'Ghosts' Stars Brandon Scott Jones and Asher Grodman on Show's Success, Season 3 Expectations, and Balancing Work as an Actor, Teacher, and Writer (Exclusive)
Thursday nights on CBS got a bit more exciting thanks to the comedy series Ghosts. In the latest episode titled "Trevor's Body" – Trevor (Asher Goodman) receives disturbing news about his parents when they come to Woodstone B&B to collect his newly discovered remains. Also, Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones) and Nigel's relationship hits a roadblock. The show puts a comedic spin on a heartfelt story about a newfound dream that reveals connection and self-discovery aren't just for the living. Outside of the show, which was just renewed for a third season, Jones and Grodman stay very busy.
Jones is a writer and actor who starred in the NBC comedy series The Good Place. He is also the writer behind the Netflix hit Senior Year starring Rebel Wilson which made its debut in 2022 on the streaming app. Grodman has had roles in shows like Succession, Chicago Med, and Law & Order: SVU, as well as a handful of independent films. But when he's not acting, he's teaching.
PopCulture.com spoke with Jones and Grodman about the success of the witty comedy, hopes for the third season, and the balancing act they are trying to learn while juggling their multiple careers. Check out the full video interview on our YouTube channel. New episodes of Ghosts air weekly at 8:30 p.m. ET.
PC: So we are huge fans of the show over here at PopCulture.com. Obviously, we are a subsidiary of CBS, so we love CBS shows and everything, and this is definitely such a different concept. So, Brandon, I'll start with you. We're in season two, and in a time where there's so much content to consume, why do you think that the show has been so successful?
BSJ: I don't know if I can pinpoint why. I think that there's a little bit of a fantasy element to it. There's a little bit of a farcical element to it where each week, you can sort of tune in to CBS and see 10 really colorful, wild, disparate characters from all throughout history interacting with each other. I think there's just something really fun about that. I think when you can have television that's an escape and very lighthearted, I can imagine that people gravitate towards that.
AG: I would like to, if it's OK, just to add on to that. We all think that, "Oh God, what do I give to sit down and have dinner with my great-great-great-grandmother?" And we think that it's going to be this deep connection thing. But then you get there, and you realize that, oh, they may not say a bunch of things that I agree with, and we may not be as connected as we once thought we were. And so this show does a good job of finding the funny of that and how much we as people have changed over time.
PC: Absolutely. That's one of my favorite elements of the show as well. And because it was such a good first season, Asher, for you going into the second season, were you nervous about topping the first?
AG: Oh wow, great question. Yeah, I was. I feel like we are so lucky with this incredible concept for this show that there is a responsibility to say we won the lottery. This cast is amazing. The concept is brilliant. The network supports us. And so there's a responsibility to make this thing as good as we possibly can because the opportunity is very rare. So hopefully, we did a good job, we'll see. Be nice to us.
PC: Now, speaking of such an amazing cast, Brandon, for you working on a comedy with so many other talented actors, how are you going about keeping your comedy and timing fresh, especially with the different subject matter that you guys are dealing with?
BSJ: Kind of even piggybacking off of the concept of going into season two, I think it's all about finding rhythms with each other and that we get a chance to spend a lot of time together outside of work as well. And so what happens there is that there's these natural sort of dynamics that happen offscreen that hopefully can translate onscreen. And so when somebody else's point of view that if I'm doing a scene with Richie and Richie and I make each other laugh in a very specific way, I think the way we can try to keep it fresh is to just sort of apply those rhythms that we find outside of the work into the work. And I think that's been really, really fun.
And also, you just never know where your character's going each week. You don't know what's coming up next. You have no idea. And so you get this script, and so you're excited to just go for it. And so I think there's always a little bit of an element of surprise that helps with that as well.
AG: Nice answer, Brandon.
PC: Asher for you, congratulations you guys, because the show has already been renewed for season three, so what are you looking to delve into this time around?
