Sometimes as a journalist, having interviewed a few stars and directors, I can sense when someone has “it.” Not just the Hollywood “it” that agents and producers look for when casting yet another big-budget movie, but the “it” that marks the beginning of an actor’s great career in movies and entertainment.
Bex Taylor-Klaus has “it.”
With her signature short coiffure and velvety blue-eyes, Taylor-Klaus has never shied away from roles that go deeper than the words of a written page. In her first acting job in “The Killing,” she perhaps took on a role that most beginners in the business would think twice about doing: A young androgynous, homeless lesbian who is smart enough to survive, but just vulnerable enough to get herself into emotional trouble.
Anyone that has binge watched the dark mystery on Netflix will tell you that Taylor-Klaus is the stand-out actress in that series, and brings everything and more to the role of “Bullet.”
In what might appear to be type-casting, Taylor-Klaus then decided to portray sexually curious Audrey in MTV’s highly successful series “Scream.” The movie-turned-series ends its first season on Tuesday, September 1, and Taylor-Klaus is being very secretive about the identity of the killer, but she does give iHorror a workable clue.
I got to talk to the star on the phone one afternoon while she was relaxing at her home in Hollywood, just after her 21st birthday. She says she celebrated by going to the beach and hanging out with friends, including a few of her fellow “Scream” cast members.
We talked about her role as Audrey in the series and how MTV is pushing the envelope and allowing characters, hers especially, to explore all aspects of individuality, specifically her same-sex attraction to another high school girl.
“She’s still figuring herself out,” Taylor-Klaus says. “And I think that’s something important that MTV’s doing, they’re highlighting the process of a teenager trying to figure herself out. She’s not ready for a label. She’s open about the fact that she fell for this girl.”
This is something that even the original films didn’t approach. Klaus says that her first experience watching the Wes Craven classic came later in life, with a group of people, but she didn’t really appreciate it until a few years later.
“I saw the first one when I was sixteen,” she said. “But, it didn’t really count ‘cause I only saw the first one, and it was sort of a situation where we were all hanging out; we weren’t paying a lot of attention. I finally watched them all in chronological order, all together when I was nineteen, it took me a little while, but I fell completely in love with them.”
However, Taylor-Klaus has her favorite in the series. She says that the original is probably the best. Each have their own charm, but “Scream 4” really changed the rules and made the series fresh again.
As with most of us, Taylor-Klaus is a horror movie fan. She loves the genre and wants to continue to be a part of it. This fall, she will appear along-side Vin-Diesel in the movie “The Last Witch Hunter,” and she just wrapped on an unsettling supernatural film titled “Discarnate,” about the legend of the “soul eaters.”
“I love doing the horror genre,” she says. “It’s been so much fun.”
I asked Taylor-Klaus which Horror movies are her favorites. She is a big fan of the classics, but in true form, she also enjoys those that are a little darker and more character driven than the standard fare, “I love the classics like Halloween and Friday the 13th. I actually liked Cabin in the Woods. Oh, and I love ‘Honeymoon,’” she adds.
As for the identity of “Scream’s” killer, Taylor-Klaus knows who it is, and says you will be really surprised. But she is not giving me the answer. However, she does give us a clue on where to find out if you can’t wait until Monday night to tune in and see the bloody finale for yourself.
“I’ve only seen one fan theory on the internet that has gotten it right. There were a few who were close, but I’ve really only seen one so far that has gotten it completely spot-on.”
Taylor-Klaus will probably never portray a character based on a simple archetype or proven cinematic characteristic. And she is not frightened of being type-cast, unless it’s a ditzy, hot, dumb girl. She says she will continue to take roles which are multi-layered and may threaten her comfort zone, and she is certainly not averse to doing humor.
“I want to keep doing dark, gritty, real drama,“ she tells me, “I wanna do some comedy, because I love comedy. Seriously, I love comedy, I love watching it, I love playing with it, and I’d love to get a chance to do it more. But, I think the biggest thing I want to do is movies. I wanna do these dark movies filled with meaning and passion and…I love the dark things.”
“Scream” may not be the darkest role for the young and talented actor, but she does drench Audrey with a lot of herself. Taylor-Klaus likes to draw, “doodle” she calls it, sometimes designing tattoos on the fly. The producers of “Scream” said she could take one of Audrey’s props and give dimension to the character that way.
She chuckles when she says, “If you ever get a close-up look of Audrey’s messenger bag, there are her drawings all over it. They gave me a silver pen, they gave me the bag and they’re like, ‘have at it, do Audrey.’”
Whether or not Audrey will be back for season two of “Scream,” won’t be known until after its season one finale. But Taylor Klaus is very much in love with her career, her choices and her fans. And these qualities only add to the starlets “it” factor.
“I like when people enjoy what I put out there. There’s that little twinge of pride, like ‘hey, all that work I put into this is not for nothing,” she says, “I like when people are happy.”
It is that attitude and commitment to the craft that gives the young actress the “it” I’ve been talking about. Casting agents and directors will certainly find an award-winning star in Taylor-Klaus if they call on her for a daring and multi-dimensional role.
I asked her what ring tone she uses for everyday calls. She laughs, thinks for a moment and replies, “Circus.” Then begins to sing it to me over the phone. I think to myself, she better get used to that sound, it is what she will hear during some future award season.
The season one finale of “Scream: The TV Series” airs Tuesday, September 1 at 10/9c on MTV.