'Saw' Star Shawnee Smith Searching For New 'Scream Queens'

Laura (Beverley Mitchell) in 'Saw II'Ten women, trapped in a house, each battling the other for the chance to break out.

The plot for the next “SAW” movie? Nope, just a way to win a part as an ingénue in “SAW VI,” thanks to VH1’s new reality show “Scream Queens,” co-hosted by “SAW” star Shawnee Smith (who plays “Amanda”), "Dawn of the Dead" writer James Gunn, and acting coach James Homa.

“That was a great opportunity for me, in the ‘SAW’ movies, the twist that Amanda took a turn,” Smith said. “Still I looked for the human being in her. The idea at first was just to turn her into a super killer, which maybe I could have done, but Tobin Bell and I, we just got together and asked ourselves, ‘So how did they spend their days between then and now?’ We took walks and talked and that’s why the first thing you saw of Amanda in ‘SAW III’ was how I came in with a grocery bag. You gotta eat.”

Smith’s point is that despite the stereotypes involving women in horror films as damsels in distress, the best actresses will find a way around that with their characters, and that’s what she’s looking to see in the show’s contestants. “You see a lot of the roles are changing for women right now,” she said. “It’s a good time to be in this genre.”

The ten contestants – including an actress, a hostess, a Hooters waitress, a former child star, a student, a model, and a Pilates instructor -– will have to make their way through such challenges as begging for their lives in front of a chainsaw-wielding maniac.

“The bubbles of talent will rise,” Smith predicted.

“Scream Queens” debuts next Monday, October 20 at 10 p.m.

'Scream Queens'

Do you think doing a reality show is a good way to find talented actresses, or does it cheapen the process?