Stana Katic was interviewed by TLife on June 17, 2014.
Stana Katic was interviewed by People Greece’s Editor in Chief, Lambros Konstantaras on June 16, 2014.
WARNING: Castle fans, spoilers ahead.
“What’s a great story without obstacles to overcome?” Castle said in the middle of Monday night’s season finale, as he comforted his defeated bride-to-be. “Every fairy tale has them — terrible trials that only the worthy can transcend. But we can’t give up. That’s the deal — we want the happy ending, we can’t give up.”
Wise words from the crime-fighting novelist but, in a way, also eerie. Because, as fans know by now, the wedding day Castle and Beckett worked so hard to put together didn’t unravel as expected in the show’s season finale.
In an interview with EW, executive producer Andrew Marlowe explains why they chose to delay Castle and Beckett’s trip down the aisle and what fans can expect from next season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Now, here’s the thing. I know Nathan is the titular Castle, but I confess that at the end, when he was driving to the wedding, I said to myself, ‘Don’t you dare, Matthew Crawley him, Andrew.” So, tell me why you’re so evil. Just kidding.
ANDREW MARLOWE: Well, I’ll tell you why I’m such an evil person: Because I think where we’re going opens up some new and exciting and some really interesting avenues of storytelling that we’re really looking forward to jumping into at the start of the season next season.
Obviously fans were expecting a wedding. Will we get one eventually?
Oh, yeah. Look, I’ve always said these two characters were absolutely meant to be together and we’re telling a long, arcing love story. And, you know, in any epic love story there are complications. And this is certainly a complication along the way.
Was Castle’s speech in the middle of the episode foreshadowing in any way?
Well, it was actually dealing with their entire relationship. So in a way, yeah, in a sense, it was foreshadowing. But it’s really part of what this relationship has been, and what has made it so epic. And this is a relationship that, look, even 20 years from now when there are Castle babies running around and whatever is happening is happening, there is still going to be an epic love story. And they’re a couple to whom interesting things will happen because they have that sort of magic when they come together. So, you know, in terms of getting them together in marriage right at this very point, you have two characters who are very committed to each other and I don’t think that has come into question. It’s now really an issue of what happened. And hopefully people will come back and play through those consequences and be excited by some of the questions we’re posing and the direction the storytelling is going to be going in because we have something interesting to play with.
One of those big questions is, obviously, the identity of the people in the black SUV.
And what exactly is going on and I think there will be some pretty compelling answers when we get back to it.
Does this at all tie back to Sen. Bracken? Or is that a chapter we should consider closed?
Well, certainly those are the things that are going to be on the characters’ minds as they wrestle with what’s going on. There are a lot of specters we assume are going to be hanging over the storytelling. If I were a fan, I’d be wondering about Bracken. I’d be wondering about 3XK. I’d be wondering about some other issues. But we’d like people to tune in to see what we have in store.
Let’s talk about last week’s episode, “Veritas,” briefly because you’ve long said that Castle and Beckett couldn’t move on as a couple until that Bracken/murder arc came to a close. Talk to me about crafting that closure and placing it where you did in the season, which I loved. Honestly, it could have been a series finale.
It could have been. But we were absolutely committed to closing out Beckett’s quest for justice for her mother. And we knew Bracken was out there in the universe, but we also knew as a character that she really couldn’t move on until she had that resolved. So in order to clear the decks and get the table set for the wedding, we felt like we had to go through that experience. So for us it was about making multiple threads come together in a way that was going to be emotionally satisfying for the audience and give a sense of justice to Beckett — this long-sought justice. And also acknowledge Castle’s role in this because she had put this away and when Castle walked through the door the very first season, he was the one who opened up all those old wounds. So in some ways, the two of them doing it together, we hope, is very satisfying for the audience.
Do you have your sights set on establishing any new mythology next year? Or setting up a new epic arc?
We have ambitions in that area. We’d like to open up some new mythology, so hopefully what we’re playing with right now will allow us to do that, while keeping the Beckett and Castle relationship moving forward.
I definitely want to talk about the wedding itself, specifically the dress. I absolutely loved her mother’s dress, and I wasn’t crazy about the original one. Was it always the plan to ruin the first dress?
It wasn’t always in my plan but when we showed the other dress, the reaction to it among the fans was pretty divided. And we thought it was a good way to honor that and put her in something a little more simple, a little more conventional and something that had a little bit more sense of history for the character. As fun as the moment was in that episode to have a woman like that give you a hot couture dress, it didn’t necessarily speak to who Beckett was or speak to her history or her character. So we wanted something that was a little richer for the character emotionally.
Obviously, a marriage will happen eventually, but do you see them trying the whole wedding thing again, considering how much they had to go through for this one and then the way the day turned out?
I think when the time is right, hopefully in the near future, they will embrace something that speaks to both of their characters.
Do you already have an idea?
No. I’m tired. It’s late in the season.
Do you feel like you’re playing a long game with the show still? How many more seasons are left here? Where’s your head at?
My head is in continuing the show as long as we feel good and great storytelling and we certainly know from other shows that once characters get married, it’s not the end of storytelling. There’s still complications that ensue and fun to be had as a couple and fun to be had solving cases. So I don’t really know. You look at Bones as the model and there’s a version where you go on to season 10, 11, 12. And we’ll see if our people have the appetite for that. We’ll see if our actors want to do that, and we’ll see if the viewers stand by us for that.
