Why Hollywood won't cast Neve Campbell anymore

The name Neve Campbell is sure to ring a bell — even if we don't see the once popular actress as much as we used to. Campbell first rose to fame for her role as big sister on the tear-jerking prime-time drama Party of Five. She later became a household name thanks to her lead role in the horror-mystery Scream series. But when the 90s came to an end, so too did Campbell's hot streak.

There are quite a few reasons why Campbell has flown under the radar until quite recently — and you may be surprised to know that some of those reasons are completely on purpose.

She outgrew certain roles

Neve Campbell wasn't going to be a teen scream queen forever. In fact, when Campbell was cast for the lead role of Sidney Prescott in the very first Scream movie, she was already in her early twenties. Although Campbell came back for the next three movies — and could have a starring role in a fifth Scream film — the trajectory of her career has taken her pretty far away from teen horror and drama.

She's not interested in being a "sexy" actress

It's possible that Neve Campbell's career could have gone farther if she focused more on playing up her sex appeal than her acting chops. However, Campbell was never that kind of a person or actress, and didn't want to be. When asked her thoughts on earning "Sexiest Actress" accolades in the past, Campbell asked "What does it even mean to be the world's sexiest woman?"

Instead of selling sex to get ahead, Campbell has stayed true to herself and her beliefs.

She was "pigeonholed" thanks to her Sidney Prescott role

Neve Campbell shared in a 2011 interview with the The Guardian that she struggled with mixed feelings about portraying Sidney Prescott in Scream, and what it meant for her acting career. "The first Scream was great for me in some ways, but in others it was… a challenge. People did pigeonhole me." Campbell became practically synonymous with her Prescott role, so it's entirely possible many of the scripts sent her way were in a similar, horror-genre vein to her Scream movies. If you're an actress looking to branch out into serious, adult roles, that has to feel frustrating.

She won't take roles that make her unhappy

Neve Campbell may have found success playing in slasher teen flicks, but such roles and role offers made her deeply unhappy. Said Campbell, "I felt I was being forced into being something I wasn't — all the time." The irony is that the roles she couldn't stand were very lucrative — allowing her to walk away from similar movie projects. Thanks to her financial prosperity and the freedom she found away from Hollywood, Campbell is able to better carefully consider her roles.

As for what projects she takes on, Campbell shared it "inevitably comes down to good writing."

She refuses to play the Hollywood game

Neve Campbell acknowledged that sometimes getting better roles meant "playing the Hollywood game." But in her own words, Campbell grew tired of playing "got tired of the game a bit." Burned out by movie business politics, Campbell decided to move to England and abandoned the Hollywood scene for nearly a decade. Because of her desire for a change, she may have missed out on the kind of acting opportunities that would have kept her career going, or at least kept her relevant in the eyes of the movie-going public.

She found Hollywood unlivable

It wasn't just Hollywood burnout that took Neve Campbell away from Los Angeles. The actress revealed in a Guardian interview that she was altogether fed up with L.A. life. "I lived [in Los Angeles] for 13 years and I never felt at home. L.A. is very isolating. It's not a walking city and it's not a very cultured city." The combination of being offered roles she didn't want and living in a city she didn't like proved too much for Campbell.

She found inequality in Hollywood to be an issue

Neve Campbell isn't shy about sharing how she feels about the ongoing inequality between women and male actors in Hollywood. "How is that possible that we're not being paid equally and that we're having to have this conversation in 2016? It's insane that we're even discussing this. It shouldn't exist."

Campbell admitted she wasn't able to "put her foot down" over unequal pay outside of the Scream movies, admitting that "But if there's a choice [to cheat actresses], you're always going to get less." Hollywood sexism may not only have impacted potential pay, but also the number of good roles available as Campbell grew older.

She turned down roles to focus on family

Neve Campbell admitted to turning down roles for a time because she wanted to better focus on being there for her family after becoming a mom in 2012. "I, as a mom, wanted to be really present for my son in the first couple of years, because I know that those years are very important for a kid." After her hiatus, Campbell is cautious about easing back into acting.

"It's baby steps. For me, doing a nice little role in something good like Mad Men or Manhattan… those kinds of choices felt right for me to get my feet wet again."

Could Neve Campbell be in the early stages of a Hollywood comeback?

Neve Campbell's career is beginning to pick up traction again thanks to a juicy role on the hit Netflix series House of Cards. Campbell plays Leann Harvey, a character Business Insider described as a "natural" addition to the show, who "feels like she had been there all along." With high praise for a role on a popular show, the success of the role could open doors for Campbell to take on more high-profile projects. Now that Campbell knows who she is, and is in a good place in her life, she seems in a great position for a potential movie comeback.