Emma Rose Roberts is an American actress and singer who rose to prominence with her role as Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon television series Unfabulous (2004–07), for which she was nominated for a Teen Choice Award and six Young Artist Awards. In recent years, Roberts has transitioned into more mature roles, with appearances in Scream 4 (2011), We're the Millers (2013) and Palo Alto (2013). She most recently stared in the lead role of Chanel Oberlin on the Fox television series Scream Queens, as well as playing main roles in the Coven and Freak Show cycles of the FX anthology horror series American Horror Story.
2001–2007: Breakthrough with Unfabulous
Roberts made her acting debut at age nine in Ted Demme's 2001 drama film Blow. It was the first film for which she ever auditioned. In the film, she portrayed Kristina Jung, the daughter of Johnny Depp's character (cocaine smuggler George Jung). That year, she also had a role in Leif Tilden's 10-minute short bigLove, and was an uncredited extra in some scenes featuring her aunt Julia Roberts in America's Sweethearts. Roberts went on to appear in smaller roles in two family films: in 2002's Grand Champion, as the sister of the main character Buddy (Jacob Fisher); and in 2003's Spymate, as the kidnapped daughter of former secret agent Mike Muggins (Chris Potter), who tries to rescue her with the help of a spy monkey. Grand Champion had a brief theatrical release in August 2004, while Spymate was not released until February 2006, when it was given a theatrical run in Canada, followed by its DVD release in April 2006.In 2004, she began starring as the lead character Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous, which debuted in September of that year. The sitcom earned Roberts a Teen Choice Award nomination and several Young Artist Award nominations. The series focused on a seventh grader, Addie, and her two best friends. It aired for three seasons (2004–07). The show also spawned TV movies, including The Perfect Moment. Also in 2004, Roberts guest-starred in an episode of the Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh titled "Honor Council". After her run on Unfabulous, Nickelodeon had considered giving Roberts a kick start into a music career.In 2006, Roberts returned to the big screen, starring alongside Sara Paxton and singer JoJo in Aquamarine. She won a 2007 Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Young Actress in a Feature Film for her role in the film. The film Aquamarine took fifth place at the box office in its opening weekend making $8 million. In early 2006, Roberts finished shooting her title role in Nancy Drew. The film was released to theaters on June 15, 2007, and grossed over $7 million in its opening weekend, though the film was not well received by critics. Roberts was set to reunite with Nancy Drew director Andrew Fleming on both Rodeo Gal and a Nancy Drew sequel in 2007, but these films were never made.
2008–2012: Film workIn 2008, she had her voiceover debut when she voiced the English version of the character Wilma in the CGI-animated family film The Flight Before Christmas. In 2009, Roberts starred alongside Jake T. Austin in Hotel for Dogs, based on the novel by Lois Duncan. The film premiered in January 2009, and took fifth place in its opening weekend with over $17 million. The film has to-date grossed over $114 million, and received generally mixed reviews from critics. Roberts starred as the lead in the film Wild Child, about a rebellious teen from Malibu, California sent to a boarding school in England. Roberts described her character as "pretty much your typical spoiled-brat Malibu socialite who gets shipped off to British boarding school." Roberts also appeared in the independent film Lymelife with Alec Baldwin, which was premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.
In 2010, Roberts co-starred as Grace in the film Valentine's Day in which her aunt, Julia Roberts also appeared, although they were never together on-screen. She also appeared that year in Twelve and It's Kind of a Funny Story. The following year, she co-starred in the film adaptation of Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. She also starred alongside Freddie Highmore in the romantic comedy The Art of Getting By. In 2011, she played the role of Jill Roberts in the Wes Craven film Scream 4.
In 2013, Roberts co-starred with John Cusack and Evan Peters in Adult World. Roberts played a recent college graduate who works at an adult bookstore to make ends meet. She has said that most of her lines were ad-libbed so her reactions in the film were completely genuine. Her performance was praised by both Andrew O'Hehir of Salon and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice, who praised Roberts' performance as "both breezy and carefully tuned". Roberts appears in a supporting role in Dustin Lance Black's Virginia, which received a limited theatrical release in May 2012 after a two and a half year delay. She next appeared in the 2012 film Celeste and Jesse Forever, parodying pop stars such as Kesha with her performance as Riley Banks, an incurious blonde singer. Roberts said in an interview that her role as Banks tempted her to write an album of songs using her character as an alter ego.
