Nathan Fillion
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The ABC drama Castle, about famous mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and his muse Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), is returning for its second season on September 21st.
As Season 2 begins, Castle is wrestling with how to repair his relationship with Beckett, while struggling to finish his soon-to-be-published novel, Heat Wave.

Although circumstances force the pair back together to investigate the mysterious murder of a man found dead, their relationship remains rocky, due to Beckett’s anger over Castle going against her direct order to stay out of the unsolved case of her mother’s homicide.

IESB recently spent time on the set of Castle to interview the show’s star, Nathan Fillion, in his apartment on the show. While standing in Castle’s office, where the character spends most of his time writing best-selling novels, the Firefly star talked about the decorating taste that he shares with his charismatic character, as well as how he feels to be returning for a second season.

Q: How does it feel to be back for a second season?

Nathan: I can’t remember when I had a second season of anything. I was on the fourth season of Desperate Housewives, but that doesn’t really count ‘cause it was still my first season.

Q: Weren’t you on several seasons of One Life to Live?

Nathan: Yes. I guess, now I remember.

Q: How soon did you know you were coming back for a second season?

Nathan: It was a few months. I was in Vancouver, having dinner with Joss Whedon. We both found out on the same day, and were both pleasantly surprised.

The ABC drama Castle, about famous mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and his muse Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), is returning for its second season on September 21st.
As Season 2 begins, Castle is wrestling with how to repair his relationship with Beckett, while struggling to finish his soon-to-be-published novel, Heat Wave.

Although circumstances force the pair back together to investigate the mysterious murder of a man found dead, their relationship remains rocky, due to Beckett’s anger over Castle going against her direct order to stay out of the unsolved case of her mother’s homicide.

IESB recently spent time on the set of Castle to interview the show’s star, Nathan Fillion, in his apartment on the show. While standing in Castle’s office, where the character spends most of his time writing best-selling novels, the Firefly star talked about the decorating taste that he shares with his charismatic character, as well as how he feels to be returning for a second season.

Q: How does it feel to be back for a second season?

Nathan: I can’t remember when I had a second season of anything. I was on the fourth season of Desperate Housewives, but that doesn’t really count ‘cause it was still my first season.

Q: Weren’t you on several seasons of One Life to Live?

Nathan: Yes. I guess, now I remember.

Q: How soon did you know you were coming back for a second season?

Nathan: It was a few months. I was in Vancouver, having dinner with Joss Whedon. We both found out on the same day, and were both pleasantly surprised.

Q: What are you looking forward to most, in regard to this season?

Nathan: We had a really good time, and the show was really well received. I’ve got a dream job, I enjoy my work, I enjoy the people I’m working with, and I love my cast and crew. These people are great. And, 95% of everyone we had last season is back this season, so it’s like old home week. We’re picking up where we left off. It’s really nice.

Q: Are there some new characters as well?

Nathan: I hear that we’re going to bring Castle’s ex-wife/publisher, who was in the pilot, back. She was played by Monet Mazur, and we’re very excited to have her back as well.

Q: What can you say about the first episode back?

Nathan: What happens is that circumstances force Beckett and Castle’s proximity to each other, so she’s put under a little bit of pressure to at least hang out close to him, and Castle sees this as his opportunity to get in there and try to work his magic, as he would call it. Other people might call it annoying. Obviously, there’s a second episode, so they’ll have to work something out.

Q: Do you have similar decorating tastes to Richard Castle?

Nathan: The carpet that you’re standing on sheds like you can’t believe. It leaves a nice fine, white haze on everything that makes it slippery. That’s the only thing I wouldn’t have, for sure. But, with everything else, what the heck. I could live in this place.

Q: Do you have a favorite spot in Castle’s house to grab a quick nap, on breaks from filming?

Nathan: At lunch, you can come in here when it’s all dark and you’ll see a bunch of crew guys, either right on the carpet, which is nice and cozy, or kicked back in these chairs. The couch is really good. Wherever there’s not a lot of people around.

Q: What did you do during your break?

Nathan: I did a lot of traveling. The first thing I did was go to New York to promote the series. After that, I traveled to Hawaii. I went and did a trip with my brother to Europe and the U.K. We had a really good time. He had never been over there.

