Scream Star Matthew Lillard Drops Surprising Hot Take About His Legacy As Stu

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Written By Maya Cantina

In the canon of Matthew Lillard movies, the star’s turn as one of the O.G. Ghostface killers, sarcastic Stu Macher, in Wes Craven’s 1996 Scream ranks high for fans. As it should, as the original Scream is one of the best horror movies of all time.

Though the character is a crowd-favorite (serving up some of the franchise’s most memorable quotes, e.g. “My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me!”), the slasher-movie star is nowadays surprisingly nonplussed about the famous role, telling Collider: 

I don’t really care about Stu Macher. It’s a part I played. It’s like if you’re a plumber, do you care about the house you did down the street and around the corner? No, it’s your job. And I love that job, it’s been nice to have that in my resume, but the reality is that it’s a part I did 20-plus years ago.

That flippancy might feel like a stab in the heart for Scream diehards, but Lillard qualified his quote during the interview, saying it’s not the role specifically that he holds dear these decades late but the reception from fans. In his words:

So, what is important to me is that what it means to other people is deeply relevant when you see them all the time, and powerful. It’s not something I understood before that.

Though the 53-year-old actor has been working steadily in film and television in the nearly 30 years since Scream premiered, including the NBC crime dramedy Good Girls, the Showtime reboot of Twin Peaks and in movies like George Clooney’s The Descendents, 2023 marks Lillard’s grand return to the horror genre.

He starred alongside Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson in the supernatural horror flick Five Nights at Freddy’s, a video game adaptation about a security guard’s very eventful night shift at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. (Hint: those animatronic mascots might just be possessed by homicidal children.) You can catch Matthew Lillard as career counselor Steve Raglan in the long-awaited horror movie, which is available to watch with a Peacock subscription. 

And that’s not the end of the spooky stuff for Lillard, as he will also feature in The Life of Chuck, the upcoming Mike Flanagan-directed drama adapted from a short story out of Stephen King’s If It Bleeds novella. Tom Hiddleston, Mark Hamill, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Karen Gillan, Jacob Tremblay join Lillard in the cast. 

Where you likely won’t see Matthew Lillard is the still-running Scream franchise, which was rumored to be bringing back several legacy characters for the upcoming seventh film following the controversial exits of stars Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega. 

Though many fans have theorized that Lillard’s Stu Macher could potentially be alive after all these years—a theory the actor himself stoked by tweeting in 2020 “I mean… it was just a TV? Right?”, he said he wasn’t sure about a potential return to the horror franchise in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: 

I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I mean, look, with what they’re going through right now, I have no idea where that goes. If there’s a world where it makes sense, then sure. I mean, they keep mentioning it, they keep tip-toeing around the outside.

That’s not a hard no! After all, Lillard’s co-star, Skeet Ulrich, returned for the 2022 Scream reboot as a ghost of his former serial-killer self, Billy Loomis. Might Stu Macher come back to haunt a fresh crop of villains in Scream 7? We’ll let you know if that happens!

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