Before a director was ever found for Wes Craven's Scary Movie, which later became Scream, Drew Barrymore was cast for the lead role of Sidney Prescott. She was enjoying a resurgence of her career at the time, and challenged perhaps only by Courtney Cox who was playing Monica in Friends, was the most recognizable face in the film.

Before shooting for the film began, Drew Barrymore contacted Wes Craven and stated that she wanted to play Girl Number One, Casey Becker.

The first scene was really reminiscent of 'When a Stranger Calls,' and it was absolutely my favorite part.
- Drew Barrymore to Entertainment Weekly

Promotional Poster She had scheduling conflicts with another project, but still wanted to back the film. She told Craven that if she died, the audience would believe anyone could, and that she would support the film as if she was starring in it. She was on the front of every movie poster, and was the face that drew worldwide attention to the movie.

Her plan worked, as Scream was a huge success, and her death before opening credits shocked viewers and critics everywhere.

Drew Barrymore was amazing as Casey Becker. She gave a raw, real performance that was easy to relate to, and showed a range of emotions as the character. I personally felt for Casey. Unlike deaths in other horror movies, her death was both shocking and sad to me.

After Drew Barrymore did Scream, other big-name actors started doing horror projects, and the horror genre saw a boom after its previous decline in quality and popularity.