Nico Tortorella Almost Didn’t Score ‘Scream 4′ Role Because He Was Too Tall!

Nico Tortorella may have his eye on the role of sarcastic Shadowhunter Jace Wayland in the film adaptation of “The Mortal Instruments,” but before the 22-year-old can even think about slaying demons, he’ll have to face a different sort of monster: the Ghostface killer. Nico stars alongside half of young Hollywood in Wes Craven’s horror flick “Scream 4” out this Friday (and trust us, you’re gonna want to see this).

Hollywood Crush caught up with the cutie pie actor on the phone recently to talk all things thrilling and chilling, including how “Scream 4″ was a reunion of sorts for him, being nearly passed up for the role and his love for another “Scary Movie.”

Hollywood Crush: We know “Scream 4″ is a super-secretive project. What can you tell us about your character without having to go all Ghostface on us?
Nico Tortorella: [I play] Trevor Sheldon. He’s kind of, you know, the big man on campus. He has past relations with Jill Roberts, who is played by Emma [Roberts]. And right off the bat, we jump straight into Woodsboro 10 years later, and all the drama starts to unfold. He’s the guy that everyone loves to hate and hates to love. But deep down in there, he’s got a heart, for sure.

HC: You’ve worked with Emma before.
Nico: I worked with Emma and Rory [Culkin] a year prior to that in New York. We shot “Twelve.” It was nice already having a family that was established walking into the production.

HC: How did you land the role? What was the audition process like?
Nico: It was probably one of the lengthiest audition processes I’ve been through thus far. I went in and met Wes and the casting director. The audition scene was actually the last scene of the first movie, when Billy Loomis [played by Skeet Ulrich] goes nuts and starts killing everybody. And I hadn’t seen any of the “Scream” movies prior to that, so I had no idea that was the scene I was reading. I had my own interpretation of what exactly was going on and apparently, you know, that worked in my favor because I read it a lot differently than a lot of people would have going in.

[Three auditions later] they told me it wasn’t going to work out because I was too tall for the role. Everyone else that had been cast—the majority of the younger crew—is under 5′ 5″, and I’m 6′ pushing 6′ 1″. But my team fought, and we got back into the room one last time and sealed the deal. It was probably the most exciting moment of my life.

HC: Did you go back and watch the original three “Scream” films before shooting started?
Nico: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I had to. I had to go in and get the tone of how the movie was set, the characters that were going to be in the next movie. I had to have an understanding of what was going on. I remember the “Scary” movies coming out. It’s funny that I never put two and two together that it was spoofing the “Scream” movies.

HC: An added bonus: Now you understand “Scary Movie”!
Nico: Yeah. Now I get why they call him Officer Doofy!

Will you be seeing “Scream 4″ this weekend? Do you think Nico has major dreamboat potential? (We do!) Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!