When he first auditioned the role of Danny Brackett in Scream VI, Josh Segarra was convinced that his lovable character would be revealed as Ghostface, the Scream franchise’s masked killer—only to be disappointed to learn that the monologue admitting the murders was given to all the series newbies. “I think everyone wants to don that mask and wear that cloak,” he tells GQ. “I was like, ‘Let me try to be the killer for an hour!’”
Segarra will just have to settle for killing it the last few years. After getting his start on the educational children’s series The Electric Company, the 36-year-old actor began racking up credits on everything from Homeland to Trainwreck, which then led to memorable arcs on Arrow and Orange Is the New Black. The game-changer was his charming performance as the sweet and upbeat sneakerhead Lance in HBO Max’s irreverent comedy The Other Two.
“Josh brings so much unique energy, authenticity and charisma to his characters that you never want to look away—and you always want more,” Scream VI executive producer Chad Villella and co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett—a the filmmaking trio known as Radio Silence—tell GQ in a statement.”
In Scream VI, Segarra—who recently appeared as RuPaul’s love interest on Netflix’s AJ and the Queen and She-Hulk’s reliable pal Augustus “Pug” Pugliese in the MCU, and will soon appear in the Apple TV series The Big Door Prize (March 29)—is simply a good guy who happens to have feelings for Sam (Melissa Barrera). GQ talked to him about the newest Scream, season 3 of The Other Two, and what Lance would do if he met Ghostface.
Were you surprised that you survived the movie? Not many Scream rookies live to see another film.
For a while I only had the first two acts, so I didn’t know who the killer was, and I still thought I was killer, and then I finally read the third act and I was like, “Okay, cool, I get to walk off with them at the end.” And when we were all hanging out, Matt and Tyler told me, “The whole time we want people to think you’re the killer, and then, no, you’re actually just a good guy.” And it makes sense—after her boyfriend was the killer in the [previous] film, they needed to show that we’re not all bad. True love does exist! It’s our little rom-com inside the horror world.
Being a self-proclaimed fan of the franchise, when the potential opportunity arises, are you asking questions about the character and story, or is it as simple as sign me the hell up?
That right there: If I get this chance, sign me the hell up. I’m a wrestling fan, so, to me, David Arquette is one of the legends out there; he’s held the WCW title!. And just hearing stories about him on set, they’d say how great of a guy he is and how much passion he puts into his work.
After getting cast and working on it, I did not know the fandom that exists for this franchise. I’ve been blessed to be a part of the Marvel Universe, the DC Universe, so I know how those fandoms work. Even the Dolly Parton Universe, the RuPaul Universe, those fandoms are serious, okay! So I’ve been a part of a lot of worlds out there, and the Scream fans have been really sweet.
Have you ever felt more pressure in your career than being in a huge movie like *__Scream __*and repeatedly being referred to as “cute shirtless boy”?
[Laughs.] Hell yeah, I did, bro! You try to silence those voices, you’re in the gym doing a couple extra reps. But I had a lot of fun with it. When I saw my apartment, I appreciated that they put some Shakespeare posters, Stanislavski books, and a little Puerto Rican guitar in the corner. I felt like I got to relive my young actor days in an alternate universe. And getting to look across the way and see Ghostface come out, screaming at the top of my lungs, I’ll remember it forever.
You screaming, “Hey, what’s up, bitch” at Ghostface killed me. Was that scripted, or did you come up with that in the moment?
That came off the cuff. You start hollering at somebody, and you’re thinking, what am I going to do to save my girl and her friends? The funny thing is that you can hear that conversation on the corner of 14th and Broadway on a Friday night. “What’s up, bitch?” “Let’s go, motherfucker.” “Bring it on.”
Seeing you run around the streets of New York City, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if sweet Lance was buying a beverage at a bodega and Ghostface came charging in. How do you think that interaction plays out?
Lance would see Ghostface and comment on his threads, like, “Yo, I like that black cloak you got on—is it breathable?” He’d start asking where he got it from, what designer picked it out for him, and probably ask to wear it. I think Ghostface would be so taken aback by Lance’s curiosity that he couldn’t kill him. They’d swap numbers, “Text me if you need anything, bro, I got you!”
Lance definitely ends up making him some custom kicks.
That needs to happen! The Other Two’s first season came out, Lance introduced the dry-erase shoe; less than a year later, Nike had a dry-erase shoe. For season 2, we had the see-through panel; less than a year later, a fashion show, full-on see-through panels. [The Other Two creators] Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider are affecting the zeitgeist and nobody’s giving them credit! Somebody’s watching The Other Two and they see that Lance is a genius. All we need is the shoe with the coin drawer; once that happens, it’s over.
You’ve been consistently working in film and TV for well over a decade, but does it feel like you’ve recently broken through to a new level?
With every new job, there’s always a part of me that’s still a kid, that’s still very honored to be a part of it, and that’s still thanking the creator for taking a chance on me. Because of that, I let them all know, “I’m going to work my ass off for this, and I will not let you down.” When it’s done, there’s a part of you that goes, “I hope they call me again,” and I still get emotional when they do. The last few years have been really funny, and I’ve been really lucky. Auditioning for Trainwreck, I was like, “Oh, they’ll give it to an incredible improv comedian or stand-up,” and all of a sudden they call you and you’re cracking jokes on set with Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer, and you’re just like, “How did we get here, bro?” It’ll never stop being awesome.
Why do you think Lance has become a favorite of so many people?
He’s a dreamer, man. Lance has got a heart of gold; he’s all passion, all love. He loves Brooke so much, and he loves the things that she doesn’t love about herself. I think we all want somebody that sees you for you, sees through the BS, and just wants you to be happy and pursue your dreams. There are certain qualities about Lance that I try to bring into my own life. Like that scene where he is with Cary [Drew Tarver] in the gym and Cary is worried about how he’s going to look before Watch What Happens Live. We all need a Lance that’s like, “Hey, come here, man. Your body is tight and you’re a good-looking man. Don’t worry about none of that bullshit, bro, I got you.”
In addition to Scream, this month also includes the premiere of the new Apple comedy Big Door Prize. What drew you to that series and your character, Giorgio?
I get to play a former New York Ranger, so go Rangers!. And then he opened an Italian restaurant, and I used to bus tables at Olive Garden. To me, Olive Garden is a top-three favorite restaurant—many breadsticks have been consumed. Every year, I’d have my birthday party with a couple buddies over at the one on 22nd and 6th, and I still can’t believe they closed it down. On paper, Giorgio can be read one way, and I think I’ve fallen in love with the opportunities to take these characters and try to flip them on their head a little bit. There’s a lot of heart to Giorgio, and I just love that guy.