I got the opportunity to sit down with Castle star Stana Katic to talk to her about the show, this week’s highly anticipated new episode “Kill Shot,” and the future of Beckett and Castle. I also asked her some questions from you, the fans, about the things you wanted to know. Thank you all for submitting questions — I asked as many as I could.
Christi Kassity: We’ve heard your favorite Castle episodes are the ones that deal with Beckett’s mother’s death, as well as the ones that touch on the romance between Beckett and Castle. The past few episodes have not touched on either subject. Will we be seeing more of those kinds of episodes, and if so, how soon?
Stana Katic: Yeah, well [“Kill Shot”] kind of goes down in that direction. She got shot because she was digging too deep and this is a huge flashback to that experience. This episode touches on it, and it also touches on the progression of [Castle and Beckett’s] relationship together.
One of the things that was really satisfiying about playing this particular episode was that Beckett learns more about herself, learns more about some of the blocks she’s placed in her path to really living and enjoying her own life. One of the things I think she wants is to have a relationship with someone like Castle.
A big block for her, she knows, has been her mom’s murder and in this episode specifically we get to see how she decides to navigate those waters and decides — people do this, right? They define themselves by things, you know? By events, by associations, by communities, by personal history. They say ‘Okay, this is who I am,’ then because of those definitions sometimes you get to live a decent life, but sometimes you actually are creating obstacles for yourself, and I think that Beckett realizes that she has created some obstacles for herself that are preventing herself from living a fulfilling and bigger life.
CK: Why do you think Kate will not give in to her feelings for Castle? Why do you think she lied about hearing him tell her that he loves her?
SK: It’s not true she won’t give into her feelings. She has totally given into her feelings — it’s just that she wants to give that relationship a real chance, and she’s crazy about him and to give it a real chance she knows that for her she has to just put this thing to rest — this thing with her mom. All of these years she realized she’s had one foot out the door in any relationship she’s been in. She doesn’t want that to happen with him and to give it a real chance she’s got to resolve that. It’s a secret that she holds for the sake of protecting the future of the two of them. And he’s holding secrets too, you know.
CK: We see in this next episode that Kate’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder really comes to light. How did it feel playing Kate that way, and how do you prepare for those scenes?
SK: It’s different. She’s always in control, usually, at least. To an extent.
CK: She tries to be, anyway.
SK: Right, right. She’s the tip of the spear in investigations, and for her to not have full control of herself in a moment of stress especially in an investigation, it’s really disconcerning, it’s really outside of her normal kind of space.
So I think one of the things I got to do was I got to chat with a few people who have been in places of conflict — people from across the globe. I got the chance to understand, or at least try to access, that stymieing fear, that just grips you and you can’t move and nobody else can help you. You have to help yourself kind of pull out of that. And the only way, sometimes, that you can figure out or navigate that path through that dark valley is if someone else who’s been through the same thing and has gotten through to the other side can give you some words of wisdom.
We find that in this episode through Esposito. You know, Castle wants to help but he can’t, and that is really rough for a guy who’s in love with a girl, because they always want to protect and this time he can’t. He doesn’t have the tools, and we have to go to my buddy Espo.
CK: Where do you want to see Kate and Castle by the end of the season?
SK: (without a moment of hesitation) Makin’ out. (we both laugh) I’m serious! On a park bench just tearing each other up.
CK: I’m sure there are a lot of fans who wonder how you go to work everyday and not make out with Nathan [Fillion]
SK: I stare at his bum, plenty.
CK: Who has been your favorite guest star, so far, on the show?
SK: I love a lot of them. The cute boys aren’t bad, right? Victor Webster. Marc Blucas, Sasha Roiz, I love James Cosmo. We’ve got a lot of really really great actors that have come through. Jane Seymour. There is a really great list of people that have come through that are really fantastic. We are really lucky that actors are up for coming and playing with us. It seems like the show has a large enough reach where actors that might be off filmmaking most of the year who have a couple of weeks free are willing now to come be on our show.
CK: On that note: Who would be your dream guest stars?
SK: Tom Hardy, Russell Crowe, Daniel Day Lewis.
CK: So more cute boys?
SK: (laughs) Right? Okay, girls. Vanessa Redgrave, Charlotte Rampling. Who else on the womens side? Oh, Kate Winslet.
CK: The fans wanted me to tell you that they love that you say you’re not sorry for being a “shipper” — So what are your favorite “Caskett” moments?
