Ghosts actors on the CBS hit series ready for a second season

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When Román Zaragoza auditioned for the show Ghosts in December 2020, like many of us in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was lost and uncertain about the future. He recently relocated to Eugene, Oregon to remotely pursue his bachelor’s degree in film studies at Cal State in Los Angeles when he submitted his audition to CBS via Zoom. A week after filing, he was on set filming in Hollywood, California.

Within a week, the show’s pilot had finished filming and Zaragoza wasn’t sure what to expect next. In April 2021, he heard the show was approved by the network and he moved back to Los Angeles. Zaragoza grew up in the Los Angeles area, where part of the family still resides.

“This whole experience was a whirlwind,” said Zaragoza Local news online. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that something like this would ever happen [during a pandemic]. Thank the Creator, the Universe, for bringing me here.”

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Before moving to Oregon, Zaragoza said he had been an actor for years but didn’t earn many roles. He said when he was cast it was for stereotypical characters: “Either I play the Asian nerd or the Indian – very stereotypical characters.”

Zaragoza is of Akimel O’odham, of Mexican, Japanese and Taiwanese descent, he said Local news online. “I’m mixed race and I’m an actor, activist, producer, storyteller and I’m incredibly grateful to be working on the TV show ‘Ghosts,'” said Zaragoza.

Zaragoza auditioned for the character of Sasappis, an indigenous Lenape man. According to Deadline, the CBS version of Ghosts is an American adaptation of a British version, but Sasappis’ character is based on Thomas Thorne in the original British series.

“I firmly believe that storytelling is innate for all of us,” said Zaragoza.

He is currently attending film school where he aspires to tell stories like his family did. His sister Raye Zaragoza is a social media star and an award-winning singer.

“I want to learn how to make my own film because I was so tired of playing all these stereotypical characters,” he said. “I want to tell stories about my father or my grandparents and bring to light the stories of the oppressed.”

Zaragoza previously worked with Native Voices at the Autry Museum. The program is the only equity theater company in the country dedicated exclusively to the development and production of new plays for the stage by Native American, Alaskan Native, Hawaiian and First Nations playwrights.

“They really helped me and taught me not to be afraid to dive into my voice,” said Native Voices’ Zaragoza.

Zaragoza said that much of the mainstream media’s portrayal of indigenous people is largely due to a lack of collaboration with local tribes.

It’s been a journey playing Sasappis, Zaragoza said. He said it’s not easy to learn about a man who died in the 1520s, especially since little history about the tribe is available to the general public. Zaragoza wanted to be authentic and strengthen its character.

“We brought in a Lenape consultant named Joe Baker to modify the character’s outfits,” Zaragoza said. “He made me feel so much safer. From the story to the hair, we’ve had some amazing meetings.”

Having knowledgeable Lenape advisors was a huge relief, Zaragoza said. “It allows me to underline the character of Sasappis – the sarcastic, dry type that he is,” said Zaragoza.

The show revolves around a Manhattan couple who inherit a home in the New York countryside that they soon find to be falling apart and being visited by ghosts who died on the property. After a near-death experience, only the woman can see and hear the spirits.

Since its premiere on October 7, 2021, Ghosts has exceeded all expectations in its first season. It’s CBS’s fastest-growing new show, averaging more than 8 million viewers per episode, and the #1 comedy series on new streaming provider Paramount+. To industry praise and positive viewer reviews, CBS announced it would be renewed for a second season.

“It was such a pleasure and I look forward to another opportunity to be part of this amazing experience.”

Ghosts can be streamed on Paramount+, Amazon or CBS.

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About the author

Author: Darren ThompsonE-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a freelance journalist based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, where he also contributes to Unicorn Riot, an alternative media publication. Thompson has covered political unrest, tribal sovereignty and indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to various Indigenous issues in international conversation for The New York Times, Washington Post and Voice of America. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and law from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


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