Plus, Weaving details what it was like working with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, and why she won’t appear in ‘Scream 5.’
Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) are back in Bill & Ted Face the Music as the San Dimas, California duo still trying to fulfill their destiny to save the universe with their music. It’s been nearly 20 years since we last saw these best friends, and now, they’re middle-aged dads living with their historical babe wives (Erinn Hayes and Jayma Mays) and equally music-obsessed kids, Billie (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and Thea (Samara Weaving). Bill and Ted still haven’t written the song that’s meant to ensure the survival of all mankind and the clock is ticking. Soon, the pair find themselves in a race against time and they must act fast to keep the world, their lives, and their families together.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, Aussie native Weaving talked about why she connected to the world of Bill & Ted, her Bill & Ted Face the Music audition process, having Lundy-Paine as her partner in crime, her first meeting with Reeves and Winter, and more about this totally rad threequel. Weaving also opened up about what made her sign on to do Nine Perfect Strangers, which stars Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy, why she’s not able to be a part of Scream 5, and, cryptically, why she may or may not be part of The Babysitter: Killer Queen, the Netflix sequel to her 2017 horror-comedy The Babysitter.
COLLIDER: When you read this script and learned about who the character would be, what did you most connect to and like about her?
SAMARA WEAVING: I just liked the world of Bill & Ted. They’re so optimistic. They don’t freak out too much. They approach problems with curiosity and open-mindedness. I liked the innocence of the world. I felt that was really fun. It just doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s so insane, the kind of things that they get themselves into. It was great just to be a part of one of their crazy adventures.
What was the process like for getting this role? Did you have to read scenes? Did you have to meet with your co-star Brigette Lundy-Paine?
WEAVING: I got an email for an audition, and I went down and played around. I watched the first two films. I knew that I was auditioning for Bill’s daughter, so I took notes on Alex [Winter]’s physicality, but still tried to make different choices to make the character a stand-alone character rather than an impersonation. And then they brought me back and Brigette was there, and we just played off of each other and mucked about a bit. It was pretty quick. And then, the next thing we knew, we were hanging out in New Orleans opposite Keanu [Reeves] and Alex.
Bill and Ted are each other’s partners in crime, and you have your own partner in crime for this. What was it like to have Brigette Lundy-Paine there to go through the shoot with and to find that dynamic with while you guys were working together?
WEAVING: It was so great. They’re wonderful. They’re so funny and quirky, and just a gorgeous human being. Brigette and I really got along. That’s important for films like this, where it really is about the friendship and the camaraderie. It would be a bit awkward if we didn’t. We’d wander around New Orleans together. It was just a lot of fun. The real key to it was that, even though we were working really hard, we were having a really good time.
What was your first meeting with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter like?
WEAVING: I think it was in rehearsals, pretty early on. They were so wonderful and generous and kind with their time, and so passionate about making sure that the sequel worked. I can only assume the amount of pressure they were feeling, to deliver on the third one, and they really set the standard of, “Okay, let’s try and make this thing the best thing we can.” They were just great leaders, and I’m so grateful to have had the pleasure of working with them.
You’ve done a lot of projects the past few years, but did you feel any more nervous doing this film, once you realized just how many Bill & Ted fans there are?
WEAVING: I was blissfully unaware, at the time. Now that it’s coming out, I’m starting to realize what a phenomenon it is, so the pressure comes now. The nerves and anxiety are creeping in. I was just working and trying to stay in the zone, on set. Now that it’s actually coming out, I just hope that fans walk away happy.
What were those first days on set like? Do you remember what the first things were that you filmed?
WEAVING: The first day was Billie and Thea and their fathers, in their garage, talking about music, when we’re presented with the premise of the film, that there’s a problem and we need to fix it and we need to help. That was really fun, watching Alex and Keanu be Bill and Ted. It was like having a front-row seat to the best theater in town.
Did it feel like it clicked right away, once you got on set? Did you feel like you really found a groove with the character, pretty quickly?
