Earlier this month, the Mexican-American actor — in an exclusive interview with TVLine — detailed his “deeply personal” decision to reclaim his birth name of Rodriguez after reconciling with the “strange relationship” he has long had with his heritage. When his ABC drama returns with Season 3 this fall, Gary may experience a similar epiphany.
Noting that series creator D.J. Nash “loves for art to imitate life” on the series, Rodriguez teases, “I would not be shocked if Gary’s story in Season 3 doesn’t explore his relationship with his heritage, the same way that I’m experiencing my own. We haven’t really kicked the can down that trail yet.”
As Rodriguez explained in the initial TVLine Q&A, Nash is actually responsible for “igniting the pilot light” that led to his professional name change. “He came to me [after I was initially cast] and, unsolicited, said, ‘Hey man, do you want Gary to have a Mexican last name?'” Rodriguez recalled. “And I couldn’t believe that someone was acknowledging that I was 50 percent Latino and actually asking me professionally if I wanted to associate that with my work. And I was stoked. I got excited. I thought this would probably be the only time I get to have a Latino name ever.”
As far as when Million Little Things will begin production on Season 3 in the age of COVID-19, Rodriguez says all parties are aiming for an August start date. “There are a lot of protocols and restrictions that have to get signed off on by studios and unions — and in our case it’s Canadian unions and U.S. unions,” he says of the show, which shoots in Vancouver. “And I have no idea what production is going to look like once we get there, but they really want it to happen in August.”