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James Roday Changes His Name To James Roday Rodriguez To Honor His Latino Heritage

James Roday is going back to his roots and will now be professionally known as James Roday Rodriguez.

The 44-year-old actor, who you’ve seen in Psych and A Million Little Things, is opening up about his decision to reclaim his birth name from this point on.

In an interview with TV Line, James went in depth about why he changed his name in the first place, where Roday actually came from, and why he’s changing it now.

He recalled that when he started to audition for acting roles while studying at New York University, he wasn’t getting the jobs he desired because he was told his name was holding him back. He went out for the lead role in Primal Fear - that ultimately went to Edward Norton – but was told they couldn’t cast him because of his last name.

That was when he was offered an audition for the role of a gang member, but was then told he “didn’t look Latino enough.”

James also says that when he auditioned for a DreamWorks pilot and got the job, he was told “the role wasn’t written for a Hispanic or Mexican person.”

“They were worried that casting a white guy with a Mexican name could be construed as their version of ‘diverse casting,’ and there could be a backlash. They said, ‘You might want to give some real consideration to changing your name.’”

“Now imagine someone giving that advice to an actor out loud today, with the climate and cancel culture,” James added. “That’s it; they’re done. But this is the late ’90s. It was a different time and, frankly, my first two experiences kind of proved the point that they were making.”

James said that he asked his dad about the name change and his dad didn’t want that to hold him back from his dreams of becoming an actor, so gave his permission to change it professionally.

“I came up with this name that I pulled right out of a Chekhov play that I was doing at the time, and I’ve been Roday ever since,” he shared. “20 years later, I realize I essentially perpetuated an institutionalized element of what’s broken about this industry, which is, of course, a microcosm of the world we are living in. I can’t excuse the decision because of youth or naiveté or ambition. The bottom line is, I sold out my heritage in about 15 seconds to have a shot at being an actor.”

James also shared that he isn’t changing it back just to be part of a movement, but doing it because it’s his name and he’s proud of his heritage.

“The last thing I would ever want in a million years is for anyone to feel like I’m co-opting a movement to point a light at myself,” he said. “But the truth is, it’s a deeply personal decision that I am doing for me. And I just hope it’s something that can be amplified. I hope we are all having these conversations in our lives. I hope we are all reflecting. I hope we’re all learning sh** that we thought we knew but didn’t know. And I hope we’re all chasing the best versions of ourselves moving forward.”

You can next see James in Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, which will debut on NBC’s Peacock streaming service on July 15. See the full lineup here!

Julianne Hough, Josh Dallas & More TV Stars Celebrate Upfronts at 'EW' & 'People' Party!

Julianne Hough strikes a pose on the carpet as she arrives at Entertainment Weekly & People’s Upfronts Party on Monday night (May 13) in New York City.

The 30-year-old America’s Got Talent judge was joined at the event by Manifest‘s Josh Dallas and Melissa Roxburgh, New Amsterdam‘s Ryan Eggold, Janet Montgomery, Margot Bingham, Freema Agyeman and Jocko Sims, Good GirlsRetta, SNL‘s Kenan Thompson, Taran Killam of Single Parents, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist‘s Skylar Astin and Jane Levy, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Melissa Fumero, Terry Crews and Stephanie Beatriz.

Also in attendance to represent their shows were Indebted‘s Fran Drescher, Adam Pally, Jessy Hodges and Abby Elliott, Snowpiercer‘s Alison Wright, Lincoln‘s Michael Imperioli, Arielle Kebbel and Russell Hornsby, Watchmen‘s Adelaide Clemens, The Good Fight‘s Mike Colter, Four Weddings and a Funeral‘s Rebecca Rittenhouse and Sophia La Porta, Amir Arison of The Blacklist, Chicago Med‘s Yaya DaCosta, Tom Payne of Prodigal Son, Katy Keene‘s Jonny Beauchamp, Aly & AJ Michalka, Station 19‘s Jaina Lee Ortiz, Danielle Savre and Barrett Doss, A Million Little ThingsAllison Miller, Stephanie Szostak, James Roday and Christina Moses, Donald Faison of Emergence, Roselyn Sanchez of Grand Hotel, Nancy Drew‘s Kennedy McMann, Nicole Kang of Batwoman, Violett Beane of God Friended Me, and Ester Dean.

