Of all of the Scream Queens characters known at this time, Emma Roberts’ Chanel Oberlin is probably the most well-known and that is thanks in no small part to Ms. Roberts acting talents and hard work, but Scream Queens creator Ryan Murphy reveals that Emma’s character has real life inspiration.
The source of that inspiration for Roberts’ Scream Queens character came in the form of an email sent out by a sister of the Delta Gamma sorority at the University of Maryland. The email, setting guidelines for the proper behavior of the sorority’s present and future sisters, was reportedly more of a rant complete with cursing and derogatory assertions.
“We were interested in mirroring that idea,” said Murphy. “Unlike that girl, who apologized and resigned, we wanted to bring our queen bee character to some sort of awareness about her behavior.”
The Scream Queens creator also revealed that the idea for the new series came about, while he was involved with his first horror anthology, American Horror Story, and it was the theme of the Coven season that really led to the concept of Scream Queens‘ sorority. Murphy had talks with Fox executives about spinning off Coven into its own series, but, when that didn’t appeal to his bosses, Murphy instead revamped it into the new Scream Queens series.
Eventually, Ryan Murphy acted on his desire to bring in Jamie Lee Curtis to star alongside Emma Roberts on Scream Queens as the university’s dean and also as a kind of a mentor to the sorority girls.
“I’m trying to live and work with a group of young women, it’s a very different… Wendy Wasserstein would love this show,” Scream Queens‘ Curtis said, alluding to the famous feminist and playwright. “It’s saying it like it is right now. And to be honest, the way it is right now is challenging. The show is going to expose that and create a dialogue. Not to get heavy. It’s super funny! But it will ask the question, and it’s an important question to be asked in today’s society. This is going to expose that in a very big way.”
Jamie Lee Curtis also revealed the unique way in which Scream Queens has been filmed, while attending the Fox TCA panel in Los Angeles.
“Every single actor in every single scene at some point is given one direction, which is: ‘OK, now do the scene as if you’re the killer.’ They actually have a bank of interpretations where you can then go back and thread the whole show together and would actually knit the killer’s vest, with each character.”
“I’m not the only person who’s been given that direction — every actor on the show. Which also keeps you on your toes and guessing,” Jamie Lee Curtis later added.
The series premiere of Scream Queens airs on Tuesday, September 22, on Fox.
[Featured image: Emma Roberts courtesy of Fox/Scream Queens]