×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Keke Palmer on ‘Scream Queens’: ‘It’s a Dream Come True’

Former Nickelodeon star Keke Palmer, who rose to fame on “True Jackson VP,” will be scaring up a whole new fandom on “Scream Queens,” from executive producer Ryan Murphy. The singer stars as the confident co-ed Zayday, who gets talked into pledging the sorority by her roommate Grace (Skyler Samuels).

How did you get cast?

It was kind of random. Ryan called my agent to see if it was something I was interested in. We met up, he told me a little bit about the show, to see what I wanted to do as an actor, what I was looking for. I told him I’d been wanting to do comedy for a very long time. I did it with “True Jackson” but hadn’t been able to do as an adult. So I was really looking forward to getting an opportunity like that. He was immediately like, “You are who I think this character is.” Next thing I knew, I was doing this show.

What has the experience been like?

It’s been a dream come true. You get to grow on the show. You get to be a part of creating your character. The way the writers go about it, they input part of who you are – and they exaggerate it. Whether it’s more funny or more dramatic, they just take little bits and expand on them. It makes it fun for you because you get to go deeper into that part of you that you didn’t know was there.

What is it like working with Ryan Murphy?

It’s really different working with Ryan. He’s the type of director that lets you do your thing. That can be nervewracking as an actor because depending on your experience, you might have been with a lot of directors who over-direct or directors who are very specific. It’s not very often that you get directors like Ryan who trust you so much with what he feels you can do with the character that he lets you go off the rails a bit. It was scary at first when I first start working with him. But then I realized what he was doing was make me independent as an actor. He brought out the best out in me.

Are you enjoying it?

It’s what I need for this time. Right now, at this stage in my career, I need someone who’s allowing me to be creative. It’s a great time for me to expand on my abilities.

What have you learned from working with Jamie Lee Curtis?

She’s the coolest lady. There’s nothing you can ever say negative about someone like her. She’s the sweetest person you could ever meet. I wasn’t on set for a couple of days and she was like, “You were really missed. Where’s our Keke?” She’s such a class act. She teaches us girls coming up how to be. She sets a great example. I’m blessed in my career to work with people like that.

What about the rest of the cast?

We don’t spent too much time partying around. New Orleans is the bomb! Every now and then we go out, but there’s too much work to do. Most of my scenes are with Skyler (Samuels), so I’m closest to her. And Lucien Laviscount, since my scenes are with him, too.

Are you a fan of horror films?

I grew up loving horror films. But I had to step away since I didn’t want all that negative stuff in my psyche. I didn’t want to conceptualize those thoughts into my life.

But “Scream Queens” really sends up that genre. The girls take charge!

It’s a really smart look at our generation. I’m all about our generation and the emotions of the millennials, and Ryan has a great grasp on our generation. He has a great way of making light of it and poking fun at it without being disrespectful. They have a good way of offering an inside look that other people wouldn’t know. If there’s a gay character, you think you know that character, but then you realize these stereotypes and judgments are not real and there’s a lot more depth. Emma (Roberts) is playing the rich girl, but she’s more than that. We’ll give you what we assume to be the stereotype, but there’s so much more than that. And I really appreciate that. It’s good to have that on (broadcast) where so any people are going to see it. They’re going to be exposed to so many kinds of people in a way they never have before.

More TV

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” The major television trophies went to “The Americans,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homeland” and “Barry” for the [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content