This spring, ’90s TV darling-turned-movie star Neve Campbell chews up the not-so-small screen again in America’sother political thriller.
Sometimes, when a celebrity has lived in the eye of an all-encompassing pop-cultural whirlwind, there’s later a moment that they wish they could re-experience, if only to be more centered and present. Just ask Neve Campbell.
“Hosting Saturday Night Live with David Bowie—like, really understanding what that meant,” Campbell offers as her rewind moment, a 1997 episode at the height of the then-23-year-old’s Scream fame in which she wishes she’d been able to better focus on the immediate cool factor. “I was terrified! I wish I could have had more fun with it… To be able to walk out on a stage and say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, David Bowie,’ was pretty incredible!”
It was the mid-to-late-’90s, the era of Peak Neve, in which the actress had gone from starring in her breakout role as Julia Salinger on the beloved TV series Party of Five to full-fledged movie stardom in a succession of youth-appealing box-office hits that included The Craft, Scream, and Wild Things. And Campbell, who continues her return to TV screens this summer by reprising her role as Leann Harvey on Netflix’s perhaps too politically prescient streaming series House of Cards, can be excused for admitting it was all a bit of a blur.
“I don’t think I even knew what was happening,” Campbell, now 43, chuckles. “It was overwhelming and it was wonderful and I was certainly grateful for the work, but I was also working so hard.” That workload included more than 10 months a year shooting 16-hour days on Party of Five. “And then, because I wanted to guarantee that I would have a career after the show,” she recalls, “I felt I needed to do films on the hiatus. It was exhausting.”
Her youth helped her endure the punishing schedule, as well as avoid fully grasping her headlong, hyper-speed transformation into a full-blown pop icon subject to a seemingly non-stop sequence of photo shoots, interviews, and promotional ops. “I remember being in a car with my manager and my publicist, and my publicist was very excited to tell me something: ‘Okay, you got the cover of Rolling Stone!’ And I remember first of all being upset that I had to do another photo shoot, and secondly that I didn’t know what Rolling Stone was. I was just naive.”