This story is part of , our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.
As part of a publicity stunt for his 2000 comedy Ready to Rumble, David Arquette — then one of Hollywood’s most promising young actors and a big fan of professional wrestling — was crowned a heavyweight champion by the WCW.
Fans of pro wrestling weren’t happy, so much so that the wrestling community spent the next 18 years “hating me and bullying me,” he says in an interview for CNET’spodcast.
Which is why Arquette decided, at the age of 46 and after suffering a heart attack, to win their respect. He hired a pro wrestling coach, trained, lost 50 pounds, and got pounded and body slammed in one match after another on his journey to make his pro wrestling debut in 2018. That story is chronicled in a new documentary being released on Friday, called You Cannot Kill David Arquette.
Watching the film, you see why the title is apt. After Vanity Fair crowned him a rising young star — he was on the cover of the 1996 Hollywood issue along with Leonard DiCaprio and Will Smith — his decision to star as Deputy Dewey Riley in the Scream horror franchise pretty much derailed his leading man career. So he turned to independent films to make his mark (check out two dark comedies released this year: 12-Hour Shift and Spree). For his wrestling redemption, Arquette went all in — including participating in a death match where he cut his neck and almost bled out (friend Luke Perry drove him to the hospital).
“I wanted to clear my name,” Arquette tells me. “But what I really learned was that ultimately it was always about … you have to love yourself. That really is the bottom line — you have to love and care for yourself. And then when you read something, like a hate tweet, it doesn’t hit you in part of your soul that you’ve been beating yourself up about, as well. So it doesn’t resonate anymore.”
A charming, quirky Arquette also turns funny, open, self-deprecating and honest. He tells me how two books, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It and The Untethered Soul, had a profound effect on his life. I ask him if it’s true that he’s been trained to teach the landscape painting techniques of art instructor and television host Bob Ross. (It’s true.) We talk about his voice work in video games and why he loves playing them, especially sports games. “Video games are just really a great medium. The technology, the art, the creativity and the writing of these videos games is just mind-boggling.”
We talk about his plans to make Scream 5 with ex-wife Courtney Cox. “You really look to do things that entertain people … things that they have a connection with. I love when people say, ‘Oh I saw that when I was a teenager,'” he says of the Scream franchise. “So to sort of tap back into that — I think they’re really going to do it justice.”
And he tells me about his obsession with costumes, flashy, shiny costumes — with capes.
Listen to my entire conversation with Arquette on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or click the audio link above. You can subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, my co-host Patrick Holland and I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.