Keke Palmer Can't Relate to Her Grease: Live Character's "Overt Sexual Nature"

Keke Palmer
Photo: JB Lacroix/WireImage

Keke Palmer is ready to be one of the Pink Ladies. The Scream Queens star is leaving the fictional Wallace University behind and heading to Rydell High in Sunday night’s Grease: Live, airing at 7 p.m. ET on Fox. And while Palmer is a seasoned pro when it comes to live performances—she starred in Broadway’s Cinderella before the play closed last year—the enormity of taking the stage in a live televised musical still resonates with the actress. “In anything so big, you’re just hoping that you and your castmates all do well,” Palmer tells InStyle.

Luckily for Palmer, she’ll have a group of seasoned live performers by her side, including Dancing with the Stars’s Julianne Hough, Broadway star Vanessa Hudgens, and singer Carly Rae Jepson. On stage, Sandy (Hough) and the Pink Ladies will all be rocking newly-designed looks by costume designer William Ivey Long, best known for his work on Broadway. Palmer’s favorite part about her character Marty’s wardrobe, in particular, is her “very old-school ‘50s style clothing,” she says. “My character was considered to be on the risqué side, so Marty’s outfits are very tailor-made to accentuate my figure.”

Keke Palmer Grease
Tommy Garcia/FOX

While she may love to rock a form-fitting outfit, Palmer says that she can’t quite identify with Marty’s “overt sexual nature.” And that goes beyond her fashion choices. “She is the Pink who is fully aware of her sex appeal,” says Palmer. But there is one aspect of Marty that Palmer can relate to: “Her spunk!” says Palmer. “She is very sassy.”

Perhaps the biggest difference between Palmer and her character is that they had totally different teenage experiences. “I didn’t attend regular high school—I was home-schooled,” says Palmer, who was starring in Nickelodeon's True Jackson, VP at the time. Although her teen years were far from traditional, Palmer still went through one major rite of passage: going to prom—albeit, an unconventional one. “When I turned 16, Nickelodeon and my parents threw me an awesome Sweet 16-slash-prom party,” she says. Now that sounds like a prom worth remembering.

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