Castle gets groovy with a ’70s themed episode on Monday, April 21. The installment, appropriately titled “That ’70s Show,” will give fans the chance to see their favorite characters dress, walk, talk and, yes, even dance like it was 1977. BuddyTV spoke exclusively with star Seamus Dever about Ryan’s journey into a super cool ’70’s dude, including how many people didn’t recognize him on set in his full costume and wig, why Ryan embraced the ’70s, how tight the costumes were and much more.

“That 70’s Show” Synopsis

How does the show end up stuck in the ’70s in the first place? It’s quite simple, really. 

“We uncover a cold case from the ’70s,” Dever revealed. “There was a Jimmy Hoffa style murder – this guy’s been missing since ’77, ’78. This case falls in our lap and we say, ‘Okay, let’s investigate these things.’ So we get to talk to a lot of old mobsters and we encounter this one witness who might be able to tell us who the murderer is and give us some clues to help us solve this murder, but he’s sort of stuck in the ’70s. So any sort of thing that happens that’s too modern, he gets distracted. He hasn’t accepted that time has changed since 1977.”

Once the gang realizes they need to treat their witness very carefully, Castle comes up with one of his famous plans. But it’s Ryan and Esposito who end up having what appears to be the most fun.

“Basically Castle gets the idea that we should transform the precinct into the 1970s and then from there Ryan and Esposito – they have to play these characters from the ’70s that were these badass cops named Snookie and Ray. Through the course of this we see them taking this suspect to a ’70s club that will help jog his memory as well. Of course it gets solved, but the fun [thing] is the way we have to transform our own selves and a precinct in order to get there.”

How different are Ryan and Esposito once they done their ’70s duds? “It’s going to be like watching two different characters,” Dever promised. 

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“I’m a big fan of the 70s.”

Ryan and Esposito’s alter egos might look a tad familiar to those of us who watched a certain buddy cop show in the ’70s. “We started out with Starsky and Hutch as sort of a jumping off point and then it took on its own sort of life,” Dever revealed. “I think the characters we end up playing are a lot cooler than Starsky and Hutch.”

How hard was it for Dever and his costar Jon Huertas to get into the ’70s theme? Not as hard as you might think. “I’m a big fan of the ’70s, so it didn’t take too much research. All my favorite music and my favorite films are from the ’70s, so it was pretty easy. Jon, too – he loves that era too so we slipped in to these characters pretty easily. A little too easily.” Dever said with a laugh. 

“They were real tight.”

As for the costumes, they weren’t fake or exactly comfortable. 

“No, they were real,” Dever said when asked about the clothes he and his costars had to wear. “They were real tight and they were real clothes from the ’70s. There these great costume warehouses in Los Angeles that have been storing these things – old rentals from movies and from TV shows back in the ’70s. So we rented all these authentic costumes for the background folks as well.”

How real were they? “You didn’t want to do too much in them or else you’d rip your jacket or rip your pants. Lots of tight things,” Dever said. 

“People weren’t recognizing me.”

When asked who looked the most different in their ’70s costume, Dever said, “It was probably me, [judging from] everyone’s reaction. People weren’t recognizing me. Like Stana and Nathan, they didn’t completely transform to the point where people weren’t recognizing them, but people weren’t recognizing Jon and myself. That was kind of funny because you’re like, ‘I work with you every day, you didn’t know it was me?’ Because I got the hair and the mustache and the jacket and the walk and everything and people were like, ‘Oh, my god.'”

The costumes were so good in fact that Dever was able to fool someone very surprising. “Even the writer of the episode, one of our executive producers, did not recognize me and I was standing right next to him for about ten minutes before he realized who I was,” Dever revealed.

Ryan’s Arc

Ryan has his own adventure throughout the episode. It was something that Dever did purposely with the character. 

“I kind of wanted it to be a little bit of an arc. We get to see Ryan really sort of criticizing Esposito [and] not very happy about dressing up and taking on these characters. Because Ryan certainly has his own opinions about the way law enforcement in New York was done in the ’70s. But at the end he embraces it, probably even more than Esposito. There’s a scene where he of takes over and takes charge of the investigation, we get to see really Ryan embrace the ’70s very quickly. It was a nice sort of arc to play and that’s kind of what I wanted. I wanted to make a conscious decision.”

According to Dever, Ryan had some interesting reasons for finally embracing his new role as a ’70s cop.

“I think it’s empowering playing this different guy, this guy who could sort of be cool and be smooth. I think it’s like that for anybody who is. people look at you one way and all of a sudden you have this power, where people are convinced by you talking to them in a certain way and a certain manner. It’s almost like a little bit of swagger he got from it, like, ‘Ah, this is kind of cool. I like this swagger that I got.’ And he uses it. I think that it sort of seduces him a little bit.”

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Busting Out Some Dance Moves

Be sure to stay tuned to the very end, where Ryan busts out some very impressive dance moves at a disco. The moves were ones that Dever has had for a while. “I’ve got a background in musical theater and show choir actually, so those moves are very old for yours truly. I just dusted them off and let them all hang out and the rest you saw on the screen there.”

Ryan and Esposito: May the Best Man Win

When asked what’s coming up for Ryan as the season draws closer to an end, Dever shared some fun facts about an upcoming episode.

“There’s a fun episode coming up where Esposito and Ryan – they all of a sudden get an idea in their brain that they both want to be Castle’s best man and it’s very important [to them]. So because of that, they start competing and all of a sudden really sucking up to Castle. Beckett catches on very early, but Castle never does and Castle thinks we’re talking about something else the entire time. So the whole time they’re getting gifts and they’re doing favors for Castle and all of a sudden being really affectionate and sucking up to him. And Castle’s not aware of it at all, he just sort of takes it in. So that one’s a lot fun, because whenever you get Jon and I playing stakes against each other – a little competition – it’s always a lot of fun.”

Castle airs on Monday nights at 10pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Michelle Carlbert

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV