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Nathan Fillion Talks 'Castle' Season 4, Casting His Dad, New Love Interests & More

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 16th 2011 11:00AM
Nathan Fillion, 'Castle'Nathan Fillion gives good interview. It's just a fact, although I realize not a very surprising one.

Going into the fourth season of 'Castle' (premieres Mon., Sept. 19, 10PM ET on ABC), he's still so invested in the Castle-Beckett relationship, the storylines, the ideas for where to go next, even the guest stars. He loves 'Castle' as much as the fans do, and it shows.

I caught up with Fillion to talk all about the jaw-dropping Season 4 premiere -- after last season's shooting and the big "I love you" cliffhanger, we certainly find our favorite will they-won't they TV couple treading new ground.

Fillion dished about women, Castle's usual distraction when things get tricky with Beckett, but also the new boss ("She's so mean!") and maybe, possibly getting Castle officially deputized to do some real policing.

Then we talked about this season's 'Ghostbusters'-inspired Halloween episode, Fillion's dream scenario for Season 4 and his personal casting choice to play Castle's dad that got him all choked up just talking about it.

Warning: There are some mild spoilers from the Season 4 premiere ahead.

The Season 4 premiere is insane -- you guys are killing it!
God bless you! Thank you!

Obviously coming back, we have to deal with the aftermath of Beckett's shooting, but there's also those three little words that Castle said to her hanging in the air.
I like to say there's certain things you can't take back: One of them is "I love you," and one of them is bullets. And she got both. [Laughs] You look into what could possibly keep these two people apart, and in the past we've had bad timing, we've had one person blows it or the other person blows it ... they're very clever at 'Castle' not to play the same notes over and over again. Much like life, hurdles are placed in our way, but once you overcome that hurdle, it's usually overcome.

Stana KaticBut the season premiere really sets up this season's big hurdle ...
Yes. What we have now is, Beckett has gotten so close to solving her mother's murder that she understands now that she can't be a complete person without putting this to rest. She can't give herself over to a feeling without resolving another feeling. So here is Castle, pushing and pushing and pushing this investigation. It's killed Montgomery, it's almost killed Beckett, and then he gets a phone call that says, "We will kill Beckett if she keeps pushing." So now he's in a position where he has to basically try to pull her away from an investigation that, if she were to solve it, she's saying, "I'd be available. I'd be yours. I'd be open to something." And he's the one who has to say no, because he sees the danger of it.

And it is danger -- you all raised the stakes by killing off Captain Montgomery, so now, even though she is Beckett and you are Castle, really anything is possible.
And here's the sad part: I truly miss Ruben Santiago-Hudson. I truly miss that man ... I miss the character of Roy Montgomery, but I really miss the man, Ruben. If there's a dangerous situation, a life-threatening situation going on, and nobody dies, it's not life-threatening. I learned that working for Joss Whedon. [Laughs]

'Castle' cast
But as realistic as it was, it was still totally unexpected. Losing the captain made the stakes even higher going into this season.
Yeah, it makes it far more visceral, it puts people at risk and it removes that block of safety, that "Oh no, it's alright, it's just a TV show." When you lose something, that sense of loss makes it real ... even for myself, as an audience member. In that much, I truly appreciate the sacrifice that Ruben Santiago-Hudson has made, literally taking a bullet for the show.

Penny Johnson JeraldNow you're testing another sort of known "fact" of the show. We had the idea that everyone would always live, but we also think that everyone finds Castle charming. That's not the case with the new captain. Penny Johnson Jerald is awesome ...
This is interesting. She's a woman who has risen to the rank of captain -- that can't have been an easy journey. I'm trying to imagine that she's hardened because of everything she's had to face in getting where she is. But you cross that personality with Castle, who is constantly around women and constantly trying to charm them. His life is really easy and he charms people -- that's what he does! People can't stand it, but they love him anyway! "Oh, I can't take it! But I like him." [Laughs] She will not be charmed. She will not be charmed by Castle, and she won't give him a chance, nevermind a chance to be charmed. She's so mean! And he can't take it. "Why don't you like me? Get to know me!" Like he really thinks that he can crack her ... but he won't.

