My worst moment: 'Psych' star James Roday Rodriguez and the stomach-emptying day on set

Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

"So I end up napping for about 50 minutes while everyone went back to shore for lunch. And nobody -- even though I'm surrounded by a crew of local lifelong Western Seaboard fisherman and surfers and paddle boarders -- nobody said, 'You might not want to do that because it can throw off your equilibrium.' Not one person said, 'Don't go down beneath the deck and take a nap.'

"So I woke up and I'm feeling a little groggy but I'm working through it, it's all good. And then the nausea hits. And it hits hard. Really hard. And it hits while the cameras are rolling and I'm in the middle of a scene.

"There's just no way around it and I was like (long sigh), I have two options: I can make a big deal out of this and I can yell cut and run to a nook or try to get to a bathroom, or I can recognize that I brought this on myself, that this is my own doing and we have a limited amount of time to get the work done.

"So I just started puking. (Laughs) Right there on camera. In the middle of the scene, over the side of the boat. And it happened over and over. I'd hold up a finger. I'd puke. I'd go back and get in another three or four lines. I'd puke. I'd come back. And we proceeded to do about two hours worth of work that day with me interstitially vomiting over the side of the boat because I didn't want to say 'cut.'

"I think a couple times between takes they might have run in with a wet wipe for me and maybe a breath mint or two. But the work had to go on. And I wasn't going to stop puking. And unfortunately -- or fortunately, now that this story is being memorialized -- that footage exists. It's archival. Someone has footage of me puking on and off in between lines."

What was the scene he was shooting?


"It was me and Dule and we were going our normal investigative stuff where we were snooping around a boat trying to find a clue. And as most of those scenes generally entailed, there was an additional day player who catches us snooping around, so there was another actor with us on the boat. It was a local performer who probably got a helluva more than they bargained for that day. And I was apologetic! I mean, look, nobody deserves to see that. Nobody signs up for that.

"Dule was pretty disgusted but I think also impressed. I think I might have earned a little bit of respect from him that day because that's not how he rolls. He wouldn't have puked and acted; he would have said 'cut.' So I think even though he was revolted by me, he had to give me props.

"And I have to say, as far as puking and acting goes, if you go back and watch the episode, I think it's pretty seamless. We actually thought about keeping it in -- we talked about it because it was like, is it gross? In comedy, everything's in play. But hindsight being 20/20, we didn't set it up in any shape or form so it would have been this completely random thing that then just went away. So we considered it but there weren't enough votes to keep it in.

"When I got home that day I was completely dehydrated and my equilibrium was shot. Even walking felt weird. And if I recall correctly, they did manage to shift some things around on the next day's schedule so I got to sleep in a little longer than normal. Because the next day was back on the boat."


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