Through her mother's marriage, she is the stepdaughter of musician Kelly Nickels. Her paternal grandmother was acting coach Betty Lou Bredemus (1934–2015), and her aunts are actresses Julia Roberts and Lisa Roberts Gillan.
During her childhood, Roberts spent time on the sets of her aunt Julia's films.
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 Jo Jo in Aquamarine.
That year, she also had a role in Leif Tilden's 10-minute short big Love, 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 2006'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.
Roberts described her character as "pretty much your typical spoiled-brat Malibu socialite who gets shipped off to a British boarding school." Roberts also appeared in the independent film Lymelife with Alec Baldwin, which was premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.
She has said that most of her lines were ad-libbed so her reactions in the film were completely genuine.
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.
Roberts plays the lead character Chanel Oberlin on the first season 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 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.