Castle’s Stana Katic gets dark in Absentia

Castle fans, rejoice!

As most of you know, one of Canada’s most popular exports, Hamilton, Ont., native Stana Katic is finally back where she belongs: on our small screen.

Headlining Showcase’s new thriller Absentia, three-time People’s Choice Award winner plays a much darker role than her beloved NYPD captain Kate Beckett who sparked romantically and professionally with mystery writer Richard Castle (played by another super Canuck, Nathan Fillion) on ABC for eight seasons.

In her latest onscreen reincarnation, the University of Toronto alum is still playing an officer of the law but this time, FBI agent Emily Byrne is the centre of the mystery who needs to be solved.

After being declared dead in ‘absentia,’ Emily must reclaim her family, identity and innocence when she finds herself the prime suspect in a string of murders. Oh, and her husband, Nick, has remarried, her son has grown up, who was raised by another woman, and she totally missed the Sex and the City finale.

Postmedia Network spoke with the 39-year-old beauty, who also serves as the show’s executive producer,  after visiting Toronto recently to chat about the #MeToo movement, Tim Hortons and her unusually passionate fanbase.

That sound you hear? Your fans screaming, ‘Hallelujah, she’s back!’

[Laughs] Some of them saw Absentia earlier because the show has aired in some foreign markets. People were really excited about it and that reverberated into the Canadian market.

Have you figured out why your fans are so loyal and rabid? I wouldn’t mess with them.

[Laughs] If you can figure it out, tell me, so I can package that and sell it. It’s nice and sweet. I’m really lucky that my fans followed me to the new show.  And I know they’re really going to fall in love with the all the performers as well and everyone who work behind the scenes of the show as well. I don’t take any of that for granted. I’m very thankful.

Absentia is quite the departure from the TV rom-com/mystery you just wrapped up.

It’s grittier and darker. It’s a psychological thriller but, while most families are complicated, this family is more complex  than most. I think that will be exciting for people to see.

Are your fans going to be freaked out?

I’m playing an anti-heroine in so many ways. That’s going to be something new for my audience to watch. And nobody is an angel, which I’m excited about. The story hinges on the character I play; however, each of the characters have a fantastic arc and journey, like most ensemble stories do. This character rides a line between what is the standard of morality and what’s not. And a bit more true to form, meaning people are complex, make mistakes, and misbehave. Luckily, in the world of Showcase, we’re allowed to play with those dynamics.

Would you suggest binging your show or watching week by week?

It depends on the individual viewer. But because this is so high intensity at times, for me, if something is that high velocity, I need to take a break. Some people just need to take a breather.

You’re working with your Quantum of Solace co-star Neil Jackson! Was he cast because you guys knew each other?

Are you asking me if we ‘bonded?’ [Laughs] I was shot in London and his part was filmed in South America, so no.

Can we expect a season two?

That’s a question that I will have to let the networks decide.

You’re a showrunner – do you feel the #MeToo movement has changed things or have things been changing for a while?

The transition has been happening for a bit, which is exciting. As soon as we open storytelling to our reflective and diverse times, then I feel like we’re telling more compelling and engaging stories.  I feel like that’s happening and has been happening for quite a while. It’s great to have people challenge the system and make it be its best self.

How often do you get back to the Six and the Hammer?

At least once a year.

What do you do when you’re back in Ontario?

I gotta get a double double when I land. That’s a for sure. Everyone knows that, especially the friends that pick me up from the airport. By the way, I have one sitting right next to me as we speak. There are so many great restaurants that it’s hard to target one specifically. I’m always fortunate to eat great food. Probably the best place? Hanging out with my friends and family and cuddling up in a cozy environment.