Obviously Castle has his connections, and I'm sure he can have the Mayor smooth things over a bit, but I wonder, with her being so by the books, if we might see Castle forced into some actual police training this season. Is that a possibility?
I'd like to think so. Granted, we are a television program -- there has to be a suspension of disbelief that a murder-mystery author could actually tail police on these jobs where he's literally wearing a bullet-proof vest, literally getting shot at and he's fired a couple of bullets himself, this guy. This probably would not fly in real life. I can say that with almost absolute certainty, but I would like anything that lends validity to a television program. You can actually go out and buy a Richard Castle novel -- that lends a little bit of validity to our show. It kind of makes it real because it's reaching out into real life. Or if Castle actually gets some police training, some kind of special deputization of some kind where he could actually handle a weapon and legally be allowed in these situations, I would love that. I'm gonna take that to the top! To the brass!

Kristin LehmanI know where you stand on letting Castle and Beckett get together, which is why I'm sure you're thrilled when new women are cast to come on and distract him from the end goal a bit. Has Kristin Lehman taped her episode yet?
She has. I worked with Kristin Lehman way back in 2005 or 2006 ... we had such a great time, Kristin Lehman and I. Another Canadian! I have a list of people I'm dying to have on the program, and Kristin Lehman's on my list, so they brought her in and this role is fantastic. You know Castle, like anyone else, is a human being first. If you take a human being -- especially a vain one like Castle -- and you bring in a gorgeous woman and have sparks fly, who can help themselves? What are you gonna do? Sparks happen!

She sounds like she's just Castle's type.
She's a go-getter. That's what she does in life. So when she sees something that she wants, she goes to get it, and I think Castle's super-dooper appreciates it. I mean, that's the number one thing I appreciate, when someone says, "I'm attracted to you, and I'm gonna come getcha." That's a great feeling.

Don't you get that everyday on Twitter? [Laughs]
[Laughs] Seriously! But no, when it's a real thing, somebody you know. Someone screaming, "I love you!" from a passing car has less weight.

Kristin's only doing one episode so far. Any other fun sparring partners coming on?
There's a lot of people we've had on our show that I would love to see back. J.B. Smoove, Josh Wingate and Brian Jones, who played the Page Brothers -- the two gangster white rapping brothers. I'd love to see those guys back on the show. You know Castle's the kind of guy that when he meets somebody, that's a connection for him. He remains connected to the people that he meets. That's the kind of guy he is, be they criminals, gangster rappers, mafia guys, art thieves, whoever it is he nurtures those relationships. And like Castle, I keep in touch with Kristin Lehman, Mircea Monroe, Kevin Alejandro ... these are people I'd love to see on 'Castle.' Our show would do well to have them come in and share their talents with us.

Robert S. WoodsRumor has it we're a step or two closer to meeting Castle's dad. Who would you like to play him?
Great question. There are tons of people I would love to see, but less than famous and more personal for me, I would like to see the guy who played my uncle on my first job, my first soap opera 'One Life to Live,' Bob Woods. He played my uncle Bo [Buchanan]. I'd love to see him come in and play my dad. For me, that's ... personal. That man actually means something to me. He's the fellow that said, "Hey man, you've got to wrap up this soap and move to L.A. You're gonna do well out there." He's the one who sat me down and gave me the courage to pick up and leave New York when they offered me an extended contract.

There are certainly lots of names I could throw out there -- I've joked around saying Chris Walken would be great, but I doubt Chris Walken is gonna come and do 'Castle.' I think he's doing alright. But the more personal stuff would be cool.

I have goosebumps -- that's really sweet. And something more fun that we keep hearing about is the 'Ghostbusters'-themed Halloween episode.
We have a murder that happens in a haunted house with a ghost hunter. No one from the 'Ghostbusters' movie [is coming on], no ... but that would be nice. Hey, Bill Murray! There's a dad! Let's get Bill Murray to play my dad. [Laughs]

I love it. So by the end of Season 4, where do you want to see Castle? Do you want him to be in a relationship, or fighting the good Beckett fight?
My pitch that I keep pitching is that some kind of drunken evening occurs between Castle and Beckett, and it looks like something romantic is just about to happen. Smash cut to Castle waking up in bed and someone's hand drapes over him, and it's not Beckett. Is it the new captain? Is it Lanie? How do you piece together what happened last night? I'm into that kind of thing.

