Interview with Skyler Samuels of "The Nine Lives of Chloe King" on ABC Family - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite
 

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By Suzanne

Skyler Samuels

Interview with Skyler Samuels of "The Nine Lives of Chloe King" on ABC Family 6/9/11.

Skyler played a succubus in a really cool summer show that ABC ran last year, "The Gates". I loved that show, and I am still so annoyed that they canceled it. It was like "Knots Landing" with vampires and werewolves.  Anyway, I'm glad that she was able to find another show. She is so young and yet so talented. I really enjoyed chatting with her about her new show, "The Nine Lives of Chloe King". So far I am enjoying that show a lot, too.

Read my Review of the show!

Moderator Can you tell us what we can expect this season?

Skyler Well, this first season of The Nine Lives of Chloe King is filled with adventures, thrills, romance, comedy and drama, and a lot of heartfelt relationships. There is nothing predictable about this first season. Itís filled with a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and it will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Moderator How did you become involved in the project?

Skyler I had an audition for this show back in the fall of 2010, and I went in and I just fell in love. I loved the pilot before, and I was just, I was just in love with the script. Chloe and I have so much in common. I could hear my own voice in the things she said and did.

And a super-embarrassing storyówhen I walked in on the audition, I introduced myself as Chloe. I was totally embarrassed because I accidently said Chloe instead of my own name, but sure enough, they agreed, because here I am playing Chloe King, and Iím having the time of my life.

Moderator Iím curious if you read the books to sort of prepare for your role.

Skyler I have read the books. I read them before we started the pilot to get a little bit of a background about the show. But in all honesty, weíve taken a lot of creative liberties with the books and our adaptations of the TV show. We kind of have a lot of the same basic ideas as the booksósome of the mythology, a lot of the main characters are still the same. But weíve taken a lot of liberties in making it more exciting, and more action-oriented, and really spicing it up. So I think that the fans of the book will really appreciate what weíve done with the show.

Moderator Has it been a challenge for you playing sort of an element of the supernatural?

Skyler Playing a supernatural is more realistic than I thought it would be. Itís a lot of fun, absolutely, because having super hearing and super vision and super speed and all of the super things you can have is certainly not normal, and itís a lot of fun. But on this show, it always comes back to something very realistic that I can relate to from my own life. So itís been not as difficult as I thought it would be to play the supernatural. Itís been quite fun and easy.

Moderator You were on The Gates, and I love that show. I was wondering is there any kind of conscious attempt on your part to play in supernatural-type TV shows, or did it just work out that way?

Skyler I had a great time working on The Gates, and that was my first kind of real experience doing supernatural televisionóworking with the special effects and the storylines and everything that goes into making a supernatural show. It was kind of complete coincidence that I ended up on The Nine Lives of Chloe King.

I guess I must be subconsciously drawn to the supernatural realm, but Iíve had a lot of fun, and one characteróeach character is not like the rest. Theyíre all different and they all have different powers and abilities. Iíve had a really fun time following the supernatural, and Iím certainly enjoying the experience.

Moderator We actually have two cats here at our midtown Manhattan offices, so this first one comes from them. Your character is described as having cat-like superpowers, and they would like to know if you, in real life, had those powers, which ones would you choose?

Skyler You can tell the cats at the office Iím jealous of the claws. I wish I had claws, just because how cool would that be? But among my cat-like powers, I also would probably like to have super speed, just so I can get more done in a day. It seems like a much more practical superpower to me.

Moderator Would you share with us your guilty pleasure TV show?

Skyler Oh, my goodness. My guilty pleasure TV show would have to be Glee. Iím weirdly addicted to the show, and I couldnít explain it to you if I tried. Iíve never been a big musical buff, or anything, but I find myself week after week, no matter what, tuning into Glee. So thatís definitely my TV go-see pleasure.

Moderator Did you ever watch any supernatural/paranormal shows growing up?

Skyler Oh, there were supernatural movies, like the Hocus Pocus and Luck of Witches and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. So I had a little bit of supernatural influence when I was growing up and watching TV. But I never thought anything different of it, compared to the rest of the shows I might watch. The supernatural never struck me as something that I really wanted to do; I just kind of fell into it by accident.

Moderator Can you describe Chloe?

Skyler Sure. Well, Chloe is definitely more of a superhero than a supernatural creature. On her 16th birthday when she discovered that sheís got these heightened abilitiesóthe super speed, super hearing, and these claws, and sheís got, you know, the ability to read peoplesí feelings. This incredible combination kind of leads Chloe to want to help people who are in trouble.

So even though Chloe finds herself running from bad guys and the ones who are trying to kill her because Iím this special girl who can die nine times and people are trying to see if itís true, and theyíre trying to get rid of me and the rest of our feline race, the Mai. Chloe still finds herself trying to help people and save peoplesí lives using her heightened abilities. So sheís constantly torn between the chase and having to save the day.

Moderator What character traits of Chloe King that mimics your own?

