"I'm very proud of the fact that I've stayed true to myself throughout my whole career on both sides of it."
Last week, Dylan Minnette squeezed us into his busy schedule to talk about his new role in Scream, his favorite memories from 13 Reasons Why, and his band, Wallows. As a longtime Dylan fan, I absolutely loved getting to gush with him over our shared love for horror movies and hear about what he's been up to lately. Here's everything we talked about (spoilers ahead for the final season of 13 Reasons Why!):
1. What’s the first thing you do every morning?
Regrettably, I feel like the first thing that I do every morning is check my phone. I was just having a conversation with my girlfriend about how she wants to stop doing that as much as she can, and I was thinking that I want to do that as well. So hopefully by the time people are reading this, I have stopped doing that.
2. What are you currently binge-watching?
We've been plowing through Top Chef — absolutely obsessed with it — and finally catching up on Better Call Saul. [We’re] also excited that Euphoria just started back up, but you can't really binge it because it's week by week.
3. Is there a role that people would be surprised to learn you auditioned for?
I did go on an audition for Spider-Man, the new one. But to be honest, it was at a time where I wasn't necessarily, like, seeking it out — really. I feel like I wasn't at a point in my career, in my life, where I would feel like I was fully ready to commit to something like that anyway. So I don't think I gave it my all or my best. I think that Tom Holland always would have gotten the part. He was meant to be that part. He’s the best Spider-Man, I think. His [performance] was incredible. So I'm not saying that I could have gotten that part.
4. Who do you still keep in touch with from the 13 Reasons Why cast?
I mean, I don't keep in touch with as many of them as I wish I did. I feel like [it’s] just because COVID happened. We finished shooting, I toured for a couple months, and then it was COVID, so I haven't really seen them very often. I do want to catch up with them more. I speak to Brandon [Flynn, who played Justin] and Miles [Heizer, who played Alex] pretty often, and I saw Alisha [Boe, who played Jessica] not too long ago.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images for MTV
5. Outside of the Scream franchise, what’s your favorite scary movie?
I have so many! But if I'm being honest, I feel like it might be Hereditary. I watched it for the first time, like, two years ago, and I was absolutely obsessed with it. It takes a lot to scare me in a horror movie, and that got me. I thought it was the scariest movie I've ever seen. So I have to go with Hereditary, I think.
6. What was your favorite part about playing your Scream character, Wes?
I think it honestly is just the fact that I'm in a Scream movie in general. Like, I could play Victim Number Three in a Scream movie, I don’t care. I was very persistent with my manager and agent, being like, “Do you know what's going on with this movie? Is there any part I can play? What if this is the last Scream they ever make? It'd be so cool to be in this!” So, yeah, it was the fact that I actually got to play a character in Scream and [play] someone who also is named as a sort of subtle nod to [original creator] Wes Craven — that's an honor as well.
BuzzFeed: Would you say it was more the movie in general that drew you in than the character? I mean, just being in the movie and being a part of the Scream franchise?
I was definitely drawn to the franchise. It was during the beginning of COVID lockdowns — I hadn't done an audition tape in years, and I got sent this thing that said Scream. And I was like, “Are they remaking Scream? Because if so, I don't want anything to do with that! Why would they do that?”
And then I got more information and found out what they were going for and that the original cast [was involved], and I was like, “Oh my god. Wait, this is different.” I originally auditioned for Jack Quaid's character, Richie, [but] I wasn't right for that part. So at that point, I ended up just having a Zoom meeting with [the creators], and we discussed the character [Wes]. And then I was lucky enough that they just offered it to me, and I was thrilled.
Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection
7. You’re a big fan of the original Scream — what was your first impression of meeting the cast on set?
Surreal. I mean, these are characters and actors I grew up with. It's crazy to not only share a screen with those actors, but [also] the characters. You don't really get that opportunity very often. I've been a part of some really good projects, but never had I joined something that I was already a huge fan of. That was such an exciting feeling, especially at a point in my career when I felt like I needed something stimulating and exciting to actually make me feel inspired to do it. So yeah, for the first couple of weeks, I was just surrounded by the new cast primarily. I think the first person that I met was David Arquette [who plays Dewey]. The first time he walked into a room, none of us were expecting him to, and it was like, “Oh my god, we're doing a Scream movie!”
8. You also starred in the horror movie Don’t Breathe — what was one of the biggest differences working on that compared to Scream?
Well, Don't Breathe and Scream are incredibly different tonally. Don't Breathe is intended to make you squirm and feel extremely uncomfortable and, like, tense and nervous. And it's very dark and heavy and disturbing. Scream has those elements, but it's a lot lighter — it's as hilarious as it is scary. I'm not acting in pain and in fear the entire time like in Don't Breathe, so it's not as tiring. I think Scream was ultimately easier for that reason. Don't Breathe was a very taxing movie to shoot. I love that movie, and I love that I got to be a part of it, but it was a hard movie to do.