In all, this was a very different finale for you…
Knowing that we had “Veritas,” we didn’t want to end with something else heavy and we wanted to clear the decks. And when we sat down to talk about it, we thought it would be fun to do something that, for the most part, for 41 minutes, was light and funny and a little bit buoyant and presented the complication that everyone expected in terms of getting to the wedding. But in talking about it, we also wanted to, for future storytelling, level the playing field between Castle and Beckett to allow her to have this thing in her past that she didn’t even know about that catches her short but also loses a little bit of the moral high ground to Castle, which I think delights him. So that was a lot of fun for us. We wanted to do something that was a little bit of a Coen Brothers-Preston Sturges feel.
Yes, 41 minutes of lightness then you punched me in the face. [Laughs]
Yeah, sorry about that. I hope you’ll forgive me, and I hope the audience forgives us given what we have coming up for them next year.
Warning: The following contains major spoilers from the Season 6 finale of ABC’s Castle.
ABC’s Castle on Monday night invited viewers to RSVP for the long-awaited wedding between bestselling author Richard Castle and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett. But did the duo’s Big Day go off without a hitch?
With just days to go until their exchange of vows, Rick and Kate run into an unexpected obstacle when it is discovered that Ms. Beckett is actually a Mrs., having 15 years ago visited a drive-thru chapel with then-beau Rogan O’Leary (Warehouse 13‘s Eddie McClintock), while sloshed in Sin City. Finding Rogan and then getting him to sign off on a dissolution is easier said than done.
Meanwhile back in New York City, the wedding itself was imploding. The venue? Shut down. The couture dress? Ruined. (Stop cheering, y’all.)
And yet… as the finale drew to a close, thanks to quick thinking by Martha and a gift from Jim, the wedding is happening, people!
Until it wasn’t.
All dressed up and ready to wed — yet oddly unable to locate Rick — Kate gets a phone call. Next we see her, she is running down a Hamptons street, on her way to lay witness to a shocking, heartbreaking sight: Rick’s car, having seemingly been forced off the road by an ominous SUV, engulfed in flames.
TVLine invited series creator Andrew W. Marlowe to discuss the twists that transpired and what could possibly happen next, when Season 7 arrives in the fall.
TVLINE | I must say, this was, by and large, an entertaining hour. It was like a “four-quadrant” finale, delivering humor, tragedy, romance, mystery…. All of Castle‘s calling cards.
Thank you for saying that. We appreciate it. One of the things we were trying to accomplish was honoring where the show came from, with the romantic comedy, but also being able to deal with the deep, romantic elements. But we have been known to throw a sucker punch from time to time.
TVLINE | Talk about coming up with the overall idea for this finale.
Well, we knew we wanted to finish off Beckett’s trajectory of getting justice for her mother, in [the May 5 episode] “Veritas,” and we didn’t want that necessarily to be the last episode of the season. But we knew we wanted to deal with that before we got into the wedding stuff, because we wanted to have the sense that if Beckett was moving forward in life that she had that behind her. So, knowing that our second-to-last episode would be relatively weighty, coming into the last episode we were sitting around talking and thought, “Would there be a way to do a Preston Sturges/Coen Brothers-type screwball comedy?” To have some fun, get to see one of our characters in a bit of a new way. We had toyed with this notion of how to complicate the wedding without the conventional, “The old lover comes back into town” thing, and this was a new version of it, courtesy of Jeaneane Garofalo. I think she was the one who discovered, like 20 years later, that she had accidentally gotten married in Vegas not knowing that it was for real. So to be able to do that was exciting, because Beckett has always had the moral high ground in the relationship, because of Castle’s divorces.
TVLINE | Yeah, he even brings up her “one and done” line.
Exactly. And this makes her more human and much more endearing to him. In our minds it’s not a blow to her character, because she was 19 and thought she was being funny at the time, but it’s a huge complication when you have 300 people coming into town and the [wedding] venue is set…. “What are we going to do?” She didn’t want to be embarrassed, and it set us off on a really fun journey. Eddie McClintock playing Rogan gave us the sense that Beckett is drawn to those forces of nature that she can’t quite control.
TVLINE | OK, but talk about your peaks and valleys! You have the screwball comedy for three-quarters of the hour, and then you launch into a romantic swell — with Beckett’s mom’s dress, the scene with Martha, which was just wonderful – and then you yank the rug out from under us. Who was it in the writers room that dared to utter the words, “He drives off a cliff”?
[Laughs] I won’t ascribe blame, in case the fans take out their pitchforks. We’re actually very excited about where we’re going next season, and this helps set up some of the elements that we’re going to be dealing with coming back. We felt like it was an interesting way to end it, in a way that people will want to know what happened, what’s going on. We know that it’s a bit of an emotional blow to the audience but oftentimes good storytelling is. With the mythology that we’re introducing, we want to start it off with a bang. We’re just sorry that the audience has to wait until September to see how we’re going to resolve it.
TVLINE | Because make no mistake, the pitchforks will be out.
No doubt. No doubt. But to us, it’s an indication that they care. Hopefully, in the long term, their trust in us will be well-deserved. But in the short term we’re going to take our lumps.
TVLINE | Are you willing to say that whomever forced Castle’s car off the road is an existing adversary — be it 3XK, Annie Wersching’s plastic surgeon character, a Bracken thug, something pegged to Jackson Hunt, or even this Mickey-the-fugitive mobster guy?
I’ll say that we have a lot of interesting folks out there, and those are the questions we hope people are asking. We have some interesting answers when they come back. Or, at least, more interesting questions.
