Stana Katic: Lost but Found After Castle
Maria Feldman looks more like a production assistant, with her jacket and muddy boots, but is actually the producer of Absentia . “The property is owned by the king,” she says in English with a strong Israeli accent, as she guides through a forest-like park. In Sofia, the king Feldman refers to is Simeon of Bulgaria.
There they have recreated the east coast of the United States, where the AXN series (that premieres this Monday at 10:05pm in Spain) takes place. The vegetation is similar and the (bad) reigning time as well. In the middle of the park/forest, a cabin. The grim building is one of the first scenes that the viewer will see in Absentia , where they find FBI agent Emily Byrne who was supposedly killed after her disappearance six years earlier. That is the starting point of the series that returns Stana Katic to television after eight seasons of Castle .
The star appears during a break from filming, with soaked hair and blood (supposedly artificial) dripping down her forehead. Katic, besides the protagonist, is also executive producer of Absentia . The script of its pilot episode, written by the young Gaia Violo, took a few turns until falling into the hands of Katic, through her agent. “As an executive producer, I’m probably more aware of the details than just acting,” acknowledges the actress. Before the question of the (scarce) sophistication of the costumes, she jokes that it is a dark story, with little comic relief. To prepare for her character, Katic researched cases of women subjected to long kidnappings. She tells us this as she speaks to the press from the hotel in Sofia, conveniently groomed like a star (and producer) in full promotion. “We’re making an independent movie for television,” she says excitedly, taking great care not to uncover details of the plot.
Patrick Heusinger, who portrays her husband in the series, also does not enter the field of spoilers . For him, a television actor with experience in secondary and episodic roles, Absentia meant the possibility of working with the director Oded Ruskin. After watching False Flag, Ruskin’s previous series, Heusinger decided that he needed to work with him.
The tandem director-producer of False Flag , formed by Ruskin and Maria Feldman, is repeated in Absentia . When they respond together to questions from journalists, they show up as a well-oiled team. This is essential if you’re shooting a 10 episode season and have to handle more than 60 locations in only 62 days. For them, representatives of the increasingly influential Israeli television, Absentia is their entry into American television. But they maintain the system with which they produced False Flag or, in the case of Feldman, Fauda. They are now in the presence of an international television star who has, and knows, all eyes are on her. Absentia is “the new series of Stana Katic” and the answer to the question what will Stana do after Castle? Answer: take the plunge and shoot a series produced by herself in Bulgaria.
Her character in Absentia was missing for six years. However, for a television star, 16 months (the time that has passed since the end of Castle ) can get much longer.