Preston Bailey, 8, isn't a killer in real life: He just plays one on TV. And so does his older brother.
Preston plays Isaac—the creepy kid who tells other kids to kill their parents—in SCI FI Channel's update of Children of the Corn. His 11-year-old brother, Brennan, plays one of the kids.
If you're a fan of serial killers, you may already recognize Preston. No, not because he's a serial killer—at least not yet—but because he also plays the young son of serial killer Dexter Morgan's new wife on Showtime's Dexter.
In Children of the Corn, Preston is the leader of a group of deeply strange and deadly kids out there among the corn rows. A remake/re-imagining of the original film, which was based on the Stephen King short story, Children of the Corn stars Battlestar Galactica's Kandyse McClure as Vicky and David Anders (Heroes) as Burt, a couple at a marital crossroads who wind up driving into the middle of nowhere.
Preston talked with SCI FI Wire recently with his parents and Brennan about Children of the Corn, which is due later this year.
Is it fun to play a bad guy?
Preston Bailey: Yeah, actually it is more fun, I think, for me. My character is very evil, and I am always playing the good guy and stuff, so it's fun being bad for a change.
Did you do anything specific to become bad?
Preston: I have a certain little voice change, just a little bit. I also got to throw knives. They taught me how to aim and throw them.
What were the hesitations you as parents had about his taking the part?
Dad: The religious part, at first, we were skeptical about it.
Mom: I couldn't see him ordering kids to do those things. I said, "I don't think Preston is right for this." Then they explained that he starts off as a nice kid.
How many people do you get to kill?
Preston: I don't know how many people I kill, but when I was up on the roof there were dummies I could see from the top of the room, and I get to throw a flame on dead people. It was fun.
Do you get to run through the corn?
Preston: I don't run through the corn, but my bother does, and some of the other kids with the weapons do. We all had weapons. Some were fake and rubber; some of the kids had hammers and knives, pitchforks and rakes. Some of them had funny things, like meat tenderizers. The girls had some lame weapons, like one of the girls had a spoon.
Brennan, what was it like running through the corn and getting ordered around by your younger brother?
Brennan: It was all pretty fun, but not getting ordered around by Preston. He does get it more from me in real life, as far as getting ordered around. Running around in the corn was like being in one of those corn mazes, except we have weapons and get to scream more.
Preston, I guess you're used to a lot of this because you're a semi-regular on the Showtime's Dexter, about a serial killer.
Preston: My mom edits out the bad parts, and those are the only parts I get to see.
What was the grossest kill in Corn?
Preston: The girl who plays Vicky [McClure] puts blood all over her eyes so it looks like her eyes are popping out. It doesn't scare me when she does that. But then there was this guy who had a broken arm, and the bone was sticking out, and it looked like that really hurt, but of course it didn't.
You seem to enjoy talking about this.
Preston: Killing people wasn't hard to do, it really wasn't. In a way it was kind of fun.