TVLINE | Nathan Fillion is signed for Season 7, right? This isn’t some loophole to put Castle through reconstructive surgery and have him come out looking like Travis Schuldt?
[Laughs] No, I don’t think we can quite “Doctor Who” Castle. Yeah, Nathan is signed on for Season 7.
TVLINE | What you did to the couture wedding dress…. Was that your way of acknowledging that some viewers weren’t fans of it? Even when I asked Stana for her thoughts on it, she gave a highly diplomatic answer.
It was acknowledging that, having some fun with it…. And also, as lovely as moment as that was in that particular episode [“More Than Skin Deep”], we wanted to make sure that Beckett’s wedding dress had a deeper sense of meaning to her. This was a way to honor that and allow her mother, who has been such a driving force in defining who she is, to “participate” in the wedding. But yeah, we heard the fans and knew that they were deeply divided on that dress, and for good reason.
TVLINE | You of course realize that, now more than ever, you owe the fans a proper wedding — at some point.
We know that we owe them a wedding that accurately reflects who Castle and Beckett are, yes.
TVLINE | I mean, we were so close. You even relocated the wedding ceremony to the Hamptons, which was on the wish list of many fans.
I know, I know….
[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the Season 6 finale of Castle. Read at your own risk.]
Like many TV nuptials before it, the would-be blessed union between Castle’s Katherine Beckett and Richard Castle did not go off without a hitch in the Season 6 finale.
In fact, there were numerous hitches. For starters, when Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) went to apply for their marriage licenses, they were both shocked to learn that Beckett was already married! As it turns out, Beckett married her con-man ex Rogan O’Leary (guest star Eddie McClintock) 15 years ago during a drunken trip to Vegas. But when Beckett makes a trip upstate to get Rogan to sign a dissolution of marriage agreement, things get even worse.
Not only is Rogan kidnapped by a group of thugs, but the venue for the wedding burns down, Ryan’s tux doesn’t fit and Beckett’s wedding dress is destroyed in an apartment flood. But Castle refuses to let Beckett get down and reminds her that fairy tales are all about overcoming the obstacles in order to get a happy ending.
Although Rogan’s kidnapping gets more and more convoluted by the second (he blackmailed a pastor with some photos but somehow got mixed up with a notorious mobster trying to lay low), Beckett and Castle eventually save Rogan, get him to sign the paper and head back to the Hamptons for their newly relocated wedding.
But only one of them makes it to the ceremony. After calling Beckett and telling her he was 20 minutes away, Castle was seemingly run off the road by some mysterious men in a black SUV. When Beckett gets the call and arrives on the scene, all she sees through her teary eyes is Castle’s car in flames.
So, will Castle make it? Who were those goons in the SUV? And will Beckett and Castle ever get their happy ending? TVGuide.com took all our “burning” questions to creator and executive producer Andrew W. Marlowe. Plus: What’s the real reason Beckett got a new wedding dress?
Even before the episode, some fans were vocally upset about Beckett not knowing she was already married. What went into making that choice?
Andrew W. Marlowe: It was just an obstacle to put in the way of them getting married. It’s not like we’re playing a love triangle or anything. In no way does it minimize how seriously Beckett takes [the relationship with Castle.] Castle is a very flawed character, and Beckett has always had the moral upper hand. This allows her to be a little bit more human in his eyes. I think it’s very endearing to him. He’s charmed by it, and I think it’s difficult going into a relationship with somebody who’s a little too perfect.
Because of that setup, a lot of this episode was light and fun, which is a bit of a departure from your recent more dramatic finales.
Marlowe: Before we could entertain the wedding and getting Rick and Kate together, we wanted to close out the Bracken arc. We wanted that sense of justice for Beckett’s character so that she can move forward into her new phase of life completely unfettered. We wanted to do something a little Coen Brothers and just have a good time with it. Of course, [we knew] the whole time that we’d have a twist at the end. With the twist, we’ve got what we think is some great, fun, compelling storytelling for the start of next year, and this platforms pretty well where we want to go.
But even though Castle and Beckett overcame their fairy-tale obstacles, you didn’t give them their happy ending! Did you purposely want to challenge the notion of our heroes getting what they want?
Marlowe: I think this is very much to challenge that. The story that we’re telling with their relationship isn’t over. It’s going to get deeper. It’s going to get more interesting, and there are still a couple of things that need to be overcome. This is not one of those things where suddenly one of them starts feeling a different way [or] one of those things where an old lover shows up. This is something else entirely, and we’re hoping people take the ride. If they continue their investment, it’ll pay off. I do know that some fans will feel robbed, they’ll feel betrayed. But hopefully they’ll stay with us to see how we’re going to resolve it.
What can you tell us about the people in the black SUV? Are they related to Bracken or the mobsters we met in this episode? Or is it a whole new mystery?
Marlowe: I’m comfortable saying those are the questions that we like to leave people with. We feel like [this mystery] has some interesting answers, and are very excited to get back to it in the fall. We’re sorry that people have to wait that long for the resolution, but we’re excited about where we are going.
Castle’s burning car is a pretty bleak image. Can you give us some hope for his survival?
Marlowe: I think we know what the title of the show is.
Speaking of upset fans, did the Internet outrage about Beckett’s original wedding dress play into it being destroyed or was it just another obstacle to overcome?
Marlowe: It was a bit of both. We knew the original dress was pretty divisive when we read the comments, and it was our way of honoring how the fans felt. But it’s also about complicating the journey along the way and getting Beckett to that emotional point of, “What else could go wrong?” and having Castle be the one to give her faith. When she starts to doubt it, it allows him to come and hold her up the way people who are in committed relationships take turns holding each other up. And we also loved the image of the wedding dress on the autopsy table in the morgue. [Laughs]
This season ended the Johanna Beckett murder case, which has been a big narrative engine. What are you thinking about for Season 7?
