Peyton List, Sarah Yarkin, and Nick Pugliese Talk Paramount+'s 'School Spirits'
Moviefone speaks with Peyton List, Sarah Yarkin, and Nick Pugliese about 'School Spirits.' "She knows that something happened," List said of her character.
Premiering March 9th on Paramount+ is the new series ‘School Spirits,’ which was created by Nate Trinrud and Megan Trinrud.
What is the plot of ‘School Spirits?’
‘School Spirits' is centered around Maddie (Peyton List), a teen girl stuck in the afterlife investigating her mysterious disappearance. Maddie goes on a crime-solving journey as she adjusts to high school in the afterlife, but the closer she gets to uncovering the truth, the more secrets and lies she discovers.
Who is in the cast of ‘School Spirits?’
‘School Spirits’ stars Peyton List (‘Cobra Kai’) as Maddie, Sarah Yarkin (‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’) as Rhonda, Nick Pugliese as Charlie, Kristian Flores (‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’) as Simon Elroy, Kiara Pichardo (‘CODA’) as Nicole, Spencer MacPherson (‘Lullaby’) as Xavier, Rainbow Wedell as Claire, and Milo Manheim as Wally.
Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Peyton List, Sarah Yarkin, and Nick Pugliese about their work on ‘School Spirits,’ the plot, the characters, support groups, and if Maddie really knows that she is really dead.
You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch our interviews with List, Yarkin, Pugliese, Kristian Flores, Kiara Pichardo, Spencer MacPherson, Rainbow Wedell, and Milo Manheim, as well as showrunner Oliver Goldstick, and creators Nate and Megan Trinrud.
Moviefone: To begin with, Peyton, can you talk about your character Maddie, and what she’s doing when we meet her in the series?
Peyton List: She's sitting in the bleachers watching the announcement of her being missing at her school, and she's just open to all the comments. A lot of people don't even know she existed. Charlie is there to help get her out of the situation and guide her. I think he's the most sympathetic to a person's experience right after dying, and hearing all the comments and all of the horrible things that can happen after.
MF: Does Maddie know that she is really dead?
PL: She knows that something happened, I think, in her gut, but she just doesn't know at all what it was. I don't think she thinks she disappeared. She has no idea. I think part of her thinks that, "Oh, I might still be in this in-between place where I can get answers." I think that's also what makes her so passionate about figuring it out is, "I might still have a chance and I still might have time, and I'm not accepting any of this."
MF: Nick, Charlie is kind of like Maddie’s spirit guide, can you talk about that?
Nick Pugliese: Yeah, he's a self-appointed tour guide of the afterlife, for sure. He’s the spirit guide. I'm sure he was like, "I'll step up to the plate. I will show this girl how it works."
MF: Sarah, can you talk about Rhonda’s reaction to meeting Maddie?
Sarah Yarkin: I think I find it a little amusing that here she is, and she's like, "It's all about me. Help me figure out how I died." I'm like, "Babe, no. What are you doing?" Then she tries to connect with me to be like, "I think we would be friends." Rhonda has this facade of “keep out of these walls,” and I think Maddie then comes in and tries to break those down.
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MF: All the deceased characters at the high school are from different eras and decades. Sarah, what era is Rhonda from, and how does that affect her attitude?
SY: Rhonda is from 1963, that's when she died. So, she is this beatnik kind of sardonic, very tough around the edges ghost. Reading a lot of beatnik poetry and Jack Kerouac and stuff, and sucking on lollipops. So, she comes with all of that, and she's also been there the longest of all the ghosts. She sees all these eras and she's seeing all these things happen, and these trends and just can kind of roll her eyes, being like, "I don't care about any of this."
MF: Nick, when did Charlie die?
NP: Charley's from the '90s. So, he's rocking the denim on denim. But Charlie’s from the '90s, so he had good music and movies that he was growing up with. You'll get to see a little bit of that.
MF: Peyton, can you explain the Split River High support group and what that is in the series?
PL: It's everyone who has died in the high school meeting up in this circle support group to try to cope with being stuck. It's led by Mr. Martin (Josh Zuckerman), a science teacher who died in the '50s, who I don't trust or like.
MF: Finally, Sarah, how would Rhonda describe the support group?
SY: Everything is being shoved under the rug and nobody is talking about it. Now your character is in 2022 where we talk about therapy, and kids are on TikTok talking about mental health. Our characters are like, "I want to figure out what happened to me." And Mr. Martin’s like, "You don't need to do that. We're good. Just be here."
Movies Similar to ‘School Spirits:’
- 'House' (1986)
- 'Beetlejuice' (1988)
- 'Monster House' (2006)
- 'Zapped' (2014)
- 'School Spirits' (2017)
- 'The Mimic' (2017)