Skyler Chloe and I are both kind of quirky, odd balls out that donít exactly go with the status quo. Weíre both juniors in high school full time, and weíve got quirky best friends and awesome relationships with our moms. But I think the biggest difference and the thing I admire most about Chloe is her willingness to just be adventurous, and take a risk, and do these incredible things. So, Chloeís like Skyler, but amplified and I kind of love it.

Moderator Is there any characteristic of Chloe that is complex that you had to take time to adjust to it?

Skyler I think Chloe definitely has challenged me as far as the situations that she goes through. Chloe is always involved in situations where itís life and death, and I think having to put myself in the fear factor mode is definitely a challenge. But itís been really interesting trying to adapt to that and trying to get into Chloeís head and be like, ďWhat does it feel like to be in this life and death situation? What would I do? How would I handle it?Ē So thatís definitely been a challenge; but a fun one.

Moderator Have you had a chance to see many of the episodes yet, yourself?

Skyler No, Iíve seen the first episode; the pilot, which is very cool. But Iíve seen little bits and pieces and I work all the time. But, we just started episode eight this week, and itís amazing to me, because looking back at what the pilot is, itís like a completely different show.

I mean, the pilot is exciting, and itís both thrill and adventure. But when I look at where weíve come nowóI mean this season has just taken the most incredible twists and turns. I think our audience is going to be really pleased with how this season ends.

Moderator In watching the pilot, and also just in shooting it, do you think it feels kind of more like a supernatural show, or an adventure show, or a teen series? Or does it have kind of more a lean one way or another, or is it just a big blend?

Skyler Well, when I first saw the pilot I cried. I was so excited at what I saw. I mean, making it, I had the most incredible time, and to see it all put together, it was better than I could have hoped for. It was absolutely magnificent. It had everything that I dreamt and thought it would.

It was filled with real emotion and realistic relationships between my friends, my mom and I, all the people on the show. Itís a very grounded show, and thereís a lot of heart. The action was incredible, andI was like Chloe King is officially the coolest girl I know. Thereís just no contest. So I think it totally encompasses everything youíd want in an hour of television.

Moderator How did you get started in acting?

Skyler Well, Iím from Los Angeles, and growing up here Iíve always been enamored by Hollywood and the industry. Itís just something I grew up with, and I loved it. Iíve always just been drawn to itójust an inexplicable attraction I have, and I just love. I want to be on the screen, I want to play dress up every day, I want be different people, I want to have fun, I want to use my imagination.

When I was little, about eight years ago, I got started, and slowly just going out and audition, starting out with comedy and kind of getting into other things. I just, I fell in love. Now Iím 17 years old and Iíve been doing this for more than half my life, and itís what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Moderator What would be kind of your ultimate dream role? Other than this show, if you could pick anything.

Skyler I think I would love to do a role where I completely transformed myself and I looked completely different, acted completely different, and I did some kind of crazy, cool, action drama where I was like undercover saving the world. I guess itís got a hint of Chloe King, but maybe a little more spiced up.

Moderator If you had someone that doesnít necessarily watch the supernatural, and doesnít necessarily believe in it, or itís not really their thing, how would you describe the show to get them to tune into it?

Skyler Well, I think that the really cool thing about The Nine Lives of Chloe King is that while it has a lot of supernatural elements and Chloe is kind of a superhero, herself, it is not all about the supernatural. I mean, this show, week-to-week, deals with the struggles of Chloe trying to manage her relationship with her mom. Her momís a single mom trying to raise a teenage girl, and so that presents a lot of difficulties, as in what that brings when her mom starts dating, and how does Chloe feel about getting a new dad, and how can she maintain relationships with her friends in high school as they go through all these changes?

And how can you maintain a relationship with a boy you really like if you canít really be with him. Thereís a lot of realistic, really grounded, heartfelt relationships and dynamics on this show to the point where the supernatural elements donít even strike you. Itís like it all just seems to blend in and make sense.

Moderator What was it about Chloe that when you first read the script or got the sides for her that really made you want to play her?

Skyler When I read the pilot I sat down and I donít think Iíve ever read anything so fast in my entire life. I was completely just eyes glued to the page, and I just kept turning and turning, and it got more and more exciting. When I finished it, all I could think was, Chloe King is the girl I would fantasize about and I would dream to be. Sheís fearless, sheís fun, sheís funny, and sheís quirky, and sheís honest, and sheís cool.

Just everything about her I was like, I want to look up to her and sheís totally a role model in my mind. Iíve got to be this girl, you know, sheís incredible. Iím a lot more cautious than Chloe is, and Chloeís kind of taught me how it can be fun to take a risk. The things Iíve done playing Chloe King have been some of the most incredible experiences of my entire life. So Iím just so thrilled to be Chloe.

Moderator When youíre doing the show, do you often get to ad lib, or do you follow the script? How does that work with this show?