Screen Gems / Courtesy Everett Collection
9. Do you have a favorite on-set memory from 13 Reasons Why?
Oh my gosh, I feel like I was an absolute child when I did that show. Whenever there were late nights with the other actors, it was always fun because you're a little delirious. No matter how serious the subject matter is and how professional everyone is, when you're going on a 14-hour shooting day and it's like, 2 in the morning, you all start to just have fun together no matter what. I feel like whenever it was just with a lot of a cast, late at night, that was always when it was at its most fun. And those are exhausting, because they're huge and take a long time. But they were also fun, because everyone was there.
I think my other favorite memory of the show is just the evolution of the relationship between Clay and Justin. Working with Brandon was such a pleasure, and I just love him so much. I love that by the last couple seasons, he was the person I worked with the most. I cherish every one of those scenes I did with him.
BuzzFeed: Do you remember your initial reaction to hearing that Justin was going to die at the end of Season 4 of 13 Reasons Why? Did you just find out at a table read or what?
They set up in the first episode of the last season that someone is dead by the end. Brian [Yorkey], the showrunner, kept it very under wraps all season long. And I just kept pestering them wanting to know. I didn’t find out until the table read. Brandon I think found out a little bit ahead of me and sort of alluded to it to me.
People might hate me for this, but Brandon and I all season were really hoping it was gonna be Justin because we felt like it was what was going to leave the biggest mark and impact on the show in the end. Because we've seen [Justin] overcome so much struggling, and it seemed like he was a ticking time bomb no matter what, that it only made sense. In a way that is devastating of course, but also is sort of fulfilling in a roundabout way to the character. [Brandon] and I all season were sort of not so subtly trying to nudge Brian, like, “It should probably be Justin if you want to make the biggest impact.”
I wanted it to have a big heartbreaking moment in the end, because I feel like, to end 13 Reasons Why, there has to be something that breaks your heart. And I feel like in the most poetic way possible, Justin was the character to do that. The show started with the death of Hannah and it ends with Justin’s, and both are such characters that you had such a complicated relationship with watching.
10. What do you think Clay would be up to now?
I mean, if we were going on by a real timeline on the show, I’d definitely be lying if I said I hadn't thought, “Oh my god, how is Clay handling quarantine?” That sounds like a season in itself. But hopefully he’s just killing it in college and has a nice girlfriend — he’s deserving of peace. I've never felt attached to a character in the way that I feel about Clay. I think about him sometimes and hope he’s alright.
11. If you could pick a love interest for Clay to end up with from the show, who would it be?
I feel like he did have a real connection with all of them at a certain point, like Hannah, even Sheri for a moment, and Ani. I think Ani and Clay's relationship was never going to work; it was too complicated. Obviously I wish that Clay and Hannah could have worked, but I wish that more so for Hannah, because I just wish Hannah were still alive. Like, were Clay and Hannah ever really meant to be together? They could have been, but they both were such broken people that I don't know if they could have been able to ultimately work.
I also feel like Clay over the course of the show found a really deep understanding for Jessica and how to be there for her as well. Obviously it was never going to happen because of Justin, but there is a parallel universe [where it could], right?
Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection
12. What’s your biggest fear?
I think that I think too much about the future. I think too much about where I'll be in 10 years. It's a blessing and a curse. I like to be methodical about it, because that's how I feel like I can strive to actually conquer and achieve my goals. But sometimes that's a curse because I don't set myself up for disappointment. So because I tend to overthink things, I feel like my biggest fear is failure to succeed. And so far, things are going well, and I'm very happy with what is going on in my life. But I can't help but always think about wanting more and like, “What's the next step?”
13. Have you ever had any spooky or paranormal experiences?
I haven’t, really. I can't say that I believe in ghosts because it's such an outlandish concept to me unless I've experienced something myself that can make me believe. So until something knocks over at some point in time that's inexplicable, I can't, like, mentally back that concept. Who the hell knows how anything works in this world?
14. What was the most fun Scream scene to film? Do you have a favorite?
Yes — one that I cannot say. I [also] really enjoyed the first scene where you see the new cast sitting outside the high school just shooting the shit and talking about the attacks. That scene was fun to film. That's the best I can say without giving things away.
15. You’re also in a band, Wallows — how many instruments can you play?
Extremely well? None. [Laughs] Let me think…at least four, because guitar, bass, drums, piano. The recorder in third grade.