WEAVING: Kudos to (director) Dean Parisot and the writers, Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon. It was a real group effort. Dean really made sure that everyone felt comfortable, in that Bill & Ted groove, if you will. It took a couple of takes to get into it, but once the cameras started rolling, I think everyone felt pretty confident. I hope it pays off.
You hadn’t been familiar with Bill & Ted before having this role come your way, but had you been a fan of Galaxy Quest? And did you geek out about it at all with your director, Dean Parisot?
WEAVING: Yes, I love Galaxy Quest. We talked about, for sure. Of course! Oh, my god, there are so many insane things in that movie. I was a huge fan of everyone on that set.
Was there a specific sequence that was hardest to pull off, in this shoot?
WEAVING: I don’t know if there’s a specific sequence, but it was just the heat, really. In New Orleans, in the height of summer, it was very hot. Anthony Carrigan and William Sadler’s costumes were very unforgiving in that heat. There were buckets of ice that people would plunge their heads into, to try to keep cool. That was the biggest hurdle, the unforgiving heat.
What was it like to find out that you would be in scenes with all of these famous musician characters? Was it strange and surreal to be doing scenes with Jimi Hendrix and Louis Armstrong?
WEAVING: They were so amazing! DazMann Still, Jeremiah Craft, Daniel Dorr, Sharon Gee, and Patty Anne Miller were all so incredible to watch, and I think they really captured the musicians they were playing. I was a little starstruck because they were doing such an incredible job. It made my job very easy.
You’ve also signed on to do Nine Perfect Strangers. What most excited you about that project and made you want to be a part of that?
WEAVING: I love Liane Moriarty. She’s an amazing Australian author. She wrote Big Little Lies. I also really love her books Truly Madly Guilty and What Alice Forgot. And this show has such an amazing cast. We’re in week two of shooting in Australia, and every day is just so surreal. The cast is incredible.
It must also be really nice to be back on a set again, as well.
WEAVING: Yeah, it’s really nice, but it’s really weird. It’s been six months, since February, or something like that. It’s perfect ‘cause I’m back in Australia, my home country, with my parents. COVID isn’t as rampant as it is, where I live in L.A. It’s a really wonderful mix. Everything seems to be working out, over here. Fingers crossed, it stays that way.
Since your Ready or Not directors (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett) are taking on Scream 5, is that something you’d ever be down to appear in, if they came up with a cool way to work you in?
WEAVING: Yeah, we were talking about it, but our schedules aren’t gonna work, which is a bummer. We talked about it a lot, but unfortunately, because of scheduling, I couldn’t do it. I’ll still be [in Australia] working on Nine Perfect Strangers, so we couldn’t make it work. Traveling is very difficult, these days.
What do you like about them and their approach to stuff, and what do you think they could bring to something like Scream?
WEAVING: They just really know tone, and they are such a great team. Matt and Tyler are just incredible. They’re so collaborative and they’re really open-minded, both with producers and also with their actors and writers. They’re really respectful. I think that they’re gonna be really, really huge.
There’s also a sequel for The Babysitter, called The Babysitter: Killer Queen, coming out on September 10th on Netflix. You were in that first film, but was there ever talk about you returning for that?
WEAVING: I have no comment. You’ll have to watch.
You’re certainly doing quite an array and collection of characters, in so many different genres. Is that the goal? What is it that draws you to a project?
WEAVING: Yeah. It’s luck, and I’m attracted to trying new things. If something really scares me, my gut tells me that I should probably at least give it a go. With Bill & Ted, I hadn’t done that style of comedy before, so that was an amazing experience. I learned a lot. It was the same with Hollywood, doing that kind of period nostalgia. And working with Ryan Murphy was amazing. And then, now working with Jonathan Levine and Nicole Kidman, and Michael Shannon, Melissa McCarthy, and Regina Hall are very surreal. This character is very different from anything that I’ve done. I don’t know why I keep choosing these crazy roles, but it’s fun.
Is there a type of project that you feel you haven’t done yet, that you’re keeping an eye out for?
WEAVING: Oh, sure, there are thousands. I just really enjoy reading different scripts for ideas and pushing myself. I don’t really have anything in particular, but I’m open to anything.