Scream Queens


We know who Scream Queens' Red Devil is.

In fact, we've spoken to him.

OK, no. We don't actually know which character has been terrorizing the students of Wallace U. these past few weeks—although you will get some clues in tonight's fantastic and hilarious episode of Scream Queens—but we do know the guy who dons the suit to play the bright red, chainsaw-wielding serial killer. His name is Riley Schmidt, and he's got one of the most wonderfully weird acting jobs on TV right now.

Riley is both the man inside the Devil suit on Scream Queens—you'll actually see his face later this season as he plays a pizza delivery man (hmm!)—and he also played Rubber Man on season one of American Horror Story in 2011.

You remember, Rubber Man, yes? The creepy dude in the sexual asphyxiation suit who impregnated an unwitting Connie Britton among other terrifying acts? Yeah. That's the one!

Not only has Riley had violent TV sex with Mrs. Coach and (hilariously) murdered Ariana Grande, he can still walk down the street without anyone ever knowing his face. That may sound fun to some, but life inside a costume does not sound like it's made for everybody—especially when that costume is a full-body custom latex sexual bondage suit.

"It was like you had a second layer of skin on you," Schmidt explains of the suit. "It's customized specifically to me and all of my specific dimensions. I don't think it was designed to be in on an eight to 10 hour basis, which was what was required."

The suit wasn't just something Schmidt could pull on like a really weird adult onesie either. It required a team of people to help get the Rubber Man ready on a daily basis, from getting him into the suit to putting in his larger-than-life contacts to shining and polishing the suit so it would basically sparkle on camera.

"I think the guy who had the strangest job was the individual who had to help me put it on," Schmidt tells us. "I had to get lubed up. We tried various stuff, but the one we finally settled on was an industrial grade, military grade machine gun lube of some kind that was being used in Iraq to keep all of the machine guns and the weapons lubed up and operational in that sandy environment. That's what they ended up using..There were also contacts that were extremely large. They were so large that maybe every 20 or 30 minutes, they had to put drops in my eye to keep my eyeballs wet, because they would stick to my eyes."

Rubber Man, AHS

Photo Credit: Jimmy Jay

"It was kind of funny," Schmidt says, "but then it was terrifying. I would sneak up behind people on the set and scare the hell out of them all the time. It was just a little game I would play with everybody on set."

As uncomfortable as a suit like that sounds, there was an added bonus: Apparently machine gun lube is really good for your skin.

"Everyone's put a latex glove on before in some capacity, but when you put that over your whole entire body, you're just kind of slimy and wet. I can tell you my skin got really soft for about six months, because I was basically in some kind of lotion glove for about six months. I got like a skin treatment." We'll, um....Stick to creams and lotion but thank you?

Believe it or not, this is not what Schmidt normally does. Or did. Amidst lots of bit parts on shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Days of Our Lives, and ER, Schmidt was just a typical actor looking for work.

"It was a really bizarre casting for me, because my agent called me and said, Ryan Murphy, Brad [Falchuk] and Ian [Brennan] are looking for an actor to play this part that nobody will tell us about. Apparently you have to wear some kind of suit, but they won't give us any more details."

The only requirement was that the actor have a similar build to Dylan McDermott, and that was it. Schmidt basically told his agent that as long as the role paid, he was in.

"I was delivered a page of sides and I was all completely blacked out, like some top secret CIA document. It had a little tiny line about this character that walks in in a sexual asphyxiation bondage suit. That's all it said."

A lot of people would probably be a little put off by that, but apparently Riley was not. Even the casting director, Eric Dawson, seemed a bit unsure during the last-minute audition.

Rubber Man, AHS

Photo credit: Jimmy Jay

"I said, ‘what would you like me to do?' He says, ‘I don't know. If you could just walk around like you're in a sexual asphyxiation bondage suit, that would be great.' I'm thinking to myself, 'What career choices have I made in my life that have led to this?' I don't even know what I did. I'm sure I kind of goofed off a little bit. I just tried to have a little fun with it."

