Castle Q&A: Stana Katic Talks of ‘Wonderful Lovemaking’ and Beckett the ‘Cobra Lying in Wait’

ABC’s Castle kicks off Season 5 on Monday at 10/9c, and with that comes the answer to the question: So, how was it?

To recap: After chasing a hot lead in her mother’s long-unsolved murder and cheating death (again), Detective Kate Beckett resigned from the NYPD, licked some wounds, and then gravitated, rain-soaked, to the doorstep of her partner in crimesolving, novelist Rick Castle. And while it’s always a risky move to slip your Will They/Won’t They couple between the sheets, Stana Katic, who plays Beckett to Nathan Fillion‘s Castle, sees only a glorious afterglow to come.

During TVLine’s visit to the set — at which time she was wrapping up the romantically and dramatically satisfying premiere — Katic shared her in-depth assessment of “Caskett” past, present and future, as well as gave us a peek at her big-screen time-trip to the groovy 1970s.

TVLINE | Talk about how [series creator] Andrew [Marlowe] first presented it to you that he was going to “pull the trigger” on Beckett and Castle and make that finally happen.
I was vocal about the fact that I felt that they needed to get together, because in my perspective there’s only so far that you can go with that kind of romantic tension. There’s a point where either it happens, or you risk being dishonest and pulling on audience’s heartstrings or whatever just for the sake of maintaining that audience, or because people fear that when there is no tension in that way that you lose interest. I don’t really believe that, so I felt like if we prolonged that, it would just be unplayable, unbearable. So I was told a couple of episodes before the finale, and I knew that they were going to try to sprinkle in notes to justify that happening at the end of the finale. I’ve been for it for a while, so I thought it was about time.

TVLINE | What excited you about it, and what, if anything, gave you pause?
What excited me about it was that it’s a shift in the relationship for those two characters. Last year there was a rift between them, partially because they were both holding secrets….

TVLINE | All season long, yeah.
Right, and also I feel unless romantic tension is given a voice, the alternative is often expressed – “I can’t be around you, I don’t want to see you,” things like that. So I thought, “Oh, this will be neat, this will be a new thing to play, for both characters.” [For example], there’s nobody that Rick has ever played love with — love in the bedroom, love outside of the bedroom. I’m sure we’ll be in the honeymoon period for a little while and get to know who these people are in a relationship that’s secret from everyone else.

TVLINE | What do you think their first time was like? Was it purely animal? Was it about yearning? Was it about Kate being with the one person she knows is her rock?
I feel like the first few beats were hurtful — meaning there was so much anger and tension and hurt that needed to be expressed, and in some ways it was expressed just by being together. And then I feel there was just really wonderful lovemaking and discovering each other’s bodies, and finding solace in each other. These are two people who are extraordinary as individuals. I mean I hope, in my best version of a love story, they’re extraordinary as individuals. And then because they’re so extraordinary, they’re alone. By being together, maybe they’re not so alone? It’s kind of neat to have two people be vulnerable to each other who are not allowed to be vulnerable to very many other people, you know? And I’d like to see that progress throughout the year. I’d like to see what it means for Castle to care for a woman who is not his responsibility in the way that his daughter is or his mother is, but really care for an equal.

TVLINE | And, Lord knows, his romantic past is littered with women who were just…
Subordinates. So it will be nice to see that. And it will be nice to see Beckett also have somebody that she can trust and be safe with, because she’s always had to have her guard up, because there’s nobody else as capable as she is around her. This is a person that she can be safe around, which is extraordinary, because I think we’ll see more of who she is through that love story.

TVLINE | You said there might be a bit of a honeymoon period, but in the immediate aftermath, how does their coupling affect Kate? Is she content, is she like, “Ah, what did we just do…?”
The immediate aftermath is she gave herself to him, and she was complete with him and hoped that it meant to him what it meant to her. So those first few moments are that wonderful generosity when you give yourself to somebody, but also that big question mark of…

TVLINE | “Was it appreciated?”
“Is it valued?” I think that’s an important beat in their relationship.

TVLINE | Is that question left in the air…?
[Smiles] No, it’s answered.

