Kiss OF life
Nathan Fillion thought romance would ruin his show. But it’s doing better than ever, he tells COLIN VICKERY
Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic revive Castle with a hot romance
HOW long will Nathan Fillion keep on playing mystery novelist Richard Castle? That is the question Castle fans are asking as the US crime drama heads towards its sixth season finale.
Castle has already been renewed for a seventh season but it is anyone’s guess what the 43-year-old Canadian actor will do after that.
A year ago, news emerged that Fillion was a no-show on set, supposedly because he was locked in a dispute with his bosses over his desire to move to a four-day work week. In November, the National
Enquirer revealed more trouble behind the scenes. Fillion was reportedly upset that co-star Stana Katic, who plays NYPD detective Kate Beckett, was getting too much attention and screen time.
All of that comes after Fillion suggested in 2012 that seven seasons of Castle would be his ideal.
So is Fillion getting itchy feet? Is it time to move on?
“That’s a good question,” Fillion says between scenes on the set of Castle. “This is the longest time I’ve ever spent employed. This is uncommon – having a television show that is on the air and not in danger of being cancelled and successful for six wonderful years. This is a gift horse I do not look at in the mouth.
“[As an actor] I do get to do things that I’ve never done before – invest in character. I’ve never done a character for six years before. I feel like I know this guy [Richard Castle] pretty well, and I feel like the audience does too.
“The audience is invested [in the show] and I don’t feel like they’re going to go anywhere any time soon. There is a wonderful security in that.
“[But] as an actor, yes there are fewer and fewer challenges. So would it be nice to play another character once in a while? Absolutely.”
The sheer number of hours on set seems to be an issue for Fillion. When you play the title character in a TV series, you are guaranteed to be in pretty much every scene.
There are plenty of days when Fillion doesn’t see the California sun. He arrives at the studio before 6am and doesn’t wrap filming until well into the night. No wonder he wants a four-day work week.
“This [ Castle] is a machine – we have to make it work and the hours are incredibly long,” Fillion says. “It’s not a glamorous life. It is a bit of a sacrifice. You don’t have much real life. That is the challenge.
“We’re kind of locked in here. It is a walled compound in a big building with no windows. It seems a little insular. It seems a little confined at times.”
Fillion can’t be unhappy with Castle’s ratings. The current series is the most successful yet with about 13 million viewers an episode in the US.
The popularity comes despite Fillion’s long-standing objections to Castle and Beckett becoming a couple.
For years, Katic had been lobbying the show’s creator Andrew W Marlowe to allow Castle and Beckett to become romantically involved. Katic even reckoned they should have a baby together.
Fillion disagreed. He was adamant that it was the unresolved sexual tension between Castle and Beckett that kept audiences watching.
Fillion knew shows such as The X-Files, House and
Moonlighting had slumped in the ratings once their lead characters became romantically involved.
“I hate being wrong,” Fillion laughs. “My thought process was that it was wanting them to be together that kept people watching. I figured if you give them what they want … they would start changing channels.”
Katic persisted and the rest is history. Castle proposed to Beckett at the end of season five. The current season started with Beckett accepting Castle’s marriage proposal.
Fillion’s dire prediction never eventuated. Marlowe has kept things fresh with a job dilemma for Beckett, a deadly toxin for Castle, and the re-appearance of Castle’s mysterious father Jackson Hunt (James Brolin).
A recent episode where Castle and Beckett had to take care of a baby also showed that they have wildly differing views on children.
Marlowe promises the pair will walk down the aisle in the season finale, but fans should expect a hitch –
Castle is renowned for its cliffhangers.
CASTLE TONIGHT, 9.45PM, SEVEN
Crowd pleaser: Audiences loved it when Beckett and Castle finally got together.
NATIONAL TV EDITOR Darren Devlyn EDITOR Debbie Schipp REVIEWS Debbie Schipp, Darren Devlyn, Colin Vickery, Andrew Fenton, Holly Byrnes, Anooska Tucker-Evans, Neala Johnson, Leigh Paatsch COVER Castle’s Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic ADVERTISING Paul Carroll (02) 8114 7452 PRODUCTION Pagemasters Published by Hannanprint, 55 Doody St, Alexandria, NSW 2015, for News Corp Australia.