2013–2017: American Horror Story and Scream QueensOn February 7, 2013, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Roberts had been cast to star in a pilot for Fox called Delirium, based on the Lauren Oliver novels. She portrayed Lena Haloway, the protagonist, but Fox decided not to pick up the show. Roberts then starred in the comedy film We're the Millers, alongside Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. It was released on August 7, 2013. The film received mixed reviews from critics and was a financial success, grossing over $269 million against a budget of $37 million. She next appeared in season three of the FX horror anthology series American Horror Story, called American Horror Story: Coven, from late 2013 through January 2014. Roberts portrayed a self-involved party girl named Madison Montgomery, who also happens to be a telekinetic witch. She then portrayed Maggie Esmerelda, a con artist posing as a fortune teller, in the fourth season, called American Horror Story: Freak Show.
Roberts played the lead role in Gia Coppola's directorial debut, Palo Alto, based on James Franco's short story collection of the same name. The film was released in May 2014 to generally positive reviews, with particular praise for Roberts' performance. Tom Shone of The Guardian and Ian Freer of Empire both called her the "standout" of the film, with Freer praising her performance for being "heartbreaking as she suggests longings and anxieties without over-hyping it. Much like the film itself." Roberts then starred alongside Palo Alto co-star Nat Wolff in Ashby, portraying the supporting role of Eloise. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19, 2015, and was released on September 25, in a limited release and through video on demand.Roberts next appeared in the horror film February alongside Kiernan Shipka. Directed by Osgood Perkins, the film premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Roberts recently played the lead character Chanel Oberlin in both seasons of Fox's horror comedy series Scream Queens, alongside Jamie Lee Curtis and Lea Michele. The series was created by American Horror Story producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, with Glee producer Ian Brennan. In 2016, Roberts starred alongside Dave Franco in Lionsgate's adaptation of the young-adult novel Nerve.
In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting; in the video, Roberts and others told the stories of the people killed there.
|2001||Blow||Kristina Sunshine Jung|
|2001||America's Sweethearts||Girl in Purple T-shirt||Uncredited|
|2007||Nancy Drew||Nancy Drew|
|2008||The Flight Before Christmas||Wilma||Voice|
|2008||Wild Child||Poppy Moore|
|2009||Hotel for Dogs||Andi|
|2009||The Winning Season||Abbie|
|2010||Valentine's Day||Grace Smart|
|2010||Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac||Alice Leeds|
|2010||It's Kind of a Funny Story||Noelle|
|2011||Scream 4||Jill Roberts|
|2011||The Art of Getting By||Sally Howe|
|2012||Celeste and Jesse Forever||Riley Banks|
|2013||Empire State||Nancy Michaelides|
|2013||We're the Millers||Casey Matthis/Casey Miller|
|2015||I Am Michael||Rebekah Fuller|
|2017||Who We Are Now||Jess|
|2018||Billionaire Boys Club||Sydney||In post-production|
|2018||Little Italy||Nikki||In post-production|
|2004-2007||Unfabulous||Addie Singer||Lead role (41 episodes)|
|2004||Drake & Josh||Addie Singer||Episode: "Honor Council"|
|2007||The Hills||Herself||Episode: "Young Hollywood"|
|2010||Jonas L.A.||Herself||Episode: "House Party"|
|2010||Take Two with Phineas and Ferb||Herself||Episode: "Emma Roberts"|
|2011||Extreme Makeover: Home Edition||Herself||Episode: "The Brown Family"|
|2013||Family Guy||Amanda Barrington (voice)||Episode: "No Country Club for Old Men"|
|2013-2014||American Horror Story: Coven||Madison Montgomery||13 episodes|
|2014||Delirium||Lena Haloway||Unsold Fox pilot (lead role)|
|2014-2015||American Horror Story: Freak Show||Maggie Esmerelda||10 episodes|
|2015-2016||Scream Queens||Chanel Oberlin||Lead role (23 episodes)|
|2017||American Horror Story: Cult||Serena Belinda||Episode: "11/9"|