SK: I’ll tell you. I liked when they kissed. (laughs) That was great. I love the moment when he walks in on her in the bath and she’s naked and she’s like “God, can you just not look?” you know? I love the silent smiles between the two of them when one is admiring the other and the other one is admiring that same person. You know where they have those moments of shift? They get to soak each other up. It’s a private moment that a character has, and it’s really sweet to see that. Where they are enjoying each other. Jeez, what else? There are tons of moments. They always seem to squirt them in.
CK: Yeah, there seems to be at least one moment in every episode.
SK: Yeah! I like that! It’s really sweet. I like that. I like playing that romantic.
CK: And we know you two will be handcuffed to each other soon…
SK: Yes! yeah, that will be massive amounts of… something. We’ll see what happens.
CK: Are there any pranks or on-set shenanigans you can tell us about?
SK: Everybody is always teasing each other all the time. I work with a room full of boys basically — which is great because I get to be a little stinker too. For instance, sometimes when I am doing a scene with Jon Huertas… It will be my close up and we both share an affection for The Princess Bride. So he’s a big dork and I will give him an order as Beckett and he will sashay out of the scene as Esposito and just before he does — and it’s always on my close up — he’ll go “As you wish!” … and you’ll see sometimes they’ll keep it on my face and there is always a little twinkle in my eye. There is tons of hijinks and stuff like that. I managed to convince Seamus that he was going to have to do a strip-tease dance and the whole crew got in on it and just had a blast enjoying that.
CK: Is there any significance to the elephants on Kate’s desk?
SK: Yes. There are parts of the world that believe that elephants are an element of good fortune and by putting money in the trunk of the lead elephant you’re encouraging good foturne in your life. I feel like Beckett is well-traveled and if she hasn’t actually been to a place she will make a point of reading about a place. I felt that was either something she carried back from her travels or it was something that one of her United Nations friends gifted her.
CK: An unexpected, at least for me, topic came up several times when I was taking questions and that was: Your hair.
SK: (laughs) How did I know you were going to go there?
CK: So, I guess the questions are do you have say in how your hair, make-up and wardrobe are done for each episode? Also, the fans unanimously agree your hair is at its best when it’s down.
SK: Oh really? (laughs) okay.
CK: I was actually asked, and I quote “How do you get your hair looking so good, do you wash it in petrified unicorn tears, or what?”
SK: (laughs more) There’s a unicorn thing going on right now!
CK: So, do you have say in your hair/make-up/wardrobe?
SK: Yeah, its a collaboration. It’s between myself, the producers, the writer, and the hair team and wardrobe and make-up team. It’s a collaboration and it depends oftentimes what the story is. Sometimes the story is a little bit more buttoned up. In order to have that feeling sometimes it’s nice to have the hair back, away from the face. Sometimes its a little bit more free flowing. She’s comfortable, she’s in her home, or whatever, and you can do something different with it. I feel, like any girl, Beckett is going to explore hair styles and it’s really nice to have the hair long now because I think that it echos what’s been a great progression for the character. We can play a little bit more now than before.
CK: Will we ever see Beckett riding her Harley softtail?
SK: (eyes widen) Tell them to just blast Andrew Marlowe’s twitter account [@AndrewWMarlowe] with that idea, because I am 100% for it. Yeah, I hope so!
CK: What causes or charities are you passionate about?
SK: I put together a not-for-profit organization called The Alternative Travel Project which is aimed at encouraging people to give their car a rest for just one day, and hopefully by doing that we are creating opportunities for people to be more engaged with their communities and their cities. To be more conscious of the environment and to also be more health conscious.
So, Seamus Dever who plays Detective Ryan, and I last October gave our cars a rest for seven days and went to and from work by using cycling, public transportation, and by walking. It was really cool, so what I ended up doing was encouraging people across the globe to join in and pledge a day without a car… As a place that is the media capitol of, perhaps, the planet, I think that we deserve great public transportation and deserve great access to ease of traffic across the city.
One of the things that happened was a school in Romania gave up their cars every Friday. They had no-car Friday and two couples formed from this, they are both getting married. That is really cool, really sweet. So, that is one of the benefits of actually engaging in your community you can actually meet people and invest in new relationships.
Another thing I really like being apart of is, I really enjoy helping children in need and one of the avenues I found to do that is the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. I try to go and volunteer and dedicate time and visit over there whenever there is a free moment.
CK: If you could guest star on another show right now, what would it be?
SK: Oooh. Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.
I want to thank Stana for taking the time to sit down with me, we went well past the 10 minutes we were given, but I think we both had fun. Check out an all new episode of Castle Monday at 10/9C on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)