MTV is introducing a new generation to Scream starting tonight, June 30, at 10/9c on MTV, and the hot summer show's breakout star is going to be relative newcomer Connor Weil. Trust me, you are going to want to get on the Weil train now before everyone else falls for the charming young actor. We talked to Weil to properly introduce you to the Scream MVP before the big premiere.
What Weil revealed was that he is a well-rounded, funny guy. While his character, basketball star Will, is a stoic everyman, Weil is a joyful outdoorsman with a multitude of passions. This guy's career is about to take off in a major way, but as these 10 must-see facts will reveal, Weil is destined to stay grounded.
We had to ask Weil the infamous question from 1996's Scream — are you a fan of scary movies? — and his answer was surprising. "I was never really a fan," Weil confessed. "I couldn't do scary very well until I got into this project, and I got to realize how much fun and nuance-y and thrill-based it is when they're done correctly. I'm a new fan of scary movies, for sure. My favorite scary movies are the really ingenious ones like, for example, The Sixth Sense is one of my absolute favorites. The ones where you have to pay attention and you're really jumping out of your seat. Stuff like that pulls me in. I love the clever tie-ins, and what you don't see it coming, that's my jam."
Weil proved he had a heart of gold when the interview turned to his passions. Although he's only in his early 20s, Weil has already done humanitarian work, and he cannot wait to do more. "I've got a great passion for traveling and serving other communities. I've done a couple trips where I've traveled across other countries and done stuff like built a basketball court for an orphanage over in India. I love that — finding a culture, experiencing it and then being able to serve a little bit."
See, awesome, right?
"It wasn't even called Sharknado when I was cast in that project, so I came on and I had no idea what was going on. I walked on set and there was Tara Reid and Ian Ziering, and I was like, "Yeah, this is great." So we're going along, and I was on set for four days, and it was the most fun. You saw the CGI; we weren't looking at anything. It was insane. It was like a playground.
To watch it blow up on Twitter was crazy. I went from like going, "Yeah, I'm in this movie about sharks and tornadoes" to, "Dude, I'm in Sharknado! You've got to check it out."
We only had to talk to Weil for a few minutes before his love for anything involving the ocean became apparent. Surfing, hanging out on the beach and fishing are some of the Portland, Oregon, native's favorite things to do. "I am such an outdoorsman, even though I live in Hollywood, [and] I especially love fishing," Weil confessed. "There's something about being out in a boat. It's so tranquil."
"I've had really good people in my life who have given me some really great advice," Weil mused. "My manager (Michael Abrams) is someone who is really influential for me. He just loves me and thinks of me as a brother. One of the best things he said to me was, 'Walk in there and do your thing, and then walk out and live your life.'"
It was a great reminder that even though you're in Hollywood, don't lose that sense that you're living your life and doing your thing. I did my best today, now I'm going to live my life and go home."
Although Scream is Weil's big break, he has been working steadily in Hollywood throughout his teen years with roles on shows like Kickin' It and Crash and Bernstein. Weil seemed reflective when we asked him how being young in Hollywood has shaped him.
"It was hard, but it was great," Weil told us. "It really makes you grow up fast, responsibility wise, when you're 16, and you have to drive yourself to the right address and be there on time for an audition. I knew if I really want to do this I have to take responsibility and get it done. It's been really great for me, success or failure, you learn something every day."
Scream is shot in Louisiana, and the on-location shooting has led to plenty of cast outings and exploring. Weil sounded completely sincere when he called the group a "tight-knit family," and their adventures beyond the set sound delightful.
"We've explored quite a bit, whether we're going into New Orleans or checking out anywhere in Louisiana. There's plantations and museums, and sometimes it's a little hard to look at the history because it was definitely a Southern, plantation-based economy back in the day, but it is super incredible to see how much history is in this part of the world."
Yes, your new summer crush just turned 21 years old earlier this year and his birthday party was low-key but awesome. The highlight? An encounter with an enthusiastic bartender. "I celebrated with family and friends, and I went to a restaurant. It was the best. I went and ordered a beer and the guy asked me to show my ID and, he was the coolest dude, he like freaked out and said, 'It's your birthday!'" Weil laughed.
Like his character Will, Weil loves basketball, and he has been putting his skills on the court to good use. "Call me a guy through and through, but being a basketball player, shooting the basketball stuff was fun," Weil said. "Because it's Scream, shooting the basketball stuff, there was so much going on at once to keep the story moving along, and it was one of my favorite moments so far."
When asked about his favorite shows, Weil mentioned everything from Friends to Sons of Anarchy, but he is just as obsessed with Game of Thrones as the rest of us are. "I'm on the biggest Game of Thrones kick. Game of Thrones is my show right now, and I'm almost scared to keep watching because I'm almost caught up, and I don't want to run out of episodes."
His favorite character? "I would want to be Jon Snow so bad. I love him and everything he stands for. If I were British, I would want to be Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, that would be the best. That character is super grounded."
Are you hearing this, HBO? Because we hear you might have an opening.
See Weil in action every Tuesday night on Scream.
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