Comedy legend Paul Rodriguez has a million little things to be grateful for this past year. Most recently of which is his latest acting gig. Rodriguez has joined the cast of A Million Little Things. Rodriguez is playing Javier Mendez, father to Gary Mendez on the ABC drama. Fans know Gary as the fun loving, hilarious, and sometimes inappropriate part of the show. His warmth and sensitivity make any small offenses incredibly easy to forgive. Those qualities made Paul Rodriguez perfect for the role as his father.
For the actor/comedian, it’s been a few years of ups and downs. Just earlier this month Rodriguez reportedly endured a quadruple bypass heart surgery. That was after the home he purchased for this mother burned down. The fire would make the home a total loss as it was not insured. Add to that Rodriguez having lost all his money due to a “bad accountant.”
But it appears that the original Latin King of Comedy is ready to take his reign once again. According to Showrunner DJ Nash, episodes with the father-son pair have already been shot and are in production, “We can’t wait for our fans to see it.”
Side note for casual viewers of A Million Little Things, actor James Roday Rodriguez who plays Gary only recently began using his given birth name of Rodriguez. On previous acting gigs–most notably Psych–James went by James Roday. But, when A Million Little Things came along the actor felt it was time to take his birth name.
He told TV Line that his “first two experiences I had auditioning for work as an actor were both highly informed by the fact that my name did not match my skin tone. The first audition I ever had was for the lead in a major movie, and the casting director said to me, ‘You’re so great, but I don’t think I can call you back because your last name is Rodriguez. But I can call you back for this four-line role of a gang member,’ which I ended up reading for. But they said I wasn’t right for that either because I didn’t look Latino enough. They basically didn’t know what to do with me.” The producers of that project were looking for someone new. Eventually they would find their fresh face. The role by the way was for the lead in movie Primal Fear which launched Edward Norton’s career.
No word on when the episodes starring the Rodriguez pair will air. But, in the meantime you can watch A Million Little Things Thursday nights on ABC.