'Scream' Star Willa Fitzgerald Knows How to Outsmart All Those Serial Killers

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We sat down with the lovely Willa Fitzgerald, breakout star of MTV's newest series, Scream, to talk creepy stories from the set, the Teen Choice Awards and #BUILTBYGIRLS.

CAMBIO: Were you a fan of the Scream franchise before you landed the role of Emma Duvall on the series?

WILLA FITZGERALD: Yes! I think I can speak for all of the cast when I say we are all huge Scream fans. I mean, that first movie is so iconic, and as someone who also loves horror movies in general, it's just so much fun to watch Scream because it's just constantly referencing everything you've ever seen up until that point. So, it's been really exciting to make the new Scream world and see how it's similar and how it's different from the movies.

How are you similar and how are you different from your character, Emma? Do you identify with her internal struggle of leaving behind an old relationship to start new ones?

Well, I think that I can definitely relate to Emma's coming-of-age story. I think that we all have gone through experiences in our lives where we are questioning our choices. That's the central conflict for Emma...other than the serial killer on the loose, obviously! I think that the big thing she's going through is whether this new group of friends is the one she wants to be with, how to reconnect with this friend that she's lost touch with, and romantically, you know, what is Will doing? Who knows? And whether Kieran is a relationship she wants to pursue. I think those are all very real, relatable conflicts.

Do you have any personal experience with love triangles like Emma does?

Love triangle?! I try to stay out of love triangles, and I've been in a relationship for three years, so it's been a while. But, you know, we've all tangoed!

If you were in a serial killer situation IRL, how would you survive...or would you?

I think I would take more of the barricading approach. You know, like, taking myself to a panic room with lots of food and water. I feel like that's the way to survive! I'd have to go to the gym a lot more than I do [to kick a serial killer's ass!]
Scream MTV

How does it feel to be nominated for a Teen Choice Award?

Oh! Super exciting! That came out of total left field. I was like, "How is this happening? The show just aired!" I think that it's very much an honor to be up there with some Pretty Little Liars who have obviously been fan favorites for a long time. It's exciting to see people responding so strongly to Emma...because I think when those nominations came out, it had only been the premiere of the show.

Has anything particularly creepy happened on the Scream set?

Oh, totally. A lot of the sets...are pretty much abandoned buildings, so a lot of the places that look creepy, are really creepy. One of the locations was an actual abandoned hospital, and I remember walking to our part of the hospital and we walked by this room that had flickering lights and exposed electrical wire and some shoes, and I asked the [production assistant] if that was one of our sets and she was like, "No..." It was a little too real!

We're partnered with an initiative called #BUILTBYGIRLS that's all about encouraging young women that they can do whatever they want to do and build whatever they want to build. What's one piece of advice you would give a young girl trying to follow her dreams, whatever they might be?

I love that. I went to an all-girls school, so I'm all about girl power! I think it's important to make your own opportunities. Don't wait for someone to tell you that you can do something, you can always be creating your own work, whatever that is!

Make sure to catch Willa in Scream at 10/9 c every Tuesday on MTV. And for all of you music fans, you can now stream the musical soundtrack for the hit series on MTV.com, and purchase the music everywhere on Friday, August 14.


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