Stana Katic knows Castle fans have much on their minds as Season 6 returns with a new episode tonight on ABC. Is the 3XK killer really back? When will wedding bells ring for our favorite writer/cop duo? Will Castle and his now-grown daughter Alexis find their way back to good? What she doesn’t know — the answers to those questions.
“I would love to tease this or that, but most of the time, I’m in the dark right along with the viewers!” Katic laughs. Still, she says, she trusts the show’s writers to keep the fans and the Castle cast happily on their toes each week.
“I expect nothing less,” Katic says emphatically. “They’re storytellers, and the concept of complacency and mediocrity is not acceptable. Everyone’s just got to bring their A game. And they do it!”
We quizzed Katic about her thoughts on Season 6 thus far.
Channel Guide Magazine: Have the writers told you the entirety of Beckett’s reaction to hearing “I’ll Be Seeing You” on the USB drive in Dr. Niemann’s pen? Because Andrew Marlowe has suggested that it may have more meaning for Beckett than just Tyson …
Stana Katic: No, but I love hearing it from you. Thank you! [laughs]
CGM: You’ve also had the rather miraculous situation — especially these days — of retaining nearly all of Castle’s core cast members since the show began. What’s it like having these long-term relationships off set in terms of portraying the ongoing relationships onscreen?
SK: It’s quite sweet actually. Everyone has challenges as the characters progress and it’s nice to have a history of storytelling together that we can all lean on so that if need be we can deepen the stories or throw in something interesting and fun in addition to what’s written. I think it only benefits and elevates each story to have the length of time working together that we all do.
CGM: Are you pleased with the pace and the fashion in which Beckett and Castle were brought together and how their becoming a couple and then a public couple really hasn’t changed the fundamentals of who these characters are, both on and off the job?
SK: You know, we have a model called The Thin Man, which is a really fun movie series — a series of films back in the day. It’s a really old reference but I think it’s really appropriate for this story in some ways. And we also have references like His Girl Friday.
All of these are really old references, but we are always stealing from the references that I am mentioning. And first of all, I think the story could not continue without the two of them getting together like they did. We just would not have been able to keep fans’ suspension of disbelief that much longer because the characters had been through so much together.
So I think it’s wonderful and I think it’s important that those characters stay who they are despite the fact that they are together. That’s what drew them together in the first place. So I think they’ve done a nice job of trying to keep that balance. And it’s tough! It’s not easy. There are a lot of characters to service. There are a lot of storylines to take time with. So that’s a really difficult juggling act to do day in and day out.
CGM: This season has also allowed the viewers to really delve into Ryan (Seamus Deaver) and Esposito’s (Jon Huertas) characters and their partnership and personal relationships — has that been fun for you to watch and be a part of, as well?
SK: Oh absolutely! I’ve been an advocate for a while! … All of those characters are wonderful and the actors that play them are truly fantastic. I recently saw Jon, for instance, put together a short film with Tamala [Jones, who plays Huertas' onscreen love interest, medical examiner Lanie Parish] and they were beautiful. They were film stars. So it’s nice to be able to work with people that are that passionate and that committed to the art of storytelling. And each one of them deserves moments to shine.
CGM: One of my favorite things about the first half of Season 6 is also how complete Alexis’ transformation from a teenager to a woman has become — and watching Molly Quinn portray that. What’s it been like for you seeing her grow up and evolve in the role?
SK: I think that the character is a woman now and I think that the relationship between a father and a daughter is always something that’s sacred and will always affect the choices that a daughter makes for her future. And I like the way the writers have navigated that trajectory. I think it’s a sweet story.
CGM: Do you appreciate the subtlety with which Beckett’s and Alexis’ relationship has been handled, as Beckett and Castle grow closer?
SK: I’ve met a few people on set that have children and are divorced and would love to find a new relationship, and that’s tough — because the person coming into the relationship has to be respectful of a much deeper combination which is a parent and a child. So I think that they have — I hope that they have — done a good job of showing that the character Beckett recognizes the importance of the father-daughter relationship, and even the daughter and her mother, who is played by Darby Stanchfield, one of the regulars on Scandal. That’s territory that you can’t walk into. And why would you? She’s a wonderful woman, Molly’s character. Her relationship with her father is tremendous, and I think that Beckett only serves as a potential friend in the end. If Molly’s character would ever need anything, Kate can serve as a friend.
CGM: Since you’ve all worked together for six seasons, are the show’s writers open to the actors’ input on their characters and their motivations?
SK: To Andrew Marlowe’s credit, he’s a wonderful showrunner. I really love working with him. And he always leaves his door open for dialogue. And that is something that is unusual in his role. And it’s great, because each actor feels like they have some sort of a part and a voice in the creative process. Now that doesn’t mean that every suggestion that we make — like interrogating mimes — is taken. But at least there’s a dialogue and there’s an opportunity for it, if need be.
CGM: I’ve read a number of things that are potentially looming — James Brolin is back as Jackson Hunt in what sounds like a larger storyline, and Senator Bracken with that “life favor” remark is still dangling out there …
SK: I don’t know what is happening with Senator Bracken — or if something is happening with Senator Bracken — but James Brolin is coming back. We just wrapped on his storyline and it was quite wonderful working with him.
CGM: Castle fans are so passionate about the show. What do you hear most often when you encounter them?
SK: There are a lot of people that have found a mentorship in the Beckett character — that’s truly something I hear a lot, and of course, I would because I’m playing the character. [laughs] I find that a lot of young women were emboldened to do something that they wanted to do because of the Beckett character. Which I think is wonderful! It’s very inspiring to hear. It’s nice to play somebody that possibly inspires other people to reach their goals and be bold and dream.
Castle Season 6 returns with new episodes tonight at 10/9CT following the season premiere of The Bachelor on ABC.