‘Ghosts’ star Román Zaragoza talks to his dad about ‘exciting’ new episode (Exclusive)

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After a break of almost a month ghosts returned to CBS tonight and the episode featuring Román Zaragoza’s character Sasappis held a special meaning for the series star. In the episode Ghostwriter, in which Native American house ghost Sam (Rose McIver) offers to complete the B&B website so she and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) can take reservations and grow their business. But when things came to a head between Sam and Sasappis over creative differences, there was a deeper story at the core of the season’s 14th episode. One in which Zaragoza shares some very heartfelt and weighty scenes with his real life father, Gregory Zaragoza – best known for his roles in Last of the Mohicans, stump town, and yellowstone.

Exclusive to PopCulture.com, Zaragoza admits the moments together ghosts The episode was “so much fun,” he says, and hopes to share more scenes with him in future episodes. “My dad never played my dad professionally, so actually having that experience was really exciting,” he said. “My dad is the reason I really got into this industry and wanted to be an actor. We’ve been doing this for so long now, so it just meant a lot to have him on set and just play alongside each other for us. It was so much fun. We had a really good time. It was a really nice experience.”

(Photo: CBS Studios / Paramount)

Zaragoza feels humiliated to “shed some light” on Sasappis’ backstory and “tease” who he is or why he is. Zaragoza understands his character is more than a layered, nuanced character on primetime television. His face is rarely represented on television. However, ghosts, with all its delights in intelligent writing and casting, has transformed the discussion of what togetherness through inclusion and representation really means. “It was so incredibly meaningful because, to me, I’m just one person in this whole creative process,” he said. “I’m the actor. I’m sure the spitting image of the character. But there are many other local artists who are also part of this project that I like to highlight. Because without her, this character wouldn’t be who he is.”

Zaragoza adds value to the show, not just in its own storytelling and performances, but in how diversity can be transformed on a larger scale. “Diversity can come from people from different backgrounds and walks of life. But also of different periods of time and that despite these very big differences between us all, we can come together and become one big happy family,” he said. “I hope people can see that and really see the connections between life and death because this show means so much to me and I’m just really grateful.”

Zaragoza congratulates Joe Baker, the show’s Lenape advisor to Native Americans, adding that having him on the show has been both a blessing and a humbling opportunity to learn more about our nation’s ancestors. “To be able to ask him questions and talk to him about everything Lenape — it was really, really exciting to have him on the project,” he said, adding how the addition of Muscogee’s John Timothy ( Creek) Nation has also helped elucidate the history of indigenous peoples. “Having that representation in the author’s space is so important, it made me feel really safe and a little bit more excited about this project. It’s not just a native actor. We have a local writer, a consultant, and we even had a great linguist on this episode called Jim Rementer, so he was great.”

Zaragoza adds that it’s “really exciting to see all the different local artists and creatives that have worked on this episode and this whole series.” The 25-year-old continued to express his gratitude ghosts showrunners Joe Port and Joe Wiseman for their “openness” and participation in these “fun discussions” about Sasappis and Native American reputations. “It was a really great process and experience.”

Now that fans are getting a glimpse of Sasappis’ backstory in Ghostwriter, Zaragoza teases fans that they can expect the house ghosts to get closer, an aspect he finds “exciting” to explore, especially romantic given his past, which has a look at Flower’s article.” “I guess we’re still waiting to see who Sas will fall in love with. Or if he will. Or who knows? But yeah, there’s still so much open and I’m really excited for the episodes that are coming to air the rest of the season because they’re so fun and big and exciting. I’m really excited!”

Fans who want to learn more about Sasappis can also expect the character to “get out of his cynicism a little more,” according to Zaragoza. “He’s still very cynical. He’ll be very sarcastic, he’ll be there to support me and I look forward to seeing that. There’s an episode where I help one of the ghosts – I shed light on a part of his past. I’m excited to see that,” he said. “Having that journey with Sam and Jay coming into the house kind of brought out a new part of Sasappis, so I’m excited for people to see that.”

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(Photo: CBS Studios / Paramount)

Because the show plays to a “beautiful commentary on really big issues” while “trying to make people laugh,” Zaragoza says the fan reception for him and his co-stars McIver, Ambudkar, Asher Grodman and Brandon was “unreal” with Scott Jones, Rebecca Wiscocky, Devan Long, Sheila Carrasco, Danielle Pinnock and Richie Moriarity. “It’s a whole new feeling. I’m just so grateful,” he said. “Take one day at a time and just count my blessings, because when you’re making art and you’re part of a project, you go there and think, ‘I just want to create something, create something. I look forward to working with these people and if it goes down well, that’s great. If not, that’s fine. But it feels so good that people are really looking forward to the show and people are looking forward to seeing more. So it’s really exciting and I’m just counting my blessings.

ghosts airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS and is available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+. Those interested in seeing all that Paramount+ has to offer can click here for a free streaming deal.

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