Lea Michele Says She Was Inspired by ‘SNL’ Women to Find Her ‘Scream Queens’ Character

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Lea Michele has gone from a sweet over-achiever in Glee, to a weird and homicidal sorority sister in Scream Queens – and she’s just loving all chances to play comedy.

[WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON 2 PREMIERE].

Speaking with Vulture magazine, Michele explained how she approached the physicality of playing her Scream Queens character Hester, and where she looked for the funny:

Just putting that neck brace on was the first step, because even the slightest movement in that neck brace looked hilarious. I did spend a lot of time in the mirror looking at what looked funny and what looked over-the-top. I think there’s a lot to be said about making a lot of a very simple movement. I grew up watching Gilda Radner, Cheri Oteri, even Molly Shannon, and then more recently Kristen Wiig, how she plays Gilly. These SNL characters — I was obsessed with female comedians. Even male comedians, I watched every Jim Carrey movie growing up. That’s really where I picked up how to be funny in physical comedy and find that fine line between over-the-top and being really hilarious. I was able to draw upon a lot of that playing with Hester and working with this prop, working with the neck brace, then the combination with the incredible writing and the fantastic cast.

Lea-Michele-Hester-Scream-Queens
CREDIT: FOX

As for what’s in store for Hester in Season 2, Michele dished:

She is locked up. We saw in the premiere that, finally, Denise Hemphill was able to solve the mystery of who really was the Red Devil, and we find out in the end that it was Hester. She gets taken away, and so I spent the last few days of production and filming in my fabulous glass cell. Very Silence of the Lambs. It’s been such a great story line this season. I had the best time last year getting to play Hester, basically in three different roles. I was Hester with the neck brace. I was Hester as a Chanel, and then I got to play the real Hester, which you see growing up with Gigi and Boone. Now, on the same television show, I’m getting to play another version of this character in a mental institution, and honestly as an actor, as an actress, to have such amazing material being given to me that I can just play with every season is a gift. This season, because now what happens once the killer starts to kill more of the patients, the girls realize that the best way to figure out the mind of a murderer is to talk to another murderer.

Read the whole interview here, and tune into the premiere of Scream Queens Tuesday, Sept. 27 on FOX!