Check out Hypable’s interview with Castle‘s Seamus Dever (Detective Kevin Ryan) for his thoughts on his central turn in an upcoming episode, a major milestone for the quirky mystery series, and speculation on what surprises an enigmatic antagonist may have up his sleeve.
Hypable’s Interview with Seamus Dever:
Hypable: Next week’s episode, “The Wild Rover,” focuses on your character, Kevin Ryan. What part of the script were you most excited to read, and then film?
Seamus Dever: Well, when they get to the part where I get to go undercover and resume an earlier identity that I had as a narcotics cop, that was really exciting because I was like, “Really? I get to do all this? I get to be a badass?” That was the most exciting part, all the adventure that they give me – that we get to get out of the precinct and get to do some crazy crap. I get to dress up and I even get to shoot a little pool at a certain point, and that was a lot of fun. So yeah, it was all of those things, lots of adventure. This wasn’t a normal episode.
Ryan’s always a badass!
Well, I like to think of Ryan as a badass, but a lot of people like to think of him as a quiet guy who’s in a three-piece suit, and the truth is something darker. The truth is, I, Seamus, I’ve done a lot of dark characters in my past and a lot of people don’t expect that of me either, so it’s sort of fun to surprise people with what you can do. I know that personally, and I get to do a lot of that in this episode.
So what is dark-Ryan like?
Well, he’s a badass. He’s very assertive, he’s very physical, he sort of talks with his fist a little bit more than Ryan does when he’s in the precinct, so he’s not afraid to get into a scrap and he’s not afraid to call somebody’s bluff and to test them. So we’re gonna get to see a lot of that, which is pretty cool.
How does this episode differ from “Kick the Ballistics,” last year’s episode that focused on Ryan as well?
Well, I would say that “Kick the Ballistics” was about righting a wrong. It was about a mistake, you know, and all these mistakes that we make in our lives. The mistake that [Ryan] made was getting his gun taken away, and it ended up being used in a homocide of an innocent person. And so a lot of that was doing the right thing to make up – so just doing your job to make up for that, but it was very personal.
This [episode] is about the past coming back to slap you in the face. Literally. And you’ll see what I mean. That was what this was about, sort of like the past coming back suddenly. The things that you think are gone in your life are now back, and you’re forced to deal with them.
It’s similar [to “Kick The Ballistics”] in the way that it’s doing the right thing, because a lot of the episode is about Ryan doing the right thing to make sure to protect the people that helped him in his past – and to put away the people that he didn’t get to put away seven years ago. So a lot of it’s about the past coming back to slap you in the face.
So how does the rest of the precinct react to this new version of Ryan?
Well, it surprises the hell out of them, I think. I’d like to think that they look at it as one of the big things they know, mild-mannered Ryan, and the truth is they don’t really know him very much at all… all the stuff he did in his past, you know, he hasn’t ever talked about it.
And I think that sort of speaks to Ryan’s strength of character, that he wasn’t bragging about the things that he did when he was undercover, you know what I mean? He just sort of wanted to forget and move on. So I think when all this resurfaces, it surprises them with how strong Ryan actually is, as a cop and as a person. So yeah, lots of surprises.
Castle‘s 100th episode, “The Lives of Others,” is airing in two weeks. What was that experience of filming that episode like, especially for the secondary cast?
It was a lot of fun because it’s one of those things that you want to enjoy and sort of celebrate as you’re doing it because it doesn’t happen that often. So it’s a big milestone for us. It was a fun episode that they put together. They were like, okay, this is our 100th episode, and it happens not [as] our season finale; it’s four episodes from our season finale, so let’s do something interesting. And I think they really did, so I think it’s a lot of fun, and I think it’s a nice ride to go on for the audience so I think they’re gonna enjoy it.
In Castle you move back and forth between comedy and drama, sometimes in the same scene. What is that like for you as an actor to play?
Well, it’s a challenge, but it’s a lot like life. You’re serious in life and you also joke around with your friends, so it’s one of those things that, like, it’s very balanced. It’s a balanced way to be, and all your challenges are based in the idea that there are going to be those funny moments and finding those funny moments – because a lot of them aren’t necessarily on the paper. A lot of them, we get in a situation, we’re doing a scene and we get an idea, there’s a spark in Nathan [Fillion]’s eye and he decides to do something funny at a certain point. We make those choices all together and the whole time, you’re investigating the death of somebody.
It’s also a fine line, because you want to have fun, but you don’t want to do anything to the detriment of the case. We don’t want to confuse the audience that we’re joking about dead bodies and things like that, so it’s a balance of things. But it’s great, because you don’t ever feel like it was, “Oh, I was so serious today,” or “I was just so joking around today.” It always goes back to one or the other, so there’s a lot in there for you as an actor.
One moment sort of like that was way back in the begining of the season when Ryan was the first to find out about Castle and Beckett’s relationship.
Yeah, I loved playing that scene. That scene was so much fun. It was was one of those things where… I decided to go after it, and our director Rob Bowman let me go after it. I think in the interrogation scene where I just went after the piece of information like my life depended on it. And the fact that it was so committed, and so ridiculous about just this little piece of information. “Tell me again, what did she look like, describe her, come on!” And [to] sort of go psychotic about it, it was a very funny choice.
At the time, I was deadly serious about it – I didn’t want it to play as drama, I wanted it to play as comedy, but I knew that I had to just pursue it with just a recklessness that the audience had no choice but laugh at because it was so reckless and crazy.
One new element of this season has been Jack Coleman, as the incredibly sleazy, scary Senator Bracken. What kind of energy does he add to the scenes that he’s in?
He’s great, I got to sit down with him a lot. He gives so much perspective, I think. He’s such a veteran – all those days that he was on Falcon Crest. I love hearing his stories because it really gives me a nice place to think of myself in the future. A guy who was on a series, and then he was on another series, and it’s sort of like, “What’s your life like?”
And that’s just personally working with him, he’s just an awesome guy who lends a lot of weight to the show. He’s a very good actor, it’s very simple and it’s very real, so the stuff he does is really interesting.
I think it’s a different kind of bad guy; I almost think that he has such humanity that… you know, when I’m playing the scenes at least with him, I go, “Oh, he’s not such a bad guy, did he really do these things?” So I think we’re headed in a direction where we find out a little bit more truth about the senator, and about his culpability in all these things. I think – I have a feeling. Because I think that it sort of seems like it’s in Jack’s DNA to have that sort of, like, he’s got a secret, but it’s not as bad? And he comes off as very likeable sometimes, so it’s like, damnit! He’s supposed to be a bad guy! But I think it makes him a more interesting villain.
Castle airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC. Check out ABC’s official show page for more information about Seamus Dever, Nathan Fillion, and rest of the Castle crew.