Anyone could be the killer on Fox’s “Scream Queen’s,” and creator Ryan Murphy has already been preparing both his actors and future fans for the ultimate ultra-secret reveal.
“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,’” star Jamie Lee Curtis told TV critics on Thursday, “so that 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,” the actress was sure to repeat, before any journalists jumped to conclusions. “Which also keeps you on your toes and guessing.”
Also of interest during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour panel was Murphy’s reveal that Emma Roberts’ resident queen-bee character, Chanel, was born out of a sorority manifesto that went viral.
The email came from a sister at Delta Gamma sorority’s University of Maryland chapter and blew up the Internet in April 2013. It contained an expletive-filled, racist and homophobic rant about how members of the sorority were supposed to be behave.
“We were interested in mirroring that idea,” Murphy said. “Unlike that girl, who apologized and resigned, we wanted to bring our queen-bee character to some sort of awareness about her behavior.”
The show features Curtis as a mentor figure to a house full of sorority mean girls and awkward pledges. “Scream Queens” also stars Lea Michele, Keke Palmer, Abigail Breslin, Ariana Grande, Nasim Pedrad and Niecy Nash, among others.
As an anthology series, à la Murphy’s “American Horror Story,” the executive producer-writer-director says he’d be open to return some of the current cast members for a second season.
The dramedy will premiere with a two-hour series premiere episode on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.