ABC Family 'Greek's Out
Jacob Zachar, Spencer Grammer on 'Greek'
The daughter of "Frasier" and "Back to You" star Kelsey Grammer begins the last half of her own series' first season as ABC Family's college drama resumes Monday, March 24. Her character, Casey, is in her sorority's prime position this time -- or so it seems, anyway.
Now the president of Zeta Beta Zeta, she finds being in the top spot also puts her in the hot seat. She must deal with the aftermath of a newspaper expose about her school's Greek system, and she also has to contend with an overly peppy new sorority member (Senta Moses).
"What's really great," Grammer says, "is that Casey is expecting to get this sorority back on the right path, then they send this crazy girl to put everybody in line. It's a different dynamic."
It also parallels the threat Casey posed to sorority rival Frannie, played by Tiffany Dupont ("The Bedford Diaries"), who returns to the show in several weeks. "It's very dramatic," Grammer says. "It's a good episode on forgiveness, I guess you could say."
Not to mention, she says, "what power can do to a person, and how they can change because of it."
As for her own college experience, Grammer attended New York's Marymount Manhattan College.
"I'm a few credits shy of graduating," she notes, "but I plan on doing that at some point. I guess I should have done it during the writers strike. I went for almost five years; I took 12 credits per semester, which is a little short of normal; usually, people take 16, but it was good."
Since Marymount Manhattan doesn't have fraternities and sororities, "Greek" is providing a different Grammer lesson. "I feel the show is more about a person's individual experience," the actress maintains. "Greek life is sort of the backdrop to a story of characters figuring out who they are. That's something I can definitely identify with -- who you are without your parents, and who you want to be for the rest of your life."
Off-camera, Grammer isn't without her multiple-Emmy-winning father, and she reports he has encouraged her through her stint as Dr. Lucy Montgomery on CBS' "As the World Turns" and her other acting jobs. "I did this commercial when I was really little," she says, "and I thought, 'You know, I think I'm just gonna get out of the business.' I was, like, 8.
"My father emphasized the importance of going to school, and both my parents really wanted me to get a college education. While I'm still shy of graduating, I got one to an extent, and I really believe that was a great thing for me. I felt being a regular kid was important, too."
Still, Grammer got an early taste of the spotlight by appearing with her dad in a 1992 "Cheers" episode, in which her role was billed as "Little Girl." She recalls, "It was Frasier's son's birthday party, and a lot of kids were there. I sat on a bar stool, licking my lips the whole time, and my mom somehow got them to pay me for it. It was $80 or something, and I was like, 'Whoo! I'll save it!'"
Grammer will remain "Greek" for a while, since ABC Family has ordered 16 additional episodes; four will extend the current run, with the other 12 forming a second season. She's looking forward to staying with her equally youthful co-stars.
"It's still hard work," she says, "but we play Xbox and have parties and hang out and whatnot. It's nice."