Ghost's Asher Grodman Is Pretty Chill About Acting Without Pants

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When you tune into Ghosts tonight on CBS, there will be a lot of characters vying for your attention.

Surely, iZombie's Rose McIver will be the draw, but every actor in this ensemble holds their weight and contributes to the comedy that will keep the audience in stitches.

We had the chance to chat with Asher Grodman, who plays a character who will undoubtedly create a stir.

Asher Grodman as Trevor

The first thing you're bound to notice about Asher's character, Trevor, is that he's not wearing pants. Since Trevor is a ghost, that means he's stuck in eternity flying free in a gentle breeze. Can ghosts feel a draft? It's probably better if they can't.

After watching three episodes, character names were still beyond reach. Trevor was the no-pants guy. So, of course, it had to be asked. How the heck does someone audition to be the no-pants guy?

Asher laughed, "Ooh. Well, with pants on, for sure, though I'm terrified to imagine any of the self-tapes they may have received." He gives writers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman credit for pulling off a series with a clear and funny vision.

"I'm not a comedian. But they're so funny, I was like, 'I don't have to do anything. If I just do the scene, the funny's going to be there. And if I completely bomb, well, in their imagination, I don't have any pants on.'

Asher Grodman Stool Maneuver

With all of the safety nets at his disposal, Asher didn't have to give much thought to the process. He just had to show up, take off his pants, and get over the discomfort.

Asher had plenty of time to stew in any potential discomfort about filming his first scenes since a little something happened early in 2020 that meant they didn't begin filming the pilot until December of 2020.

"And in all that time of sitting with it and thinking about the pilot and thinking about the scenes and all that stuff, it never quite dawned on me, 'Oh, I'm going to have to do this without pants on.'"

It wasn't until 5 AM Monday morning that Asher, in the very first scene they shot, had to step up to the plate.

Asher Grodman is No-Pants Guy

"And I'm like, 'Of course, it's going to be my shot, and I'm going to be up in front of people. I've been quarantined with my parents. I've seen like four human beings, and now I'm going to be in front of like a hundred people with no pants on.'

"And what I've discovered is the trick is to it is don't take your pants off right before you shoot. Take your pants off well before you shoot and get the shock over.

"It's like getting into the deep end of a pool or getting into a cold pool. Just you need a running start, and then the fear dissipates. It's more comfortable for me, less comfortable for everyone else around me," Asher laughed.

Really, though, COVID did offer them a more sequestered filming experience, which made the deep end of the pool a lot easier to get used to.

We've already ascertained that Ghosts features an ensemble cast, but that cast films a large number of scenes on stage at the same time, and Asher says that sometimes, he's just playing Trevor, and at other times, he's part of a larger collective ghost mind.

It reminds Asher of how The West Wing cast described their experience, discovering what instrument they were within the very rhythmic show. Sometimes, you get a solo, and other times, you're making music with the entire group.

"Something that I've learned in shooting this season: a shot with four of us is very different than a shot with eight of us is very different than a shot with two of us.

"And so because it's also comedy and there's a rhythm to that, kind of figuring out how do I keep the ball in the air but also make sure that when someone else has put the ball in the air, that I'm not standing in the way of its journey so that each moment lands. We're not stepping on each other. We're setting each other up."

Viking and Trevor

With so many talented comedians and incredible improvisers, Asher is in awe of what they do. "Their ability to have that kind of structure on something but also find the spontaneity within that is really remarkable.

Asher again points to Joe Port, Joe Wiseman, and the entire writing team for writing something incredibly specific but also allowing room for the actors to play. During quarantine, the writers kept in touch with the cast, asking for their input and accepting ideas, which made it a very collaborative process.

In ads for the show, there is a scene where Trevor flicks an arrow stuck in the neck of Pete, played by Richie Moriarty. Asher and Richie are both New York actors, so they spent a lot of time traveling and in quarantine together, growing quite close.

But when Asher flicked Richie, it was a spontaneous moment between the two actors, which led to one of the funniest moments that now helps to sell the show.

Asher and Richie with Rose

"And that thing just kind of happened, and our director, Trent O'Donnell, saw it and was like, "That. Let's do that. Shoot that." And so it just came from the play that we all had, and that just helps bring more colors to the story," Asher said.

A goofy question Asher was asked about how he, Asher, might behave if he found himself in a situation similar to Samantha's (McIver) took him to a much different place.

"I don't know that I would handle it as well as she does. It feels very lonely to me. I'm sure you could do a drama out of this show that could get really dark really fast. Luckily, we're not doing that. No, she's handling it probably better than I would.

"And she... If you don't mind, I have to say this because Rose, who plays Samantha, is incredible. And we don't get to do anything that we do if not for Rose's ability to do a scene alone with eight people who aren't there, and she's just awesome doing that."

Asher continued, "She has scenes when she's doing them with us, of course, but then you've got to pull us out of those scenes. And suddenly, she's talking to an empty room, and she is talking, essentially talking to disembodied voices.

"So I'll be in the other room saying a line, but she knows that I'm that spot on the wall. And she's not doing that for one person; she's doing it for eight. So her ability to create this whole world on her own, with two cameras on her, and time is always running out.

Asher added that Utkarsh Ambudkar, who plays Rose's husband in the show, has the ability to hear all of the lines but only respond to Rose. "Those are really hard things to do, and we don't get to do anything without those two people giving us the backbone to do it."

Asher has a background in stage and on screen, but he's getting a master class of experience from this talented cast and crew.


Without jinxing the future of Ghosts, I wanted to know how this experience prepares him for other adventures to come in his career. Asher laughed, "I'm going to have to make sure that I don't get in this habit of, 'Okay, we're ready to shoot. Take your pants off.' So I've got to make sure that I knock off that habit with whatever I do next."

But on a more serious note, this was Asher's first venture into the comedic arena. But once you see Ghosts, you'll realize that it's not a skill he'll be able to leave off of his resume for long.

That's fine with Asher, who looks at every day as an opportunity to fine-tune his craft by dodging the very narrow definition new actors have of acting.

For comedy specifically, Asher says, "There's really an intelligence to comedy because you're not only building story, but you're building jokes.

Asher Grodman Black T

"So I think there are some tools and levers and stuff that I'm hopefully getting better at pulling and playing with that I'd be able to take, Whether it was or wasn't a comedy, to another level of specificity, another level of play."

When Asher first met the Joes as part of the audition process, they loved his tape but wondered how he had never done comedy and, essentially, where he had been hiding.

"I said something off the cuff, that I was like, 'Oh yeah, I think that's right. I can't even believe that. Which is like, comedy is just drama, but more serious.' And I think, especially in Trevor's case, that makes sense because he's stuck for eternity. He's got to find a way to enjoy himself, so eternity is on the line."

As to why you should watch Ghosts, Trevor believes our COVID experience of quarantining, especially with others, will help you more fully connect with the characters and the story.

Trevor Listens to a Fellow Ghost

"I think that there's something about, oddly, having these different voices in your head. Like, we all have these impulses that pull us in different directions.

"So anyone who feels like, 'Oh my God, at two o'clock I want to do this. At four o'clock, I want to do this,' and those impulses are going up against each other. I think you'll relate to the show.

"And above all, I'll tell you, when I read these scripts, I have no idea what's going to happen next. And if I have no idea what's going to happen next, the writing is so good you're not going to know what it is either.

"And that's really why we watch shows, to find out the mystery of what's going to happen next. I think there's going to be a lot of laughs, and I think we're going to get you a few times. I think you're going to be surprised and touched a few times too."

And if all of that still doesn't pique your interest, maybe this will. There is a scene in one of the first handful of episodes that is so funny that you'll be amazed that they ever got it on film, not to mention with straight faces across the board.

I was going to skip it until Asher had a brilliant idea. Without any of the preamble, I'll leave this here.

"Now, see, you have to include that question in the interview because people are going to want to know, 'Why are they talking about getting sucked off? Excuse me?' And that's going to make them watch the show. That's how I should have sold it right there."

Are you sold? Well, there's good news. You can get in on this action tonight by watching the one-hour premiere of Ghosts on CBS beginning at 9/8c. Will you be tuning in?

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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