Keke Palmer on sexuality and what LGBT women will like about “Grease: Live!”

This past October, Scream Queens star Keke Palmer had people talking when she released her new music video for “I Don’t Belong to You.” The sexy black-and-white shots had a surprise ending with a lingerie-clad Keke showing up at the door of Cassie, and inviting herself in for some playtime. After its release, Keke told People she wasn’t looking to label herself but that the video was reflective of how she sees sexuality (which is to say, not 100 percent straight).

This Sunday night actress/musician is starring as Marty in Fox’s Grease: Live! alongside co-stars Vanessa Hudgens, Julianne Hough and Carly Rae Jepsen, and we grabbed some time with her while she was at TCA to ask what LGBT women will enjoy about the musical event. We loved your music video with Cassie. How did that come about?

Keke Palmer: She’s gorgeous. Well, I have loved Cassie since I was a teenager, listening to her music. We ended up meeting each other just socially and became really good friends. And so when I came up with this video, I was like, “OK—if this was an actual scenario, that’s who.” She’s amazingly beautiful.


AE: How has the response been?

KP: The response has been great—at least what I take from it. For me, it’s all about empowering myself and then also reminding my peers—my female peers—that it’s OK. Like, we can do whatever want. We can feel comfortable in our sexuality outside of what society has told us it has to be or how it has to exist. You’re an individual, and it’s OK to own that individuality. Today this might be how you feel, tomorrow that might be how you feel. 


AE: Have you been feeling a lot of pressure from people since the video came out for you to identify in a certain way?

KP: Absolutely. People always want me to say I’m this or that and at the end of the day, I’m me. I love who I love and to me, it’s all the same. I can’t tell you how I’m going to marry. I can’t tell you who I’m going to date tomorrow, but that’s up to me in the moment that I choose it.


AE: Well you’ve got a lot of women excited!

KP: Great! [laughs and snaps]


AE: What do you think LGBT women would like about Grease: Live!?

KP: I think they will like Grease: Live! because they will like it like anybody would. They love the movie like anybody else. It’s something entertaining and fun. What I love about this is, for me, my little brother and little sister are going to get to see Grease in a way that actually depicts what their world looks like today. That’s what I really love and what I think is awesome because, you know, 1958—it was a different time. I love that we’re able to give our generation the same excitement and the same love for something but visualize it in a way that moves things forward. That to me is really dope. 

FOX's "Grease: Live"Photo by Michael Becker/FOX

AE: Is there another musical you’d love to be a part of in the future?

KP: I would love to do a new musical. I would love to do a new project. That would be awesome.


Grease: Live! airs Sunday, January 31 at 7/6c on Fox.