School Spirits Interview: Kristian Flores & Kiara Pichardo on Getting Emotional

Film

ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke with School Spirits stars Kristian Flores and Kiara Pichardo. The duo talked about emotional scenes and filming flashbacks. The series is now available on Paramount+.

“In the series, Maddie, a teen girl stuck in the afterlife investigating her mysterious disappearance,” reads the synopsis. “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.”

Spencer Legacy: Kristian, Simon has a really touching, emotional breakdown moment in the first episode. How did you go about performing that scene and selling it so well?

Kristian Flores: I’ve got to say, when I auditioned, that was not in the package, but when they sent me the pilot, I said, “Let me just throw in this fourth scene in there,” because the scenes that they had sent did not summarize him. And I think that that scene, when he goes into that classroom, is just sort of the core of who he is. This intuitive guy who’s just … he’s brave enough to trust his instincts and say something’s wrong.

But preparing for those emotional scenes on a technical level is just a lot of rereading the scripts, knowing who the writers are. And the writers sort of shared us their life stories and their tragedy. And a lot of music, a lot of AirPods between takes, and just surrendering to that world.

Kiara, what was it about Nicole’s character that really appealed to you when you first heard about her?

Kiara Pichardo: When I first got the script for them, I resonated a lot with her, because in high school I did photography and I was artsy. Although I was kind of cool with everybody, I still had my little group of friends like Simon and Maddie. I just resonated with those aspects of her and how brave she was, too, and how much she fought for Maddie, her friend.

Kristian, a lot of your scenes have you interacting with a character that no one else is supposed to see. How fun was it to play with that dynamic?

Kristian Flores: Oh, it’s so fun. I mean, I usually just let my character do their thing and I just know the ending or know the scene. I kind of just let myself be just as confused as Simon sometimes, because the scenarios he’s in are so extreme. It’s out of my life experience, so I’m just in that bizarre world. But we shot everything twice, you know? So that made it double the fun. Four takes without Peyton [List] in there and four takes with like 30 background actors thinking, “What choices is this dude making?”

Kiara, Nicole’s flashbacks with Maddie involving the art on the roof were really nice. What was filming those scenes with Peyton like?

Kiara Pichardo: They were great. I love Peyton. She’s such a sweetheart in person and the way she plays this character was just so organic on set. It flowed really, really nicely. Very organic.

Kristian, you and Patrick Gilmore’s character have really complicated relationship in the first few episodes. What was it like to film those really intense scenes with him?

Kristian Flores: See with Patrick, we got along really well because we’re both lovers of poetry and the French, so we would just just talk about our favorite books and things like that. So I got along with him well. He’s a funny guy.

Kiara Pichardo: So funny.

Kristian Flores: He taught me a lot of things about just performing, because he’s a pretty seasoned guy.

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