Marlowe: The relationship has always been the engine. These two people are in a strong committed relationship that is certainly being challenged at this moment, but we’re looking to open up new mythology, to bring in some new elements that we think will give the characters plenty to talk about.
Is this new mythology related to whoever was driving that SUV?
Marlowe: Yeah. I think it’s safe to assume that this event has something to do with the mythology that we’ll be opening up in the new season.
So, is a happy ending still in Castle and Beckett’s future?
Marlowe: That’s what I believe. They’ve had a great deal of happiness over the last several seasons, and I think that there is more to come. Will there be challenges? Yeah, all relationships are challenged, and we’re hoping to break some new ground when we come back next season, but we’re very excited about it. We know that there’s a cost to ending a season this way. We know that people are looking for that [wedding] moment, and that’s a moment that we’re going to get to. But there’s still some storytelling that we have to get through before we get there.
[Warning: This post contains massive, massive spoilers for the CASTLE season 6 finale, “For Better or Worse.” Please do not read this interview until you’ve watched the episode.]
CASTLE spent much of this season plotting Castle and Beckett’s perfect wedding, but the finale threw problem after problem at them: they found out Beckett was accidentally married to an ex-boyfriend (who then tried to blackmail her, and got kidnapped); the wedding venue burned down; Beckett’s dress was destroyed; and then once the duo rejiggered their wedding plans, Castle’s car was seemingly forced off the road, and when Beckett was called to the scene, she saw her fiance’s car in flames.
Yeah, it’s going to be a pretty long summer. To get a little more insight into what went down (including Beckett’s surprise husband, and the decision to have C/B not tie the knot this year), I spoke with CASTLE creator Andrew Marlowe about the finale and what’s to come…
Let’s start off with one of the biggest questions I think fans will be asking this summer: who the heck was driving that car, and what can you say about them at this point?
Andrew Marlowe: Our stunt coordinator! Oh, no, that’s not what you’re asking. [Laughs]
Oh, you’re funny! But no, that’s not what I’m asking.
AM: We’re hoping with what we’re doing now, we’re opening up some very interesting storytelling for the beginning of next season. And that’s all going to be wound up in how we’re coming back next year. So we’re really excited to get into it.
Can you say whether the person who was driving the car is a character (or related to a character) the fans are already familiar with?
AM: I think the fans are absolutely right to wonder that. They’re absolutely right to wonder if the specter of 3XK is out there, if it’s Bracken, or if it’s some new element. It’s what we want them thinking. And when we come back, we’ll get into that full force. We think we have something really fresh and interesting to play with that’s going to lead to some very good storytelling throughout the fall.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I was certainly thinking of 3XK when I watched that final scene.
AM: Well, anyone who watches the show knows who all of our standing bad guys are. So we know it’s going to be on the audiences’ minds. And, by the way, it’s very much going to be on the characters’ minds when we come back in. I think it’s only fair to ask those questions. But of course, I’m not going to answer them.
A quick clarification question, though: is there a body in the car? Or is Beckett just seeing the flames and, understandably, assuming the worst?
AM: [Joking] I couldn’t tell, because there were too many flames.
I wasn’t sure if some poor innocent person had to die in order for this ruse to play out and delay them, or if when the flames get put out, they’ll realize the car is empty…
AM: [Laughs] Stay tuned.
Will there be a time jump when next season starts up, or are you looking to play out the impact of that final scene?
AM: I think it’s only fair for the characters and the audience to play out the impact of that. I think it would be unfair to ellipse over something that is such a big moment. And to answer all the questions you’re talking about, and sort of wrestle with them, I think we have to start immediately right where we left off.
So, looking to the episode itself, at what point in craft the season (or series) did you know that Beckett was actually married?
AM: We started playing with the idea a third of the way to halfway through the season. A lot of it had to do with resolving some aspects of Beckett, so when Beckett and Castle move on, there can be a little more parity. So with “Veritas,” we very much felt like we needed to close off Beckett’s mother’s murder arc in order to free her up in order to move forward.
But she also always occupied the moral high ground with Castle and his previous relationships. And this is a way to humanize her a little bit. To take her down a peg in a way that’s very endearing to Castle. [He’s thinking,] “Okay, I’m not the only screw-up.” And of course, since she was young when she did it, and she didn’t really know what she was doing and it was all a lark, it’s something that can be easily forgiven. But it does serve as a complication, certainly to the two of them, as they’re trying to get married.
And it’s a little bit of — I believe it was Janeane Garofalo who had this experience where she discovered  years later that she had gotten married in Vegas, and she was with her boyfriend at the time, and it was just a little bit of a lark, and there was no paperwork, and she thought it was all, ha ha ha, church of Elvis stuff, and then she finds out, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been married for all of these years.”
At what point did you know that Castle and Beckett wouldn’t be getting married this year?
AM: In my mind, relatively early on. Because there’s a little bit more storytelling we want to go through before we go there.
Since so much of this season did deal with the wedding planning, are you planning on putting as much focus on the plans for the next wedding attempt, or will it be handled differently this time around?
AM: [Joking] I think that we don’t know Castle’s alive…
Assuming he lives.
AM: Certainly when we leave the season, we have two characters who have advertised themselves as very much being in love, and very much being ready for that. And whatever this experience is — which the audience doesn’t know — it’s something they’re going to have to work through.
