Then actor Asher Grodman He landed the role of Trevor Lefkowitz, the flirty former Wall Street stockbroker on the CBS show Ghosts. He never imagined that his character’s missing pants would become one of television’s biggest mysteries.
The sitcom, based on the British series of the same name, premiered last October and quickly became a fan favorite. The story follows a young married couple, Samantha (Rose McIver), a freelance journalist, and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), an aspiring chef, who inherit a county estate only to learn that it’s already being owned by a group of colorful minds who have died inhabited the property over the years. After being injured, Samantha learns she can see and talk to her ghostly guests.
Grodman’s character in the afterlife is joined by a Viking (Devan Chandler Long), a Revolutionary War soldier (Brandon Scott Jones), a jazz singer (Danielle Pinnock), a successful robber baroness (Rebecca Wisocky), a bank-robbing hippie (Sheila Carrasco). ), a Scoutmaster (Richie Moriarty) and a Lenape Indian (Roman Zaragoza).
While viewers learn that Grodman’s character, a wealthy, tough-as-nails financier, died of a heart attack while not wearing pants in 1990, the reason he was pantsless was not revealed until episode 16.
“Everyone on social media had a theory about what happened to Trevor’s pants, and none of them were right,” says Grodman, who admits he’s enjoyed popping up some of the crazier fan theories online about the mystery of to answer Trevor’s pants.
“A lot of people see Trevor as this ex-Wall Street party guy who’s kind of a jerk and is always out to have a good time,” says Grodman. “I see him more as a puppy, he’s the little brother of the group as he’s the youngest to die.”
Grodman, 34, has been an actor for 18 years and is thrilled to be part of one of the highest-rated sitcoms this season.
“We have an amazing cast, crew and writers who do such a great job making each episode both humorous and poignant,” says Grodman. “As a Jew, I’m also thrilled to portray a Jewish character on television that isn’t just a stereotype. Being Jewish is just another part of who Trevor is.”
Grodman’s Jewish heritage is important to him. In 2015 he wrote, produced and directed actor Eli Wallach (in his final performance) in the short film The Train, in which Wallach played a Holocaust survivor whose life was spared by a single moment. The film was inspired by the true story Grodman’s father told him about Holocaust survivor Andre Mencz. Grodman also starred in the film.
payment of his dues
Growing up on a farm in New Jersey, Grodman had a childhood full of animals, including horses, geese and 14 dogs. He attributes his lifelong love of dogs to the bond he has formed with his family’s pets, including two litters of Labrador Retrievers.
A shy child, Grodman got his first taste of the limelight in seventh grade, when his mother forced him to try his hand at the school play.
“I had a crush on a girl on the show, and when our school jazz band started playing the song ‘Brown Eyed Girl,’ I changed the lyrics to Hazel Eyed Girl and sang it to my crush, who was appropriately offended,” Grodman says a laugh.
While a middle school romance with his crush never materialized, Grodman found he enjoyed acting, and the following year he was cast to star in the school play.
“I’ve really enjoyed being part of the theater community and I’ve developed a passion for storytelling,” he says.
Grodman continued acting through middle and high school and went on to study film and English at Columbia University in New York City, where he earned a bachelor’s degree while also playing on the university’s varsity fencing team. He then moved to San Francisco, where he completed a Master of Fine Arts from the ACT Conservatory.
After graduating, Grodman landed roles in the Los Angeles play Amadeus and appeared on popular shows including Succession, Chicago Med, House of Cards, Elementary, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit “.
While playing mostly dramatic roles, Grodman welcomed the chance to perform comedy in Ghosts.
“I had never done comedy before, but I fell in love with the script for ‘Ghosts,'” he says. “The writers do a great job making the series emotional, poignant and funny.”
Grodman recalls how the cast and crew were in Los Angeles in March 2020, ready to film the pilot as the pandemic brought production to a halt.
“We were in limbo,” Grodman recalls. “We didn’t know if the pilot was ever going to be filmed or made into a series.”
Luckily, the pilot was filmed and CBS premiered the series in October 2021.
Grodman doesn’t take his newfound success for granted. He remembers many years of endless auditions and how he turned his love of acting into teaching others the craft. He had one job teaching inmates how to act at Riker’s Island in the Bronx.
“Teaching at Riker’s Island Prison was one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever done, but the moments I saw breakthroughs with students were also extremely rewarding,” says Grodman. “The experience also helped crystallize how I wanted to teach and help students understand all aspects of the performance.”
Today, Grodman is an associate professor in the theater department at Hunter College (CUNY) in New York City, where he also resides.
“I love teaching different acting techniques and inspiring my students’ imaginations,” he says. “I also enjoy helping my students and colleagues prepare for upcoming auditions and I think that helps me become a better actor as well.”
When he’s not working on Ghosts or teaching at Hunter College, Grodman enjoys watching and playing football. He meets friends for a weekly pickup football game and admits he’s a die-hard Jacksonville Jaguars fan.
“My dad is a huge Detroit Lions fan, but when they went through a losing streak, my mom told my dad that he couldn’t get my brother and I through the fear,” Grodman says with a laugh. “I’ve been a Jaguars fan since they were kids and watched them play at home and in Seattle a few years ago.”
Fans will next see Grodman in the movie Out of Order, starring Brooke Shields.
“I’m portraying a big pharma guy who stole research,” says Grodman. “Brooke has been fantastic to work with and it is amazing how much she has achieved. On the last night of filming, she invited us all to her house for a cast party, even though we were only scheduled to work a 15-hour day. She’s gorgeous.”
With Ghosts renewed for a second season, Grodman is also excited to unravel the many layers of his character, Trevor. In the first season, fans saw Trevor create a dating profile with his dog. The white Lab in the photo turned out to be Grodman’s own dog, Zazie.
“I really pushed for Trevor having a dog on his dating profile, and then it became my dog,” says Grodman. “Zazie has handled fame really well and hasn’t let it go to her head.”
When asked about the future, Grodman says he’d like to do more television and even theater in New York. For now, he’s content to be part of a cast that has become a second family and film a show that has had such a wonderful response from viewers.
“I love hearing how viewers love the show and how it makes them laugh like we do when we film it,” he says.
A superfan of the show is actor Mark Hamill, who in January tweeted his delight at the show’s renewal for a second season.
“This is a wonderful surprise,” Hamill tweeted. “‘Ghosts’ is a delight: smart, funny, whimsical, with a brilliant cast that’s beyond perfection.”
The cast thanked Hamill and Grodman tweeted: “This is so kind and exciting, especially from someone who has brought so much joy into our lives. Pete and Trevor will have an epic lightsaber fight (although explaining lightsabers to the other spirits will be difficult… [difficult]).”