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Don’t Hang Up on These 25 Secrets About Scream

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Neve Campbell Opens Up on Motherhood & Acting

What’s your favorite scary movie?

It was the question that launched a hit franchise in Scream and, ironically, the 1996 movie went on to become the answer for millions of horror fans. Now, 25 years after the original came out, the fifth installment in the series has stabbed its way into theaters, ready to deliver more scares and self-referential humor. 

Returning to Woodsboro as a Ghostface mask-wearing killer starts terrorizing the town once again are original stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, this time joined by newcomers Melissa Barrera, Dylan Minnette and Jenny Ortega. While OG screenwriter Kevin Williamson is onboard as an executive producer, Scream 5 marks the first film in the franchise to not be directed by master of horror Wes Craven, who died in 2015 at the age of 76 after a battle with brain cancer. His final movie was 2011’s Scream 4

In honor of Scream 5‘s premiere, we’re revealing 25 secrets about the series, including the A-list stars who were up for the role of Sidney Prescott, the movie’s original title and who almost got fired during the first two weeks of filming.

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1. Screenwriter Kevin Williamson came up with the idea for the movie while watching a 1994 episode of ABC News’ Turning Point about the serial killer dubbed the Gainesville Ripper. House-sitting at the time, Williamson was spooked when he saw a window was open that he was convinced he had closed. 

2. The script caused a bidding war in Hollywood, with Dimension ultimately landing the movie. But finding a director proved to be an unexpected challenge before horror legend Wes Craven signed on after initially passing on the project.

“Every name you could imagine came up [to direct],” Williamson told The Ringer. “Wes’s name came up really early. Robert Rodriguez‘s name came up. Quentin Tarantino’s name came up.”

Ultimately, it was Craven’s then-assistant Julie Plec, who would go on to co-create The Vampire Diaries among other TV hits, who helped convince him to return to the genre after the filmmaker’s New Nightmare failed to perform at the box office.

“At the time I was working at Wes’s house, so I would have lunch with him every day. And so I said, ‘Remember that great script? They’re having a hard time finding a director and they really want you to do it,'” Plec recalled to The Ringer. “I was just kind of making quote-unquote innocent small talk. And he said, ‘Ah, well they should just make me an offer I can’t refuse then.’ And I think he was joking, but I went back to [director of development] Lisa [Harrison] and I said, ‘He said make him an offer he can’t refuse.’ And so Dimension did. And he took it.”

3. The original title was Scary Movie, with the studio deciding to change it to Scream after production had wrapped, much to the creative team’s initial dismay. 

‘[Scary Movie] was on all our wrap gifts and all our fanny packs,” Plec told The Ringer. “They wanted it to be Scream and we were like, ‘That’s terrible.’ We were all outraged. Turned out to be a good choice.

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4. When it came to the lead role of Sidney Prescott, “We basically auditioned every girl in town, whether she was known or unknown,” casting director Lisa Beach told The Ringer. “As far as the final three, it was Alicia Witt, Brittany Murphy and Neve Campbell. There was just that certain je ne sais quoi that Neve had.”

5. Thanks to Friends‘ debut in 1995, Courteney Cox was already a household name, but she still had to convince Craven she could play cutthroat news reporter Gale Weathers. “I just had to prove I could go from Monica to that,” Cox said. “It’s really hard to express. You don’t want to say that you’re not that nice of a person. But I definitely can be a bitch.”

6. Producers initially envisioned David Arquette playing one of the younger characters, the actor was drawn to the role of deputy sheriff Dewey for several reasons, including a crush on one of his co-stars.  

“I felt I was a little older, and I also loved the role of Dewey when I read it and the idea of acting opposite Courteney,” Arquette told The Ringer.

“I was a huge fan of hers. I met with Wes and I was like, ‘I really like this role.’ And he was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t even consider that,’ because he was written as more of, like, the dumb jock character. I read it as a character that’s in a position of authority getting no respect.”

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7. While Arquette went into production with interest in Cox, it wasn’t reciprocated at first. 

