It’s no secret that I’m a huge Ryan Murphy fan.
From Popular and Nip/Tuck right through to American Horror Story, I’ve been a dedicated watcher of his shows for years, hanging onto every bit of biting dialogue and becoming equally engrossed in the most outlandish song and dance numbers, gruesome deaths and confronting sex scenes. You could imagine my delight last year upon hearing that Murphy, along with Glee co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, were working on a new series, the aptly titled Scream Queens.
Due to premiere September 22 (9pm on Fox), the horror-comedy anthology series’ first season will focus on the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority at Wallace University as its members come under threat by a murderer in a Red Devil mask, which may have something to do with a 20-year old murder mystery involving the same sorority.
Murphy has never had a problem luring big talent to his projects, and Scream Queens will see him both reuniting with familiar faces and launching the status of rising stars. To prep your soon-to-be-blown mind for the two-hour premiere next week, here’s a breakdown of the show’s key ‘scream queens’ and the brilliant actresses cast to play them.
- Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin
In the role that she was born to play, Emma Roberts is set to shine as Kappa Kappa Tau president Chanel Oberlin – the queen of mean girls with a penchant for pastels. This is Roberts’ third time working with Murphy having slayed the role of Madison Montgomery in AHS: Coven and dazzled as Maggie Esmerelda in AHS: Freak Show. Her casting is also interesting considering that Roberts played the surprise villain in Scream 4. Whether Chanel ends up being the murderer or not, there’s no doubt that Roberts will offer killer delivery on every magnificently cruel line.
- Jamie Lee Curtis as Cathy Munsch
The reason this majestic show even came to fruition is thanks to the always game Jamie Lee Curtis – star of 1978’s Halloween (not to mention four of its sequels). Not only is she one of horror’s greatest final girls, but Curtis’ mother Janet Leigh was the OG scream queen in her time thanks to the iconic shower scene in Psycho.
In Scream Queens, Curtis plays Cathy Munsch; the dean of Wallace University who has a major axe to grind with Kappa Kappa Tau. The actress recently shared a photo of herself recreating the same shower scene that cemented her mother’s place in cinema history, and will air as part of a special episode.
- Skyler Samuels as Grace Gardner
This star in the making might look familiar to AHS: Freak Show fans having played Bonnie Lipton in the latest series (the girl who Twisty held captive to entertain/terrorise). This time she’s stepped into lead role status as Grace Gardner; a Kappa Pledge whose interest in joining the nasty sorority has more to do with feeling closer to her mother who was a previous member.
- Keke Palmer as Zayday Williams
When asked by Grace in the trailer if she wants to pledge Kappa, genius student Zayday Williams hilariously replies “girl I’d rather die”. She might get her wish considering this is a horror series. Zayday is portrayed by Keke Palmer who, according to the AHS: Hotel and Scream Queens panel at this year’s SDCC, is a huge fan of AHS’s first season. Zayday has been touted as ambitious and highly intelligent – two traits you’ll need if you want to survive the world of Scream Queens.
- Lea Michele as Hester Ulrich
Scream Queens marks Glee alum Lea Michele’s second time working with Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan, but don’t expect this talented songstress to bust out a haunting melody. Michele is playing Hester Ulrich; a Kappa pledge who dons a neckbrace as a result of scoliosis. Desperate to fit in with Chanel and her clique, it’s been hinted that Hester will undergo quite the transformation halfway through the season.
- Ariana Grande as Chanel #2, Billie Lourd as Chanel #3 and Abigail Breslin as Chanel #5
Since Chanel Oberlin doesn’t bother to learn the names of her minions and fellow Kappa sisters, Grande, Lourd and Breslin’s characters are known as ‘The Chanels’. Not much has been revealed about this exclusive clique, but I have a few thoughts to share:
- Ariana Grande (Chanel #2) is confirmed for only three episodes which probably has more to do with the fact that Grande’s music career is BOOMING rather than her willingness to commit to the full 15 episodes. However, this also makes me think that Chanel #2 could be one of the first characters to be killed off.
- Billie Lourd’s character Chanel #3 is often seen wearing earmuffs for reasons I haven’t yet figured out, but it could be a way of paying homage to Princess Leia who was played by Lourd’s mother Carrie Fisher.
- From Little Miss Sunshine to Scream Queens, Abigail Breslin has gracefully grown up in a hard industry, coming out a very capable actress whose full range hasn’t even been unleashed yet. Chanel #5 is said to be highly neurotic, which should play out hilariously as the murderous events unfold.
Prepare for laugh-out-loud moments and spine tingling horror when Scream Queens debuts on September 22.