First Look: Lea Michele gets dramatic transformation for Scream Queens

Scream Queens follows a sorority, which includes Michele’s character, being stalked by a vicious killer.

“Her name is Hester,” reveals Murphy. “She plays a girl with scoliosis and a neckbrace, whose nickname is Neckbrace—Emma’s character just calls her “Neckbrace.” It’s a real Eve Harrington part for Lea. This girl wants everything Chanel (Emma Roberts) has and will do anything to get it. Lea calls it her Charlize Theron Monster moment. We won’t let her put on any make up and she wears these horrible 1995 tracksuits. But there’s a great turn that happens half-way through the season with that character.”

Roberts says Michele is nailing the new role. “I can’t look at Lea in a scene because she makes me laugh,” admits Roberts. “She’s so funny. We’ll be doing a scene where I’ll be giving everyone my death glare and I’ll have to skip Lea because I’ll start cracking up. It’s been really fun to work with her because I was such a fan of Glee. Her and I have really hit it off.”

I probably would not [consider working with Ryan Murphy again on a series] because my involvement with any of those shows would just seem like a Glee reunion [laughs], rather than an exciting, new project. I’m kind of just looking forward to different exciting things.

“Everyone else was starting to panic. Jessica was just reclining. Doing her email, emailing her three children. I said, ‘How can you be so calm?’ And she said 'Well, I’ve had a pretty good run.’”

– Ryan Murphy, recounting when the power failed on a small plane that he and Jessica Lange were on. (Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2014)

I was 18 but my dad was still driving me because I was too afraid to drive in LA at the time. I will never forget – Lea Michele, who I’d never met before, was in a Mini Cooper in front of us pulling onto the lot. I recognized her instantly because I was obsessed with Spring Awakening when I was like 14. We both got turned away because we weren’t allowed to park on the lot. She was in the callback with me and I could hear her singing in the next room over. I went in, and the rest was history. There’s a whole story about how Ryan [Murphy] saw me and said, “Why do I have a feeling you’ve been in The Sound of Music?” I sang and made a joke about my hometown, and the rest is history.