Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox in Scream (2022)
"Everyone's been incredibly supportive," the actress, 48, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview surrounding her partnership with the American Red Cross, for which she participated in a PSA to help raise awareness about the need for blood donations.
After making her decision not to return as Sidney Prescott in the slasher franchise she helped launch in 1996, Campbell says she "reached out to Courteney [Cox] and Melissa [Barrera] and the directors to tell them how sorry I was that I wasn't going to be there, and that I love them and I hope they have a good experience."
"And they were very understanding, very supportive and also sad," she says.
Campbell also shouts out Jamie Kennedy, with whom she starred in the first three Scream films, saying his recent public support of her "was very poignant and very eloquent ... and it meant a great, great deal to me."
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Everett Collection Neve Campbell in Scream (1996)
"And [Matthew Lillard] and David [Arquette], and I mean, all of them made statements. It was very sweet," she tells PEOPLE. "We all care about each other a lot. We're all still dear friends and they felt it was unfortunate, what had happened as well. So I was very grateful for the support."
Campbell has appeared as Sidney in all five films after first playing the part in the original, directed by Wes Craven.
"Sadly I won't be making the next Scream film," she said in a June statement. "As a woman I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream. I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise."
"It's been a very difficult decision to move on. To all my Scream fans, I love you. You've always been so incredibly supportive to me. I'm forever grateful to you and to what this franchise has given me over the past 25 years," Campbell added.
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The actress maintains that "it was sad" for her to not return, telling PEOPLE, "I love these movies. I love Sidney. I love this franchise; I'm so grateful for it."
"But at the same time, I really just couldn't bear the idea of walking onto [the sixth film] and feeling undervalued," Campbell notes, saying her decision was "truly" just related to negotiations and had nothing to do with the script or role.
She's not ruling out a return to Woodsboro completely, though. "It would really depend on what they came to me with next," Campbell says. "It would have to be different. It would have to be a different attitude, and I'm not sure that's going to happen."
"If they came to me with a number that felt right, that felt respectful, that felt in keeping with my value that I brought to the franchise, I'd be willing to consider [returning in the future]," she adds. "I don't believe it's dead in the water, but we'll see."
Find out where to donate blood at the American Red Cross.