Castle, which premieres tonight on ABC, stars fan favorite Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, a crime novelist who finds himself sucked into assisting the New York Police Department when a murderer starts carrying out crimes based on scenes from his books. There, he finds himself working (and flirting) alongside Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) while also navigating the relationships with his Broadway diva mother (Susan Sullivan) and wise-beyond-her-years teenage daughter (Molly Quinn). A few days ago, Fillion hopped on the phone to chat with me about the appeal of Castle, what it's like to be a leading man again, and whether there will ever be another Dr. Horrible. Read on for highlights:
When you first heard about Castle and read the pilot script, what appealed to you about the character?
I heard that Castle was a crime drama. I'd been reading a lot of police procedurals that ABC had for pilots — I have a deal with ABC, so I'm gonna do something with ABC. And I was reading a lot of dramas, a lot of heavy stuff, a lot of heavy, emotional dramas that they were putting out there. And then Castle, for some reason, was at the bottom of the list of all the pilots I was going through.
I was 15 pages into reading Castle, and I stopped, and I turned to my girlfriend and said, "I'm going to start at the beginning of this pilot and I'm going to read it out loud to you, and you tell me if you don't think this wouldn't be an amazingly fun job to do." Because here's a guy who enjoys every day of his life like he's on a field trip — he is thrilled to be there. He's thrilled to be around crime and murder and he's having a blast. He doesn't get emotionally involved. He's not without heart, he's just simply very lighthearted. He doesn't see crime and say, "I've got to find this murderer before he gets the chance to do it again. He just simply says, "Whoa! Did you see the way that fella was hangin' there?" He's crazed by these phenomenal endings to what he believes would be an incredible story, and he wants to find the beginning and the middle to the ending that is the murder.
Watching the pilot, I thought of him as kind of a playboy — but not just with women, with everything in his life.
I kind of started [filming] thinking, 'Well, here's a wild partier, drinker, womanizer . . . " but actually he's far more childlike than I even knew when we were shooting the pilot. He has a joy — he's playing all the time. He's playing grown-up games.
To find out the secret to Castle's lightheartedness, just read more