Seamus Dever teases Ryan’s undercover stint on CASTLE
On an all new CASTLE, Detective Ryan finds himself going back undercover in the Irish mob, an assignment that few people knew about – his colleagues are unaware; his wife is not too happy about an old flame back in the picture; and Ryan is right in the middle of what might be too much danger. I spent some time chatting with Det. Ryan’s portrayer, Seamus Dever, about this change in gears, getting a whole lot of Ryan in this 99th episode, and what comes next for the big 100th episode airing next week!
These next two episodes look like they’ll be a lot of fun.
I hope so!
What can you tease – it sounds like Ryan is going back undercover.
I think we’re going to get to see a lot more of Ryan than we have in the past. We’re going to see him involved in a lot of things, sort of sewing up loose ends from the past. One involving an assignment where he was undercover with the Staten Island mob, and one of the other loose ends is someone he was romantically involved with, while he was undercover in the Staten Island mob, and sort of helping them with their future. It’s a lot about things from the past that Ryan’s never shared with anybody because he didn’t want to, because it was sort of dark things. As a result, he gets to surprise people. He surprises Castle and Beckett, and Esposito that he’s sort of a bit of a badass. A lot of the time, they think he’s a dandy. He’s actually a little bit more down to earth, and sort of in the nitty-gritty. It speaks to the strength of his character that he wasn’t bragging about the things that he was doing in the past, but sort of let his actions speak for themselves. It also surprises Jenny. They’re stable, they have a nice home life. They have a nice apartment that you finally get to see in this episode. They’re on their way to having a child. It’s one of those things, that a lot of this revelation that Ryan did these things, and he’s going back undercover, throws a lot of questions into their relationship. It confuses Jenny a lot; there’s a lot that Ryan can’t tell her. I think a lot of that is mistaken for being involved with this woman from his past. The truth is something a little bit more noble. We get to see Ryan tested a lot in this episode. Tested with his past; tested with his ability to make amends with things from the past, and to do the right thing and actually pursue justice. I think that all of those things speak to the strength of his character.
Playing the character now for 99, 100 episodes – we’ve known bits and pieces of his life, and what he did before. How much of his life were you aware of as an actor, the undercover world, or was this something that came up for this episode?
Actually, this episode is sort of about 3 years in the making. About 3 years ago, I sat down in between seasons with one of our best writers – a guy named Terrence Paul Winter – he’s been with us since day one on CASTLE. He was really interested in this idea of Ryan being undercover – what don’t we know about him? He was doing some stuff that is going to surprise a lot of people. From that, we talked about what would be interesting to surprise the audience, to surprise Castle, and Beckett, and Esposito, to reveal in his life. It took us to the 5th season to get it [laughs], but that being said, Terrence did a fantastic job with it, and it came out that there was a lot of cool stuff that they let us do. It took 99 episodes to get to that point because it’s a lot of me. It’s not a lot of Nathan and Stana, and John. It’s a lot of seeing whether I can carry the show for an episode. I hope I was up for the task, and I hope the audience enjoys what we came up with!
I think we’ve earned it as an audience, and you guys as a cast, too, that we’ve established these relationships, so we do get to see, 99 episodes in, a little bit of a blast from the past.
I hope so! It’s one of those things that you as an actor hope for. I carry a lot of the load on the show as far as the information, John does, too. We say factual information involving other people a lot. It’s great to actually do an episode that I get to say the word “I” a lot – believe me, that was really revelatory. [laughs]
CASTLE can jump back and forth so well between a “fun, light-hearted” feel and a darker dramatic turn. Where does this episode fall?
It’s a little bit darker. I have to say. I think it’s involving some really rough guys from his past, and Ryan’s in peril for a lot of it. He’s sort of walking through the flames, and seeing if he can walk out without being on fire. It’s darker.
Switching gears and talking about Episode 100 – as an actor on a show, what does it mean to reach the 100 mark?
It means cake, and someone from the network gets to present you with a cake. We had a cake ceremony, I didn’t get any cake. There was champagne; I didn’t get any champagne. There were free hats given out; I didn’t get a free hat. I talked to the media a lot, and posed next to the cake but didn’t eat any of it [laughs]. I gotta fit into those suits! It’s a big milestone. There’s only a few shows that have made it that far. There are a lot of shows, but there are a handful every year that actually make it. To go through the process of getting on the air, getting the pilot made, getting something picked up for the first season, second season, third season, fourth season, fifth season, and now we’re at 100. It just blows my mind. It’s like winning the lottery. Fortunately, I got cast on this show. I was very lucky to get put on this show; to be surrounded by really talented people who actually really care, 100 episodes in, about putting out a quality show. It’s a testament to all those people working so hard – a great crew. I think we have the best crew in Hollywood, the best crew in TV really. And they work really hard, and a lot of long hours. That 100th episode, that cake and all of that – it’s a testament to how hard all of those people worked to put together a quality show!
Give us a tease about the 100th episode!
Okay, so, it’s a little bit different because CASTLE is stuck at home with a broken kneecap that he broke skiing. He’s stuck at home; goes a little stir crazy, a la Jimmy Stewart in REAR WINDOW. Starts investigating crimes around him, across the street, very REAR WINDOW. He involves us in some wild goose chases, and we keep trying to solve another homicide; it turns out that the case CASTLE is trying to solve through his windows hits very close to home, as you’ll find out!
CASTLE airs Monday nights at 10/9c on ABC. For all things CASTLE, head over to ABC’s site!