AG: For season three? Well, I sound like a broken record, but the concept is so good because you can't go anywhere, but you can go back 1,000 years into history. So I'm very excited and hopefully, we get to play with what has been happening at this house on this piece of land for the last 1,000 years. How do these ghosts relate to each other? You'll discover tonight that we introduced the character of Trevor's brother, so I'd love to explore that a little bit. There's just a lot of possibilities that I'd love to do the kinds of things that our show can do that no other show really could do.
PC: Now for both of you, outside of acting on various projects, Brandon, you're a writer. Asher, you're a filmmaker and a teacher. It's so funny because I was just watching... What is the name of that movie that's on Netflix?
AG: Oh, that one. That one movie [inaudible 00:04:46]-
PC: What is the movie that I was just watching on Netflix on my vacation?
AG: Who's in it?
PC: About the girl that wakes up in the coma 20 years later-
BCJ: Oh, Senior Year. Senior Year.
PC: Yeah. Senior Year, yes. Yes. Because I had no idea that you were behind that. So that is actually one of my favorite movies. But like I mentioned, Brandon, you're a writer. Asher, you're a filmmaker and a teacher. How are you guys balancing the two with being in front of the camera and then also creating content at the same time?
BSJ: It's definitely a tightrope act. You know what I'm saying? I find that, from my perspective, writing takes a lot of my brain space. And so it's about kind of compartmentalizing and saying when I'm done with my day of shooting, if I don't have to prep for the next day, that's always going to be paramount. But then I'll try to find nights and weekends a chance to write. And then obviously, right now, and we're in our off-season, I try to just keep a schedule that makes it feel like an actual working day. So at 9:00 to 5:00, I try to sit behind a computer and write, which is sad to say out loud because I live in Sunny LA.
AG: There's been a lot of teaching for me recently. And I'm very lucky that the schedule takes care of itself in the sense that I'm in Montreal shooting Ghosts from June to January, and then there's a semester of the college that I teach at. So the year is kind of bifurcated in the perfect way. So that's helpful.
PC: And for you, Asher, you spoke a little bit about your schedule, but what are you getting from teaching versus acting? What is fueling you? How are you using, obviously you're experiencing and acting in Hollywood? One of the things that I feel I benefit benefited from attending college was actually having professors that were actively in the field, which I feel like a lot of times lacks depending on what program or what school you attend. So how do you feel like that's a benefit to yourself and also your students?
AG: That's a great question. It's very easy as a teacher to, I think, lose a sense of vulnerability because you always kind of know more. And the good thing about the business is that it'll never let you feel too good about yourself. So it keeps you humble, and you can apply that. I always think with my students that any exercise that we're going to do, I should do it first so that they see me getting in the sandbox with them and trying and failing. And then there's something great about, we're shooting a show and, Brandon and I talk about this a lot, there's the constant focus on process, process, process, but we're surrounded by every other element of the filmmaking process that is very results oriented. And their result is created by capturing our process, if that makes any sense.
So teaching is very grounding in a way because it's all about process. It's all about trying and failing and changing a point of view and about that kind of sense of mutability and electricity. So they kind of go hand in hand. Teaching can be a good reset because you take yourself out of the equation, try to help someone else, and through osmosis you're kind of picking things up
PC: And for you, Brandon, what projects are you currently working on, or what is your dream project to write and bring to fruition?
BSJ: Oh gosh.
AG: Great questions. These are just awesome questions.
PC: Thank you.
BSJ: So in terms of a dream project, that's always shifting and changing in terms of what I'm interested. I think to write and act in something that and really kind of create it from the ground up and see it through that full package, I think is really, really exciting. I had a really great time working on Senior Year. I have a movie coming out this spring called Renfield, which I'm really excited about.
AG: And the trailer looks amazing.
BSJ: Thank you. And I have a TV show coming out. So, I mean, there's those things I'm excited about right now just to have those get out into the world. And then my writing partner and I are writing a movie right now, so we're really excited, and we are hoping everybody gets to see that sometime soon as well.0comments