GHOSTS Post-Mortem: Román Zaragoza on How Sasappis' Power Makes it So the 'Universe Just Grew' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

GHOSTS Post-Mortem: Román Zaragoza on How Sasappis’ Power Makes it So the ‘Universe Just Grew’

February 22, 2024 by  

Ghosts Sasappis ghost power

“Man of Your Dreams” – Sam learns that one of the ghosts’ powers is to enter the dreams of the livings and influence their decisions. Also, two of the ghosts think they’ve learned the secret to moving on, on the CBS Original series GHOSTS, Thursday, Feb. 22 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Pictured (L-R): Rose McIver as Samantha, Utkarsh Ambudkar as Jay, Richie Moriarty as Pete, Roman Zaragoza as Sasappis, and Brandon Scott Jones as Isaac. Photo: Bertrand Calmeau/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Thursday, February 22 episode of GHOSTS.]

Surprise! GHOSTS’ Sasappis (Román Zaragoza) can actually communicate with the living…via dreams.

The revelation was made on the Thursday, February 22 episode, as Sass visited Jay’s (Utkarsh Ambudkar) dreams to try and get him to install a pizza oven…and then, when Sam (Rose McIver) found out, she used Sass to try and help her win a disagreement.

But Jay pieced it together and was hurt that Sass had a way to speak to him this entire time, and instead utilized his power to manipulate him. The duo made up…and got to spend a little dream time together.

Here, Zaragoza talks with Give Me My Remote about Sass’ power, its impact on the show, and more.

When did you find out about Sass’ power and what questions did you have for the writers about it?
Actually, I found out probably about a year ago. The Joes—[co-showrunners] Joe Port and Joe Wiseman—reached out and were like, “Hey, we have an idea for your ghost power.” And I was like, “All right, let’s hear what it is.” And we had this whole conversation. And it just floored me. I was like, “This is a genius idea. I love this idea.” 

And I’ll be honest: I probably didn’t ask enough questions. I was just like, let’s do it. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I can change my outfit? Oh my God. I can talk to other people? And like go into dreams, different settings, and all these things?” I was so excited…the universe just grew. The universe grew so massively with that. I didn’t know anything about storylines at the time. It was very early stages. And then for them to then come through this season and be like, “Here we go. We’re gonna do it.” And I was like, wow…to get the scripts I was so excited to work with Utkarsh And to have this really fun scene. It was a lot of fun.

Since you knew so far in advance, was there anything you did—consciously or unconsciously—to indicate Sass had this power? 
There was definitely conversation [about] that, for sure—how much to show, how much you know. But I think we were trying not to show our cards too much.

That makes sense. What was it like filming those dream sequences on the basketball court and the spaceship?
It’s been incredible. Getting to work with Utkarsh was such a dream. He’s such a pro. And we had such a heart-to-heart in that scene. 

Also, we rarely get one-on-one scenes on the show because it’s such a big ensemble. And so whenever I get to have that, I just kind of really cherish it. On that day, it was just so sweet. And it was directed by Jay Karas, who’s an amazing director and he was our producing director for the first four episodes. He just brought so much care to it and we just had so much fun. And it was great. I got to use some props, I got to change my costume. I got to be in completely different settings. We weren’t in the house anymore. The house is incredible, but it was cool to kind of mix it up. And I loved it. It was a dream, for sure.

Was there anything you wanted to do differently because you were playing a dream version of Sass?
That’s interesting. I think, just on a physical level, the hair was a big topic we talked about: What hairstyles that we wanted to do, so that we people knew it was still Sass, but we’re mixing the hair up a little bit. And that was fun, too. 

They’re like, “What do you think?” And I was like, “Oh, I can put my input! Okay, cool.” And then came up with some fun things. 

And personality-wise, we get to play with some things, such as [the] STAR TREK stuff. We were playing around with that a little bit of how much does Sass know about this TV show and these movies? How much is he wanting to play the role and how much does he really not care about it? [Is he] phoning it in for Jay? We’re just trying to find those levels of how much is Sass really enjoying this or how much is he using it to get what he wants?

Sass has been around, in an undead capacity, for a while. What conversations have you had with the writers about whether he’s used these powers on his now-ghost friends before?
Yeah, there’s definitely conversations happening about that. Nothing in particular about what’s to come about it, but I think it’d be really fun to have some storylines of me going into the other ghosts’ [dreams]—who knows? Flashbacks of me going into other ghosts’ dreams or other people’s dreams throughout the years…I think there’s a lot to explore there. So I’m excited to have the time to do that.

Jay was understandably hurt by Sass trying to manipulate him rather than use the power to have a real conversation with him. What do you think this has done for how Sass might use his powers going forward?
I think that’s a big thing; Sass learned a lot through this experience with Jay and how he doesn’t want to use it for just manipulating people. 

It’s an interesting character development to see. Sass, for so long, didn’t really care about a lot of people. And we’re seeing him, more and more, starting to actually care for people and learning that people care about him. And I think that was the biggest thing: Seeing Jay really interested in wanting to be his friend and Sass being like, “Oh, interesting. I’m feeling things. You like me? That’s cool. Okay, we could be friends.” And I think after the last couple seasons, really seeing that with Sass and all the other ghosts, he’s feeling just loved and opening himself up to love everyone else as well.

How much are the dreams playing into future episodes?
We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t know too much about that. But I think there’s definitely more to come and there’s definitely going to be some more Jay and Sass, and some more dream sequences, for sure.

Halloween is around the corner—which is big for the ghosts. What can you tease about the episode? 
Oh, man. Well, we have an exciting Halloween episode. I can tease that we will find out how one of the ghosts died…it’s a really exciting episode. All of our Halloween episodes are always so much fun. And we’ll see what happens.

At this point in the show’s run, how are you approaching mysteries? Do you want to know and compare information with your cast? Or are you content to wait for scripts?
Yeah, I think I’m in that realm now of, “I’ll find out when I find out.” Maybe season 1 I would have been a little bit more like, “Where are we going? Just so I know [for] my character what I need, I would like to know kind of the trajectory, because if I know where we’re going, that’ll help me play who he is today.” 

But I think after having done two seasons, it’s just like, “Oh, I know who he is. I know where we’re going.” I mean, I don’t always know where we’re going, because sometimes something like the ghost power gets thrown on you and you’re like, “Whoa, cool.” But I feel like I know enough about Sass where I can just play. I just get the scripts when I get the scripts, and it’s just fun. We get to really just discover on the fly. I love reading a script and being like, “Oh, that’s gonna be fun. That’s gonna be fun this week.”

And then there are things like the secret of who was “sucked off” over hiatus. How difficult was that secret to keep?
Well, I think we didn’t really know until pretty close to shooting. I could be wrong. I think there were a lot of possible things that could have happened. And things kept changing. And they’re like, “We don’t know, actually, we’re changing our mind.” So I kind of just was like, “I’ll find out when I find out.” And then I think we did find out a [few] months before. 

There’s definitely a lot of friends and even family who were like, “Who is it? Who is it? Do you still have a job?” And I’m like, “I don’t know, man! I hope so!” It was a little funny to hold on for a while.


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