GHOSTS Post-Mortem: Richie Moriarty on Pete's Ghost Power and Finale Adventure - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

GHOSTS Post-Mortem: Richie Moriarty on Pete’s Ghost Power and Finale Adventure

April 25, 2024 by  

Ghosts Pete trip

“The Traveling Agent” – Pete discovers a power that he never knew he had – one that brings him closer to his buddy Jay (and further apart), on the CBS Original series GHOSTS, Thursday, April 25 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Pictured (L-R): Richie Moriarty as Pete. Photo: Philippe Bosse/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Thursday, April 25 episode of GHOSTS.]

GHOSTS once again expanded its world with the revelation of Pete’s (Richie Moriarty) ghost power in the Thursday, April 25 episode: He can leave the boundary of Woodstone Mansion, a feat no other ghost is able to accomplish.

Initially, Pete was hesitant to leave, but he went on a trip with Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) to a store…and promptly got lost. (Jay, who can’t see ghosts, didn’t know he lost his friend until he returned home and Sam was horrified by Pete’s absence.)

But there was some good news: Pete returned home and decided he wanted to try to take a trip to see the world.

Here, Moriarty talks with Give Me My Remote about filming “The Traveling Agent,” Pete’s trip, and more.

What was it like for you the first time you filmed as a ghost version of Pete away from the mansion?  
Well, it’s funny: One of the first things I realized in the script was, oh, there’s an exterior scene where I’m being chased by this delivery robot. And we’re filming in Montreal, in February, and I’m like, ”I’m in shorts and short sleeves—this is gonna be rough.” So my first thought was just logistical. I was like, “How are we going to do this?” 

And we got so fortunate in Montreal: The weather the day we shot was like thirty degrees Fahrenheit; I mean, it could have been thirty degrees cooler than that. So we got really lucky. And the crew was amazing and [were] immediately throwing big jackets on me as soon [we cut] in between takes. So it ended up being a really simple outdoor shoot. But that was the first thing I was nervous about.

But then I was thrilled! I mean, the only time we’ve gotten to be on location, really, is for flashbacks. So this was the first time that I, as Pete—as a ghost—[was] in different locations outside of Woodstone. So it was really exciting. 

We got to go to a giant, essentially, Costco in Montreal to film and it was just really cool. It was really cool to…immediately I had to think about like, “Okay, how is he going to react to all of these different environments that he hasn’t seen?” He hasn’t stepped outside of Woodstone since the 1980s, so the whole world is brand new to him. The cars, the signage, truly everything would be so, so jarring to him. So it was really fun to see the world through that character’s eyes outside of Woodstone for the first time.

There’s the fascinating conversation about his concerns over leaving the premises. What conversations did you have with the writers about balancing the emotions of that moment?
I think one of my favorite scenes in this episode is when Jay brings up the SHAWSHANK of it all, because there is really this feeling of being institutionalized. If you’re forty years in one location, my gosh, how overwhelming would the possibilities be of getting to go anywhere in the world? I’m sure [it] would be terrifying. On paper, it sounds so exciting, right? You’re free to go, you can go anywhere! But the reality of it is that it would get your heart rate going. I mean, that is not an easy thing to step out of an institutionalized world like that and just be free all of a sudden. So I think it was really great that they built in that SHAWSHANK analogy because that immediately kind of connected me to like, “Yeah, I mean, he’s Andy Dufresne, this is difficult.”

I know Rebecca Wisocky (who plays Hetty) mentioned the cast thought your ghost power was cool—what conversations did you have as a group?
Everybody was like, “This is awesome.” They were all very excited for me. It’s very funny because I talked to Devan Chandler Long [who plays Thor] about it and he was like, “Great, so I get to make lights flicker [and] you can travel anywhere in the world you want to go?” [Laughs.] So I think there’s a little bit of jealousy. 

But, mostly, I think we were all really excited for what it means for the show because it does open up a lot of different possibilities. I mean,  is Pete going to become sort of a messenger for other ghosts to go on errands and go communicate with people that they want to communicate with? There’s just a lot that could potentially happen in future seasons. So I think everyone was really excited about it. And everyone was very excited for me to get to play with this.

