Like his hair and his gothic nails, the 26-year-old actor-singer-songwriter is wired and untamed. While David Arquette does have the Arquette family shy streak that has distinguished him in movies like "Beautiful Girls" and "Scream," he is nonetheless a mass of random energy, spontaneously switching chairs in the middle of conversation, passionately enunciating the lyrics of his own "happy punk" songs, talking in an emotional stream of consciousness about his actor siblings -- Rosanna, Richmond, Patricia, and Alexis. He also admits, with a proud giggle, that a few weeks ago he sang onstage with his band in the nude. "I'm a little wild," he says, "and a little nutty and a little self-destructive still. I'm a free spirit as far as I'll jump from one ledge to another just to test myself."
The occasion for Arquette's visit to Boston is Friday's release of "Dream With the Fishes," an independent movie that won him a swarm of buzz at this year's Sundance Film Festival. In the comedy-drama, directed by first-timer Finn Taylor, he plays a suicidal voyeur who forms a redemptive friendship with a fatally ill man played by Brad Hunt. Arquette says he invested a piece of his heart and soul in the role, and the last day of production spelled relief: "Throwing yourself into someone who's suicidal makes for a lot of negative self-esteem," he says. "OK, your job is to hate yourself.
What Arquette likes to do right now, on the eve of the filming of "Scream 2," is to make music, loud and driving rock 'n' roll. Seven months ago he started his band Ear 2000 with two friends, a bassist and a drummer, and the trio is already working on a CD and has a cut on the "Dream With the Fishes" soundtrack. Arquette is the frontman, singing his own lyrics and riffing on his trumpet. "As an actor, you play other people, engulfing yourself with someone who's not you and focusing on aspects you might not agree with," he says. "With music, you just get up there and do it. It's a chance for me to be myself. It's really revealing, the best artistic release I've ever had."
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