I’ve always said, we’re telling a long-arcing love story. And a lot of the clues to it is really the speech in this that Castle gives about fairy tales. And what you have to overcome to have the great love story. And that’s who these characters are: because their love story is so epic, there are going to be these moments they have to get through.
And, by the way…they’re going to get married at some point relatively soon, and we’re going to have to deal with storytelling after that. There’s still going to be interesting challenges and bumps in the road, etc., etc.
Was it important to have that final phone between Castle and Beckett be sweet, loving and supportive before all this went down versus there being tension and Beckett being left thinking something else might have gone down?
AM: Yeah, I think it was absolutely essential to have that phone call: everybody’s cards are on the table, and everybody knows how they feel about each other.
So at least relationship-wise, whenever he returns, they will be solid?
AM: Well, look, that depends on what the experience is. And to talk too much about that is giving too much away. These are two characters who are always trying to be together.
When Castle and Beckett made their attempt to get married, a lot of things were changed up from their original plan: a new wedding dress, a new venue. What, if any, of these new, unplanned elements are you intending to incorporate whenever Castle and Beckett do get married?
AM: I think those are character questions we’re not ready to answer, because I think that’s going to be driven by when it actually happens, and what’s going on.
How will everything that went down impact how Castle does his job with Beckett and the NYPD next season?
AM: I think a lot of the answer to that question is wrapped up in elements of mythology that we’re hoping to open up as we come into the new season. So I think I can’t really comment too much further on that without [revealing] our hand.
As you’re looking to open up new mythology strands next year, are you looking at this as arcing the final story for CASTLE, whether it’s a one, two, three, etc. year-long plan? Or are you more playing it as it comes since television is so unpredictable?
AM: I feel like we have a whole bunch of storytelling in front of us with these two. And we’ll see if the fans continue to be supportive, and if the actors are game, I think there are a number of strands I’m looking forward to exploring. But at any point, if it looks like we’re going to wrap up, I have a pretty good idea of where we’re going to go.
On a lighter note, there was a cute Lanie and Esposito moment when they were waiting for the wedding. Are you intending to play with them and that relationship a little bit more next season?
AM: That’s one I’ll have to say, we’ll see, in terms of some of the other storytelling elements that we’re playing with, and what the balance is — finding the right balance between all the characters.
Before I let you go, is there anything you want to tell the fans who now have a very long summer ahead of them as they wait to see how Castle, and Castle/Beckett will make it out of this OK?
AM: I’m sorry you have to wait so long, but we think, and we hope, the storytelling we’re opening up is going to be worth it and a lot of fun!
Warning! Contains Castle finale spoilers!
As CASTLE’s Castle and Beckett get closer to their wedding day, the final preparations are being made. And in this Monday’s new episode, “Law & Boarder,” Ryan and Esposito have a particular task in mind they want to claim ownership of.
“Esposito and Ryan are both vying to be best man for Castle’s wedding,” CASTLE star Seamus Dever (Ryan) laughed. “There’s this comedy of errors where Castle thinks we’re talking about something different, and he doesn’t catch on that they’re sucking up to him and trying to be his best buddy in like a really cloying, annoying way. We’re suddenly just on him, completely, and really competing with one another. So that’s a lot of fun. It’s always fun when Jon [Huertas (Esposito)] and I have to compete about something. We get digs in, and we give each other looks, and there’s lots of things at stake for Ryan and Esposito in that episode.”
And while Castle may be oblivious to what’s going on, Ryan and Esposito’s antics do catch the attention of Beckett.
“Oh, she’s aware of it,” Dever said. “And Stana [Katic (Beckett)] did a great job of catching on very early that we’re acting different all of a sudden. It’s mostly [her] watching us running around chasing our tails.”
But whether one — or neither — of the men lands the spot of Castle’s best man, Dever hinted there might be trouble ahead before Castle and Beckett an get the chance to exchange vows.
“Beckett and Castle are heading to the altar, but do we expect everything to go off without a hitch?” Dever teased. “No. Come on. It’s CASTLE. There are some obstacles throw in their way, and I will say at the very end of the season, the audience will be challenged, and eager to find out how we pick up from here comes September.”
Whatever trouble the duo finds themselves in, Dever acknowledged that Ryan won’t be around to witness much of it.
“Ryan’s completely removed from the storyline [with guest star Eddie McClintock, who plays someone from Beckett’s past],” Dever said. “You’re not going to see Ryan very much in the last two episodes.”
Warning! Contains Castle finale spoilers!
FLINT, MI — It’s been a while since TV star Seamus Dever has been home, but he hasn’t forgotten where he’s from.
The Flint native and “Castle” star moved to Bullhead City, Ariz., at age 6, when parents James and Diana Dever left after difficulty finding jobs in Genesee County. After graduating as valedictorian from his high school, he continued his education with a bachelor’s at Northern Arizona University, the graduate program at Carnegie-Mellon University and a master’s degree at The Moscow Art Theatre. These days, Dever plays homicide detective Kevin Ryan on “Castle,” which is now in its fifth season, with roles on shows like “General Hospital” and “Mad Men,” along with the film “Hollywoodland” with Adrien Brody and Ben Affleck.
But this week, he’s just another Michigander. After attending the Tribeca Film Festival for the premier of a new short film he stars in, “Sequestered,” Dever came back to Michigan to spend time with family. He has two uncles in Michigan — one in Brighton, and another in Dearborn, whose birthday celebration is why Dever came home for the first time in nearly 12 years.
