Castle’s next chapter
Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic tell COLIN VICKERY how a new spark kept Castle from toppling
NATHAN Fillion is in for the long haul. Eighteen months ago, he was getting itchy feet.
Long hours were taking their toll, and playing the same character year after year was making him restless.
Fillion is in a different headspace now. He and co-star Stana Katic, who plays Detective Kate Beckett, have signed new contracts and are enthusiastic about the show’s future.
Season eight was no sure thing. Season seven ended with Castle and Beckett happily married and Beckett taking over as captain of the 12th Precinct – hardly cliffhanger stuff.
Fillion and Katic’s contracts had expired and Castle creator Andrew Marlowe had stepped down as showrunner.
“It looked like it [series seven] could have been the end,” Fillion says. “I’ve never had to renegotiate a contract. So the timing of that was a little odd.
“I thought it [contract negotiations] would happen a lot sooner, so that they [producers] could plan into what was going to happen. Instead it was all very last-minute.
“There was a moment where I thought maybe I’m going to be looking for a job this coming season.”
Long-time Castle writers Terence Paul Winter and Alexi Hawley were hired as showrunners, and promised to shake things up.
It was enough to bring Fillion and Katic back on board. The pair signed new contracts in May, with Katic assuming the role of producer as well as star.
Katic filmed two movies and married long-time boyfriend Kris Brkljac during the break between seasons.
“Part of my thought process making the decision whether to do another season was, creatively, what would that look like?” Katic has said.
“I started to feel the character [Beckett] would be safe in the next chapter of Castle. I felt confident that they [Winter and Hawley] knew the story, the character.”
Winter and Hawley have been true to their word. The new season has started with a murder attempt on Beckett, which has major repercussions for both she and Castle. “Castle has no idea what’s going on with Beckett, and he’s trying to piece it together,” Fillion says.
The murder attempt on Beckett is all part of Winter and Hawley’s master plan to change things up.
“We’re using this to actually put some spark back in, and the stakes back in, which gives us the fun and the juice,” Hawley has said.
Fillion is certainly revitalised and “thrilled” with the changes.
“This will be my eighth year on this show; making it the longest time I’ve ever done anything,” Fillion says.
“There’s a part of me that says why not [keep starring in Castle] forever but I know that’s not possible.
“I’m starting to think that the challenge will be, in my next character I play, can I not play Castle. I’m looking forward to playing something that’s really off-centre.” CASTLE
SUNDAY, 9.30PM, SEVEN
Reigniting the romance: Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in Castle.