Who Is Grace On 'Scream Queens'? Skyler Samuels Will Need Her 'Nine Lives' To Survive The Bloody Series
Judging by the promos for FOX's upcoming Glee-meets-American Horror Story slasher series Scream Queens, you'd be forgiven for thinking that AHS veteran Emma Roberts was the star of the show. Or original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis. Or Glee's own Lea Michele. Or any of the other big name stars like Abigail Breslin, Ariana Grande, or Nick Jonas. But while these actors may get a lot of screen time — especially Roberts as hellacious sorority sister Chanel Oberlin — none of them is the true star. After all, Chanel is too villainous to be our heroine. That honor belongs to Skyler Samuels, who plays Scream Queens' Grace Gardner. But who exactly is she?
Fair question. Her name may not be as immediately recognizable as many of her costars, but her face probably will be to a large portion of Scream Queens' audience. The 21-year-old Los Angeles native — who put Stanford on hold to film the new series — made her Hollywood debut when she was only 10, in a 2004 episode of Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh, titled "Little Diva." (And yes, she did play the titular pint-sized prima donna.) The next year, she made the jump over to the Disney Channel, guest starring on a series of popular shows like The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody, That's So Raven, and Wizards Of Waverly Place, on which she recurred as tyrannical queen bee Gigi.
In 2010, Samuels graduated from perennial guest star to main player, joining the cast of the supernatural ABC drama The Gates, on which she starred as a succubus alongside future Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes as — what else? — a werewolf. Sadly, The Gates was cancelled after one 13-episode season. Samuels next tried her luck in the lead role of ABC Family's The Nine Lives Of Chloe King, a member of an ancient race called the Mai, gifted with cat-like powers. Despite positive reception and a Teen Choice Award nomination for Samuels, it turned out that Nine Lives only had one life after all, getting the axe after one 10-episode season.
Throughout this time, Samuels also appeared in a few feature films, including the 2009 horror remake The Stepfather, the 2010 Brendan Fraser comedy Furry Vengeance, and this year's Mae Whitman (Parenthood) and Robbie Amell (The Flash) romcom The Duff. But the role that most Ryan Murphy acolytes will recognize the young actress from is her recurring part on Season 4 of American Horror Story. Samuels appeared in the first four episodes of Freak Show as Bonnie, a young girl who was abducted by Twisty the Clown. Fortunately, Bonnie escaped the homicidal clown's clutches with her life — which bodes well for her character's chances in Scream Queens.
Grace Gardner may very well need nine lives to survive the bloody freshman season of Ryan Murphy's newest horror show. Good for her, then, that she's played by an actress as plucky and resourceful as Samuels.
Images: Jill Greenberg, Steve Dietl/FOX; Giphy