The Flint Journal caught up with Dever about his Flint memories, his Genesee County itinerary and what to expect in the upcoming season finale of “Castle.”
You were born in Flint, but moved to Arizona at age 6.
Seamus: My parents were teachers, and they had a hard time finding a job there, so we moved out there in about ’82. … All my memories are probably until I was 6 years old. I remember going to kindergarten at Civic Park Elementary, living over there in Civic Park, and having a really good sense of neighborhood. We knew all of our neighbors, and when we moved out to Arizona, that all changed. There were a lot of changes, but that was the major thing. There were kids on my block in Flint, but when we moved to Arizona, there were a lot of retired folks living in trailers. Just didn’t have the sense of community. I didn’t know my neighbors, there were no kids, I had to play in the dirt desert behind my house. A lot of good memories and most of them have to do with communities and friends. And since my dad grew up there, he’s in the community as well. I have a lot of family there. My grandparents were my memory of Flint.
With the other places you’ve lived — Los Angeles, Pittsburgh (while attending Carnegie Melon), and more — how would you compare those to living in Michigan?
It’s very different. I don’t know what it is. In Los Angeles, I know my neighbors, but I don’t know them that well. We’re friendly, and we sort of protect each other if there’s an issue of if we see something wrong, but that sense of community, it’s just not there. It’s different. I don’t know if it’s just a culture shift, or something about Midwest versus West, but you don’t really see that. People in LA, they come home, pull into their driveways, and stay home. They don’t really walk around the neighborhood. I remember that specifically, particularly summer and spring nights where people just go for walks in their neighborhoods. You would see everybody on the block. That was certainly something I don’t think I’ve had anywhere else.
How often do you come home?
Not often. Since my grandparents passed away and all my family moved out of Michigan, I have an uncle in Brighton, and another uncle in Dearborn. It’s his 68th birthday, so that’s why I’m coming home, to surprise him. He doesn’t think I’m going to be there, but I’m going to be there. My sister lives in Wisconsin, too, so she’s going to meet me over there.
When I come home, I always swing by my old neighborhood — I lived on Mount Elliot, in the Civic Park area. There’s always a new home that’s been destroyed or burned out in that old neighborhood. It’s kind of a bummer, but it’s part of my past, so I go revisit it. I go to where my grandparents are buried, out there in Grand Blanc, and I go by their place off of Dort Highway. I go downtown, to the Presbyterian Church where I was baptized, to Halo Burger, downtown, and that’s about it. … I want to see what’s going on in Flint these days, that’s sort of why I’m going home.
How did the “Sequester” project come about?
There’s a film editor friend of mine who edited a movie I did a couple years ago, who I made friends with because of that project. He does a lot of commercial stuff, one of the top commercial editors. He’s going to become a filmmaker, and that’s usually what you do when you’re going out there, you make a short film. He asked me if I wanted to be a part of it; it’s basically a two-person film. I asked him how he felt about my partner from “Castle,” Jon Huertas, playing the other part. It was sort of an in-house thing. I spend a lot of time with Jon Huertas on set. We worked on the script, ran through it while we were at work on Castle, and we filmed it. John and I produced it, too, so we were part of that creative team as well.
We did that last June, and put it together. I thought it was just going to be something we put on YouTube or Funny Or Die, because it’s a comedy short that’s eight or nine minutes. But he sent it to the festivals. He did some really interesting camera work with it, so I think that’s what got festivals excited about it. It’s also going to LA Comedy Shorts, and I think South By Southwest. It’s making the rounds, as far as the short film festival circuit. Hopefully in the future we’ll do some more with this director, his name is Lucas Spaulding. We’re talking about doing a feature together based on the short, so we’ll see.
How was working with Jon on this, compared to working with him on “Castle?”
I got to say a lot more curse words. That was very different. That was very different, because all our network television shows, we don’t get to say those words. It was more gritty. It was really about the same. Jon and I sort of have a shorthand, we work really well together after being together for almost five years. It all came together pretty quickly.
In your last interview with The Flint Journal, you said you prefer serious roles because serious roles help you dwell in the character and study who they are. This is a lot more lighthearted. How do you get in work mode for something like this?
The thing about comedy is, you almost have to take it as seriously as you would drama, but you have to be aware of where the comedy is. The preparation is exactly the same, but the follow-through is that you have to be aware of where the joke is. You use some of your natural timing, use some of your instincts, but you use some things that you would do so you don’t squash the joke. You have to be aware of where all the jokes are, what is funny about the piece, and let that breathe. With comedy, you have to take it serious, too. The moment you’re playing the comedy, it’s not funny. … You stay out of the way of the comedy.
How much different is an event like Tribeca, where you’re around people who are responding to your work immediately, to having your work on TV and having viewers around the world watching at home?
It’s definitely more of an immediate experience. They’re right there, and a lot of times at these screenings, you’ll show your film and people ask you questions right away. We do that for “Castle” too, where we show an episode and we’ll be at a theater. There’s a thing they do out here with the Museum of Television and Radio, where you show an episode and the entire audience gets to ask you questions afterward. It’s a little bit of the same thing, but it’s definitely more immediate. You’re hearing whether they laugh or not. That’s the big thing, especially for a comedy. … When you’re at home, you don’t get any of that.
It’s a lot different now, though, because everything’s on Twitter. You’ll follow Twitter with the episode, and people will be telling you through all the time zones how they feel about certain parts of the episode. You get a lot more feedback, that’s just how the world works now. It’s become a much more small place to work on television, because everything is right there, and your fans have a system of feedback right there through social media.
