Asher Grodman Talks Life, Death, and His Love of Ghosts (Exclusive)

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Ghosts, Asher Grodman

Ghosts star Asher Grodman shed some light on the life and death of his character, finance bro and playboy Trevor Lefkowitz.

Appearing in every episode of the American version of Ghosts thus far, Trevor is a mainstay at Woodstone Mansion following his death in 2000, which was detailed heavily in Season 1, Episode 16 (entitled "Trevor's Pants").

The 36-year-old Grodman makes Trevor one of the show's funniest characters thanks to his late '90s references, increased sex drive, and propensity for fun, always looking to bring his sense of life to the house.

Asher Grodman on Trevor's Life & Death in Ghosts

Asher Grodman as Trevor in Ghosts
Asher Grodman

During an exclusive interview with The Direct's Richard Nebens, Ghosts star Asher Grodman shared new details about his character, former Wall St. stockbroker Trevor Lefkowitz, looking at both his life and death.

Asked if there were any more hidden details about Trevor's death, Grodman, who himself was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, highlighted how fun the flashback episodes are for each character, which put "a new lens on the present" with each story:

"I think something that was very interesting that happened with that episode is that, we have a dynamic in the show of these ghosts, And so, what is the world that they’re all living in, the relationships that they have with each other, which had been established over, in some cases, centuries. So that dynamic is very clear and is always at the top of our priority list. What’s fun with these flashbacks is that we tend to tell stories in our little universe by going back in time, because it puts a new lens on the present."

On the other hand, this means each ghost only has "an episode to establish what life was like" for them. In Trevor's case, fans learn he was "one of the leaders" in his group of friends, although his differences give him a sense of loneliness as well:

"But what it means is that you only have, like, an episode to establish what life was like for each of these characters. Our creators, Joe Port and Joe Weissman, were fantastic and we got to have a couple chats about like ‘What was Trevor in his friend group?’ And the thing we kind of found was that he’s one of the leaders in that group who is slowly realizing that he is a little more different than the guys that were in that group or he has a larger capacity than the ones in that group, which, you know, adds to a kind of loneliness, a kind of lost feeling."

He detailed how Trevor's main goal, dead or alive, is "taking care of [his] buddies" and making sure those around him are all "having a good time:"

"What you see in 'Trevor’s Pants' is a little bit of an abandonment, because for him, the North Star of taking care of my bros, taking care of my buddies…Trevor always wants everyone around him to be having a good time, and there’s a nurturer in that, and I think that episode…the party boy, we go a little deeper into that and a little more specific into something that I think is more relatable for people."

He also addressed what Trevor's life would have looked like had he not died in 2000, seeing a world in which his character never learned the lessons he was supposed to.

In any case, the former stockbroker was perhaps the Ghosts character who "lived his life to the fullest" before passing:

"This is a question that I’m getting nowadays, and it’s hard. I’d like to think that Trevor, because he’s got a big heart and he’s got some lessons to learn, though it’s kinda fun to imagine him never learning those lessons, just kinda staying the same, but just enjoying life to its fullest. It’s funny because, Trevor - maybe Thor is this way too a little bit - but Trevor feels to me like the one that lived his life to the fullest..."

He imagines Trevor would "still be enjoying himself" and making sure those around him did the same. However, he also posited it would be "sad and funny" that Trevor "knows how to live" while being stuck as a ghost:

"...but I think Trevor already had the best life of everyone, and so I want to imagine that if he hadn’t died, he’d still be enjoying himself and having everyone around him enjoying themselves to the fullest. I think the sad and funny thing about Trevor is that he knows how to live, and now he’s stuck in the most boring of circumstances possible for eternity."

Asher Grodman as Trevor in Ghosts
Asher Grodman

Noteworthy about Trevor is his Jewish faith, which Grodman shares, as he called it "so fun" to play a character with his same beliefs while getting to bring his heritage into the show through Trevor's eyes:

“It’s been so fun. I’ve been doing this for, like, 24 years or something, and I’m actually not even sure that I can remember playing another Jewish character off the top of my head outside of one I wrote for myself. So, it’s not something you get to do very often, and then on top of that, the fact that I feel that they handle it in such a good way where he’s not, like *the Jewish one.* He’s a lot of things, one of them is Jewish, and I enjoy also the way that they let him have his Yiddish and Hebrew moments, and his Judaism is, I think, a personal connection to him. His relationship to Judaism is very ‘Trevor,’ if that makes any sense. It’s so thrilling.”

