Tonight sees the return of Castle tonight at 10:00 on ABC for it sophomore season. On the surface, the show may look like just another procedural, but the Castle is much lighter, despite some grizzly cases, thanks to some witty back and forth from the leads. I recently chatted with the straight-woman of the duo, Stana Katic who plays Detective Kate Beckett. While reading the interview, keep in mind Stana is actually from Canada so that is why us Americans may find an extra “U” in a few of her words that she wrote and it not bad spelling on her part or bad editing on mine. Cultural differences aside, here is my chat with Stana:
Scooter McGavin: Stana, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and for such an entertaining first season of Castle. Most of that entertainment came from the friction between Kate and Castle; did that rapport with Nathan Fillion come as quickly as it looked on screen?
Stana Katic: Of course. The writing lends itself to a very Hepburn-Tracy type of rapport, so it’s easy to simply say the words and find that wonderful rhythm.
In addition, Nathan has a history with and a wonderful knack for comedy. On my end, I’ve become a big fan of the Hawksian dame-- fast-talking, spirited broads like Rosalind Russell, Kate Hepburn, and Barbara Stanwyck. Using them as an inspirational resource helps in adding to those charming verbal sparring sessions.
Scooter: Kate’s one major rule was that Castle not look into her mother’s death. The first season ended with Castle revealing that he was in fact pursuing the case and had found something. How does Castle’s betrayal affect the second season?
Stana: It’s something the writers don’t shy away from at the start. Kate’s mother’s murder is in “don’t go there” territory, and of course, Castle breaks her trust by researching it. He discovers a shocking inconsistency between the final conclusion that the murder was random and the actual evidence.
The writers reveal a piece of that evidence immediately in episode one, and also deal with rebuilding the Castle-Kate relationship so that the characters can get back to what they're best at: solving crime capers together.
Scooter: The show focuses on a writer who tags along with a detective while preparing for an upcoming book – did life imitate art? Were you able to shadow any real cops? If so, did you accompany any weird cases?
Stana: I did have the opportunity to visit with a very gracious and witty group of detectives in New York City when we were filming the pilot, and then I followed up on that by visiting a detective and an FBI agent here in Southern California.
The most fascinating thing about accompanying real detectives is their gallows humour. I suppose their work gets to be so emotionally grinding at times that a dark sense of humour ends up serving as a survival function.
Scooter: We got a few glimpses into Kate’s personal life in the first season, will the FBI ex-boyfriend show up again and/or a new potential beau be introduced this season?
Stana: As far as i know, there are plans to re-engage in the Kate-Sorensen storyline. I’m not quite sure about the scenario and to what extent. That’s the part that is exciting for me as the actor. Each script is a new discovery and surprise.
Kate and Castle are kind-of like a great wine. We’re going to take our time enjoying all of the flavours and nuances before we finish off the bottle and get down to business. In doing that, I’m sure we'll be exploring the personal lives of both of the characters in more depth before they fully dive into each other; and i wouldn't be shocked to see both of them going out on dates before they make it back to one another again.
Scooter: What is one thing you personally would like to see happen on Castle this season?
Stana: You know, we touched on it somewhat above. I would love to see more of Kate’s personal life. I feel like the writers are doing a great job of unveiling other layers of Beckett this season. Nearly each episode provides a small glimpse into this working girl's life.
In fact, I just found out she is a bit of a comic book junkie (it’s a brief story point in the upcoming episode)! How fantastic is that?!!! i cannot wait to do the character research for the episode.
That being said, I would love to meet her father and see a storyline with them.
It would also be great to see her off-duty and out on the town (perhaps on a date). I have a feeling Kate has a bit of wild streak in her that can't necessarily be shown in the precinct and on duty; but once the badge is in the box, I think she can throw down with the best of them.
And finally, I would love to have a few one-on-one scenes with captain Montgomery (played by Reuben Santiago-Hudson). Reuben is our Tony Award winner and our new NAACP lifetime achievement recipient. To be able to have a couple of quality character scenes with him would be an honour.
Scooter: Anything else that you haven’t mentioned in previous questions that the viewers can look forward this season on Castle?
Stana: What I’m really looking forward to this season is watching some of the other characters take center stage, as well. I think audiences can anticipate more of what they enjoyed so much last year, meaning that Castle-Kate witty rapport; but the writers are also building wonderfully fun storylines for the rest of the ensemble. Detectives Esposito (John Huertas) and Ryan (Seamus Dever), for instance, have a beautiful storyline coming up in which they pair up against Kate and Castle in a crime-solving race. Bets are laid, and the two teams are off on a really fun episode to see who wins precinct bragging rights. John and Seamus shine in this episode, so I’m excited to have people see their great work.
Scooter: For anyone that didn’t catch season one of Castle, will they be able to easily start watching season two without getting lost?
Stana: Each episode stands alone. Audiences should have no difficulty slipping into the series for season two.
Scooter: Did you do anything during this past summer? If so can you tell us a little about it?
Stana: I traveled around Europe and French Polenysia. If I’m not working on a film or other project, I try to travel and explore as much as possible.
Polenysia was particularly wonderful because i got to visit with an archaeologist who took me on a tour of ancient burial and temple sites. It was astounding to see the remnants and to learn about that beautifully self-sufficient and powerful people because so much of their history was eradicated by invading explorers and missionaries.
I also got to visit with a falconer here in Southern California during the summer molting season. Falcons are beautiful hunters, and of course they sit at the apex of their food chain. So, learning about them was tremendously informative in regards to the state of the environment as a whole.
Anyway, I did things like that this summer. It was fun.
Thank you Scooter for the time.
Castle airs Mondays at 10:00 on ABC. You can stream recent episode on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes. Castle ranked in at #86 of The 100 Greatest Television Shows of the 00’s.