As students watched the movie trailer for “The Tripper” in the basement of Gelman Library on Monday afternoon, the narrator of the preview declared that the film was “from the warped mind of David Arquette.”
The black-clad actor, sporting fashionably spiked hair and Nike Dunks, stopped by GW on Monday to promote this new movie. Warped or not, Arquette’s concept for his slasher flick “The Tripper” is definitely creative.
“It’s a horror film, but it’s really a political satire. As you can see, Ronald Reagan is my killer,” Arquette said as he gestured to a movie poster for “The Tripper” depicting the killer, who sports a Reagan mask as a disguise. “He attacks a group of hippies at an outdoor music festival.”
Arquette, who is best known for his roles in the “Scream” horror movies and his actress wife and GW alum Courteney Cox, presented the trailer and participated in a discussion with a film class on Monday afternoon. He continued his rounds about GW, including an appearance on WRGW radio station and a speech to a crowd of about 40 students in the Marvin Center later that evening.
“The Tripper” was written, directed and produced by Arquette, who also plays the role of a local redneck marijuana farmer named Muff in the movie.
Films Chair of GW’s Programming Board Alyssa Grinder coordinated Arquette’s appearance on campus as part of his promotional bus tour.
“‘The Tripper’ publicity tour is a grass-roots promotional campaign going on a limited budget,” said Grinder, a junior.
She was contacted by Arquette’s publicist and they began planning his campus visit last Friday evening and finalized details of his trip to Foggy Bottom on Monday morning.
Between events, Arquette relaxed in Kogan Plaza, taking pictures with students and signing autographs.
“We’re on a really tight budget here. That’s why I’m going city to city on a bus trying to promote my movie. We’re kind of modeling it on a political campaign,” Arquette said in an interview with The Hatchet.
Having previously visited Tulane University in New Orleans, GW was Arquette’s second college stop on the tour. As he addressed the audience at Gelman Library, his casual demeanor and appearance allowed the 35-year-old to fit in with his college audience.
Arquette attributes his obscure fashion sense – he has been ranked as one of the “worst-dressed” celebrities by People magazine – to his childhood closet which he shared with his siblings. Growing up in a family of actors resulted in his pursuit of acting as a career.
“Because my father was an actor … and my mother was an actress as well, we (Arquette and his siblings) were raised doing it. The way we played was doing improv games,” he said.
Arquette and his siblings are all fairly prominent in the entertainment industry. His sister Patricia Arquette is the star of NBC’s hit show “Medium,” his other sister Rosanna Arquette stars in “What About Brian?” on ABC and his brother Alexis Arquette is an actor and transgender figurehead.
Though he’s most proud of his work in indie films “Dream With the Fishes” and “Johns,” Arquette said, “‘Scream’ was the best for me because I met my wife.”
“Scream” co-stars Cox and Arquette have been married since 1999 and have a daughter, Coco, who is two years old. Arquette said raising a family in the spotlight of paparazzi can be frustrating.
“That part’s creepy, especially when it comes to my daughter. You get ultra-protective. There are a lot of benefits, but the only really good thing about being a celebrity is bringing attention to different causes,” said Arquette, who helps an array of causes including the fight against breast cancer.
Though he’s now a grown man with a family of his own, acting is still a family affair for Arquette, as he and wife continue to collaborate. In addition to their production company Coquette, which produced “The Tripper,” the married duo has worked side-by-side on the television show “Dirt,” in which Cox stars. Both halves of the couple made acting appearances in “The Tripper.”