‘Scream Queens’ Gives A Fresh Look, Says Horror Icon Jamie Lee Curtis

Caution: This article may contain spoilers for Scream Queens.

Ryan Murphy has said himself that Scream Queens was created with horror icon Jamie Lee Curtis in mind. Had Ms. Curtis declined to participate in the project, Scream Queens may have been scrapped altogether. Ms. Curtis did agree to participate. More than that, Jamie Lee has gone on record, giving Scream Queens a firm thumbs up.

“This is first off a comedy. A lot of things pretend to be comedies, want to be called a comedy, there are comic situations, but they don’t make you laugh. This makes you laugh from the beginning. And then, it’s really scary. The horror trope is well-served here – the classic use of camera, sound, visuals – to convey real terror. So, there’s a sequence that’s generally scary, but then in the middle of it, there’s something really funny that happens that you laugh at and then it just gets incredibly dark, violent and scary.”

Murphy hosted a special screening of the first hour of Scream Queens on Wednesday. Speaking at a reception following that Scream Queens screening, Ryan acknowledged his desire to pay homage of horror of the 80s and 90s while also hoping to create something new and fresh.

“Back in the ’80s, this scream queen thing was a genre unto itself. It was Halloween, Friday the 13th, always a big feminist parable wrapped around horror and I loved that and people haven’t done that in a while. I love when Halloween comes and AMC comes on with all the Halloweens and I’ll watch them over and over and over. I love that tradition.”

Ms. Curtis plays the college dean in Scream Queens, and as the primary authority figure, Curtis’ character finds herself caught up in a battle of wills with the sorority queen, portrayed by Emma Roberts. Jamie Lee recognizes the posh elegance portrayed by Roberts’ character and the polished feel to the Scream Queens series as a whole.

“This show shows their devotion to that genre with this modern lens over it: writing, culture, fashion. They are steeped in the genre and then they’ve been able to modernize it.”

Adding to the roster of scream queens, Ryan Murphy has also brought in Charisma Carpenter to star as Ariana Grande’s mother. Ms. Carpenter is familiar with horror-themed television, having starred most notably as Cordelia Chase in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the spin-off Angel.

The two-hour series premiere of Scream Queens will air on September 22 on FOX.

[Featured image: Jamie Lee Curtis courtesy of Steve Dietl/FOX]

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