A Quick Word
On set with Stana Katic, who plays Detective Kate Beckett on TV One’s Castle.
Does it bother you that aside from playing a lead role you’re considered eye candy on this show?
Well Kate has to play just as well as Castle plays. She has to be just as strong as he is. She has to be able to fight just as well as he does. A swordfight isn’t interesting unless both are equally as good. They have a lot to learn about each other still. I think the question in Kate’s mind is of what really happened in his past relationships. Castle and Kate have had to deal with a breach of trust so they could make their way back into a working kind of relationship.
Isn’t Castle just another procedural crime drama?
The average procedurals are very dark, technical. This takes a light and entertaining perspective on that world, which is refreshing. It’s a bit of a romantic comedy/procedural mixed together. Isn’t that the most fun thing to play, when you’re in the middle of a flirt?
Do you read crime novels?
No. I just finished Middlesex, which apparently HBO bought. I try to read everything else, from the classics to stuff that friends have been recommending. In a period of a day and a half, I had about 10 people on set bring books to me. I don’t know why. I seem to be attracting a lot of really great literature right now.
What about crime shows?
I like Sherlock Holmes, Columbo, the classics. But regular crime procedurals, no, I don’t watch them very often.
How many of the stunts do you do yourself?
I love stunts. I studied martial arts and when you attack somebody, you are going full-force. So now I have had to learn how to not hurt the person. I once had to learn a Navy Seal kill where you use a knife and you attack a person on all of their main arteries. You can kill them in about two minutes. Then at the end, they end up splayed out on the ground and you come on top of them and just squeeze out all the blood, and hopefully they pass away.
So was it really necessary to research for this role?
I did do a bit of research with the New York Police Department. I got to travel with the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI as well, just to try to ground [Kate] a bit. And the most valuable thing I got was that they are so dedicated to their job. And they have gallows’ humour.
Your character seems to be the only one who is trying to maintain a strait-laced authority figure among all these …
Boys? These goofy kids? I grew up with a bunch of boys and it translates easily to the set. These guys and I have a lot of fun off-screen. There’s a lot of pranks being pulled. We are all goof-buckets underneath. Obviously, Kate ends up having to rein everyone in but we’re going to see a bit of her wild side. The reality for any working woman is she might wear a certain hat at work, but when she goes home, she’s just as free and as wild as the boys and can play just as hard.
Is that what attracted you to Kate?
It was her integrity and her quest. Her entire journey as a detective started because her mother was killed. Other than that, she would have been your normal Manhattanite girl, probably going to university at Stanford.
How much like Kate are you?
Are we both intellectual? Do we both read books? Do we both geek out over things? Yeah, both of us. But I think I’m a little bit freer and more creative and definitively more wild. She feels about 10 years older than I do sometimes.
* Stana Katic stars in Castle, Wednesdays, 8.30pm TV One