Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel “THE I IN EVIL”, and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
Q&A: Actor Amadeus Serafini on the Shocking Season Two Finale of “SCREAM: THE TV SERIES”Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
With the body count having risen considerably and enough twists and turns to make a seasoned carnie feel queasy, SCREAM: THE TV SERIES ended its second season with a pair of shocking reveals. Of course, read on at your own peril, as this article’s treading spoiler territory fairly immediately. The first jaw-dropping reveal is that the series’ mythical archvillain, Brandon James, might be alive and well after all these years, and could potentially be the big bad should SCREAM find a third season renewal. The second, and most shocking, was this season’s slasher was none other than one of the Lakewood Six: Kieran, who’s been around since the series’ pilot, as played by Amadeus Serafini.
However, Kieran ultimately didn’t meet as grim of a fate as his predecessor and accomplice, Piper, giving Serafini the opportunity to reprise his now-villainous role if more SCREAM is in the cards. FANGORIA had the opportunity to talk to the up-and-coming actor about going from heartthrob to madman and all that process entails…
FANGORIA: When did you find out about Kieran being the killer this season?
AMADEUS SERAFINI: Truth be told, they told me right before the table read for episode twelve. It was extremely last minute, and it was a cold move on their part. [laughs]
FANG: How did that conversation go with the showrunners?
SERAFINI: Well, I think they knew that Kieran was going to be the killer the whole time and just did a really good job of withholding everything from me. But for me, it meant having to dig into the character’s past, rewatch the first season, and re-read all the scripts from the second season as we were in production on that last episode. I had to try to create a timeline for myself so that it all made sense in terms of Kieran’s comings-and-goings.
FANG: Were you ever worried about that continuity, especially in terms of your performance throughout this season?
SERAFINI: Basically, a lot had to happen in that last episode to turn that performance on a dime. But I knew there was enough continuity as to not throw the audience way off, and I think it felt natural because we were slowly letting out the crazy over the course of the episode. There’s a mania that seeps out of Kieran because he’s so close to the moment that he wants, which is the big reveal. As a character, he’s been working a long time and very hard to get to this point, and even though he slips when he leaks that reveal, he’s still relishing that moment. It leads to a conversation and a moment that brings Emma’s entire world crashing down.
It was a challenge to pull off, but I had a great group of actors to work with, with Willa [Fitzgerald], Bex [Taylor-Klaus], and Sean [Grandillo]. It was an exciting day, and one of the more exciting shoots I’ve had on the show, in terms of my character and his arc. But I hope we did a good job, not only with maintaining the continuity but with shocking the audience because, I gotta say, it’s hard to tell on the internet nowadays. There were a lot of accusations flying around: “You’re the killer!”, “No, he’s not!”, “Yes, he is!”.
FANG: Did you appreciate the opportunity to play the unhinged version of Kieran? It’s definitely a darker, more demented side than what we’ve seen from you in the role.
SERAFINI: Oh my God, yes. Right? Otherwise, I would have been another sacrificial character, which many characters are on SCREAM. So being the killer afforded Kieran a little bit of longevity, and it allowed me, as a performer, to get crazy. It’s a rare opportunity on this series, especially since it’s my first TV show, and to have to opportunity to go from a potentially heroic character to completely sour over the course of the second season was bittersweet for me.
FANG: Were you worried at all about getting killed off throughout this season?
SERAFINI: Absolutely. They could have killed me off, but they chose not to and that’s great! [laughs] But between the first and second seasons, our showrunners changed and some of the storylines changed as a result. It was still a fun production, and we had a great cast and crew. We actually got to shoot in New Orleans this season as opposed to Baton Rouge, so we were a little more embedded in the city this time around. But the production was challenging in the same way that we didn’t know what was going on with our characters, and the showrunners maintained that veil over the entire cast.
FANG: What was the highlight of this season for you as a performer?
SERAFINI: I think the finale was a huge highlight because it was very different than everything I’d done over the past few years on the show. So hands down, I’d say that experience. I hope it goes over well for the audience, too; I can’t wait to see how it’s received.
FANG: How did your fellow cast members react to the reveal?
SERAFINI: Some of them said they knew it. Others were shocked. That’s the way it’s been throughout production. We were always trying to find suspicious material and implicate each other, so I don’t think anyone really knew. Willa did tell me she knew it was me all along. [laughs] But I think it really works, and you don’t want to bleed out any qualities of a character, especially because you know the reveal is coming in the finale. So by withholding that information, we really thought it could be any of us and it was extremely effective.
We also had some new characters this season, and I really enjoyed my scenes opposite them because, in the first season, Kieran was really close with Emma and so most of my work was with Willa. But in interacting with these characters, especially his relatives, it allowed for more depth to come out of Kieran.
FANG: Considering where the finale leaves off, have you heard any rumblings about a third season? Do you think Kieran can still be an integral part of where the show goes from here?
SERAFINI: There’s certainly been a lot of talk, but I don’t know whether or not if the third season is going to happen. I also don’t know what’s in store for Kieran since he’s in a maximum-security prison by now. But we’ll see!