Scott Legato / Getty Images
16. What song or album are you currently playing on repeat?
So, I’m a freak. I follow a lot of music blogs on Twitter, and that's how I keep up with album announcements. As soon as there's one, even if it's an artist that I don't really care about, I write them down in a list and their date. And I make sure that, by the end of the year, I try my best to listen to all of them, or at least skim them to see if I'm into them. In the past couple months, I've been listening to so much new music because I was cramming in things I hadn't heard from 2021 yet. And I rank them with little colored dots. Like, purple, yellow, red — [which means] I liked it, really liked it, or I loved it. Honestly, I think my favorite album of 2021 and the album that I keep coming back to most is Glow On by Turnstile.
17. You made headlines for your casual red carpet look, even though you pointed out that it wasn’t an official premiere. Had your premiere not been canceled, what do you think you would’ve worn?
I would have probably found some form of a suit. I wouldn't want to get dressed to the nines because it's like, there's a time and place for that, and Scream doesn't feel like an elegant movie, you know? So just a chill, cool kind of suit.
When I [saw] these hundreds of tweets just demolishing me for wearing a T-shirt and jeans to the premiere, I was like, “No, no, no, no!” I don't normally care, and I don't feel a need to actually, like, apologize or explain myself. But it bothered me that some people who don't even follow me or really know who I am were like, “What's wrong with this guy?” I just needed to clear the air a little bit. Like, I don't want people to f*cking hate me. [Laughs]
18. If you could only have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Does it affect my health? No? Then honestly, an incredible burger. I really love an amazing burger. Or sushi. It's got to be one of the two.
19. What was the most challenging scene to film for 13 Reasons Why?
I think one that comes to mind is in the last season when I have my meltdown in the hallway after the shooting drill because it’s really all about me and there’s, like, 100 people looking at me. That scene was all we shot that day. I also had been on a flight that night before and I didn't really sleep, so I was going on no sleep for that scene, which probably ultimately helped.
Also, the scene where I’m talking to Mr. Porter at the end of Season 1; that was exhausting. At that time, I didn’t even know if we were going to get another season at all. And then the scene where Clay stops Tyler from shooting up the dance was really difficult — we actually shot it twice. I think an honorable mention is where Clay is listening to Tyler explain his assault. That was also pretty tough.
20. What surprised you about the new Scream movie?
Honestly for me, how good it is. I was reading the script, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, I honestly think this is the best since the original.”
Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection
21. Do you have a funny story you can share about working with Neve Campbell or Courteney Cox or David Arquette?
David is somehow a certified Bob Ross painting instructor, and he taught us how to paint a Bob Ross painting. So that was pretty amazing.
22. If you had to rewrite the rules, what would be your top three rules in order to survive Ghostface?
Oh, that's tough. I mean, I think the movie lays it out pretty clear — if you follow their rules, that’s how you survive. You’ve just got to go by Scream’s rules.
23. What’s your favorite guest role you’ve done?
Does recurring count? Then Lost for sure. I'm a huge fan of the show, and I think it’s one of the best shows of all time. I'm lucky that I got to be a part of it at a young age. Besides that, Braeden Lemasters, who's in Wallows, used to be on a show called Men of a Certain Age with Ray Romano, and I was on a few episodes of that with him with another friend of ours. Braeden has been my best friend since I was 9 years old, so being able to work with him was just so much fun.
24. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
There's so many answers, but I feel like the most intriguing dinner would be with Kanye West. I really strive to know what a conversation with him would be like.
25. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I'm very proud of the fact that I've stayed true to myself throughout my whole career on both sides of it. I've been playing music since I was really young with the same guys, and I always believed that we could make a name for ourselves and have a real career. And it’s not that I was surrounded by people who didn't believe in me, but it was always like, “Yeah, sure, sure. But remember, the acting is where your priorities really are, and this is where the money is.” I think it's the fact that I've managed to feel comfortable and live comfortably in both sides of my career now. I think I'm just most proud of believing in myself and listening to myself and trusting that I could get to where I wanted to, no matter what anyone around me thought.
Scott Dudelson / Getty Images for Coachella
26. Which celeb would you want to work with in future projects?
There’s so many. I mean, it would be awesome to work with Leonardo DiCaprio or Joaquin Phoenix. I'd love to do something with Spike Jonze, whether it was a new film project or if it was music related, like a music video or something. He probably doesn't know who I am, but I admire him so much.
27. Finally, be honest — do you think you could survive Ghostface in real life?
I like to think that I would be smart enough and not be, like, an ignorant character in a Scream movie. Ghostface is not unstoppable, and that's what I think makes Ghostface scary — it could be anyone. They’re not, like, these invincible people.
Thanks for chatting, Dylan! Scream is in theaters now!
Note: Some answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.
Kelly Martinez / BuzzFeed