Castle’s next chap­ter

Nathan Fil­lion and Stana Katic tell COLIN VICK­ERY how a new spark kept Castle from top­pling

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

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.

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