When I last spoke with Skyler Samuels, she was sitting in a makeup chair dutifully prepping for another day’s work on The Nine Lives of Chloe King. The show was still weeks away from debuting on ABC Family, and the 17-year-old actress had no presence on Twitter, nor any way to know what it would be like to have a following.
Fast forward a couple months, and Chloe King is in full swing, while Samuels has collected thousands of Twitter followers who are enthralled with the show, which follows the adventures of a young San Francisco girl dealing with her new superhuman powers that come from being part of an ancient, catlike race called the Mai. Chloe learns she may be her people’s only hope for survival, and that she can experience death up to nine times. It’s the kind of show that is a perfect fit at San Diego’s Comic-Con, where I caught up with Samuels last week as she was preparing to take part in a panel for the show’s devoted fans.
The Nine Lives of Chloe King airs Tuesday nights on ABC Family.
Since the show’s been on, what kind of feedback do you get from fans?
Well, I definitely experienced Twitter for the first time. I’ve only had my account about a month. I got it because of the show, and you know I’m always amazed how on a Wednesday morning all that people are talking about online. The questions that fans ask and the things they think of … They’re quoting lines, what Chloe and Alek said to each other, whatever it may be. It’s kind of surreal to think that people are paying that much attention to the show, and it’s great. … Twitter has been really cool because we work all the time and it’s hard for us to always hear from people. But we can just hop online and get that response. We’ve taken into account things fans have said, and we have made changes in the show based on fans’ responses.
Yeah. I mean, nothing major quite yet but definitely it shows we care. We love reading it. It’s been really fun, but now we’re here at Comic-Con and … people are coming up and saying, “Oh, my God, you’re Chloe King!” “You’re the girl with scratches on her face!” “You’re Supercat!” There’s all sorts of strange things, but it’s great and it feels good to know that they watch the show and enjoy the show. I feel very blessed.
You’ve got a season of filming under your belt now, so are you more comfortable on set and with just being Chloe?
The people I work with, we’ve become a family. We spend so much time together, and it’s long enough that you can’t help but become a family. And I’ve certainly grown comfortable being Chloe King. The thing about her is that for as much as I get to know Chloe there’s always something else that comes up with her that forces me to raise the bar on what I know I can do. Whether it’s the stunts or the emotional aspect or as far as the acting goes, there’s always something Chloe is ready to do, and it’s always unexpected. I think that’s the greatest part of the job is learning on my feet. It’s been fun. I’ve really enjoyed growing up with her in these first 10 episodes, and I look forward to doing it for many more years. Let’s go!
One might expect the show might really appeal to young girls, giving them an aspirational target. Has that been the case, or have you been able to tell yet?
Right now, teen girls are our main demographic, and they love the show. But I think that the show has done a really good job of appealing to boys and girls alike. I think it’s really easy for people to see the show and say, “Oh, it’s a show about a girl. It’s a girl show.” It’s not like that. Nine Lives has guys that are visible for other guys to watch, and there’s that element of action and sci-fi that guys really respond to. We’ve done a good job of writing for both genders, and I know that moms like the show. I’ve heard from a lot of moms on Twitter, actually, who watch the show with their daughters every week. I love that that’s a staple of their schedule that they can sit down and watch The Nine Lives of Chloe King with their daughter, or their mom.
Do you think that’s because of the relationship Chloe has with her mom?
I think so. It’s a common interest. You’ve got a mom and a daughter, for all that’s so different in this day and age, they can sit down and watch their same favorite TV show, I think that’s great. I love family, and I’ve got a great relationship with my mom, and I think that’s really an important part of the show that hits so many different people on so many different levels.