Bex Taylor-Klaus on ‘Scream,’ How It Deals With LGBT Issues, And What She Hopes Will Make Her Fans Smile
When Bex Taylor-Klaus first came on our radar (and Hollywood’s, of course!), she had landed the role of “Bullet” on AMC’s hit original drama series The Killing. This would mark her first step into the world of television as a series regular. Since then, we’ve gotten to see her on Showtime’s House of Lies, The CW’s Arrow and iZombie, and most recently as the bi-curious Audrey Jensen on MTV’s Scream. Needless to say, Taylor-Klaus’ star is on the rise — and her fast-growing fan base (39K on Twitter) and current film roles are only further proof of that. Earlier this year, she was cast as the lead in Mario Sorrenti’s newest thriller, Discarnate, where she stars opposite Nadine Velazquez (The League) and Thomas Kretschmann (Avengers: Age of Ultron). The film is currently in post-production and is set to come out in theaters in 2016.
GALO caught up with the Georgia native to talk about her love for activism and sports, guest-starring on iZombie, and her character Audrey Jensen, before the highly-anticipated second season of Scream returns in 2016.
Editorial Note: The following interview was conducted in August.
GALO: Let’s start off by talking about Scream. How did you actually end up getting the role of Audrey Jensen?
BTK: Actually, my process was a little bit different than the normal process. I went in for the audition with the casting directors Eric Souliere and Sara Isaacson — they’re so awesome, I love them. I made it through the first round of Audrey auditions and never heard anything back really. And I thought, ‘This would be really fun, but I guess I wasn’t right for it.’ Then a few months later, I got a call saying, “Hey, do you remember Scream? Do you still have any interest in that?” And I ended up getting Audrey.
GALO: Did you watch or study any of the classic Scream movies beforehand?
BTK: I’ve seen a few; I think it took me till I was 16 to actually watch the first one for real — I was a little bit behind on that. As soon as I got the role, I went back and watched all four consecutively, like marathoned them. I think it took way too long for me to actually sit down and do that.
GALO: Did watching the old school movies help you in any way to prepare for the role?
BTK: The old school movies — the biggest part that I got from the movies is the feel, the vibe, and we’re recreating that feeling now. So I think it does give a bit of an inside look of the world we’re trying to pay our respects to, but at the same time, we’re not doing it over.
GALO: Since the first episode, viewers of the show could tell that Audrey is struggling with who she is. How would you describe your character, and how do you see her growing?
BTK: Audrey is a bit of a paradox almost. She’s not comfortable with her own sexuality yet because she doesn’t know it. She’s not completely positive what her sexuality is, but she’s very comfortable in not knowing yet. She’s a bit bi-curious. She’s willing to say, “Look, I’m experimenting. I’m not sure what I am, but that’s okay. Figuring that out is okay.” And I think that’s a very mature way to be.
GALO: What message do you have, if any, for teens that are struggling with their own sexuality?
BTK: I think that it’s important to see where Audrey is and [to] find out [for] themselves. It’s going to be hard, there are going to be setbacks and there are going to be people who don’t like this. But in the end, it’s who you are, and the struggle of who you are is part of life. It’s important to be okay with you [and to give yourself] time as you’re figuring yourself out.
GALO: Since this show relives classic Scream, in every episode, someone gets killed. Are you worried that at some point that character is going to be yours? And have you given any thought as to who the killer is?
BTK: Yes, every time we get the script. It’s like, “OK, am I dying tonight?” [Laughs]
GALO: Do you ever think the killer could be you?
BTK: Oh yeah, definitely! What’s interesting about the show is the blame has shifted to everyone at least once. So we’ll be going through the script, going through the episode, and we’ll see things that will be suspicious. It’s our job to make it seem as real as possible and that we could possibly be the killer. And that, of course, makes us think, ‘Oh boy, what if we are?’
GALO: Yeah, in every episode, I always think the killer is a different person.
BTK: Yeah, so do we [laughs]!
GALO: Congratulations on the show being renewed for a second season, by the way!
BTK: Thank you!
GALO: Let’s change course for a little bit. You moved to L.A. when you were 18 to pursue your acting career, and you’re 20 now, correct?
BTK: Yes, I turn 21 on the 12th, so I’m very excited. I’m thinking about having a few friends [over] and heading to the beach.
GALO: And how do you think your acting has progressed since you arrived in L.A.?
BTK: I’ve learned so much. I started going to classes at the Michael Woolson Studio. Just every time I check back in with myself, I’m like, “Wow, if I went back and tried this again, I could totally do it better.”
