Their Freak is On

Seventeen, August 2002
Movie Phone

We got Eight Legged Freaks' costars David Arquette, 30, and ScarIeltJohansson, 17, on the line and listened in as they talked about their new flick, their love of The Rock and the four-legged creatures that rule their worlds.

SCARLETT How are you?

DAVID Good. Where are you?

SCARLETT I'm in New York. It's raining.

DAVID I'm in L.A. It's bright and shiny. How's school?

SCARLETT It's good. I'm almost done. I was taking three classes, but I had to drop one because it was getting out of control.

DAVID Oh, no! I don't want to hear about you getting your GED.

SCARLETT Oh, god, no!

DAVID Did you apply to college?

SCARLETT Yeah. I'm going to defer for a year and then I'm going to a film conservatory in New York. I'm so excited.

DAVID Well, the real world is right around the corner, Scarlett.

SCARLETT I'm having a nervous breakdown. I'm making a transition into a world I am unfamiliar with. It's weird. DAVID You have your head together. I was nuts at your age. I don't want to hear about ScarIett Johansson going out to bars with those fake IDs, 'cause I have your number, young lady.

SCARLETT OK. Everybody does crazy things when they are young....


SCARLETT What did you think of me before we met?

DAVID All I knew was that you were a talented young actress and a wonderful young lady. Then I learned how mature you are and what a fine actress you are.

SCARLETT And that's really evident when I'm running from the giant spiders.

DAVID I always admired how you kept your cool on the set. If someone suggests I do something dumb, I always say "OK," and end up looking like a moron.

SCARLETT So anyway, how would you describe the movie in one sentence?

DAVID Um, well, Scarlett, I would say it's a really fun adventure, with really scary spiders attacking lots of people. It's a throwback to one of those old movies.

SCARLETT Its a great little story/romance.

DAVID My romance turned out a lot better than I thought it would..l've always wanted to be a hero.

SCARLETT You are in the end. But we can't say that 'cause then people aren't going to pay nine dollars to see a giant.

DAVID I have a collection of giant things: I have a giant tennis racket and golf ball.


SCARLETT So, wait. You collect things? Do you know what I did today? I sat and watched my lizard all day.

DAVID What kind of lizard is he?

SCARLETT He's a leopard gecko. He has little spots and little gray eyes. His tail is really fat-it's as fat as his head. I've been into reptiles since I was 11. And I still have my Sammy.

DAVID Oh, my puppy... Here Hopper! His real name is Hoption, but Courteney and I call him Hopper. He's a cavalier King Charles spaniel.

SCARLETT Wow, that's fancy.

DAVID Yeah, but he's the cutest thing ever. Cavalier spaniels were bred to warm the ladies' feet in the old courts of England. Hopper is a spoiled brat; he sleeps in our bed. He owns the house.

SCARLETT You warm his feet.


DAVID What surprised you about me?

SCARLETT I thought you were really quiet and soft-spoken, but then I learned that you used to wrestle. Tell me about that.

DAVID For two weeks, I was the WCW heavyweight champion of the world.

SCARLETT OK, who would win in a Celebrity Celebrity Boxing match -- you or The Rock?

DAVID The Rock. I'm a big fan.

SCARLETT Me, too. I interviewed The Rock for a magazine and we have so much in common, it's scary.

DAVID If you could switch places with anyone, who would it be?

SCARLETT The Rock. He has huge muscles and eats whatever he wants.

DAVID I would be Chyna.

SCARLETT Well, it's been a pleasure.

DAVID Scarlett, my dear, it's been fun.

Here's more of their conversation

Scarlett: My mom and my twin brother saw the movie and they were hysterical. They thought it was very entertaining and apparently the spiders look great.

David: They do and there are a lot of them. It's fun.

Scarlett: I heard it was scary and gory and really exciting.

David: No, there's no blood blood. It's like the green slime stuff, it's like Nickelodeon, but not at all.

Scarlett: I ate that stuff once actually. The slime.

David: Hmmm. Well, I just have to say I loved Ghost World and you are fabulous in it.

Scarlett: Oh, thanks.

David: How cool is [Steve] Buscemi, huh?

Scarlett: Oh, man! He is the best. Have you shot with him before?

David: We just did something in Bulgaria. It comes out in October. It's a movie about the Holocaust, called The Gray Zone.

Scariett: That's interesting. What were you like when you were my age?

David: Ouch! I was crazy. I have the utmost respect for you because you seem to have your head together. I was pretty much nuts at your age. Keep your cool. I was way out there for a long time. Some people never make it back. Everyone's running around doing all sorts of crazy stuff not worrying about the consequences for things and then something really bad can always happen...

Scarlett: Yeah.

David: New subject! What's your dream movie role?

Scarlett: Scorpion King 2. I want to have like a Cleopatra role in Scorpion King 2. That is my dream. What about you?

David: Well, it's a problem I have had my whole life. Scarlett, I just want people to take me seriously.

Scarlett: Right... We could do the Grapes of Wrath together.

David: Nice. But we have to do it off-Broadway. Honestly I think Casablanca is pretty much an ideal role. Or something like Dr. Strangelove.

Scarlett: Like a good meaty role for once. Oh gosh, what are you afraid of?

David: I am not really afraid of too much. Well, obviously things that go bump in the night, whatever is living under my bed.

Scarlett: I know what you mean. I am afraid of cockroaches and Martha Plimpton. I think that's pretty much all I have to say.

David: What's the craziest thing you've read about yourself in the tabloids?

Scarlett: Something about me having this monotonous tone of voice, I just don't understand where that comes from.

David: That's mean. I hate when people are mean -- that's what I hate. Spiteful people are the worst. You know what? Yesterday, I took my first helicopter lesson. I am going to learn to fly a helicopter.

Scarlett: Why?

David: 'Cause it's awesome. So much fun. Can you imagine, I was flying a helicopter above Los Angeles the other day!

Scarlett: Well I know you like playing video games, so is it like playing a video game?

David: Yeah, but it's a little realer. But it's pretty great, we flew right over my house. I mean, it's so good you don't know what you're missing.

Scarlett: I would love to but you know I have a problem bowling even! I am a terrible bowler. I like it, but I would rather play pool.

David: Do you collect anything?

Scarlett: I used to collect some stuff, but not really other than dust that's it... I love finishing books, and that's the cool thing about being able to fly out to L.A. a lot is that I always get to finish a book on my way out there. Between the two flights.

David: You are a quick reader. I am the slowest reader.

Scarlett: It just means that you need more time to practice. How fast do you read scripts?

David: Jeez, a lot of the times, I can get through it fast. If I get bored then...

Scarlett: I have Cut it down to like an hour and a half.

David: Wow, that is incredible. How do you do that?

Scarlett: You just got to sit down and, like, do it.

David: What are you working on now?

Scarlett: I am doing this film called The Perfect Score. It's this strange movie where these kids plot to fail the SAT's, but it's not one of those teen comedies. Its funny, you know. It's actually really clever and very funny.

David: It must be great to work!