Skyler We have a variation. Certainly we mostly follow the script, but I think the fun is now being almost at the end of the season, weíve had the ability to kind of ad lib quirky things because weíve really developed our characters. So everyone kind of has their idioms, so to speak. So, weíll throw those in here and there. But the writers on this show are absolutely fantastic, and they write in a way thatís just so real and believable. Itís not like watching actors say lines; itís like watching two people have a real conversation.

Moderator Whatís been your favorite either moment, or favorite scene you filmed?

Skyler Well, thereís been a lot of really cool favorite moments, but I think one of the most incredible scenes that weíve done was in our third episode we shot underwater, and I was chained up underwater for part of the episode. That was probably the most exciting and frightening thing Iíve ever done, but it was absolutely incredible.

Every week weíve got all these big fight sequences, and that one happened to involve an underwater element, which I thought was so fun. And it was absolutely incredible to film.

Moderator Just quickly, are you on Twitter?

Skyler Itís funny you should say that, because I actually just started a Twitter a couple of days ago. Iím really not that good at using it, but Iíve put out a few tweets and Iím quite proud of what Iím able to do. So you can tweet me. If I can figure it out Iíll absolutely tweet you back.

Moderator Whatís the account name?

Skyler Itís @Skylerofficialó all one word.

Moderator So Chloe King debuts with Pretty Little Liars next week. How do you feel that the show sort of fits in to the ABC Family Network?

Skyler Well, ABC Family has an absolutely incredible job in producing these hit shows. The ABC Family is where the good stuffís at. Iím so excited to be a part of this network because theyíve really done a great job introducing shows that are heartfelt, that are exciting, that are kind of everything youíd want; everyday thereís something new and thereís something great to watch.

But being paired with Pretty Little Liars is a high honor, in my opinion. Iím so excited, and I think itís going to be really great, because I feel like the ABC Family audience, while theyíve gotten a lot of really great shows like Pretty Little Liars and now Switched at Birth, theyíve never had a genre show before. Theyíve never had action in the way that Chloe King has action, and excitement, and thrills. So I think Chloe King will only add to the excitement of being great shows on ABC Family.

Moderator Do you have a favorite moment from shooting the pilot?

Skyler When we were filming the pilot there was a scene when we were filming in the school. Ben Stone, who plays Alekóheís kind of this tall, beautiful, searing, most popular boy in schoolócomes walking down the hall bouncing a basketball, and heís throwing it over my head while Iím talking to my best friend, trying to get my attention.

When we were filming, he accidentally missed and got us both in the face with the basketball. Though it kind of hurt, it was absolutely hilarious. We both had the word Spalding indented on our foreheads, and it was very funny. To this day, we give him a hard time about it, but it was kind of a fun, bonding experience that we still keep with us.

Moderator What have you learned about yourself from this experience so far?

Skyler Thatís such a wonderful and complex question. Being a part of The Nine Lives of Chloe King has absolutely changed my life. In so many ways, Chloe has really opened up this new courageous, brave side of me that I didnít know I was capable of.

I couldnít say that I had a fear of heights, because never before was I running on top of buildings and doing the things that Chloe does. But sure enough, being there, sometimes I would think, ďGee, Iím 15 stories above ground level, and now Iím going to jump across a roof. This is a little frightening.Ē

But every episode I do it, and to think that Iíve been able to accomplish all of these magnificent things is really incredible. But Chloe, also, throughout her emotional transformation on the show; the things she has gone through and experienced, sheís just kind of taught me a lot about myself and life, and to enjoy and take risks. I mean, Chloe teaches me things every day. Itís a never-ending list.

Moderator Now that youíve only done part of the season so far, whatís something that they havenít done yet on the show that maybe you would really like to see happen to your character?

Skyler Itís hard to say. Chloe is definitely becoming a very interesting and complex young lady throughout this transformation. But I would be very curious to see if maybe Chloe falls into a bit more trouble in Season 2. Maybe Chloe will kind of team up with a villain, or goes undercover, or does something maybe a little grittier than her daily routine.

Moderator How many episodes are there for this season?

Skyler We have ten for this seasonónine additional to the pilot.

Moderator Are the claws LCG, and is all the kind of effect things LCG, and do you have any prosthetic things you have to do?

Skyler Well, we use a lot of different kinds of media on our show to make that happen. We have an incredible special effects makeup artist, Ed French, who won Emmys for his work. I mean, he is absolutely the best of the best. He came in at the beginning of the season and all of the Mai feline people, we all had claws made, which is very cool.

We had to dip our hands in this like seaweed goop and we made these nails. So we have actual physical claws that we put on. But we also use visual effects like CGIs to make them come in and out. So itís kind of a balance between the two to make that stuff work.

Moderator Does it take a long time to have to deal with any of that, or is it pretty easy?

Skyler In the beginning it was kind of messy. We had glue all over and everybodyís claws were sticking to everything. They collected so much lint it was so funnyóeverybody had glue everywhere. But now that weíre in the eighth episode, weíve kind of perfected our systems and now we can do it in less than seven minutes with no mess. Weíre quite proud.

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