FYI: Kennedy is wearing a Markarian dress. Julianne is wearing a Vatanika top and dress. Stephanie is wearing Les Petits Jouerus shoes.

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'A Million Little Things' Cast Gets Together to Premiere ABC's New Show!

The cast of A Million Little Things hit the red carpet to premiere their brand new show!

Cast members Ron Livingston, Christina Ochoa, James Roday, Allison Miller, Grace Park, Christina Marie Moses, Lizzy Greene, David Giuntoli, Stephanie Szostak, Romany Malco, and DJ Nash premiered the show at LACMA on Saturday (September 22) in Los Angeles.

Also seen walking the red carpet with the cast were director James Griffiths and producer Dana Honor.

The show will debut on ABC in just a few days on September 26! Be sure to check it out!

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Ron Livingston Brings His New Show 'A Million Little Things' to Summer TCAs 2018

Ron Livingston is all smiles as he steps out for the ABC portion of the 2018 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour on Tuesday (August 7) at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The 51-year-old actor stopped by the event to promote his upcoming new drama series A Million Little Things at the press event.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Ron Livingston

Also stepping out for the event were fellow cast members Allison Miller, Christina Moses, Christina Ochoa, David Giuntoli, James Roday, Lizzie Greene, Romany Malco, and Stephanie Szostak.

A Million Little Things premieres on Wednesday, September 26 on ABC.

10+ pictures inside of the cast at the event…More Here! »

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ABC Orders New Drama Series 'A Million Little Things'

ABC has ordered the dramedy series A Million Little Things for its 2018-2019 season!

It marks the network’s first pilot pickup this year.

A Million Little Things will focus on “a group of friends from Boston who bonded under unexpected circumstances. Some have achieved success, others are struggling in their careers and relationships, but all of them feel stuck in life. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake-up call the others need to finally start living. Along the way they discover that friends may be the one thing to save them from themselves,” Variety reports.

The series, written and executive produced by DJ Nash, stars Ron Livingston as Jon, David Giuntoli as Eddie, Romany Malco as Rome, Allison Miller as Maggie, Christina Moses as Regina, Christina Ochoa as Ashley, James Roday as Gary, Stephanie Szostak as Delilah, and Lizzy Greene as Sophie.

Josh Duhamel & 'Buddy Games' Co-Stars Strike a Pose on Set

Josh Duhamel teamed up with his The Buddy Games castmates for some pretty epic on-set photos!

The 44-year-old actor was spotted filming new scenes for the comedy on Monday (August 21) in Vancouver, Canada.

The film also marks Josh‘s directorial debut.

“Some of the great #cast of #buddygames,” Kevin Dillon captioned the group shot below, also featuring Nick Swardson, Dax Shepard, Olivia Munn, and James Roday.

Kevin shared a photo of himself and Josh with their arms around each other as well.

According to Deadline, the film circles around “a group of thirtysomething friends who reunite to play the Buddy Game – a wild assortment of absurd physical and mental challenges. In the process, they heal old wounds, right past wrongs and figure out the true meaning of friendship – or die trying.”

ICYMI, see what Olivia had to say about working with Josh.

Click inside to see another on-set photo…More Here! »

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Josh Duhamel Adds Olivia Munn & More to Directorial Debut 'Buddy Games'!

Josh Duhamel has set the cast for his directorial debut, The Buddy Games.

Kevin Dillon, Dax Shepard, Olivia Munn, James Roday, and Dan Bakkedahl will all be starring in the new movie! They join already announced stars Nick Swardson and WWE ring star Sheamus. Josh is also set to star in the film.

According to Deadline, the film circles around “a group of thirtysomething friends who reunite to play the Buddy Game – a wild assortment of absurd physical and mental challenges. In the process, they heal old wounds, right past wrongs and figure out the true meaning of friendship – or die trying.”