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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Scream season-two finale, “When a Stranger Calls.”]
The legacy of Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) lives on in MTV’s Scream series.
The television show based on the movie franchise of the same name took a page from the first film and made the boyfriend the killer in season two. In the final scenes of the season-two finale, Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) realized from an offhand comment that Kieran (Amadeus Serafini) made while “protecting” her from Ghostface that he was actually the one behind the mask. Backed into a corner, her boyfriend revealed he was the killer, carrying on Piper’s (Amelia Rose Blair) mission from season one since it turns out Kieran and Piper were dating before Emma met him. He was just pretending to be Emma’s boyfriend while Piper tried to destroy her life. And after Emma and Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) killed her in the season-one finale, he decided to get revenge on them.
Kieran managed to shoot his cousin Eli (Sean Grandillo) and hurt Emma, but Emma and Audrey eventually overpowered him during the attack. They held him at gunpoint while the police arrived to take him away in handcuffs, officially clearing Emma and Audrey of all suspicion. The season ended with Kieran alive but in jail, receiving a call from someone claiming to be the late Brandon James.
The call leaves the door open for a potential third season of the series, which is awaiting word on its future. Next up will be an October Scream special featuring two previously unaired episodes of the drama.
While many viewers believed Kieran to be the killer in season one, when Piper was revealed to be behind the mask those suspicions went away. The show followed the tactics of the first movie in making the boyfriend the obvious suspect at first and then drawing suspicion away from him before revealing he actually was the killer, making the twist all the more shocking.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Serafini about the moment that he found out he was the season-two killer, what this means for his future on the show and more.
Last season, everyone thought that Kieran was the killer. But this season there haven’t been many fingers pointing your way. Have you seen any fan theories that hit close to the truth?
It’s been really back and forth a lot. But there’s been a lot of suspicion that Kieran is not totally innocent. But some people will be surprised and there will always be people who think they know and then won’t admit when they’re wrong and when they were surprised.
And we have seen this go down in the Scream movies …
The boyfriend thing has been done. It’s Billy Loomis, right? From the first movie. So I think it’s been long enough. They did four installations and then a season of the show. I think they’re allowed to come back to that boyfriend concept.
When did you find out that Kieran was the killer?
Honestly, it was, like, a week before the finale. The showrunners tipped me off. Then I had to go into my preparation mode, going back and looking at all the killings and making them make sense in the timeline and for Kieran’s character. I didn’t know if I was ultimately going to be a heroic character or a sacrificial character or the killer all season.
What did you think of that twist when you found out Kieran had been working with Piper the whole time?
I was shocked. I wanted it to be the case but there were a lot of plotlines that shift over time. Of course, between the first and second season, things changed. Our executive producers changed. I was ecstatic. I thought I might be a sacrificial character (laughs) as most characters are on our show. I thought I would surely die. And they teased that a few times this season with dream-sequence deaths and stabbings. But I was really excited to be in the ranks of the killers in the franchise.
After you found out you were the killer, how did that influence the way you portrayed Kieran in the finale?
I had to be careful. You don’t want to just turn on a dime. We had to keep Kieran on a slow shift to full crazy, if you will, to not tip off the audience before the reveal. It was tough.
Knowing what you know about Kieran’s past now, would you have played any earlier moments in the series different, or were you glad to not have known this whole time?
I’m definitely glad I didn’t know. You just don’t know how you’re going to be taking the material and massaging it to fit into the story. It’s very wise of these showrunners as a tactic in general to withhold the information until they get exactly what they want and then provide the reveal.
Last season, after Piper was revealed to be the killer, she was killed almost immediately. But Kieran made it to the end of season two alive, though now he’s locked up in jail. What does this mean for you going into next season?
It’s a dark horizon. I really don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to be going on with a third season, whether there will or won’t be [one]. And as for what’s going to happen with my character, I do not know. It’s funny not to know, to be back in that boat of not knowing. That’s how they really push this show along, keeping us all in the dark. It’s a Usual Suspects tactic of almost letting every actor believe that their character might be the killer and letting them play with that, capturing singular moments of suspicious looks and intentions. And then just taking it all away and giving it to one person. I think it’s worked out rather well.
Brandon James (or someone claiming to be him) called Kieran in prison in the last scene of the finale, so it definitely seems like his story isn’t over yet.
That seems promising, right? Is Brandon James really out there? I don’t know. It’s been an exciting ride and I hope it continues. I wonder what Kieran will do now that he’s in prison. I wonder what his capture will do to him. I hope we get to show that.
What was it like filming that big reveal scene where Kieran shot Eli and confessed to Audrey and Emma?
It was so crazy. We were really pushing to finish that episode, and we had a bunch of days stacked up, like double-up days of shooting to really knock it out. It was really intense. They were night shoots, obviously, and it was a compressed schedule, so everything was really heightened. It was incredible to work that material with Willa and Bex and Sean. Everybody was just vibrating, all working off each other’s energy. It was my most exciting scene to shoot of the entire show.
Do you think Kieran feels any guilt about his murders, especially Eli since he was family?
I don’t think there’s guilt. There’s so much murder that he’s committed, and of course, it’s not exactly clear cut whether or not he was a murderer before he met Piper or whether she completely turned him on to murder for the first time. But no, I don’t think there’s any remorse on his part. I think he’s really bummed he got caught. This is a guy who worked painstakingly, round the clock, getting all those kills set up with all those cameras and technology. He had to be so savvy. He set fires and killed people and moving about and showing up and changing his costume. He is really a smart dude to pull all that off. It was so much work and it was all him.
Did you suspect that Kieran was the killer? Sound off on that and your hopes for a third season in the comments section below.
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