“When we all got cast, Wes had us out at his house. I saw Courteney and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m playing Dewey,'” he recalled. “And she’s like, ‘Yeah, I heard about you,’ or something like that. She gave me some real attitude. I think I tried to follow her home in her car but she had a Porsche and I had a hot rod that wasn’t fast enough to take the turns. I wasn’t going to follow her to her house, but I was going to try to roll up to her next to a red light and be like, ‘Hey.’ I don’t know what I was thinking.”

8. Eventually, the pair began dating and got married in 1999, cutting their honeymoon short to begin filming Scream 3. They welcomed daughter Coco in 2004, but split up in 2010 and finalized their divorce in 2013.

9. Matthew Lillard initially auditioned for Billy Loomis, Sidney’s boyfriend and—spoiler alert—one of the killers, though Skeet Ulrich ultimately landed the part. “The casting director was like, ‘I love you, you’re great, I want to bring you in for this character Stu. Can you come in in a couple of hours and audition for Wes?'” Lillard recalled to The Hollywood Reporter. “So I said ‘Sure,’ and I sat in the lobby and in my car learning my lines and auditioned two hours later. I think I got the part in the room, which never happens.” 

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10. Though he went on to become one of the franchise’s most beloved characters, Jamie Kennedy wasn’t Dimension’s first choice to play video store clerk and horror film aficionado Randy.

“Wes had to fight, because the studio liked Jason Lee because he was in Mallrats,” Kennedy revealed to THR. “They liked Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, all the guys that I would always go up against—and they’re all great, but I was lucky. I’ll never forget this. Wes said, ‘Johnny Depp didn’t have any credits.'” (Depp’s first movie was 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street.)

11. Craven initially envisioned Drew Barrymore starring as Sidney, but the E.T. actress was more interested in playing Casey Becker, who gets killed off in the iconic opening scene. 

“I just read the script one night at my house and I just said, ‘Oh my God, there hasn’t been anything like this for so long,'” Barrymore said in a 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I loved that it actually got tongue and cheeky but it was still scary and it was this great game that sort of described genres and revived them at the same time and redefined them all in one script. I went bananas.”

12. A massive fan of Psycho, Williamson was thrilled with the casting decision. 

“I was happy to hear that because I always saw it as sort of the Janet Leigh opening,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “You wanted the biggest star to be in the first moment of the movie. That’s why the scene is so long because I wanted to keep Casey Becker alive just long enough where you think she’s the lead of the movie and that she’s going to survive this moment.”

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13. In order to inspire real fear in Barrymore, Craven used a story the actress had previously told him about a dog being burned by its owner.

“She started crying as she was telling me this, so every time that I needed her to get over that edge into complete tears, I would just say Drew, ‘I’m lighting the lighter,'” Craven revealed on the DVD commentary. “And she would just burst into tears. Not everybody would tell you a story that’s so close to the heart. Drew is very much an animal lover. That allowed us to get to that place of ultimate horror.”

14. Barrymore also made the decision to not meet Roger Jackson, the actor who provided Ghostface’s legendary voice, prior to filming, and asked not to see him on set. “It was magical. I was in the rain, and we had the killer, Roger, in another tent talking on the phone outside,” Williamson told The Ringer. “She just wanted to hear the voice, which I thought was super smart.”

15. While auditioning for Ghostface, Jackson was told the filmmakers were looking for “a new Freddy Krueger.” But in reading over the first scene of the movie, the voice actor told The Ringer,  I thought, “This is not Freddy Krueger. This is very subtle. This guy’s got to be kind of interesting. He’s got to keep her on the phone, keep playing with her, and there’s got to be something about him that draws her in…it had to be able to—once you turn the dial—go from being very kind of playful and sexy to much more sinister.”

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16. Just as important as the villain’s voice was the mask, which proved to be a long and, ultimately, expensive mission to find. 

After stumbling upon what would become Ghostface in a boy’s bedroom while scouting locations, the studio was determined to make an original mask so they could own the image. “They must’ve gone through hundreds of faces,” Williamson recalled. “And Wes stuck to his guns: He wanted Ghostface. Finally, the studio rolled over and allowed him to have it.”

Plec added, “Because we couldn’t beat what we had, they had to use something that they did not own and could never capitalize on. I remember that being sort of scandalous.”