The finale is coming up soon, right? What should people expect?
We just finished shooting last week. As they’ve been all season, they’re headed toward the altar. But some complications happen on their way to the altar. I’m not sure what I can give away, and what I can’t. But there are complications, and they end up having to scramble at the very last minute to ensure that they can get married legally. It should be interesting to see how it turns out. There were definitely a lot of hijinks for Castle and Beckett to go through before they get married. I think that’s all I can tease, but the wedding doesn’t go off without a hitch. I think it’ll be interesting when the audience finally gets to see it in a couple of weeks.
When you’ve been playing a character for this long, do you enjoy it? Does it get old, or are projects like “Sequestered” a sigh of relief because you can play someone different?
There’s something comfortable and very quick about portraying the same character in television. You do the same thing day in day out, you don’t have to discuss some things because everybody’s been there. There’s a lot of speed with which you can work, and you just focus on the fun part. Most of the time, we’re just figuring out how to make the episodes funnier.
But it’s nice to do something different. The way it works for an actor — at least with me — I came out to LA and started auditioning for TV shows, and I started doing all these different characters. I’d play five, six, seven different people a year, and you get used to that: different challenges, stepping into somebody else’s show, then leaving and playing another character. There’s something fun about that, sort of like being a gypsy, that’s something comforting to the actor. But those people tend not to be as well-paid as the guy who comes back as the same guy every week. So you sort of have to accept that and find the challenges within working that way.
Working on “Sequestered” was fun because we played some dimwitted criminals, and our characters are actually very smart and astute on the show. It’s nice to play that aspect of it, and I think it came off pretty well.
The 12th precinct takes a trip back in time this week in Castle Season 6 Episode 20, as our favorite detectives get down and get groovy in order to play into a witness’ delusion that it’s still the 1970s.
We chatted with Seamus Dever to talk about his love of all things ’70s, what he’d like to see in Kevin Ryan’s future and what fans can expect from the upcoming Castle season finale.
How did you prepare for this episode? Were you channeling your inner Starsky & Hutch?
I think, you know, Starsky & Hutch they were a jumping off point for the start of the character but I’m a big fan of movies from the ’70s so it wasn’t too hard to channel. There were some other influences. Some blaxploitation influences for sure. Starsky & Hutch, they were a starting point but it really got bigger than that.
You sound like a big fan of the ’70s. What was your favorite ’70s TV show or movie?
Oh my God, yeah. There’s so many movies. I mean all of my favorite movies are from the ’70s. The French Connection, that sort of started it off. There’s some really good film making. Chinatown, it’s about the ’40s but was made in the ’70s. Super Fly, Shaft. Some good, just like gritty movies. Billy Jack. Oh God, that was so like rough. It’s fun to watch those movies where everything wasn’t necessarily so polished. Most of my favorite music is from the ’70s, I have to say, all like the soul music. We were definitely getting down with some Isaac Hayes, with some Bill Withers. It was a lot of fun.
Were there any ’70s consultants on the set or did you all just dive into on your own?
Who needed them? I’ve got a pretty good knowledge of the ’70s. I was born in 1976 after all so I consider myself a ’70s expert.
Out of the entire cast, who was the most into this concept? Who had the most fun with it?
Oh boy. I don’t even know that anybody was having any more fun than our crew was, to be honest. We all had a lot of fun and there were a lot of laughs. Penny (Johnson Jerald, Capt. Gates) had a good time. Tamala (Jones, Dr. Lanie Parish) had a good time.
Jon (Huertas, Det. Javier Esposito) and I had a really good time. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Nathan and Stana they got a kick out of wearing the clothes and seeing us dressed up so different. Sort of the general consensus was that Jon and I were the most transformed. I think when you see the episode it will be evident. But the crew had a good time because of it. They got to do hair and makeup on us and make us look so different. Kudos to them.
Your costume designer Luke Reichle did an amazing job with your outfits but were the actors allowed any input?
Well, of course. In all of the fittings we do. We sit down, or really stand up and we put on the clothes and say this works or this doesn’t. This is too tight, this is whatever. From that moment on, we were sort of like this is going to work or I like this. There’s sort of a little spark that goes off when you put on the right pair of pants for the character or the right shirt and you go, oh my God. Let’s take a picture and let’s show everybody. Yeah, Luke had a great time. Him and Johnny, our other costumer, they got to pull some stuff together. They’re all costumes.
They’re all authentic. Nothing was made for this. It’s not hard to find these in these great, big costume warehouses that are all throughout Los Angeles. Western Costume, they all exist, these costumes and they’re authentic. You’re wearing some acrylic turtleneck from 1977 and you know, it smells like it’s been around since 1977. And you’re just like, please don’t rip. Please don’t rip.
Is there anything from that time period you’d like to see back in style?
Soul music. I’d bring back soul music and it would be the only music you’d hear on the radio. Just so much music from that era that I absolutely love. My God, the O’Jays, the Dramatics, the Chi-Lites. Yeah. I listen to a lot of that kind of radio on my SiriusXM, Soul Town. It’s my favorite.
Now I’ve got to ask, do you have a favorite ’70s song?
There’s so many. Probably the one I’m into lately is What You See Is What You Get and I believe that’s by the Dramatics. So, yeah. There’s some good music out there.
Changing gears a bit, if he could pitch one idea for Kevin Ryan’s story going forward, what would it be?
