What the Hell Happened to Neve Campbell?
At the peak of her career, Neve Campbell was starring in a hit TV drama as well as a popular movie franchise. Scream revitalized the horror genre in 1996. Campbell continued to star on Party of Five while making Scream sequels. In between, she tried to make something happen outside of teen soaps and horror movies. Following the cancellation of Party of Five after a six-season run, Campbell seemed to disappear from mainstream TV and movies.
What the hell happened?
Campbell was born in Canada. At the age of six, she saw a performance of The Nutcracker and decided she wanted to be a ballerina. At the age of nine, Campbell moved into residence at the National Ballet School of Canada where she appeared in performances of The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. At the age of fifteen, Campbell had to leave ballet due to several injuries. Instead, she turned to acting. In 1991, at the age of eighteen, Campbell appeared in a Coca-Cola commercial featuring Bryan Adams.
That commercial is practically an audition for horror movies. And Adams is far scarier than Ghostface ever was.
Campbell also appeared in guest appearances on several Canadian TV shows. In 1991, she appeared opposite Jerry O’Connell on the super hero-themed kids show, My Secret Identity.
In 1992, Campbell appeared on the sketch comedy show, The Kids in the Hall.
She also had a recurring role in the TV show, Catwalk, in which she played a keyboardist in a Canadian rock band.
In 1993, Campbell guest starred on Are You Afraid of the Dark, a joint American-Canadian anthology show. The horror/fantasy show was aimed at kids and aired on Nickelodeon in the US.
In 1994, Campbell appeared in several TV movies and guest appearances including Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. (Campbell appears as a tennis player at the 6-minute mark in the clip above). She also appeared in the TV movies I Know My Son Is Alive and The Forget-Me-Not Murders which have to be airing on Lifetime Movie Network.
1994 was also the year Party of Five debuted. Campbell starred opposite Scott Wolf, Matthew Fox and Lacey Chabert as siblings who are orphaned when their parents are killed by a drunk driver. The show was not initially a hit. In fact, Fox considered cancelling it after the first season.
In 1995, Party of Five won the Golden Globe for Best Drama beating out shows like E/R and NYPD Blue. It was a shocking upset that brought attention to the fledgling drama. The win brought more viewers and better ratings. Party of Five ended its run after six seasons in 2000.
In 1996, Campbell appeared in a horror movie that would turn out to be a surprise hit. The movie starred several young actors who could potentially go on to be big stars. But it wasn’t Scream. It was the witch-themed movie, The Craft.
The Craft is basically Mean Girls as a horror movie or Heathers minus the dark comedy. Robin Tunney starred as a troubled teen who falls in with the wrong crowd. Fairuza Balk played the mean girl who pushes the group into darker and darker territory. Campbell played a follower in the group.
Skeet Ulrich, who would appear opposite Campbell in Scream, had a supporting role.
Portraying a high school clique as a witch’s coven may be a bit too on-the-nose for some. The movie lacks subtlety, but it did a good job of combining teen drama with the horror genre. Reviews were mixed, but The Craft opened at number one at the box office. It was a surprise hit that developed a small but devoted cult following.