17. Despite his success in the horror genre with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Craven was close to being fired from the film after executives were disappointed with the dailies they were seeing of Barrymore’s death scene from the first two weeks of filming.

“He was very despondent a few days in when he was just like, ‘Oh, the studio called up. They’re very upset. They don’t think it’s going to be good. They’re sending me the dailies from Nightwatch and telling me it needs to look like this,’  editor Patrick Lussier revealed to The Ringer. “He said they told him he was a TV journeyman and a hack.”

18. However, after the opening sequence was edited and sent to the studio, Lussier said, “They immediately called out and said, ‘We are so wrong. This works so incredibly well. We can’t believe how suspenseful and terrifying this is. We clearly had no idea how to look at what you were doing.’ Suddenly there was money for an orchestra, there was money for all sorts of things.”

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19. Despite the early pressure from the executives and the level of gore in the film, Craven kept the mood light and fun on set.

“Wes said to me, ‘When you’re making a horror movie, the experience doesn’t have to be horrific,'” Kennedy told THR. “It’s one of the greatest quotes I ever heard. We made this crazy movie, but we drank wine at night and had these civilized dinners. Toward the end of the shoot, I was getting really sad that the movie was ending and I started to cry. Courteney was like, ‘Oh, honey. Don’t cry. This is the way it is. It’s summer camp.’ I’m like, ‘But this is my life.’ She goes, ‘No, honey. It’s only your life for three months, but we all have a bond that we’ll never forget.'”

20. Shooting on location in North Carolina, the cast all stayed at the same hotel and hung out together, often in Arquette’s room, which had lava lamps and blacklight posters.

“David is nuts, so he bought every toy possible that you can buy in Santa Rosa, and they were hanging from his ceiling,” Campbell told The Ringer. “I think it was called ‘David’s Bar’ or ‘David’s Club’ or something. ‘Club David.'”

21. Still, the housekeeping staff was less than thrilled to have the actors staying at the hotel. “The maids at the hotel hated us, or hated me, that’s for sure, because we ruined a lot of sheets and pillowcases,” Ulrich recalled. “No matter how much you scrubbed. I didn’t know the trick about shaving cream at the time, that that takes [blood] off pretty easily. But there’s always residuals and it always winds up on your pillowcase or sheets.”

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22. In fact, so much fake blood was used that the wardrobe department “wouldn’t wash my costume” Campbell said. “I would take it off in the morning, and then in the evening when I went back to work—because the continuity of the blood had to be the same—they would just wet it. They would dampen the blood. I wanted to burn that costume at the end of the movie, I swear to God.”

23. Most of Stu’s dialogue after the killer reveal was improvised by Lillard, with Williamson telling THR, “Matt is a dream because no one can ad-lib better than him, and he made me look so good with all his little ad-libs.”

For Lillard, those lines—including “You f–king hit me with the phone, d–k!” and “My mom’s going to be so mad at me!”—are what he is most proud of “because it’s what people repeat back to me.”

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24. The movie came close to earning a dreaded NC-17 for a few reasons, including Barrymore’s slow-motion death sequence, the amount of times Stu and Billy stab each other in the final scene and the line “Movies don’t create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative.”

 “That particular line of dialogue they wanted to censor, but they don’t word it that way,” Lussier explained. “They just say, ‘Look at these areas, this is a problem, this is, this is, this is. Thankfully, Wes won the day with them.”

While the Barrymore scene was a “big no-no” for the MPAA, who “hated” it because it was “too brutal,” Williamson said, “We won that one because we didn’t have any other footage. He shot it in slow motion. What you see is all there was. So, they let that one slide.” (He also noted they took out some of the knife cuts in Stu and Billy’s kitchen confrontation.)

25. Scream premiered in December 1996, a scheduling move that concerned Williamson, who told The Ringer, “They called it counterprogramming. And that had to be explained to me, because I really did not see how it was going to fare in the Oscars market.” Despite only earning $6 million in its opening weekend, the film went on to gross $173 million worldwide, spawning four sequels and an MTV series. 

Scream 5 is now playing in theaters. 

Watch Daily Pop weekdays at 11 a.m., only on E!.