TVLINE | Will “the L-word” become an issue? Is that the next question Castle fans are going to be asking me 11 times a week? He has said that he loves her, but she’s never said it in return.
I wonder. I don’t know. I think there is definitely an emotion and a physicality that conveyed an emotion. I don’t know if it will become a part of the story that it needs to be said or heard.

TVLINE | Through the season premiere, only the two of them will know that they got together?
Yes. I think that they’re both not sure what they have. Whatever it is they’ve got, they’re really protective of it, and I don’t know that they want to necessarily spread [the news] until they figure out what it is.

TVLINE | Moving from the interpersonal to the professional: What will happen next with the case of Beckett’s mother’s murder?
[The premiere] is an interesting episode because it’s a choice to face off with a person that’s responsible for everything, and then to approach it in a way that wouldn’t have been the way that she would have approached it in the past. The emotionality that drove so much of what she did in the past, especially when it came to this case, isn’t the driving force, because she has something else that is tapering that — and it’s not, “Oh, a guy came into her life and saved the day!” I think it’s a personal growth, which is interesting, because a person is more dangerous when they’re thinking very clearly, especially in the case of trying or planning on avenging, or seeking justice. The clear thinker, the Sun Tzu Art of War way, is really dangerous.

TVLINE | Kate, though, has resigned from the NYPD. Does Gates want her back? Is any overture made there, or…?
No. But Gates is very aware of the fact that she is a very powerful member of her police force and a valuable person to have on her team.

TVLINE | And yet….
And yet she left, so…. The thing about Gates and the relationship with Kate is that there’s a bit of two strong women in a great way really knowing each other, and I think Beckett grew up a little bit over the last year. I think that Beckett sees the big picture, and a part of the big picture is being on that police force.

TVLINE | So it’s just a matter of Gates reconciling the baggage that comes with Beckett, the “loose cannon” aspect.
And yet she is not a loose cannon anymore. That’s the thing, that’s the difference. [With regards to Cole Maddox and the conspiracy] she’s kind of like a cobra, like a viper, lying in wait, and when the right moment is there to strike, she will. It’s a totally different game, you know? It’s like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She’s scary because she is so streamlined. She’s going to go after exactly what she needs to go after, and she’s going to take her time and do it right. So to answer your question, I think there’s this wonderful possible relationship shift in Beckett’s and Gates’ dialogue. And if you’re asking if Beckett gets reinstated in the force, yeah, of course she’ll get reinstated.

TVLINE | Before they pull you away from me, I wanted to talk about the movie you just wrapped, CBGB (due in theaters next year). For starters, what’s the overall story?
CBGB, the movie, is about CBGB the rock club in New York City…

TVLINE | I’ve been there. As square as I am, I’ve been there.
I think that’s probably the first “of-age club” that I snuck into, when I was 17, in the U.S. I was studying in Boston and some friends from New York City were like, “Oh, do you guys want to come?” My roommate and I were like, “Yeah, OK,” so we took the train and went all over the city and snuck into this bar. I remember this great band being up on the stage, but the thing that really stuck in my mind was, “Oh my God, we actually got in” — that was a really big deal for me. So the story centers on the club in the late ’70s/early ’80s, and on Hilly Crystal (Die Hard‘s Alan Rickman), who was the owner of the club, and the various characters that circled around him. It’s about him having the idea for this club, being passionate about it and fighting for it, in spite of everything. It’s about the music, too, about punk rock, so we have featured parts for a lot of the bands that played there — the Ramones, Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop…. I’ll tell you, one day the guys dressed as the Ramones were walking down the street, and it was uncanny.

TVLINE | And who are you playing?
My character is Genya Raven, who was the lead singer of the first all-female rock band called Goldie and the Gingerbreads, back in the ’60s. She was a mainstay in New York City, and she’s still alive. I got the chance to meet her. She was a dear friend of Hilly’s, she produced some of the bands that came out of CBGB and she was a rock star in her own right. She either played with or slept with the biggest and the best in the industry.

TVLINE | What’s your look for the movie? Are we going to recognize you if we don’t know it’s you?
You’ll recognize me just because there’s my face. But yeah, she has this wonderful wild hair, and everybody was kind of bra-less and tattooed and stuff, so she had some of that going on…. It was a fun piece to be a part of, and a really sweet role.

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