June 13th, 2011 by thetvchick
The Nine Lives of Chloe King premieres tomorrow night on ABC Family. From my Advance Review, you can tell that I really enjoyed it. I think it’s a great new summer ABC Family drama that incorporates some interesting supernatural elements. I recently had the chance to chat with Skyler Samuels, who plays Chloe, on a media call. She gave a preview of what’s to come, talked about the challenges of playing someone with superpowers and how she is very similar to Chloe (minus the cat-like abilities, of course).
Can you describe Chloe?
Sure. Well, Chloe is definitely more of a superhero than a supernatural creature. On her 16th birthday when she discovered that she’s got these heightened abilities—the super speed, super hearing, and these claws, and she’s got, you know, the ability to read peoples’ 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 I’m this special girl who can die nine times and people are trying to see if it’s true, and they’re 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 peoples’ lives using her heightened abilities. So she’s constantly torn between the chase and having to save the day.
Can you tell us what we can expect this season?
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. It’s filled with a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and it will leave you on the edge of your seat.
How did you become involved in the project?
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 story—when 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 I’m having the time of my life.
I’m curious if you read the books to sort of prepare for your role.
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, we’ve 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 books—some of the mythology, a lot of the main characters are still the same. But we’ve 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 we’ve done with the show.
Has it been a challenge for you playing the elements of the supernatural?
Playing a supernatural is more realistic than I thought it would be. It’s 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 it’s 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 it’s been not as difficult as I thought it would be to play the supernatural. It’s been quite fun and easy.
You were on The Gates, and 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?
I had a great time working on The Gates, and that was my first kind of real experience doing supernatural television—working 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 I’ve had a lot of fun, and one character—each character is not like the rest. They’re all different and they all have different powers and abilities. I’ve had a really fun time following the supernatural, and I’m certainly enjoying the experience.
Did you ever watch any supernatural/paranormal shows growing up?
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.
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?
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. It’s a very grounded show, and there’s a lot of heart. The action was incredible, andI was like Chloe King is officially the coolest girl I know. There’s just no contest. So I think it totally encompasses everything you’d want in an hour of television.
If you had someone that doesn’t necessarily watch the supernatural, and doesn’t necessarily believe in it, or it’s not really their thing, how would you describe the show to get them to tune into it?
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 mom’s 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 can’t really be with him. There’s a lot of realistic, really grounded, heartfelt relationships and dynamics on this show to the point where the supernatural elements don’t even strike you. It’s like it all just seems to blend in and make sense.
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?
When I read the pilot I sat down and I don’t think I’ve 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. She’s fearless, she’s fun, she’s funny, and she’s quirky, and she’s honest, and she’s cool. Just everything about her I was like, I want to look up to her and she’s totally a role model in my mind. I’ve got to be this girl, you know, she’s incredible. I’m a lot more cautious than Chloe is, and Chloe’s kind of taught me how it can be fun to take a risk. The things I’ve done playing Chloe King have been some of the most incredible experiences of my entire life. So I’m just so thrilled to be Chloe.
What’s been your favorite either moment, or favorite scene you filmed?
Well, there’s been a lot of really cool favorite moments, but I think one of the most incredible scenes that we’ve 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 I’ve ever done, but it was absolutely incredible. Every week we’ve 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.
So Chloe King debuts with Pretty Little Liars next week. How do you feel that the show fits in to the ABC Family Network?
Well, ABC Family has an absolutely incredible job in producing these hit shows. The ABC Family is where the good stuff’s at. I’m so excited to be a part of this network because they’ve really done a great job introducing shows that are heartfelt, that are exciting, that are kind of everything you’d want; everyday there’s something new and there’s something great to watch. But being paired with Pretty Little Liars is a high honor, in my opinion. I’m so excited, and I think it’s going to be really great, because I feel like the ABC Family audience, while they’ve gotten a lot of really great shows like Pretty Little Liars and now Switched at Birth, they’ve never had a genre show before. They’ve 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.
Do you have a favorite moment from shooting the pilot?
When we were filming the pilot there was a scene when we were filming in the school. Ben Stone, who plays Alek—he’s kind of this tall, beautiful, searing, most popular boy in school—comes walking down the hall bouncing a basketball, and he’s throwing it over my head while I’m 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.
What have you learned about yourself from this experience so far?
That’s 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 didn’t know I was capable of. I couldn’t 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, “Gee, I’m 15 stories above ground level, and now I’m going to jump across a roof. This is a little frightening.” But every episode I do it, and to think that I’ve 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, she’s 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. It’s a never-ending list.
And could you share with us your guilty pleasure TV show?
Oh, my goodness. My guilty pleasure TV show would have to be Glee. I’m weirdly addicted to the show, and I couldn’t explain it to you if I tried. I’ve never been a big musical buff, or anything, but I find myself week after week, no matter what, tuning into Glee. So that’s definitely my TV go-see pleasure.