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SOURCE SPORTS: Remembering Kobe Bryant With 8 Of His Top NBA Highlights

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Remembering Kobe Bryant:

Today marks the second anniversary of untimely death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi Bryant. The legacy of Bryant continues to live on through generations of athletes, the city of Los Angeles, philanthropy, literature and beyond. To celebrate his life, we are looking back on some of his biggest moments that made him a global icon and basketball hall of famer.

February 8, 1997: Bryant wins the 1997 Nestle Crunch Slam Dunk contest as a rookie during All Star Weekend in Cleveland.

June 14, 2000: Bryant scores 28 points against the Indiana Pacers in game 4 of the 2000 NBA Finals. Bryant would go on to win his first NBA championship in 6 games.

December 19, 2005: Bryant scores 62 points in just 33 minutes at Staple Center against Dallas Mavericks.

January 22, 2006 : Bryant roasted the Toronto Raptors for 81 points at the Staples Center.

March 16, 2007: Bryant finishes up another stellar performance with 65 points against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.

February 2, 2009: Bryant touches the New York Knicks, scoring 61 points at Madison Square Garden.

June 17, 2010: Bryant closes out the rival Boston Celtics in seven games to win his 5th NBA title with the Lakers.

April 16, 2016: Bryant scores 60 points in his grand finale NBA game at Staples Center against the Utah Jazz.

Share your thoughts remembering Kobe Bryant on social media with us.

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‘Bel-Air’: The New Will Smith Flees Trouble in West Philly in Teaser for Upcoming Reboot

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Peacock has shared a new teaser from Bel-Air, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air reboot, which arrives on the streaming service on Super Bowl Sunday.

The 45-second preview focuses on the confrontation at a West Philadelphia pickup basketball game that leads to the character Will Smith’s sojourn to Bel Air. While that incident is simply described in the opening credits from the original sitcom — where the main aggressor picks up the Will Smith and spins him around — the fight is much more harrowing in the dramatic reboot, with punches thrown, guns drawn, and police called.

The first three of 10 hourlong episodes of Bel-Air will stream Feb. 13 on Peacock, with new episodes to follow weekly.

The series was inspired by the 2019 fake trailer — created by cinematographer Morgan Cooper, who now serves as director and co-writer on Bel Air — that turned the Nineties sitcom into a “dramatic retelling.”

“With this dramatic reimagining, we wanted to create a show that stands on its own while honoring the spirit and innovation of the original series,” Cooper previously said in a statement. “Because Bel-Air is a drama, we’re able to really peel back the layers of these characters and themes in a way that you simply couldn’t do 30 years ago in the half-hour sitcom format. We’re able to go have tough conversations that challenge perspectives. At its core, Bel-Air is a celebration of the Black experience through the perspective of a family,” Cooper said in a statement. “My approach to the series started with a deep focus on tone and really being intentional with my creative choices… Everything can be inspiration, and having a two-season order gives us the opportunity to go infinitely deeper narratively, visually, and aesthetically. I think that with Bel-Air we have created something unique and honest.”

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The NFT Art World Wouldn’t Be the Same Without This Woman’s ‘Wide-Awake Hallucinations’

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Her creativity helped fuel a technological revolution she knew almost nothing about. Although the Bored Ape Yacht Club — now, arguably, the world’s biggest NFT project — first appeared online in May and quickly started selling for millions, the woman who drew its primary characters had no idea that the collection was a hit until she Googled the name months later.

These cartoonish primates have since generated more than a billion dollars and lassoed mainstreamers into the crypto scene. Yet Seneca — the 27-year-old Asian-American artist who played an integral role in bringing their ideas to life — gets little credit.

Watching NFT enthusiasts graffiti every corner of the Internet with variations of her work has been bittersweet. Imagine casually walking into a museum only to stumble upon your own art hanging on the wall behind velvet ropes; when Seneca logged onto Twitter and saw that Steph Curry was using an avatar she birthed as his profile picture, her eyes bulged. “It really took me some time to wrap my head around all this,” she tells Rolling Stone over Zoom. She’s sitting cross-legged on the floor of her living room in her Manhattan apartment, in front of a small gray couch — under which she somewhat haphazardly stores a stack of pastel paintings. “I still am. It’s still quite surreal.”

