It’s been almost five years since ‘Castle’ first graced our television screens back in March 2009. And now, well into its sixth season, it’s clear this ABC hit isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Nor would we want it to, which is thanks in large part to the series' dynamic cast of memorable characters.
In fact, one very important member of the show's merry band of crime investigators includes actor Seamus Dever, who plays the adorably charming NYPD Homicide Detective Kevin Ryan. TVRage was lucky enough to chat with Dever this week to discuss favorite cases, that emotional arson episode, best man predictions, and even a few plot teasers, which involves...a ninja? (Sign us up!)
TVRage: ‘Castle’ has had some pretty crazy cases at times — from telekinesis to haunted DVDs to arson. Do you have a favorite case that sort of sticks out?
Seamus Dever: We’ve had so many good ones this season. "The Wild Rover" was probably my favorite one of all time because it gave me a focal point of the episode to do the show and I enjoyed the adventure and really breaking out of what people normally get to see with Kevin Ryan and it was nice.
TVRage: Castle and Beckett’s wedding is on the horizon and I don’t think there’s been any talk yet regarding a best man. I’m sure there’s a chance he may decide to have his daughter Alexis fill the role, but if he doesn’t go down that route, who do you think has the better chance of being asked, you or Esposito?
Dever: I don’t think it’ll be Ryan because Ryan didn’t ask Castle. It would probably be Esposito over Ryan, for sure, because Ryan just went through his wedding and he didn’t seem to ask him to be his best man even though they were both jockeying for it.
TVRage: Ryan and Esposito have a pretty popular bromance among fans. Does that extend off-screen as well?
Dever: Oh yeah, we’re very close. Jon [Huertas] and I hang out all the time. We have a lot in common, but we’re different enough that we sort of make each other laugh and surprise each other. It’s kinda funny. But yeah he’s a good friend now.
TVRage: There have been a few episodes now that have allowed fans to get to know your character a little better. Most recently, it involved Jenny going into labor while you were trapped in a fire with Esposito. Things got pretty emotional with the goodbyes and everything. Did you do anything different to help prepare yourself for such a serious episode?
Dever: I got to put my training — I have a couple of Masters degrees in acting, so I got to use those things. With this I actually got to cut some steaks emotionally and personally, so it’s nice to get back to that because that’s all I used to do as an actor. It was actually getting to refresh the stuff I love about acting. … We weren’t dealing with people I’d barely met or as part of a crime. It was actually dealing with emotions that affected my character and that’s unusual for ‘Castle,’ so it was a lot of fun. And I think the audience enjoyed it as a result. I think it affected a lot of people because it was just really honest work. It also helped having my wife there too, because it’s not hard to substitute ideas with feelings of loss when it’s my wife right there that I’m talking to, so that was great.
TVRage: Well, you definitely did a great job with that. I kept thinking, “No, they’re going to be okay. They're going to be fine,” but it got pretty intense at some points.
Dever: The best thing about that day was that I had Jon because he’s my partner. So any of the emotional stuff with the phone call, I still knew I had a set of eyes to look into and read what he was thinking and that made the work, I think, deeper, because I wasn’t alone. Those phone call scenes are tough because you don’t really have anything to play off of except for words that you’re hearing and when you have a set of eyes to look into…damn, that affects your soul. So it was great having Jon there.
TVRage: What can you tell us about what to expect for the rest of the season, whether it be about your character specifically or the show as a whole?
Dever: I know there’s a fun episode that I’m probably not allowed to tease too much about involving a ninja and that’s probably, without getting into any trouble, all that I can say. I’ll tease this, there’s a fun scene where Esposito, Castle, and Ryan get to go into a bar...it’s one of those kind of things where the boys go off on a little fact-finding mission and end up in a little bit over their heads. It was a lot of fun to shoot, so I hope it’s fun to watch.
TVRage: Ryan and Esposito have become pros at their jobs now. Could a promotion be sometime in the near future for either of you? Is that the next step you’d like to see Ryan take or do you think he’s happy where he is for now?
Dever: Well, here’s the thing. As much as I would love the idea of Kevin Ryan getting a promotion, I know that ‘Castle’ needs someone to come in there with some information for Castle and Beckett to then make decisions about the case. I'm really an information provider on the show, so if it wasn’t me, I don’t know who else would do it. (laughs) Realistically, Esposito and Ryan are information clerks and that’s the reality. As much as I would love Kevin Ryan and Esposito to go off and have their spin-off, whatever it might be, I know that somebody’s got to do the hard work of bringing in new information about a case, so that we can key up Beckett and Castle and they can make deductions about the case. I know that’s the role, so I’m not really hopeful about that changing.
TVRage: Well if there’s ever any poll or anything about having a spin-off with you two I would be completely for it.
Dever: Thank you! I appreciate it.
TVRage: What was your audition like for ‘Castle’?
Dever: I did the reading [for Kevin Ryan] and [executive producer] Rob Bowman had me do it again right away, which is good since sometimes you get nervous on the first go. So the second time was much better. They laughed and I think I got the tone of the show. I understood that these were not ‘Law & Order’ or ‘Criminal Minds’ cops. They were allowed to actually have a sense of humor. So I injected that and fortunately the scene allowed it. It was the dryer scene from “Nanny McDead,” which was the second episode of the series. So it was a scene from that where they talk how not taking clothes out of other people’s dryers has a certain etiquette to it. There was a little bit of humor in there and I made them laugh both times I did it. And as I left the room [executive producer] Armyan Bernstein turned to everyone and said "Come on, that’s our guy." And I got the offer right there.
TVRage: Besides 'Castle,' what other shows do you enjoy watching?
Dever: I enjoyed ‘Breaking Bad.’ I watched the hell out of that. ‘The Walking Dead’ is a hit or miss ... and ‘True Detective,’ I’m enjoying that, although I wish there were more women’s roles that aren’t prostitutes (laughs) ... We watch ‘Modern Family.’ We enjoy that show. There’s a lot of Sunday night viewing. I’ve been watching ‘Mad Men’ since the very beginning. I was fortunate to be in the second season, so I’m anxiously awaiting the return of that. ‘Veep’ is a funny show. I want to get a guest-star on ‘Veep.’ And, of course, everybody likes ‘Game of Thrones.’
'Castle' airs on Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.