Courteney Cox and David Arquette
03/24/2011 AT 12:50 PM EDT
They may have been at work – but Courteney Cox
and David Arquette's lingering affection
for each other still came across.
The estranged couple often looked at one another, smiled and shared a few quiet laughs during a short press conference Wednesday for Scream 4
at L.A.'s Mondrian Hotel.
When asked what was special about filming this movie, which opens April 15, both actors said it came down to family – even though theirs has been in major upheaval
over the past year.
"There's a real family feeling," said Arquette, 39. "Especially with Courteney being married and having a kid [their 6-year-old daughter Coco], it just brings an honesty, and that is really my favorite part of acting."
"It felt very natural," added Cox, 46. "We have had 10 more years of experience of acting, so I was that much more confident. I am now a mom, and I am just different person, but it's coming back with your family. You know each other, and you kind of just get right back into it and [are] better than you were last time."
Cox even compared her onscreen relationship with Arquette – she plays Gail Weathers to his Dewey Riley – to their offscreen life.
"It is so funny that he is so earnest and she is so out to get ahead," she says. "It is just a very odd pairing, and so are we. Well, we are not really, but we kind of are. I love playing Gail. She is probably the most fun to play when it comes to playing a real character."