Behind the couch is her tiny, usually cluttered workspace, which Seneca calls her studio. Born in the U.S. to Chinese parents and raised in Shanghai, Seneca came back stateside to attend the Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating in 2016, and then relocating to New York as a freelance illustrator, this nook became her office. Head down, she concentrated on designing vibrant, at-times fantastical characters à la 2D animation for marketing campaigns and advertisements. (While her paintings were and are more abstract, she was compelled to find a “realistic” way of monetizing her passion.)

When a creative agent named Nicole Muniz spotted her college portfolio — and fell in love with her technique, “down to the lines and brushstrokes,” according to Muniz  — she started connecting Seneca with companies across various industries like healthcare, insurance, green energy, and finance. Last year, Muniz, who’s also known by her pseudonym V Strange, called Seneca with a somewhat left-of-center proposal: Her childhood friend was starting something called the Bored Ape Yacht Club, she had jumped aboard as an advisor, and he needed graphic designers to whip up some images before the still-growing trend of NFTs really took off.

Muniz immediately thought of Seneca’s chameleonic abilities. “She is one of the few artists who can actually draw differently depending on the subject matter and the project,” Muniz — who recently became co-CEO of Yuga Labs, the Web3 company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club — tells Rolling Stone. “That’s very, very, very rare.” Yuga Labs co-founder Gargamel says he was struck by the “expressiveness” of her characters. “There’s a whole mood that gets conveyed,” he tells Rolling Stone via email. “For the apes, we arrived at exactly the mood we were after: existential boredom.” Muniz agrees: “She’s particularly skilled at expression and bringing characters to life.”

Though Seneca wasn’t familiar with NFTs at the time, Yuga Labs gave her a lot of room to play in the collaboration. “They said, ‘We want punk apes. What do you think that would look like? What kind of style would you like? What do you think will look good?’” She imagined herself as an ape’s neighbor in a grungy city where the primates roam free as citizens. She saw “an ape that’s kind of jaded and tired of life but has all the money and time in the world, and hangs out at a metal bar” and ran through fictitious interactions with the creature. “That’s where that idea came from.”

Creating the apes’ aesthetic poured out of her naturally: A self-declared metalhead, Seneca plays a Gibson SG — which Muniz says she “slays” — and listens to bands like Megadeth, Behemoth, and Bullet for My Valentine. But she’s also a lover of Nineties gross-out animation, from which she drew inspiration. “I just love the grit of it all,” she says.

To be clear, Seneca was not the project’s sole illustrator. “I am the lead artist behind the original collection,” she says. The ape body itself, she adds, is “exactly line-for-line” her drawing. Other production artists — “Thomas Dagley, Migwashere, and a couple who chose to remain anonymous,” according to Gargamel — handled the traits and environment. However, she points out, she did develop some of the major traits, like the grinning mouth, the popping eyes, and the beanie.

“Not of ton of people know that I did these drawings, which is terrible for an artist,” she says. Word of mouth has been growing, though, and she hopes that will help her find more collaborations. In the meantime, she’s focusing on her solo work.

In December, Seneca dropped her debut series of NFTs under her own name as part of a collection called Iconoclast at Miami’s Art Basel. The four pieces she contributed were minted on Ethereum and hosted on what’s called the Internet Computer blockchain. (Hosting the NFTs on the Internet Computer should ensure that the NFT artwork lives forever on a public blockchain without threat of a takedown or cloud-outage issues.)

The pieces ended up generating 23.7 ETH, which equates to about $84,000 at press time. She says it’s enough to pay the bills and then some, giving her the luxury of unadulterated time to craft her next series, which she hopes to unveil in February. Plus, she gets to unleash a mesmerizing personal style that’s been many years in the making and still evolving. “Her art is very evocative of a woman in progress,” says Ken Wong, an illustrator who art directed Seneca’s favorite video game, Alice: Madness Returns. (Wong met while he was working in Shanghai. Seneca approached him after he gave a speech about his profession at her high school; she says “he really introduced the world of illustration to [her].”) “If you were to label Seneca’s work, you could [call it] pop surrealism, but that might be a bit reductive… She’s exploring. She’s finding her voice amongst pre-existing voices. She’s evolving by trying on different art styles, and I can really relate to that.”