Oh, for Ryan. Geez. OK, two things. One, I want Ryan to go undercover again. That was a lot of fun. I’d want there to be one more secret that Ryan gets to surprise people with, just like we did with “The Wild Rover” episode in season 5. One more thing to make people go really, he did that? I want that moment just one more time. And then the other one I’ve been pitching for years that I don’t think is ever going to see its way in there is a murder mystery where we all go out of town to some mansion in the Hamptons and they have some sort of stay overnight Clue kind of thing.
So I’ve wanted like a Clue episode, where we have to dress as these characters to flush out the killer. I’ve been pitching that for three years so I don’t think it’s going to happen. If it hasn’t happened by now, but I think it would be really fun to do that.
Will we see/hear more about little baby Ryan soon? It’s been pretty quiet since she was born. Will we get anymore insights this season into the Ryan family?
No, probably not this year. Probably next year they’ll pick that up but its not planned for this season.
We all know there’s a wedding approaching and everyone is wondering, will Ryan be Castle’s best man?
There’s a fun episode after the ’70s episode. I think it’s Castle Season 6 Episode 21 where Esposito and Ryan both decide that they’re worthy of being Castle’s best man. So they’re both competing for that honor. And Castle has no idea why they’re acting like such suck-ups all of a sudden to curry his favor. Beckett’s on to it very early and kind of lets the lunacy go on because she enjoys it but Castle’s totally unaware of it and thinks that we’re talking about something else. So the entire time we’re giving him gifts and doing all of these things and just being like really affectionate, like you’re my best buddy. We’re friends, like best friends. Jon’s really funny in that episode. He does some really understated throw away lines that are just really hilarious. Yeah, there’s a competition and at the end you’ll find out who the best man is.
What can you share about the season finale? Will fans be happy or angst ridden going into the summer?
I think they’re… um. Let’s say, oh boy. Let’s say they’re going to want to tune in in September to find out what happens next. They’re going to be challenged. I don’t think they’re going to be happy or sad. They’re going to be challenged. Which is good. We want people to come next year.
CASTLE is taking a trip to the ’70s with Monday’s episode, “That ’70s Show,” and the hour lets viewers see their favorite characters in a way we’ve never seen them before.
To get a little insight into the making of the episode, I spoke with CASTLE star Seamus Dever (Ryan) about getting into the era, what Ryan will be up to, what era he hopes the show tackles next, and more…
What was your reaction to seeing the script for “That ’70s Show”?
Seamus Dever: [Laughs] It was a lot of fun! I was like, oh my god, it’s going to be so much fun when we get to do this, when we really dress up fully like this. And I think the audience is going to be surprised by how different Ryan and Esposito look in this episode.
How long did the process take to do hair and makeup for ’70s-era Ryan?
SD: It took about an hour to do the whole thing. Usually I’m done with hair and makeup in 15 minutes…we had a great time. That hair and makeup department, they’re used to doing cool and crazy stuff like this. They really got a kick out of doing it. It was a nice departure from what we normally do on the show.
What was the wardrobe process like?
SD: Surprisingly quick. I think I tried on four or five pairs of really tight pants. [Laughs] And then when the right thing comes along, you’re like, yep, there you go. Everyone gets inspired by what the look is going to be. Surprisingly quick. My sessions go really quick, because I’m a fairly average-sized person, so I have a lot of options available to me.
And so we did it really quickly. And you’re wearing these great clothes from the ’70s that are from these vast costume rental warehouses, where they rent from for things like this. So they have a lot of ’70s costumes, things that were probably worn on TV shows in the ’70s. So it’s like going back in time when you slip in them, because you put that turtleneck on, and you hope it doesn’t stretch out too far, because this thing is 40 years old. [Laughs] And the character falls into place because of it.
What can you tease about the episode itself?
SD: We have a cold case that comes out, a Jimmy Hoffa-style cold case where we try and track down these really old leads, and track these really old mobsters down to talk to. And it turns out one of the informants from the past — we got the awesome actor, Jon Polito, who is one of the Coen brothers regulars, he came on and I got to work with him a lot — he comes on the show, and he plays this character that thinks he’s in the ’70s, dresses like he’s in the ’70s, talks to people like he’s in the ’70s. And there’s one moment where Castle realizes we have to transform the precinct, ’70s-style, so we get rid of all the new desks, all the computers, everything’s gone. All of a sudden we have a picture of Jimmy Carter on the wall and it’s like 1977, 1978. [Laughs] And everybody, even all the background folks, are dressed up like that.
And Esposito and Ryan take on this persona of these two really well-known badass detectives in the ’70s, Snooky and Ray, and we get to interview him, and take him to a ’70s club to jog his memory. And in the process we solve the murder, of course. But the fun part is seeing how we do it.
What was the best part of the experience of this episode for you?
SD: Transforming is always so much fun. I’m really a character actor at heart, so it’s one of my favorite things to do. Completely transforming: the walk being different, the energy being different, the way you talk being different, the way you carry yourself, that was so much fun. I get used to playing Ryan all these years, so it was nice to breakout and do something different. That was my favorite: just breaking out and doing something way different than what we usually do.
Now that the show has done a noir/’40s episode and a ’70s-themed episode, is there another era you hope they get to visit on the show?
SD: Wow. Yeah, I guess so. Those are my favorite time periods. Maybe a ’50s episode, where some things are happening in the good ol’ swinging New York ’50s. But we did the ’40s and that was pretty close. It’s hard to say. Maybe the ’20s? the ’20s would be fun. I don’t know how [they’d do it], but it would be a lot of fun to do. Prohibition style!