‘Ghosts’ Star Richie Moriarty on Pete’s ‘Dumb Death’ & Collab With Mathew Baynton

Mathew Baynton and Richie Moriarty in 'Ghosts'
Spoiler Alert
Bertrand Calmeau/CBS

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Ghosts Season 2, Episode 7, “Dumb Deaths.”]

Ghosts continues to keep the waterworks going as the CBS comedy delivers another emotional, yet silly, episode surrounding everyone’s favorite speared Pinecone Troop leader, Pete (Richie Moriarty).

The sunshine-like personality of the Woodstone spirit was dampened a little bit in the installment titled, “Dumb Deaths,” when a film crew knocks on Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay’s (Utkarsh Ambudkar) door to film an episode about his death after Flower (Sheila Carrasco) refuses to allow her story to be told. Unfortunately for Pete, this means having an actor (played by BBC’s Ghosts creator and star Mathew Baynton) portray him in a dramatization, particularly an unflattering one filled with false details, like Pete being a drunk.

In an attempt to more accurately represent his story, Sam and Jay invite a former Pinecone Troop member who witnessed Pete’s death to vouch for his character. While he discovers that his death is partly due to his own distractions that day, Pete is thrilled to discover his lessons remained an important part of the young woman’s life moving forward as she takes control when Jay accidentally gets shot by an arrow. Below, Moriarty reflects on getting to work with Baynton, diving deeper into Pete’s legacy, and much more.

'Ghosts' Star Richie Moriarty with guest star Mathew Baynton

(Credit: Bertrand Calmeau/CBS)

In Season 1, we took a dive into Pete’s backstory in Season 1, but it’s clear he’s been a little self-conscious about the events surrounding his death. What was it like getting to take a deeper dive into that with this episode?

Richie Moriarty: I loved what the writers wrote for this episode. We didn’t really get to touch in Season 1 on how embarrassing his death was. He kind of prides himself on being this great scout leader and he made a pretty significant mistake of handing out these arrows before he went over the safety protocols and was standing in the line of fire. So it was an interesting moment for him to kind of reckon with, this idea of “was I a bad scout troop leader? Was I doing these kids a service or was I not who I should have been?” I think obviously at the end of the episode when he gets to see one of these Pinecone Troopers from the day of his death and is reminded that he’s left an impact, that means a lot to Pete.

What was it like getting to work with Mathew Baynton who is one of the creators and stars of the original BBC version of Ghosts? Did you have to give him a few pointers about playing Pete?

He definitely had some choices coming into it that I thought were so funny and the writers wrote this great character for him of being this actor [who is] self-obsessed about his process. And there was a really cool moment when he came to set the day before we started shooting with him and he came and he had long hair than we’re used to seeing him in and he had a mask on, so some of us weren’t sure who [it was] looking around our set.

He walked into where the dining room and living room are and I clocked him just kind of like looking around and taking it all in and realized it was probably him. So I went over and introduced myself and we had this really nice conversation. It was just really cool to see him stepping onto this set in Canada for a kind of spinoff of a show that he created with the BBC. He was having a really sweet moment with himself of like, “look at what this thing has become.” Not only did we adapt this for America, but it’s become a hit in the States, which is huge. And I think it was just really kinda special. So it was really cool to talk with him about that and the very humble beginnings of the show with his friends who he created this with. We got to really spend some quality time with him and it was just really cool to have him be a part of this show that he played a part in helping create.

'Ghosts' stars Richie Moriarty, Sheila Carrasco, Danielle Pinnock, and Utkarsh Ambudkar

(Credit: Bertrand Calmeau/CBS)

What does it mean to have the support of his fellow ghosts as they try sabotaging the Dumb Deaths shoot?

Some of us [ghosts] have been together [for a long time and] that obviously really bonds you, [we are] very much family to each other and I love episodes where we support each other. I think for Pete in this episode, there’s so much that the show touches on about legacy, and he is very concerned about what his legacy will be if he’s going to be portrayed in a certain way as a drunk or whatever this actor has in mind. And obviously, the producers don’t have Pete’s best interest in mind. I think for them. the more of a buffoon he comes off as the more entertaining it’ll be. But yeah, it’s great to see the other ghost rally behind him and to see Pete stick up for himself too.

We saw the impact Pete had on his daughter and wife in Season 1, but we got to see how his legacy lives on beyond them in this episode. Do you think that’s important to Pete?

Yeah, Pete got into that side of his life for all the good intentions in the world and he wanted to be a leader for these young girls, to teach them things and to feel like he was imparting the wisdom he learned during his life to the next generation. And I think it’s huge for him to see somebody all of these years later retaining some of the lessons that he imparted, especially when it comes to helping other people like the fact that she’s able to help poor Jay with an arrow in his butt [Laughs]. The fact that she’s able to help because of what Pete taught her is massive. And I think it’s just a reminder to him that like, “Hey, you did do good and big or small, the impact you left was great.”

In hindsight, could Pete blame his wife for dying the way he did? She ate his donut holes and that’s what altered his focus from the archery lesson.

Yeah, you can blame someone for you being late or you being distracted or whatever the case may be. But, ultimately I think Pete would be like, “I needed to calm down about the donut holes, I can very easily go buy other donut holes.” So, I think it was a small fight in the moment, but he would never blame Carol for what ultimately happened to him.

Ghosts, Season 2, Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS