Asher Grodman has spent the entire season of “Ghosts” without pants. On Thursday’s episode, we finally got to see him fully dressed as the series explained how (and why) his character Trevor was sentenced to an eternally half-naked afterlife.
So far, viewers have come to know Trevor as a slightly arrogant yet likable finance bro who died at the upstate mansion now owned by New York City couple Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) in 1990, but the circumstances have remained mysterious. Even Grodman wasn’t privy to the details until he was handed the script for the episode — and the reveal certainly wasn’t what he expected it to be.
“I didn’t see it coming,” the actor told TheWrap. “Our creators, Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, and our writers room are really good at finding these very funny and accessible things but then also turning on a dime and making something that can feel very light, suddenly poignant. The pants are a perfect example.”
When his former coworker, Ari (played by Rob Huebel), arrives at the mansion, Trevor is forced to finally tell the truth about what happened to him. As it turns out, Trevor gave up his pants in an act of altruism after his senior coworkers decided to haze a new hire while on a weekend trip.
According to Grodman, Trevor’s story was inspired by Port, whose father helped put a stop to hazing at his university when speaking out against the practice was still “a very unpopular thing to do.”
“You go from an episode where it’s as light and fun and goofy as someone missing a pair of pants, and then realize that it’s kind of a commentary on group dynamics and how we treat each other and bullying and hazing and things of that nature,” Grodman said of the reveal. “So, for me, that was really exciting.”
Trevor died of an overdose that same night, after the group also decided to play roulette with prescription medication. For decades, he presumed that he was the only one holding onto a secret about that night, but that’s actually not the case.
Instead, Trevor discovers that his ghost family has been protecting him from the truth about the aftermath of his death. And the truth stings. After he died, Trevor’s coworkers hid his body and never alerted authorities (and therefore his family and friends) about the accident.
“It’s really devastating to realize that your sense of what your life was, was perhaps not what it was, or your view of what you meant to people may not have been reflected in their actions. At the same time, he has an opportunity to really make Ari’s life a living hell at the end,” Grodman said. “They have the ability to really screw with Ari and Trevor chooses not to, which I also love, because, in the midst of all this — the sadness of what he’s discovered — he’s actually walking away with more now than he had when he was alive.”
“Ghosts,” which is based on a U.K. comedy of the same name, quickly became a hit for CBS. It is now one of the network’s most popular comedies, and it has already been renewed for a second season.
When asked about when he and the cast realized the show’s success, Grodman admits: “We really didn’t.” The series is Grodman’s first major television gig, and, in all honesty, ratings are confusing.
It didn’t dawn on Grodman, or many of his fellow cast members, that the show was really taking off until they received a shoutout from none other than Mark Hamill, who celebrated on Twitter when the series was renewed for a second season. He also gave several of the actors, including Grodman, personal praise.
“It’s just surreal because there are people in this world who are actors, and then there are people who, like, their imprint on culture just exceeds a movie or storytelling in and of itself. And Mark Hamill is obviously one of those people,” Grodman said. “So it’s a surreal, incredibly heartwarming, humbling experience. He went on a kindness spree, and we were lucky to be part of it. Then he went the next day and wrote each of us individual tweets. I mean, it’s just crazy.”
So, if the “Star Wars” star wants to make an appearance next season? “We will fly to him,” Grodman joked.