Media Q&A with actor Nathan Fillion of “Castle” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
September 21, 2011 by Dennis Amith
Actor Nathan Fillion has that recognizable face in movies and television.
Earlier in his career, Fillion had appeared in the film “Saving Private Ryan” and the TV series “Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place” followed by appearances in the drama series “Pasadena” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.
Fillion would gain a fan following for his role as Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds on the series “Firefly” in which the adventures of his character Mal would lead to a continuing of the story through the feature film “Serenity”.
Not long after, Nathan appeared on series such as “Lost”, “Miss Match”, “Desperate Housewives” and “Drive”.
But Fillion had once again gained a fan following for his role on the TV series “Castle”. Season four of “Castle” premiered on ABC on Sept. 19th.
In the series, Nathan Fillion plays the role of Richard Castle, the famous mystery novelist who is adored by many but behind-the-scenes, he is a playboy who had an on-and-off fling with his ex-wife (who is an actress), another ex-wife who is his publisher (who he also has an off-an-on fling with) and lives with his bright teenage daughter Alexis (played by Molly Quinn, “My One and Only”) and his meddlesome mother and former Broadway actress, Martha Rodgers (played by Susan Sullivan, “The Nine”, “Dharma & Greg”).
There is a lot of pressure on Nathan to create another book and with him stuck and unable to come up with ideas, his luck starts to change when he meets by-the-book Detective Kate Beckett (played by Stana Katic, “Heroes”, “The Spirit”, “Quantum of Solace”) who is investigating several murders which have taken place and the way that they were done were like the murders featured in several of Castle’s novels. Because of his knowledge of how things end up with his books, he gets the opportunity to assist the detectives in their case. Because it would do the police good to bring in a high profile writer to work with them, it’s a win-win situation for the police dept. and Richard Castle. Not so much for Kate Beckett who feels that Nathan is always in her way.
But as they say in Hollywood, opposites attract and despite the two trying to keep a platonic business relationship, they know inside that they have chemistry together but both of them resist their urge and keep things business between the both of them. But how long can that last?
With the upcoming release of “Castle: The Complete Third Season” (read our review for the DVD box set here), the following is a transcript of a brief media Q&A with Nathan Fillion as he reflects on the third season “Castle”.
The relationship between Castle and Beckett heats up in Season Three. How is Castle going to cope?
NATHAN: I think Castle is a very simple man. He has very simple wants and needs – and things are more complicated in this relationship than he would ever like them to be. I think things have been very easy for Castle all his life and finally he’s got a woman in front of him who represents a challenge, a challenge that he’s never had before.
How is it unfamiliar territory for him?
NATHAN: Kate Beckett’s an authority figure, but Castle has never had an authority figure in his life. She’s an expert and in a lot of ways, she’s smarter than he is. He’s not used to that. He really likes this woman, and yet there are all these complications. He doesn’t quite know how to tiptoe around, and he pushes too hard in areas when he ought to leave them alone.
Do you think viewers can relate to this dilemma?
NATHAN: Yes, I do. Particularly when Castle thinks he’s doing the right thing, but it turns out he’s doing the wrong thing. I think he wants everything to be a lot simpler in his life. He wants everything to go his way, which is how the rest of his life has been. It’s also one of those ‘be careful what you wish for’ moments because if the challenge and the complications weren’t there, could that take away some of the magic?
Castle and Beckett finally kiss in Season Three. What’s the story behind that?
NATHAN: What happens can’t just be described as a kiss. It is more of a melt at the lips. That’s what it is; it’s a lip melting. And without spoiling too much, I’ll say this: Our writers and our creator Andrew Marlowe are very careful. When they push this relationship, they have this dance that they refer to. When they push things in one direction, they’re very careful to balance it again.
Do you feel there are boundaries for what can happen between Castle and Beckett?
NATHAN: There are definitely boundaries for them because once you cross the line, there’s no going back. However, the writers are very good at pushing the boundaries, and maybe even pushing the line ahead so that we go further than before – but then we retreat back again without making irreparable damage.
Do you think they will go any further than a kiss?
NATHAN: I don’t want to spoil any storylines, so I’m not going to tell you. I don’t want to be the spoiler-alert guy. You’re just going to have to watch and see for yourself.
Doesn’t Kate Beckett have a boyfriend this season?
NATHAN: Boy, she does. And he’s one hell of a guy! He is ten feet tall and he’s made of bricks. Josh Davidson is his name. He’s devastatingly handsome. He’s better looking than me. Plus, he’s super tall. I’m a tall guy, so I don’t usually look up to many people – but this guy is really tall.
How does Castle cope with the challenge of Josh’s arrival?
NATHAN: Josh is the perfect guy, which can be hard for an actor to play without being smarmy or smug – but the actor Victor Webster does a wonderful job with the role. Victor plays a charming, reasonable, intelligent, perfect guy. What’s Richard Castle going to do? He’s pretty immature about it. It’s certainly a hurdle for Richard. It’s a thorn in his side, shall we say?
Is Castle afraid of Josh?
NATHAN: Castle is afraid of nothing! Okay, he’s afraid of sharks, bears, and heights…
Are you concerned that the dynamic between Beckett and Castle would change if they hooked up?
NATHAN: I am, and this is where Stana Katic and I differ. Stana thinks that if they got together, the relationship would just encounter different hurdles – but that everything would be fine. I am of the ‘jumping-the-shark’ school of thought. I believe that, if you have built up tension, you can’t just let it go again. As an audience member, I like being smarter than the characters on TV. I like watching them fail and saying to myself, “Oh, you know what he should do? Just admit how he feels.” I love that omniscient feeling that I know what’s going on in their hearts and in their heads. If you reconcile that and you give everybody what they want, you release the tension – and that’s when people say, “Okay, I’m done. Let’s change the channel and see what else is on.”
Castle has a funny and interesting relationship with his family. How did the producers ensure there would be a good connection between all of the actors involved?
NATHAN: They brought me in to do ‘chemistry reads’, as they call it. All these actresses would come in and read for Castle’s mom and daughter, Martha and Alexis. All you want is for them to come into the room and just set it on fire – and Molly Quinn did exactly that. It was ridiculous when she left. The door closed and they picked up the phone right away and said, “That’s her. We need this actress.” It was a done deal and it was the same thing with Susan Sullivan. She came in and had so much of Martha about her. She walked into the audition room and she said to me, “Stand up, darling. I won’t be looking down at you.” And she had me stand up to read with her. She was just so Martha.
It feels like Castle is ruled by women. Would you agree?
NATHAN: Yes, I guess I do agree that he has no male role models. I once applied for a job when I was 16 and the two ladies who were interviewing me said, “If you get this job, we will be your bosses. Do you have any problems taking orders from women?” And I replied: “My mom’s a woman and I take orders from her all the time.”
Do you like that about Castle?
NATHAN: I think one of the really neat things about Castle is that he’s not very macho. He’s not very swagger manly. He’s more boyish than anything as he’s never had an opportunity to grow up. At one point I remember – and this was one of those wonderful times where we could collaborate with the writers – Castle was apologizing to Alexis for blowing on something, and I came up with lines saying, “Be patient with me. Be forgiving. I’ve never been a dad to a teenage daughter before.” And I think that part of Castle’s truth is that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s just doing the best he can, but he has a good heart.
CASTLE: The Complete Third Season was released on DVD on September 20, 2011
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