Melissa Barrera Didn't Tell Her Family or Husband 'Anything' About Her 'Scream' Character's Journey

Scream is available on digital March 1 with killer bonus content, and arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD April 5 from Paramount Home Entertainment

Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell and Melissa Barrera attend the Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "SCREAM" photo call at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA on Friday, January 7, 2022.
Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell and Melissa Barrera at the premiere of Scream (2022). Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages via AP Images

Melissa Barrera leads a new generation of Scream stars in the hit horror franchise's fifth movie, which is now available for purchase on digital.

But despite her lead-role status, Barrera's closest friends and family were kept in the dark about the size of her part — by Barrera herself!

"I didn't tell anyone anything," the In the Heights actress, 31, tells PEOPLE. "I didn't tell my family. I didn't tell my husband [Paco Zazueta]. I wanted them all to go in blind."

"It's more fun when you can play along when you can do the guessing game and be surprised. So I wanted them to experience it that way," Barrera adds.

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Melissa Barrera
Jack Quaid and Melissa Barrera in Scream (2022). Paramount Pictures

Set 25 years after a mysterious murderer's killing rampage first shocked the town of Woodsboro, California, the film sees a new killer sporting the Ghostface mask, targeting a group of teenagers in an attempt to resurrect secrets of the past.

Barrera plays Sam Carpenter, a young woman with a family secret who returns to her hometown of Woodsboro after her sister (Jenna Ortega) is attacked by the new killer.

The actress is joined by a bunch of fresh faces in the sequel (as well as franchise veterans Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox), but Barrera's character anchors most of the unpredictable plot.

"When we finished watching it, my husband turns to me and he goes, 'You're in it a lot.' He didn't even know. I think he thought that I was going to die right away or something," she recalls, laughing. "It was a very nice surprise for him and he really enjoyed it."

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She adds, "He's a huge fan and he's such a huge fan of Neve's, and he got his picture with Neve."

For Barrera, starring in a Scream movie opposite the franchise's core cast was full of "pinch-me moments."

"I grew up being obsessed with horror movies in my preteen years. That's when I discovered Scream," she shares. "I was the friend that no one wanted to invite sleepovers because they knew that I was going to make everyone watch a scary movie."

As for her possible involvement in the recently announced sixth installment of the Scream franchise, Barrera says, "I hope that I get to come back."

"I think there's so much room for Sam to continue to explore that side of her that she's embraced at the end of this movie. I think it could be a very interesting story to follow," she continues. "There's so many things that can happen. I'm just excited for that."

Adds Barrera, "And it would be a dream to get to continue and do this for another 25 years."

Scream is available for purchase on digital March 1 with killer bonus content, and arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on April 5 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

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