A se­rial killer on the loose can be a real scream

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH -

It is fun play­ing a bad­die. Just ask Emma Roberts who stars in Scream Queens from Glee and Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story cre­ator Ryan Mur­phy.

Roberts, who starred in Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story sea­sons Coven and Freak Show, plays Chanel Ober­lin, leader of the Kappa soror­ity at Wal­lace Univer­sity in the hor­ror com­edy.

Ober­lin lords it over her soror­ity minions (her term) — Chanel #2 (Ariana Grande), Chanel #3 (Bil­lie Lourd), and Chanel #5 (Abi­gail Bres­lin).

Univer­sity dean Cathy Mun­sch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is de­ter­mined to crush Ober­lin. She launches a plan to de­stroy the ex­clu­sive soror­ity by mak­ing it com­pul­sory to ac­cept any­one who wants to pledge.

“You’re about to get hazed harder than a sub­ur­ban ban­quet hall dur­ing bar mitz­vah sea­son,” is just one of the zingers Ober­lin aims at un­wanted pledgers in­clud­ing sco­l­io­sis suf­ferer Hester Ul­rich ( Glee star Lea Michele).

“She (Chanel) is a b---- for want of a bet­ter word, but it is re­ally fun to play be­cause there is so much com­edy (in Scream Queens),” Roberts says. “We (cast) were sur­prised by how laugh-out-loud funny the script is.”

The in­spi­ra­tion for Scream Queens came from a real-life in­ci­dent — an ex­ple­tive-filled, ho­mo­pho­bic and racist email from a soror­ity sis­ter at the Univer­sity of Mary­land that went vi­ral in 2013.

“We were in­ter­ested in mir­ror­ing that idea,” Mur­phy says. “Un­like that girl, who apol­o­gised and re­signed, we wanted to bring our queen bee char­ac­ter to some sort of aware­ness about her be­hav­iour.

“(Emma’s char­ac­ter) is pre­tend­ing to be some­thing she’s not and part of the fun of that char­ac­ter is peel­ing away those lay­ers as we go on to see the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties she has and ex­plain why she is this way.”

Scream Queens’ kicker is that there is a se­rial killer on the loose at the soror­ity house, wreak­ing vengeance for another mur­der 20 years ago. There will be buck­ets of blood spilt each week.

Curtis was the first ac­tor signed by Mur­phy. She had long been la­belled Hol­ly­wood’s scream queen for her star­ring role as babysit­ter Lau­rie Strode in the Hal­loween movies. The young cast are in awe.

“I could never imag­ine I would be do­ing a TV show with her”, Keke Palmer ( True Jack­son, VP), who plays brainiac Zay­day Wil­liams, says. “I grew up watch­ing ev­ery last one of Hal­loween, my sis­ter and I, that’s a fact. We love her. Ride or die for Jamie Lee. She is cool as hell, I’ll tell you that.”

SCREAM QUEENS, CHAN­NEL 10, TONIGHT, 9PM; ELEVEN, TONIGHT, 10PM.

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