After a more-than-one-month hiatus, CBS's smash-hit freshmen sitcom Ghosts returns Thursday night with a brand new episode that finds plenty of shenanigans ahead and Sasappis — played by actor Román Zaragoza — taking center stage for an emotional series return. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com ahead of tonight's episode "Ghostwriter," Zaragoza admits while audiences will get to see more behind the beloved house ghost, this is just the beginning of his spirited arc. Particularly in how Sasappis offers to help Sam (Rose McIver) complete the bed and breakfast website so she and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudker) can start taking reservations.
While audiences will see more of what Zaragoza's character is really passionate about through his interaction with Sam, Sasappis is a lot more layered than we think outside of his usual dry wit and sarcasm. "I think there's a lot to him. I think this is just one aspect of Sasappis. I think there are a lot of other secrets that are probably going to come out down the road about how he even got to where he is and all this," Zaragoza told PopCulture of his deadpan character who is a young spirit with an old soul. "I think there's a lot more to dive into there. I think this is definitely a big part of who he is, but I also think there are secrets that are probably going to come out in season two or beyond about how he got there and why he is stuck here."
Teasing an emotional scene in the episode between all the house ghosts and the livings, Zaragoza says while it is always so much fun spending time with his co-stars, playing Sasappis has its challenges. "The hardest thing for me sometimes is just being — for lack of a better term, rude," he laughed adding how his blunt character is "not afraid" to put someone down or in their place. "For me, that is not exactly how I am in my day-to-day. And he's also sometimes not as joyful or expressive in that way and I feel like I'm more of that kind of expressive person in my day-to-day life. So sometimes I got to suppress parts of myself and bring up other parts of Sasappis. It can be a challenge for sure."
That doesn't go without its delights though as Zaragoza humbly admits spending time with his co-stars is one of his greatest joys aside from playing Sasappis, a young Native American Lenape from the 1500s. "He's also so much fun to play," he said. "He's taught me so much about myself and honesty taught me a lot about honesty and being truthful with people."
Though previews teased a tense moment between Sasappis and Trevor (Asher Grodman), Zaragoza says he is "excited" to see the character relationships develop even more as the episodes progress. "I think as of now I would say that Thor and Sas are probably the closest [in the house]," he said. "We spent so much time together. We spent hundreds of years together before there was another ghost. So I definitely think that he and I share a very interesting bond but I'm very interested to see how the relationships with all the ghosts develop in Season 2 and beyond."
With Ghosts being one of the 2021-2022 season's best new sitcoms with a 95% freshness score on Rotten Tomatoes and week-after-week high ratings among all the freshmen shows, it's no secret that as funny as it is on TV, there are also plenty of laughs happening behind the scenes. "It's hard," Zaragoza said. "Sometimes I have to really compose myself and the more that I focus on the scene and actually the real stakes of everything it's easier. But it's hard. There are so many amazing actors and so many incredible comedians on our show that it's easy to break. To laugh."
Calling it all "so much fun" though, Zaragoza admits he was really happy to work more with McIver on this episode, touting the entire experience a "dream" for him. "I got to really work with her, and learn from her, and see her process even more clearly. Because it was just the two of us a lot of the time. I learned a lot from this episode and I'm excited to see it myself."
Ghosts airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS and will be available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+. Those interested in seeing all Paramount+ has to offer can click here for a free streaming offer.