Grodman looked back to his initial audition for Trevor as well, giving credit to showrunners Joe Port and Joe Weissman while remembering how he balanced his work with the character in the early days:

"Well, let’s just take a step back for a second and acknowledge, I was a guy who had done some plays, some guest stars…I was not pitched this role, I auditioned for this role and was lucky and honored when they gave it to me. Shout out again to our showrunners Joe Port and Joe Weissman, and to our director, Trent O’Donnell, who directed the pilot and the lion’s share of the rest of the episodes. In the beginning, you’re just kind of figuring out ‘How do I do this audition and how do I bring something to this?’ And that balance between ‘Ok, here’s what I can control, here’s what I can’t control,’ and letting the rest be spontaneous and come alive."

He was reminded of people he went to college with reading the writing for Trevor, describing a "puppy-ish quality" in the character while working to have the dialogue be naturally funny:

"The thing that I saw with Trevor was, the writing was so specific and so good and it reminded me of the guys I went to college with and that kind of point of view, and I have a warm place in my heart for that. I think there’s also this, wanting to have a good time, this kind of puppy-ish quality to him. So I just tried to seize on that stuff, but I remember a lot of that audition was ‘This thing works, I gotta get out of the way and let these words fly.’ I think a lot of times what happens as an actor is there’s an impulse to say ‘Oh, this is funny, I’m gonna go be funny’ instead of 'Oh, this works, my job is is to fill in the gaps and kind of marry this thing, it’s not to sit on top of this thing.'"

For all the characters, Grodman has seen a "symbiotic relationship that happens between writers and actors" over the first two seasons, with some of the actors' mannerisms showing up on screen in their roles: 

"I think there is this kind of symbiotic relationship that happens between writers and actors, because we become kind of the tool through which the writers are realizing this story. There is kind of this dance that happens on the two ends, and I’ve seen it a lot, it’s kind of remarkable, I’ve seen it with the cast, I’ve seen a lot of little idiosyncracies that the actors and the cast have that start showing up in characters. I can probably see it more easily in other people than I can see it in myself. So whether that’s inspiration or just really good instincts on behalf of the writers, you never know, but everyone’s in that soup together."

Touching on the 2023 actors and writers' strikes, the Ghosts star expressed profound gratitude to have a job through that time while comparing the challenges of shooting Season 3 to those he saw in the first two seasons:

"I’ll tell you something - nothing makes you grateful for your job like a strike that lasts almost a year, so there was a lot of gratitude. I don’t think it was harder. In many ways, it was actually probably easier, because we had…Season 1, we were in the middle of a pandemic, and shooting…fundamentally, your job as an actor is to try to make this thing on a page as two-dimensional come to life. The trappings of life, the listening and the play and the thing that happens between people, that’s kind of the thing you’re always shooting for. Very hard to do that in PPE with all the COVID protocols, and also we’re figuring out the show, so there were a lot of obstacles in Season 1. Season 2, all that stuff was still there. Season 3 was our first time ever without any kind of COVID restrictions. So in that case, it was a lot easier."

Dealing with new challenges, he praised the writing for Season 3, hyping the last three episodes in Season 3 as something truly special:

"It was very cold in Montreal because we shot in the winter, so that was a new challenge. But I think for the most part, we were thrilled to be back and we were thrilled with the writing. This season is so good, just on the page, it’s so good. We got an episode I believe airing on Thursday, and it’s a really special one. The last few episodes of this thing, I think the last two have been great, they’ve all been great, but this season just keeps [going up] and there’s some very exciting stuff that’s coming up. As people will be watching the episode, I will be watching people, because I can’t wait to see the response."

