Lucien Laviscont Heats Up The Small Screen
For months, billboards of Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens have been placed just about anywhere, from Los Angeles to New York City. You’ve most likely seen it on the side of a bus, inside the a subway car, above Sunset Boulevard’s famed Chateau Marmont, on lollipop wrappers, and perhaps most recently–on an alternating digital billboard.
The brilliant ad campaign for the television series features a few of its stars posing comedically and seductively, but most of all, nonchalantly with bloodied hands. They’re captivating, fun, sexy, and resemble the humor of 1999’s Jawbreaker, which told the story of a group of teenage girls who accidentally kill their best friend during a birthday prank.
Scream Queens is sure to be on the gory side of things, judging by its ad campaign and multiple TV spots and teasers. In fact, it could single-handedly herald the arrival of a new genre in television. With its list of stars gracing the call-sheet, not to mention its creator’s track record in the realm of horror, it’s quite hard not to be excited. Aiming to bring a whole new meaning to “highly-anticipated”, the dark comedy will introduce a couple of new faces, while also bringing back to the small screen some Murphy favorites in the form of Lea Michelle and Emma Roberts.
Among those faces in the series premiere you can expect to see 23-year-old Lucien Laviscount, which like his character on the show, is an ambitious lad hailing from the UK. Also like Laviscount, the character has quite the memorable name: Earl Grey. “Earl is a mysterious kid, who comes to Wallace University and becomes a part of a fraternity,” explains Laviscount.
According to searchable online factoids and what can be gleaned from a slew of promotional materials, season one of Scream Queens will follow a fictitious Kappa Kappa Tau sorority after the 20th-anniversary of a student’s death results in the reemergence of the “Red Devil”, a masked serial killer trawling the university for new prey.
Laviscount assures us the horror is real both on paper and off. “I like to refer to the vibe of the show as “bubble-gum with blood,” he jokes. “You think everything’s going great, everyone’s laughing because it’s all silly and crazy and then out of nowhere–bam! the ax comes out.” One of the first teasers to be released featured pop-star Ariana Grande in what seemed to be her character’s last moments alive. Though the clip was short, the fear seemed real.
“When you’re on set, it really does feel like you’re walking into a horror movie,” says the on-screen member of The Dollar Scholar fraternity. “There’s not much acting needed. Not to mention, the special effects and props around set… It gets really realistic. So you’re sitting there in the midst of all this. It’s real sweat that you see coming off of us.”
Reminiscent of Murphy’s Glee, and true to its collegiate setting, Scream Queens’ cast has been plucked straight out of Young Hollywood’s most desirable list. When presented with this reality and the fact that real-life Hollywood scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis joins in on the bloody fun, it’s not surprising that the show has picked up so much buzz and momentum even before its series premiere. Laviscount admits that even though the majority of the cast is much younger, the shock factor of Curtis’ involvement is still impactful.
“I think no matter what age, from the younger cast members to the older ones, when Jamie Lee [Curtis] is on set, we’re all just fascinated by that aspect alone.”
He also admits to being just as excited about the show’s arrival on September 22nd as the rest of us. “New Orleans, where we film–it’s a heavy, buzzing town and so we’re finding out things at the same pace as everyone else,” he says. “One moment we’ll be on set, and everyone retreats back to their trailers and rooms and a half an hour later, someone’s coming out like ‘Did you see this?’ [or] ‘Have you seen that?’ The energy’s been really good and positive.”
And just like everyone else, Laviscont isn’t clued-in on the identity of the killer. “Ryan [Murphy] is the only person that knows! So every time a script comes out, we’re so excited because we don’t know who’s going to die. I think it keeps it interesting,” he confesses. However, that hasn’t stopped him from coming up with his own idea as to who’s behind the Red Devil mask. “I’m going to go with Jamie Lee! It’s gotta be Jamie Lee, that’s it.”
In the spirit of confession, Laviscont also makes another revelation: he’s quite the scaredy cat. “I’m a jumpy person. So when I hear a loud noise, even on set, I’m off right away. Anything that jumps out at me, I’m a bit of a frightened mess. I can hold it down, but it scares me,” he says, laughing. “So, when it comes to the topic of scary movies, I only go as far as…Well…Scary Movie. Does that count?” he gamely asks. Good question.
Another terrific question might be, whom do you think dons the Red Devil mask?
Photography by Ricky Middlesworth
Styling Franzy Staedter
Grooming Grace Phillips
Production Bello Media Group | Words by Dio Anthony