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Seneca’s piece “Delirium” showed at Art Basel in 2021.

Courtesy of Seneca

Despite technical shifts in her approach, her images often encapsulate a soft childlike wonder that contrasts a harsh, existential darkness. “It’s a combination of being very personal and very pop at the same time,” says Wong. “The shapes that she uses — these organic, flowing shapes are very dreamlike with surreal color schemes — I think they speak to how she views things deep inside her head. But, at the same time, it’s through a lens of pop culture. It’s almost like she’s trying to rationalize herself in the context of the world.”

That sentiment comes across quite literally in a piece called “Delirium” from the 2021 Art Basel collection, in which flora, fauna, and limbs bust out of the gaping eye sockets of a girl’s unnaturally oblong head. “That’s me being like, ‘You know, everything’s kind of fucking crazy, and that’s okay,” Seneca says. “That’s how your mind works.”

Another piece, titled “Can I Be M0ther,” shows the same girl. This time, though, her bug-like eyes appear pastel and prismatic as they shed thick, gloppy tears. It’s unclear whether veins, wires, or threads are slithering out of them. The strands fall, wrapping around her outstretched hands, which are cradling what appears to be a malfunctioning toy ape. “As a commercial artist, I saw myself as a kind of surrogate,” she explains. “Since art is such an emotionally charged extension of you, it’s deeply personal and, to a certain extent, you have to distance yourself from that work in order to give it away. That piece is very much me saying, ‘Can I reclaim my work? Can I reclaim my identity as an artist?’”

Part of that identity, Seneca says, is guided by the lucid nightmares that have plagued her from as far back as she can remember. Her earliest memory is a nightmare she had at three years old. “I was in a stroller,” she recalls. “I had this feeling of being small and vulnerable.” She doesn’t go into greater detail, but realizes those themes have consistently trickled their way through her work, which she says is inspired by cosmic horror — a genre wherein the crushing weight of being a small speck within the vast unknown is the most terrifying villain.

“I was more interested in being in my imagination than reality,” she says of her early years, noting that she kept to herself most of the time, was mute for the majority of her childhood, and sometimes experienced “wide-awake hallucinations.”

She remembers going through all her deepest fears before bedtime, thinking that if she addressed them head on, they wouldn’t pop up in her nightmares — but oftentimes that backfired, keeping her awake instead. “I didn’t want to sleep because I was terrified of this world I would jump into,” she says.

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Maria Wurtz for Rolling Stone

Only recently has Seneca come to accept “that madness part of it” — turning the “surrealism and non-sensical dark art” inside her into something beautiful, which she finds therapeutic. “It’s why I do what I do,” she says before admitting this isn’t something she shares with a lot of people for the fear of being considered “insane.”

Lucky for her, insanity, or some version of it, is welcome in Web3: Crypto couldn’t exist without an urge to deviate from the norm. She hopes the sector thrives for years to come. Her experience with the Bored Ape Yacht Club “taught [her] a lot of life lessons,” and she urges aspiring creators to make sure they understand NFTs and smart contracts, ask for royalties, and know the potential. “Be strong in your convictions and work extremely hard,” she says. “And be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Things move very, very fast on crypto-Twitter and in this space. As long as you keep an eye on it, but pay no mind and just focus in your lane, you’ll do fine eventually.”

Of course, “fine” is relative. While she’s not able to discuss financial specifics, her compensation, she says, “was definitely not ideal.” However, she insists, she’s grateful for the experience and the entryway to a realm she can no longer imaging living without. She’s since fallen hard for the idea of NFTs, because they can authenticate and preserve art, provide creators with royalties, and make the art world more inclusive and less reliant on the gallery system.

She sees her second series — which she says will be digital but also involve other mediums — as an extension of the surrealist groundwork she’s laid, but bolder. She’s cagey in discussing works in progress but adds that she’s been putting emphasis on mental health and the power of strong women. The new work just might contain “a few criticisms,” too.

“I’m very optimistic about the space,” she says. “I’m using that as a driver.”

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