In this next episode of CASTLE, Detective Kevin Ryan () is literally on the run. A murder has occurred on his watch and there is a murderer to catch, and yet the police are telling him to stop — like Ryan might be the guy responsible. Could Ryan be a murderer?
In an effort to find out what the real story is, we chatted exclusively with star about this week’s episode and his upcoming film “The Extraordinary Farewell”:
From the preview for the next CASTLE episode “At Close Range,” it looks like Ryan is on the run. What led up to that?
SEAMUS: [Laughs] Let’s see. So Ryan is working a private security gig with his brother-in-law, who is a former cop but who is now working in the private sector for visiting dignitaries, sort of freelance. But in the process, at this fundraiser, everything seems like it was in order and what happens is something goes wrong; and in real-time, Ryan is left to figure out who is telling the truth, who might be a suspect, who was there. So it is a real piecing together of people at this fundraising event and figuring out who the guilty party might be and who had the most to gain from what happened. I don’t what to give away too much, but that is kind of what happens in the first act. That leaves us with Ryan on the run to find who the killer is. The teaser sort of leads you to believe that Ryan is a suspect, but he is just caught in the moment as Ryan is running after a suspect with a gun and the cops mistake him for the shooter. It’s kind of an interesting moment where he’s out-gunned and has to give up for now. It’s pretty cool.
Is this like Ryan’s biggest nightmare?
SEAMUS: Yeah, but through no fault of his own. I think sometimes when somebody makes a mistake something happens. But everything pointed to things being safe. Yet, something out of the blue happens beyond his control. So, yes, he is caught in the nightmare of, “This happened on my watch.” But it also leads him into action. He can’t sit around too much and be morose about things. He has to say, “I’ve got to right this wrong. I have to find the truth and find out who is behind this and who betrayed me.” So Ryan pretty quickly puts himself into action. He doesn’t have time to sit around and feel sorry for himself.
Are there consequences for him taking on a private security assignment while he is still actively working for the police force?
SEAMUS: No, it dove-tails into a murder investigation, so the story comes back to the precinct pretty quickly. It’s that line of “bad news travels fast” and Beckett (Stana Katic) is calling Ryan almost immediately telling him that it is now a murder investigation. Not to give away too much, but it comes back and has consequences, but certainly not for Ryan doing anything illegal.
Is this going to be one of the darker-toned episodes or will it have its moments of levity as well?
SEAMUS: [Laughs] There’s not much levity. This is one of the more dramatic ones, leaning towards the serious side of these episodes. I think we earn those enough with Ryan being funny, skeptical or Junior — all that stuff that we do. I think Ryan has earned the right to be serious. So this is an exploration of his serious side.
The show does deftly balance its seriousness with its lightness. It is a fun show that way, in that we never know which episode is going to be which.
SEAMUS: I know! It’s crazy. We go back and forth. It’s amazing to me that we have that flexibility in a one-hour drama. It’s amazing.
That has to feel like a great legacy as an actor to know that you are portraying both sides of that spectrum and you are having that kind of fun doing the show.
SEAMUS: Absolutely. It’s one of those things that I feel very lucky to do it because I get to explore all those sides. Unexpected challenges come up and you say, “Oh, wow, this is different.” It would be great whenever CASTLE is finally over and be able to say, “That was really unique that we were allowed to do all those things. Yes, it was a procedural, but it was a romance and it had its comedy episodes — and when it got serious, the audience went with us.” It’s nice that we have that ability. I hope it stands out in television history as something kind of unique — an amalgamation of a lot of things and really showing that that a TV show doesn’t just have to be one thing.
Speaking of legacy, has everyone been supportive of your new project “The Extraordinary Farewell”?
SEAMUS: Yes. Everyone is very supportive. The fans have come in droves and they are constantly retweeting and tweeting and being active on social media — donating and just being very sweet about it. I cannot believe the amount of support that they have for it, for myself and Marsha Thomason from WHITE COLLAR. We thank everybody out there for being so supportive of the project.
Will you actually have time for this project even on your hiatus with CASTLE demanding so much of your time?
SEAMUS: I know! My hiatus is super slim to get anything done. We’re hoping for a June start. It will probably be a nice 3-week shoot. The film is actually structured in a way that we can get it done entirely in and interior if we need to. So it’s manageable. It’s written in a way to not be too ambitious as far as location. [Laughs] So hopefully we can get a 3-week shoot in my hiatus so that we can crank out something.
What was the appeal of portraying H. Henry Locke after playing Detective Kevin Ryan for so long?
SEAMUS: I like the idea that this character is suffering. It’s certainly something I’ve done on stage a lot, but not on film a lot. Never on film, really — I play other things. But sort of the difference is that this is a person who has given up a lot of things of life and does not have a tremendous lot of hope in his life — and there’s a lot of mystery. There’s a lot of things that are not spoken about. He’s very secretive. He doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve. He’s very different from Ryan in that respect. I think what appealed to me is that there are a lot of secrets with this character, and playing those secrets and allowing them to be teased out through the suspenseful story that is written is really fun. It really makes you be on your A-game, as far as an actor.
Then you were to preview what the rest of the season holds in store on CASTLE, what would you tease for the fans?
SEAMUS: We’re going back into the “where the hell was for three months?” storyline and it’s pretty cool because Ryan is still on the fence on whether he believes Castle (Nathan Fillion) or not. Esposito (Jon Huertas) never was. When you trace it back, Jon Huertas was playing that all season long of sort of being skeptical about Castle, like Castle was trying to fool all of us. You see it. He’s been very combative with Castle this year because he still doesn’t know. But Ryan is still on the fence. And we get to go back to that and sort of see what the heck happened and do we really believe he would have done such a thing.
That was a pretty traumatic storyline that the show seemed to sweep up under the carpet pretty quickly so it is reassuring that they are going back to it.
SEAMUS: It is good that we are revisiting it.
So to find out exactly how much hot-water Ryan finds himself in and if he can find the murderer in time, as well as find out in the upcoming episodes what happened to Richard Castle during those months he was missing, be sure to tune in for all new episodes of CASTLE, starting Monday, March 23rd at 10:00 p.m. on ABC. (For more information about CASTLE, you can visit ABC: http://abc.go.com/shows/castle)