Dermot Mulroney on What’s Driving Detective Bailey
Mar 14, 2023
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Scream VI.]
Every new Scream character becomes part of franchise legacy, but Dermot Mulroney will be an especially big part of it forever because … Detective Bailey is a Scream VI Ghostface killer.
After spending most of the movie pretending to help the Core Four evade Ghostface and try to figure out the killer’s identity, Detective Bailey reveals his master plan to Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega) in the shrine — a shrine that he helped build. Turns out, Detective Bailey is actually the father of Scream 2022 killer Richie Kirsch (Jack Quaid) and he’s devastated over the loss of his Stab-loving son. As are Richie’s siblings, Jack Champion’s Ethan and Liana Liberato’s Quinn. In a Scream first, we get three Ghostface killers, Richie’s father, brother, and sister.
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Now that the Scream VI spoiler interview embargo has lifted, I can share my conversation with Mulroney covering what it was like for him to find out that he’d go down in history as a Scream killer.
Image via Paramount
Mulroney began by discussing how David Arquette’s Dewey paved the way for a character like Detective Bailey:
“What I knew was what he had established as that in over his head part is very key to movie after movie, and everyone loved it and it worked great. And Bailey’s not like that at all. Certainly, as it turns out. So everything that he had established, David and his performance of Dewey the small town cop, set up this character. So I had confidence that that work was done, and it was gonna work in the favor of the plot twist.”
From there, Mulroney recapped his casting process and pinpointed the exact moment he discovered Detective Bailey’s truth:
“I got the offer to appear in Scream VI, so in my mind I’m saying yes. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do. The agent says, ‘They need you to know that you’re the killer,’ but they didn’t tell me which part I was being offered to play. So they sent me part of the script and I start to read it, and, you know, especially the psychiatrist character, he seems a little sussy to me. So I thought, ‘Oh yeah, well, it’s the psychiatrist character, so I’ll be the psychiatrist in Scream VI.’ Then they send me the rest of the script, and then I find out who the character is at the end. That’s how good Bailey was hidden in the script, that even the guy who knew I did it, but didn’t know who did it, even I fell for it.”
Image via Paramount
Mulroney also offered some insight into filming that epic third-act reveal and what’s driving Detective Bailey, Ethan, and Quinn — or whatever their real names are!
“We had such a wonderful rapport. Liana and Jack as, spoiler alert, the kids of not really his real name, Detective Bailey etc., because there was also — it’s so hard to say — there was a third child originally. [Laughs] This is so hard. It was in there. So our shooting this final confrontation scene, a lot of it was joking around, but really what the three of us and others were doing was painting this sort of lurid picture of how this family really, in all honesty, was processing their grief. And our argument was, you know, you can’t judge somebody about their grieving process. In the case of this particular family, they made some extreme choices, but that’s how we played it, like this was just how we were coping with the loss of Richie.”
Looking for more Scream VI spoiler talk? We’ve got you well covered in that department! Be sure to check out our 30-minute spoiler interview with Radio Silence in the video below:
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