'School Spirits': Milo Manheim Talks 'Unconventional' Relationships in New Paramount+ Supernatural Drama (Exclusive)

Milo Manheim is embracing the role of a 1980s jock in a totally new way in Paramount+'s new series School Spirits. In the supernatural Y.A. drama also starring Peyton List, the Zombies star plays Wally, a ghost whose untimely death as a teen has left him stranded at his high school in the afterlife for 40 years. When the new ghost Maddie (List) appears in the afterlife, Wally and the "unconventional" friendships formed on the other side will ultimately help her track down the truth about her death, Manheim told PopCulture.com ahead of Thursday's series premiere. 

As opposed to the more tragic high school experiences had by Maddie, Charley (Nick Pugliese) and Rhonda (Sarah Yarkin), Wally was the "golden boy" athlete while he was alive, giving him a different perspective on his eternity in high school. "It's interesting because you never really get to see how Wally adjusts to the afterlife. You meet him when he is been dead for 40 years, so he's pretty well-adjusted," Manheim explained. 

"Something that I love about Wally and the show is [Wally's] sort of unconventional friendships with these people – that it's impossible for those friendships to be," the Prom Pact star continued. "You have a high schooler in the '80s with a high schooler in the '90s who just lived in a completely different time – the '60s – and they have this weird brother-sister relationship, but they're family. They help each other grow and they're there for each other."

There was "a lot of love" between the ghost cast on School Spirits as they took a "deep dive" into all of their backstories amid Maddie's mystery. "You get to know them really personally, which I feel adds a lot to the show," Manheim explained. "Something that is cool is it plays into what decade they're from as well. ... I think it's cool to have a show where you have people from all different times at the same age and it highlights the things that are different but also highlights what we all universally go through as high schoolers."

Showrunner Oliver Goldstick told PopCulture.com there definitely was a "Breakfast Club element" to the afterlife that was particularly inspiring, as co-creator and executive producer Nate Trinrud added, "There was a real goal with this show is that we wanted to sort of set up tropes that everyone understands and then deconstruct them. I think one of the big themes with this series is the idea that we're all haunted by something, no matter what it is, and there's a lot more going on under the surface than we all realize." School Spirits premieres its first three episodes on Thursday, March 9, on Paramount+.