We know Pete and Jay have their bromance, even if Jay can’t technically see him. What was it like to film their field trip to the store together?
It was so fun. I mean, I just adore Utkarsh, and he and I had so much fun together. We have a really funny bond because we went to the same high school and we were there at the same time, and we didn’t know each other—I was a senior when he was a freshman in high school in Rockville, Maryland. It’s just funny. We have a lot of similar references from growing up in the same area. And I think we speak a lot of similar languages. So he and I have a great time together, and it’s always fun when I get to do things with him. You know, Pete and Jay have a really fun little relationship. And I think this is only going to add to the possibilities of what they can do together, which is great.

And you got to meet some new ghosts, too. What was it like working with a new group of actors in the GHOSTS world?
It was so fun—great guest stars: Adrian Martinez, I’ve watched for years; he’s so funny and so good. Irene White, I had not met, who plays Gloria, the other trampled victim holding the TV. And she was wonderful. 

I put myself back into the shoes of a guest star, and all the TV shows I guest starred on before GHOSTS came along. And it can be really intimidating, stepping into a world like this, especially a world that has ghost rules, right? There’s like rules that the show lives by and it’s hard as a guest star, especially if you’re not familiar with the show, to kind of jump on to a new set and figure out what the dynamics are going to be. But they both kind of seamlessly jumped in. 

And then this guy Marc-André Boulanger…he played the butcher—he’s a Canadian wrestler. He’s a professional wrestler in Canada, [who] goes by the name Franky the Mobster—that’s his wrestling name! So, it was so fun to have that energy on set because he immediately turned Pete into even more of a beta than he usually is. He’s, like, terrified of this man. So yeah, it was really fun. It was great. 

It was really nice to work with Christine Gernon, the director of this episode, because she makes me feel so comfortable on set. She’s so smart; I love the way she directs episodes. She’s done a bunch of stuff with us in the first three seasons of GHOSTS, and I’m sure she’ll be back again. She’s just lovely. So it was really nice to have her on board for this to help kind of build the world and answer any questions that I had about what it means for Pete to be outside of the house for the first time.

Given Irene’s most-known role was arguably playing Carol on SUPERSTORE, were there any jokes on set about her being eternally trapped in this kind of store?
I feel like she did say something like, “It’s nice to be back in fluorescent lights.” [Laughs.] Yeah, it was very funny for her to be like, “I guess this is what I’m good at?” She was so great. And, man, the two of them—it always breaks my heart when we see a final edit because like our show is so fast. It’s 21 minutes, there’s like no time. So much of the air and extra bits that you get to do on set do not end up in the final cuts, for good reason. There’s just no time. And the two of them, Adrian and Irene, were just cracking us up on set. It’s one of those things where I just want a director’s cut of every episode. Because I know there’s so many other great moments that these two had and it was wonderful. They both just kind of seamlessly stepped into this world, it was really nice.

Pete goes on a trip at the end. What changes for him when he comes back?
Obviously, in this episode, he experiences a lot of negative sides of being outside of the house and he was scared for good reason. And he finds out he was scared for good reasons. But in the finale, he does get to experience more of the positive side of being away from the house and he experiences new things, meets new people in positive ways. So I think it’s a really kind of fun way to show that, hey, this can be a great experience for him, too, and an amazing power for him for a lot of different reasons. But then there’s something urgent that brings him back to Woodstone.

When I read the script for the finale, I’m like, “Oh, my God.” I mean, it’s just, again, this power opens up entirely new possibilities for this character: new experiences, new people. So I’m just really excited about what it means for Pete, but also for me as an actor. It’s just going to change the way the show feels, I think, which is really exciting.

Are we actually going to see his trip next episode or are we going to see him in the aftermath?
No, you will get to see him on his trip. I think I can say that safely. Yeah, you’ll get to see Pete living out some dreams outside of the mansion.

GHOSTS, Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS


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