GALO: In addition to acting, I hear you’re also an athlete. You played third base and were the catcher for your high school’s varsity softball team while you were only a freshman, and you also went to sailing camp and returned with an Expert Marksman in riflery. Are you still pursuing those sports?
BTK: I’m actually a little bit out of shape. I haven’t gone back to softball in a few years, so I have to work myself back up to it. I went to the batting cages a few months ago and was like, “wow, I used to do this a lot.” My parents came to visit and I made my dad come outside with me and play catch for about 45 minutes, then we fell in the mud and went back inside.
GALO: In addition to sports, you also attended the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala. What issues are you passionate about and have you taken part in any other campaigns?
BTK: When I was younger, I was part of this program called The Rainbow Center in Atlanta. It is peer education, just peers educating peers about LGBT issues. It revolved around a bunch of allies and LGBT kids going around schools in Atlanta and talking to kids, and being like, “Hey this is the deal, let’s be allies.” It was interesting, and I came out of it thinking this is an important issue in the world, so the HRC is huge to me.
GALO: So you’re still participating in that campaign?
BTK: Yeah, definitely — LGBT issues, mental health issues, and animals, of course!
GALO: Oh yeah, everyone loves animals. And someone needs to speak up for them!
BTK: Yeah! If you don’t like animals, you’re lying or — well, you’re probably lying [laughs]!
GALO: Let’s talk a bit more about your acting. You made your acting debut on AMC’s The Killing as Bullet, a lesbian who lived on the streets of Seattle since she was 13. Did playing an LGBT character then help you in any way with how you approached the role of Audrey?
BTK: Well, I mean, every person is different, whether they’re gay, straight, bi, transgender, anything. So playing someone who is LGBT doesn’t mean you play any other LGBT character the same way — they are very, very different characters. They both have their toughness, but I don’t think that stems from being part of the LGBT community. I think that stems from who they are as people, and the fact that they are part of the LGBT community is just a bit of a bonus.
GALO: I know you were also on CW’s hit show iZombie. What was your experience with that show like?
BTK: I think the important thing is when you’re going into the fantasy world, you know you’re going into the fantasy world, but your character doesn’t. The character thinks it’s very real. The character is very real. You just have to remember that you know it’s fake but this person that you’re planning to be doesn’t. I think the fun part of doing fantasy is you get to go into a world that never really existed, but you have to make it as real as possible for yourself.
GALO: What were some of your favorite memories from iZombie?
BTK: I had a lot of fun with Lee, the guy who played the therapist — I’m forgetting his character, but he was awesome! He was so much fun. He texted me the other day saying we should get together again and hang out. I think that’s part of the fun of being in this industry, sometimes you end up working with these people that you just want to see outside of work — you want to get to know them better in the real world.
GALO: Jumping back into your current show, in the last episode of Scream, your character is still trying to investigate who the killer is with Emma, but the preview tonight paints Audrey in a suspicious light as she’s seen being questioned by police. What can you tell us about tonight’s episode?
BTK: Well, in all our promos, the tag is, “Everyone has secrets, everyone tells lies and everyone’s fair game” — and it’s not lying. Everyone does have secrets, every single one of us, and this episode is when we start to dive into Audrey’s secrets.
It was so much fun to play, first of all. Tonight, it’s definitely looking like Audrey’s not exactly innocent in all of this, and I feel like that happens with a lot of our characters… I don’t want to give [away] any spoilers, but this is one of my favorite episodes, I think just because it was so much fun to do! I got to work with people I hadn’t worked with before. I got to work with the detective. I got to work with the sheriff. I got to meet my dad, and he was really fun. It’s just a fun episode — it’s dark, actually, and I like dark.
GALO: I know you can’t spoil too much about what’s on for the next season of Scream, so what are your other plans for the future — what projects do you have planned?
BTK: Well, I did The Last Witch Hunter with Vin Diesel, and that comes out October 23, so that should be really fun. I’m excited for that! Other than that, I’m getting back to auditioning, getting out there, and I just want to keep working.
GALO: Sounds like a great movie to watch! Speaking of great, you’ve been in so many great TV shows already. I know fans must recognize you from a lot of different roles. I have a friend that will only refer to you when she sees you on TV as “Bullet” because she loved you on The Killing. Others probably recognize you as “Sin” from Arrow. What message would you give to any of your fans that follow previous shows you’ve been on or are following you now on Scream?
BTK: That’s actually really sweet! I love when that happens to me. When we make an actual impression on a person, I think that’s why we do what we do. But I just want to say, whatever you love, keep watching it — I hope we make you smile.
Want to know more about Bex Taylor-Klaus and what she’s up to? Follow her on Twitter @IBexWeBex. New episodes of “Scream” will be returning in 2016.