Q: Was that all for pleasure?

Nathan: It was mostly pleasure. We did a little bit of work when I was in London. I’m involved in this project, called The Complete Hero Project, by an artist named Martin Firrell, who is saying that we have to redefine what a hero is, for the 21st century, and that our culture has changed enough that we have to redefine the word. He’s been kind enough to ask me to use my face to project onto the side of a building with some really poetic words. It’s an art installation.

Q: You did the new Halo game, didn’t you?

Nathan: Yes, Halo 3:ODST. Not only can you hear my voice, but you can also play with my face on your character.

Q: Did you do motion capture for that?

Nathan: No, they came and snapped some pictures of my face, while we were doing the pilot for Castle. They sent a photographer down, took some snaps of my face and then just tricked it out.

Q: Are you going to do Dr. Horrible 2?

Nathan: Not right now. We’re pretty busy with Castle. But, I know that there are plans in the works for a second Dr. Horrible.

Q: You’ve been very active on Twitter. What got you into Twitter?

Nathan: Felicia Day put me onto Twitter, when we did a promo thing for Dr. Horrible. We were sitting at dinner and she had me program it into my phone and start doing Twitter, right there and then. It nearly crashed my server back home, for all the immediate email notifications you get, so don’t start it on your phone. Start it at home, where you can make sure that you don’t get notifications.

Q: What do you enjoy about it?

Nathan: I like the brevity. It’s neat, if someone has something to promote because they can say, “Here’s a website, go check it out,” or “Vote for this.” That’s always a lot of fun to do. I also only follow the people I actually know, so it’s also neat to keep up with them.

Q: You’ve said that Desperate Housewives didn’t give you enough to do. Does Castle give you too much to do?

Nathan: I’m certainly busy, but it’s not constant. You have to be here the whole time, but it’s not like you’re completely taxed entirely, all the time. It’s long days. It’s not rare that we do 14-hour days.

Q: Why do you think they didn’t give you enough to do on Desperate Housewives?

Nathan: Drama dictates. You’re a slave to where the stories go, and how things unfold and work out. There are a lot of cast members on that show. I had a great time. It wasn’t my usual workload, no, but I got to work with fantastic actors telling great stories, and worked for wonderful people, who are enjoying a lot of well-deserved success. Things just worked out the way they worked out.

Q: Castle’s main goal in the series is to get closer to Beckett. How is it to play a character who’s got one primary goal that’s about another person?

Nathan: I don’t think Castle’s primary goals are about other people. I think his primary goals are selfish and about himself. He likes Beckett. He wants Beckett close to him. He admires her. He thinks she’s great. There’s no character that really has that control over Castle.

I think Beckett is as close as he has to an authority figure, which he hasn’t really had in his life. There’s his mother and the absence of a father. His daughter is the closest thing he has to a parent, so he has no authority figure in his life. Certainly, we look to fill these gaps. His character flaw is that Castle is incredibly selfish. He wants to be happy for himself. And, in a selfish way, he wants to be around Beckett.

Q: Is that fun to play?

Nathan: Absolutely. I learned, on Two Guys and a Girl, to embrace your character’s flaws. Flaws are what make people great and likeable.

Q: Does Rick Castle understand why Beckett is so pissed at him?

Nathan: In the beginning, he does not, and that is his flaw. He doesn’t understand. He’s just a little too self-involved and selfish, and he doesn’t get it. But, the episode will take care of that.

Q: When a couple gets together, the chase is over and the tension is broken. Is that something that you trust the writers to take in the right direction and have happen at the right time?

Nathan: Yes, absolutely. We all know the flaws, and we’ve all seen television series jump the shark. We’re not going to aim to fail. Absolutely not.

Q: Have you spoken to any mystery authors, since the show started, to see what they think of it?

Nathan: We’ve had Stephen Cannell come down, and Michael Connelly. This season, we have some poker games to play with them. Stephen is always very, very kind. He did some stuff with us for the DVD extras that we’re very excited about people seeing and taking a look at. He’s a joy to have around. He’s incredibly intelligent, incredibly funny and willing to play, have fun, poke fun at himself and be funny.