Asher Grodman as Trevor and Rose McIver as Sam in Ghosts
Asher Grodman

Grodman later touched on the core concept of the show - Rose McIver's Sam being able to see ghosts - as he was asked if Utkarsh Ambudkar's Jay would ever be able to do the same thing.

Part of his perspective is seeing the fun in having "a limitation" on the show, forcing actors like Ambudkar to "operate with one arm tied behind [their] back:"

"I don’t know. It’s so funny, because…whatever our writers choose is gonna work because they’re fantastic. But I will say, I think there’s something fun in a limitation. Having to operate with one arm tied behind your back leads to possibilities that you never would have normally found."

Giving McIver credit for her work, he then heaped even more praise on Ambudkar, explaining how hard it is to have "a very limited toolbox in terms of not hearing things."

Discussing the "fine line" he has to navigate and joking about seeing him squirm, he put his co-star on a pedestal for his work on the series:

"I think one of the reasons we’re all yearning for it is because the limitation has made it even more juicy. What Rose does in this show is incredible. She’s doing scenes with all of us, and then we’re doing this ghost-less version where we all disappear and she’s doing a scene with 10 people who she can’t see and she’s doing it on her own, that’s incredible. But what Utkarsh does is just as important, it’s so hard because he’s got a very limited toolbox in terms of not hearing things. It’s very hard to not hear something, especially when Thor starts yelling and to not even have the smallest response to it. And then to find, what are the things that he can do that are supporting the story but are also basically passing time. It’s a very fine line that he has to navigate, and he does it so well, and it’s so funny, and then it’s just fun to watch Utkarsh squirm. Who doesn’t want to see that? And he squirms so well.”

Finally, the topic of Flower's exit from the series came up as Grodman addressed whether he or any of his castmates worry that their characters will be the next to go up into heaven.

Grodman made it clear that he is not "running for that door" or looking for an exit, sharing a love for the cast and the team they work with in Montreal, Canada:

"Yeah, that’s a great question. You’re basically saying ‘In pursuit of the art, are we willing to lose our job?’ I think the answer is ‘no,’ we really love our job. Nobody wants to leave, it’s a really great cast and crew dynamic, our Montreal crew is amazing. So nobody’s running for that door, I don’t think, at least I’m not."

Looking at how some shows in this era are presented as "very extended movies," he also sees how the idea of "getting stuck and not learning the lesson" does so much for the comedy on shows like Ghosts

These characters "go[ing] one step forward and then five steps backward" is still fun for him, noting how audiences and the people making the show have different goals in mind when watching:

"We live in a streaming world where these TV shows are often like very extended movies, so there is this kind of thing. And I understand that a lot of shows do that, and I’m sure we will too, but the journey of getting stuck and not learning the lesson does a lot for comedy. So as much as it’s fun to watch the characters develop, having them go one step forward and then five steps backward is almost even more fun to play. It’s more of this, it’s more of a limitation, it’s just a lot of fun. As an audience, you’re kind of rooting for the completion of a thing, but you also kind of love that these characters are so flawed, and I think something that I’m coming to recently is that this show’s dealing with big questions of mortality and stuff like that."

This led to a look at the "tendency as human beings" to "revere that unknown and revere the dead," which Ghosts takes in an entirely new direction due to the characters being "idiots," according to Grodman:

"And we also have this tendency as human beings, we don’t know what happens after, we don’t know what happens out there, we don’t know what the next stage of all this is, so we kind of revere that unknown and revere the dead, and our show flips that entirely because the dead are sitting there at the table, they’re limited, they’re idiots, they’re like little puppies, they have no idea what’s happening. So there’s something fun in the fact that we’re all so kind of lost in any given moment. I think it helps with kind of the 'warm hug' vibe of the show."

New episodes of Ghosts Season 3 premiere every Thursday on CBS at 8:30 p.m. ET. 

Read more about Ghosts below:

Full Cast of Ghosts Season 3 Episode 7 on CBS - Every Main Character & Actor Who Appears (Photos)

Ghosts: How Exactly Did Hetty Die?

Ghosts: Is Rose McIver's Sam Pregnant In the Show's Season 3?

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.