Breaking Down the Hunky Men in the 'Scream' Franchise

by Timothy Rawles

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday March 18, 2023
Originally published on March 10, 2023

Josh Segarra and Mason Gooding
Josh Segarra and Mason Gooding  

Rarely has there been a horror franchise as beloved as "Scream." For nearly 30 years the seminal slasher series has taken us on a wild and bloody journey through the fictional town of Woodsboro only to shock us further with plot twists and killer reveals.

The sixth chapter in the series arrives in theaters Friday, March 10, so we thought we would take a walk down memory lane by highlighting some of the hot men that have been a part of the franchise throughout the past three decades. There are some spoilers ahead.

The LGBTQ+ community and "Scream" have a long history together. From the iconic Drew Barrymore performance with her blond bob and sweater combo to Courtney Cox's tragic bangs in "Scream 3," drag queens and cosplayers have been parodying the movie in the name of pop culture ever since the first one hit theaters.

Homoeroticism is also a prevalent theme in these movies. What we call "bromance," feels a bit more special when these straight guys bond so heavily over stabbing females.

In the first film, Stu and Billy are like the same-sex Bonnie and Clyde of the '90s. Although depicted as straight, the duo, portrayed by Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard, gets awfully touchy-feely in the final reel. No one would have been surprised (except the ratings board) if they kissed.

Director Wes Craven is no stranger to casting hotties in his movies, he discovered Johnny Depp for "A Nightmare on Elm Street," whose persona (sans crop top) carried over into "Scream" (1996) with Ulrich, a Depp lookalike. Also, consider the writer of the first "Scream," Kevin Williamson — who is gay himself — based Stu and Billy off lovers and mass murderers Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Albert Loeb.

This isn't to say the killer homosexual movie trope should resurface. It is just interesting to note that "Scream" has a solid queer edge. Whether it be the subtextual homosexuality simmering between male (and female) characters in the films, or the casting of male hotties as leads, "Scream" has always had our attention. Below are some examples of why.

Skeet Ulrich

One of the original Ghostface killers, Ulrich plays Billy, a horny teenager, absolutely obsessed with horror movies. He has a high opinion of himself, especially in orchestrating an elaborate revenge plot, which ultimately fails. Ulrich shot to stardom after "Scream," and has had steady jobs in TV ever since. He even made a cameo in the 2022 "Scream" reboot. At 53, this actor still looks hot, and we are glad he likes to show us how much on social media.

Omar Epps

With all its coded homoeroticism, "Scream" was also very whitewashed. The beautiful Omar Epps stars in the first sequel and his death scene strangely takes place in a bathroom stall that plays out like a glory hole situation. The Wayans brothers would go full tilt with this concept in their parody, "Scary Movie." Epps was this chapter's eye candy, described as the "handsome counterpart" in the script.

Jerry O'Connell

In "Scream 2" Jerry O'Connell plays Derek, boyfriend to our heroine Sydney. He is the movie's young, handsome lead and we aren't sure if history is going to repeat itself and he will be unmasked as the killer. Derek is a pretty muscular college guy and we can see that after his frat brothers tie him up shirtless on the theater stage during one of their parties. It's definitely a thirst trap opportunity because O'Connell's physique is in near-perfect condition.

Scott Foley

"Scream 3" is a bit weird in that it deals with Hollywood's sexual mistreatment of women. Ironically Harvey Weinstein, a convicted sex offender, is one of the producers of this film. That fact isn't lost on the screenplay as Scott Foley plays a director named Roman who holds a grudge against John Milton (Lance Henriksen), a Hollywood producer who held orgies at his mansion in the '60s.

Nico Tortorella

Tortorella is the first actor to have publicly come out as a part of the LGBTQ+ community and to star in a "Scream" movie. Their pronouns are they/them, but in "Scream 4" he plays Trevor, boyfriend to the troubled Jill (Emma Roberts).

Mason Gooding

The son of Cuba Gooding Jr., Mason is steadily on the rise to fame. His role as Andrew, the straight basketball player in "Love Victor," catapulted him into the LGBTQ+ spotlight. Last year, he joined the "Scream" franchise as Chad, the nephew of franchise oracle Randy Meeks. Chad is also the twin brother to Mindy (portrayed by Jasmin Savoy Brown).

Dylan Minnette

As Wes Hicks in the 2022 "Scream" reboot, "13 Reasons Why" star Dylan Minnette offered the franchise's only callback to classic slasher staging wherein a naked nubile youth is used frivolously to titillate the audience, adding nothing but visual thirst to the story. In this case, it's twinkish Minnette's character who is showering. A few well-placed bottles hide his privates. This puts Wes in a vulnerable situation which builds tension, trapping the audience in a series of false scares and security until Ghostface's inevitable strike.

Josh Segarra

The latest installment of the "Scream" franchise is bringing back a lot of people from last year's reboot. But there are some fresh faces, including Josh Segarra. Although the plot details are so secretive around this movie that we don't know in what capacity Segarra, who has appeared in "The Other Two" and RuPaul's "AJ and the Queen," is involved, he definitely qualifies as a series hottie.

Jack Champion

Joining Segarra as a new cast member is Jack Champion. Again, the plot and character details are radio silenced, but this handsome actor has our attention. He was recently seen in "Avatar: The Way of Water," and will continue on with that franchise. But we are hoping the 18-year-old survives this "Scream" chapter so we get to see more of him in the next one.

"Scream VI" opens in theaters on March 10.