Q: When you were doing Firefly, did you ever think the fandom would last so long?

Nathan: When I was doing Firefly, I thought the show would last a long time. That it didn’t was a surprise to me. And then, likewise that, for such a short life, it’s had such incredible legs. That has been a surprise, yeah. I knew it would live in my heart ‘cause I really enjoyed it. I had a great time. And, I can’t deny that I learned so much from that project and from Joss. But, I had no idea. I’m pleasantly surprised.
Q: Do you think those fans have helped Castle’s success?

Nathan: Absolutely. Anytime you have a fan of one of your projects follow you to your next projects, and I know I have those types of fans, it absolutely helps. It’s just more fans.

Q: Do you have a great skill that you’ve learned from a project?

Nathan: I learned quick draw from Serenity. And, I’m working on my three-finger typing here.

Q: Being a screenwriter yourself, have you pitched any stories to the writing staff?

Nathan: Yes, I have pitched a couple stories. We’ll see if they come to fruition. They’re a little too funny right now. I have to tone them down a little bit.

Q: What’s the status of the pilot that you wrote? Is that still alive?

Nathan: No. Once you write it and they don’t do anything with it, it’s pretty much gone. They said, “Well, try this Castle thing instead.”

Q: What do you do to stay in shape?

Nathan: I just try to watch what I eat and cycle in the morning, when I have time.

Q: Are you hearing from a different kind of fan now?

Nathan: I often hear from women. I’m always surprised at the strata of people who watch the show. The last time was this guy who had sawdust all over him. We were in the big elevator at Home Depot and he turned and gave me the second glance, and said, “Oh, my wife and I love your show.” Every time he moved, sawdust was falling off of him, all over the place. Or, a real clean-looking guy in a suit will say, “Your show is great. I’m really into it.” It’s a good feeling that people are enjoying it.

Q: Do you have anything already set for your next hiatus?

Nathan: No. I like to get to the hiatus before I start planning the hiatus. Right now, it’s 14-hour days, five days a week on Castle. That’s it. I don’t have time for anything else. I certainly don’t plan ahead and say, “Here’s what I’m going to do with my time off?” The first thing I’m going to do is get out a plane, get out of here and go relax.

Q: Do you ever get to Canada to visit family?

Nathan: I do get up to Canada to visit family. Yes, I do. I do that over hiatus, when I’m not working. I don’t go back in the winter anymore. I don’t like the cold.

Q: Having been on a few series now, did you give any advice to Stana Katic about this business?

Nathan: I’ve shared embarrassing stories with her. I’ve got tons of those. But, Stana is not a stranger to the industry, by any means. Until this season, she was a stranger to this schedule. It’s a heavy schedule. That’s the one major kryptonite of one-hour dramas. It’s a long, long haul.

Q: Is it harder to do a schedule like this, or like Slither, where you’ve got very long hours waiting for effects?

Nathan: After Slither, I’ll never read a script in the same way again. I know that if it says, “Exterior night woods” for half a script, it means a month in a half, outside, at night, in the woods. That’s going to be cold and wet, and you’re going to be nocturnalized for a month and a half, which is a difficult thing to do. To sleep all day, wake up at night and not see the sun is not easy.

Q: Is this more difficult because you’re working all the time?

Nathan: It’s apples and oranges. It’s a little more of a condensed atmosphere and experience. You’ve got three months and you’re done, whereas Castle is a little bit longer. But, we’re very much a family here. We know each other, we know our families and we know what everybody is up to. It’s a good feeling, when you’re working and you know everyone.

Q: Do you feel secure in this job now?

Nathan: There are no guarantees in Hollywood. I learned that. I try not to fall in love with anything I do. That way, when something gets canceled, you throw your hands up and say, “Next!,” because there’s more work and more jobs to come. I try not to fall in love with anything because it’s the nature of the industry. There are so many factors that are out of your control, and I try not to worry about those factors. Anything that’s under my control, I worry about and deal with. Outside of that, I can’t worry about it.

Q: Did you fall in love with Firefly?

Nathan: Absolutely! I locked myself in the house for a month and gained 20 pounds. Chips and ice cream were my best friends.

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