Schmidt definitely did not leave that audition assuming he had a weird new job.

"I was more or less just kind of shaking my head going, 'I need to find a new career, because what have I done to myself here?'"

His agent called him the next day, telling him he got the job. That call was then followed by one from the show's producers, asking him where he was.

"I was actually at Disneyland. They're like, 'Oh no, OK, you need to leave. You need to come over here,'" Schmidt says. "I was with my girlfriend at the time, who's now my wife, and she was like, 'What do you mean?!'"

The next 24 hours were a whirlwind.

"It was kind of like a trial by fire. One second I was an unemployed actor at Disneyland, and the next second I was this really creepy villainous character on this new crazy hit show."

Of course, when Ryan Murphy needed another guy to put on another suit for his latest show, Scream Queens, there was no audition needed. All he had to do was ask, and Schmidt was there.

While the Red Devil costume involves no lube and a whole lot less latex, it's still a complicated process to put on, since it involves a lot more components.

"The guy who designed it, David Anderson over at AFX, pulled out all the stops for this costume. It is a beautiful work of art at the end of the day. There are half a dozen if not a dozen individuals who are responsible for various elements of it, you know, the original concept to the sculpting to the painting to the cape. It takes me a good ten or fifteen minutes to get into that costume too."

The devil suit is also made to fit Schmidt specifically, but not quite in the same way the latex bondage suit was. The Red Devil is also a lot more forgiving.

Scream Queens, The Red Devil

Patti Perret/FOX

"Any kind of imperfections, the latex suit would show easily. I had to make sure I was working out and training just to keep that figure. The Red Devil costume doesn't have that same issue. It's much more of a superhero suit."

While Rubber Man was all about slinking around and impregnating people, the Red Devil is a very different character. He gets to chase co-eds through mazes and chop their arms off with a chainsaw to the tune of The Backstreet Boys, and have an absolute blast while doing it.

"The Red Devil gives me the chance to have a personality and some humor while at the same time be terrifying and scary, so it's been a real pleasure for me to incorporate elements of that into how the Red Devil behaves...and it's great for me, because I get the opportunity to work with just about everybody in some capacity."

While everyone else on Scream Queens constantly has to worry about being killed off, you would think that the one doing the killing, the Red Devil, could feel pretty safe. Schmidt, however, says that's not the case.

"I know that nothing is off the table here on a Ryan, Brad, and Ian show. Literally anything can transpire. As much as you would think that the Red Devil probably survives until the end of the series, there's no guarantee in any of that, in any capacity. It kind of correlates to what it's like to be an actor for real. It's like a twisted version of American Idol, where every week, it's like, who's safe, who's not safe?"

We'd probably feel pretty safe betting that the Red Devil (or at least one of them?) will survive until the end, but he's right. Anything can happen on this show.

This season on Scream Queens, Schmidt will actually be playing two characters, and one of them actually involves his face. He couldn't tell us any details, but we hear he'll be appearing as a pizza delivery man in episode 12.

Scream Queens, Cast

Amanda Edwards/WireImage

"Maybe one of them actually gets hungry this time and actually eats pizza. Who knows?" he teases, referring to the last couple of episodes in which the Kappas ate cotton balls and imaginary food. "There is something coming up. We haven't actually done anything with it yet, but it's going to be in the vein of all of the wackiness that's been ensuing on Scream Queens, for sure."

Could this possible pizza guy actually turn out to be the killer? Again, anything could happen, so we're not ruling it out.

We are, however, ruling out ever a) acting but also b) as a character in a latex suit, because we'd probably let the Red Devil stab us before we let someone cover us in machine-gun lube. Riley Schmidt is brave in a way that we will never be, and we're perfectly OK with that. And we applaud him for it.

The next episode of Scream Queens airs tonight on Fox, and thanks to a hilarious and terrifying round of "Truth or Dare", there are quite a few deaths and even more revelations—including the mystery to Number 3's earmuffs. Don't miss it!

American Horror Story airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

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