surprised.”

The Mexico native detailed how directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett chose to shakeup the next chapter.

“We have the same team reprising [their roles behind the scenes]. In the fifth movie, there was a lot of pressure [with it being] the first without [late director] Wes [Craven] and they were still trying to honor him,” Barrera explained. “[They were trying to make] something that still felt familiar but had their own touch. … Now they’re putting a little more of their sauce into it and it just feels scarier.”

Ahead of filming Scream 6, Barrera got to explore another gritty role in the limited series Keep Breathing. The Netflix show explores a woman’s attempt to survive in the Canadian wilderness.

Related: Horror Movie Stars: Where Are They Now?

“What I love about the show is that I feel like there’s nothing like it out there. It’s deceiving. You hear it’s a survival drama and you think, ‘Oh, I know what this is gonna be.’ Because we’ve seen movies like it. But there’s just so much to unpack in this show,” the singer shared. “It becomes so much more about the emotional journey and how that starts to bleed into the reality of where [my character Liv is] at. I was immediately drawn to it when I read it. I’m always looking for something different to watch, I’m always looking for something original and I think this is it.”

For Barrera, this upcoming project was the “hardest” role she has taken on so far in her career. “It was a struggle,” she added. “I was very acutely aware that everything that [the entire crew] was doing was for me. They were all there to make me look good. … So I’m just so grateful for that experience to have gotten that [chance] and become so close with the crew and feel like we’re all in this together. It wasn’t easy, but I think it turned out beautiful. I think we made a beautiful show.”

Keep Breathing premieres on Netflix Thursday, July 28.

With reporting by Leanne Aciz Stanton

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