Actor Asher Grodman's former Y2K-era finance bro/now spirit haunting Woodstone Manor, Trevor Lefkowitz (aka the guy with no pants), spent the majority of Ghosts' two-part winter finale doing what a lot of single people do during the holidays: trying to hook up with an old flame.
The series welcomed back Punam Patel's Bela, the sister of Utkarsh Ambudkar's Jay, one of Woodstone's living inhabitants, in the episode. Previously, Bela experienced a new form of "ghosting" last season when she matched with Trevor on an online dating site after he used his ghost power of (very slowly) typing to set up an account.
Bela's the only person besides Jay who knows that Rose McIver's Sam can communicate with ghosts. She also knows that humans may become possessed by them under the right circumstances (like getting shocked by an electrical current and falling backward into a spirit's arms) because that happened to her brother not too long ago. But who would willingly allow themself to be electrocuted just so Trevor can inhabit their body and be on the same plane as Bela?
Enter Bela's friend-who-definitely-wants-to-be-more-than-friends Eric (guest star Andrew Leeds).
Sparks do fly. Just not the way Trevor was expecting. Here, Grodman talks to Metacritic about the episode and what's to come when Season 2 returns in 2023.
It's funny that the person I'm interviewing about the Christmas episodes is the guy who plays the Jewish character. Will there ever be a Hanukkah episode?
I don't know that there will ever ever be a Hanukkah episode. But what I would say — and something that is my favorite part of this whole thing aside from the fact that I'm just an actor who has a job that's steady, which is pretty miraculous — is that our showrunners, in the crafting of Trevor, have done what I think is a very cool thing. He's not [just] the Jewish character; he's just a guy who you could describe as douchey, fratty, finance pro, overly sexed up, puppy dog — all these things that you would describe him as before you ever got to Jewish. And someone who's Jewish who grew up secretly hoping that "oh, maybe Batman's Jewish," that's a very cool thing that they wrote. This character is three-dimensional. It will always play a role. I don't know if there will ever be a standalone Hanukkah episode.
But Trevor has the catchphrase of "Mazel tov."
He does. There's a lot of improv that happens on set. Very little of it ever makes it to a cut. But sometimes, if I can think of some Yiddish to throw in every once in a while, I get one of those. So that's always fun.
Trevor dominates much of the story in this two-part arc because of his interactions with Bela and Eric. How did Trevor get so lucky to have her bring over the one guy in the world who'd be cool with him possessing his body?
[Laughs] The writers.
I think that's something that our show gets to do is play with things that would never otherwise happen. Because, what a ridiculous conceit of a show? It's a brilliant conceit. But, yeah, we get to have these little fun, "what if" scenarios.
I don't know why I didn't really realize this until Andrew's character briefly dies after being electrocuted, but most of the ghosts handle dying pretty well. Like, once they're dead; they're dead. No big deal.
We do think about that a lot. I think the tone of the show is unpredictable in the sense that we never quite know what we're going to sit with and really dive into and what we're going to jump ahead of. Of course, there's a lot of time [for the ghosts] to process information here.
One of the things that happened in Season 1 that I always go back to is, when Trevor died, Isaac [played by Brandon Scott Jones] gives his little speech [explaining that they're ghosts] and Trevor is terrified. You never quite get to see what the acclimation process is to the afterlife. But there is an acclimation process. It's just that the experience of being dead lasts so much longer than the acclimation process. So, while we haven't gone on that journey yet, I hope we do so you get to watch a slow fish-out-of-water living person acclimating to the afterlife thing.
Trevor has only been dead 20 years and he was a young guy when he died. He probably expected to have a lot more sex in his life before he died. Do you think he's ever tried doing something like this before?
A great little nugget that was in the possession episode last season was the writers established that he was unaware that this could ever happen. I don't think he's ever tried to possess someone because he wasn't aware that was possible.
Since the discovery of that being a possibility, I am sure it has the Trevor that I know would be constantly wondering, wondering, wondering — in the same way that he found Bela in the first place, which is the discovery of dating apps.
One of the fun things about Trevor is, because he's the only ghost who has spent more time alive than he has [being] dead, a lot of this season is very much him bringing the elements of his life into the afterlife. He made a frat. And the dating app stuff. And he tried to seize [control of] the ghosts' economy. He's still very much governed by the life he lived, as opposed to the afterlife.
Aside from his willingness to let some guy get electrocuted so that he can get together with Bela, Trevor does have a conscience. In fact, that's the reason why he died without wearing pants. Is it important to you that he's not some evil frat boy?
The truth is, I never really saw him as an evil frat boy. The character that was on the page was, yes, the douche. I understood that guy; I went to college with a lot of guys like this. I felt like, "OK so the writing is handling the Wall Street frat guy thing." My take on him when I auditioned for it was I wanted to bring in a little element of, like, a puppy to him.
At the end of the day, his goal is to live. His goal is to have the afterlife be the party that his life was and live it to its fullest. And that's a very puppy-ish quality. It's like, can we just have a good time? He wants to be connected. He wants to play with everyone. So, even though he's got a lot of lessons to learn, that's the core of what he is.
He is the most social of all the ghosts. The worst thing that ever happened to him was finding out but his [living] friends weren't really his friends.
Right. They dumped his body when he died at the mansion. There's an upcoming episode where Trevor's remains are recovered. Tara Reid, who apparently partied with Trevor when he was alive, will guest star in that episode. What else can we know about that? Will the possession trick play into that?
She's going to visit Woodstone under unpredictable circumstances. I don't want to tease too much because I don't know what's out there. It's just one episode. We're not done shooting the season, so there could be more. I can tell you that Trevor certainly does not want her to leave.
But Trevor does find some love (or lust) at the end of the Christmas episodes when he passionately embraces another ghost: the uptight Hetty [Rebecca Wisocky], who is feeling randy after watching TikToks of lumberjacks chopping wood. What was your reaction when you learned about that twist?
It's so funny because there is this enormous rivalry and butting heads between these two and the whole old money/new money dynamic. And of course, she attempted to send me to hell.
Trevor, especially, wants to establish his world in the afterlife versus Hetty's. He's on her home turf because she built the house. There's a power dynamic that can quickly shift into a sexual dynamic.
There's something about the flagrant shamelessness of Trevor mixed with the button-uppedness of Hetty. They're polar opposites and, yet, very similar because they both want to win. It's the wealth and the money and who can control the most and who can have the most. So, it's a very fun dynamic to play. And we get to have a fun little story arc that we're going to go on.
Not to go too much into a Cosmopolitan magazine conversation about positioning and what not, but can ghosts get naked? I know that whatever they died in is what they wear and that those items will just get back on them if they remove them.
I believe the idea is that anything that we remove will shortly thereafter go back on. But you can rearrange things. In Trevor's case, you don't have to rearrange anything because everything is accessible.
Will this relationship between Trevor and Hetty continue? Or is it just one night of pent-up hate sex?
It depends what you mean by "relationship." But I will say that we are going to go on a little journey with this thing and there will be a fallout in a few different directions. And they're going to be finding their way. So, we're gonna get to go on a little ride with these two mismatched clowns.
Do you think they'll combine their powers and become the rulers of the house?
It's very possible.
Ghosts airs at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays on CBS and then
Get to know Asher Grodman:
Before the actor became known for showing off his gams on Ghosts, he had small parts on episodes of HBO's Succession (Metascore: 83) and NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (6). He also wrote, directed, produced and starred in the short film The Train, which is about a Holocaust survivor's conversation with a preoccupied younger man. It was Academy Award winner Eli Wallach's final film.