Watch the first 2 minutes of
the 'Castle' Season 4 premiere here:

Tell us: What do you want to see happen on 'Castle' this season?

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Pat Smith

)ust read the interview and I must say as a devoted OLTL fan (and yes I remember Nathan as Joey) I would love to see Bob Woods as his father-he probably is available now too, sadly.

January 04 2012 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sally Lynn Hart Muth

I havent been watching the show too long Been watching reruns and from blockbuster But I started getting into the 3rd season and its a really good show Thank God they didnt kill off Becket Shes as important player as Castle as far as Im concerned and they should end up together It would be so wrong otherwize The could,should of beens??Look at House and cuddy??Were all dysfunctional So what??Who cares??Just do it??Theyll survive or better because of it??

October 03 2011 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

castle show very disappointing ...so upset to see kate so thin and hair too long and so ematiated looking anorexic i think someone should tell her ...ratings will drop she is looking pretty sickly ...

September 20 2011 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh Castle. Hang in there buddy. Beckett just has to remember what you told her. She'll probably play dumb and act like she doesn't remember. Or she'll have memory loss and it will be one of the first things she remembers. Regardless, don't give up on her. You already know she has feelings for you...how could you NOT?

And if you DO have a drunken night with her, and wake up to someone else lying on the pillow next to you....let it be your CAT and not some other woman!!!!

September 19 2011 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Has anyone seen reruns of the old show Scarecrow & Mrs. King? It was a great show & they had perfect chemistry too. Once they started having feelings for each other, they had to keep their relationship a secret. Why can't we do that on Castle???

September 18 2011 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron Wels

Beckett and Castle have to get together. The roadblocks are starting to get too contrived. Castle helps her solve the murder of her mother, that seals the deal. This is TV, it has to be able to go this route or the show dies. Too much energy has pushed the show in this direction, to deny the inevitability is to deny the essence of the plot from the beginning.

September 18 2011 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KKathy O'shea Spence

I hope Becket kind of remembers the I LOVE YOU.. but not sure .. but sure??? add to the suspense.. let there be other women but none can take her place to Castle.. and let Beckett show emotions she is even shocked at.. always on the cuspt of truth of feelings for him.. but NEVER let anyone get too close to him.. let him make verble slips of his love .. let them dance around.. reminding me of the old LUKE AND LAURA of General hospital yrs ago... the actress who plays his mom .. and the one who is the daughter.. are perfect.. good casting.. keep this show alive and well .. AND HOT.. add more PR to entice people to these two .. Beckett and Castle.. she is very pretty and he is perfect balance of THE MAN !!... loved his story of his cat.. on late night tv.. but he was sooo nervous.. put out more info on him/his life .. tease the public.. he is a tease.. but he needs to watch his weight.. as getting older shows in the chin line... BUT I WOULD CAT SIT ANYTIME FOR HIM... love this show.. I LOVE SUMMER BUT CAN'T WAIT FOR THE FALL SEASON TO START .. FOR MONDAYS.. FOR CASTLE

September 18 2011 at 6:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To me always throwing roadblocks in the way of a relationship between Castle and Beckett is too easy. Not much of a challenge to the writers. How do you bring them together and yet still keep tension and fascination? That's the tough stuff. It has been done in the movies long time ago. What was that crime solving couple in the old movies? Very popular. Anyway I love the show but will eventually tire of a cat and mouse scenario where the cat always loses the mouse and the mouse never even gets a bite of cheese.

September 17 2011 at 9:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mary Mauro

Hope that Castle and beckett get together.

September 17 2011 at 8:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I don't think I'm going to like anyone who isn't going to like Castle on the show, female captain or not. She'll be an easy one to kill off and everyone will probably enjoy seeing her go.

September 17 2011 at 2:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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