Seamus Dever is known for his role of Kevin Ryan on ABC’s hit show “Castle”. “Castle” is one of the rare shows that actually gets better with each episode and only mid-way through season three the show was already renewed for season four. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Seamus about his role in the show and what is planned for the future.
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Mike Gencarelli: You weren’t involved originally in the “Castle” pilot, how did you come on board?
Seamus Dever: After they shot their pilot presentation, which was only 37 minutes long, they did some recasting and I think they wanted someone that would be John’s partner. They liked John but they didn’t have someone who was a match…was the right height…had a similar sensibility. Someone suggested “how about an Irish cop” and when I heard about it I jumped on it and did all I could to get in on it. That’s how it came about. They shot the pilot in New York, four or five months before we started the series. I was working on another project at the time so I didn’t even hear about it. They shot it with a totally different crew, a totally different director of photography. They like to make fun of me some times that I came late to the party…”Oh, you weren’t there for the pilot, you missed such a great time.” But the truth is, there were only seven series regulars, our two executive producers and one of the writers and that’s it! That’s all that were there for the pilot that carried over to the series so I don’t feel like I missed out on too much. The series has become what it is based on the people who work on it out in Los Angeles.
MG: Tell us what draws you to your character Kevin Ryan?
SD: Kevin Ryan is kind of quirky…he’s not too serious. He’s very dry in his sense of humor. I love that we’re allowed to be funny. I’m amazed that some times we make decisions based on what’s funnier. I can’t tell you how many times I ask Nathan or John “what’s funnier, this way or that way?” I love that the character is not so serious that he can’t make fun of his partner or he can’t make fun of Castle or he can’t crack a joke in the middle of a crime scene.
MG: In the last few episodes, your character is getting a little romance. How do you feel about that?
SD: It’s funny because the character of Jenny really emerged in, I think, episode seven of the first season but we didn’t really get to meet her until the second season. There was a long gestation process in that time. I really advocated for my real life wife, Juliana, to play Jenny. But they held out and waited, and Julie held out and waited because she had auditioned for other roles on the show…thank God she didn’t get those parts or she wouldn’t have been available for Jenny. So they brought her on and that’s how that happened. I hope to see a lot more of Jenny. First, it would mean I get to work with my wife but more importantly it means we’re getting a chance to look into Ryan’s personal life.
MG: What is the best part for you working on “Castle”?
SD: Sometimes when you’re working on a scene the best part is the collaboration. Of course, there’s what’s written on the page and most shows do what’s written on the page. But we, as actors, we’re always looking for moments or the thoughts behind the action. Sometimes when we do a scene there will be the four of us and we’ll do a moment that we’ll explore together that turns out so funny because everyone is contributing ideas. Nathan will contribute an idea about my performance or I’ll contribute something for Jon to think about..it’s really like instant theater. Everyone coming up with different ideas and really collaborating. We did a scene that was really fun the other day…one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. We’re looking at a character through a window…a very simple scene of us talking in the break room. We’re just throwing out ideas and then Jon comes in and says “what are you guys looking at?” It’s really funny when that happens because we’re really comfortable with each other. Everyone knows it’s about making a good show. You can’t do a good show and not talk about the process of acting…not talk about ideas. It’s not one of those shows where they tell you to leave the other actors alone…don’t force your opinions on them. With our show we’ve always had this understanding. We all want to contribute because we want to make it interesting. We want to help each other out. And that’s my favorite part…when you get together and you know a scene is going to pop and you know the audience is going to love it. We just have fun doing it. And discovering as an actor just how funny and alive the work is…that’s my favorite part of it too.
MG: Tell us about working with Jon Huertas and such a great cast?
SD: John and I get along really well. He and I have a relationship based on carpentry! We’re always talking about fixing up our homes a lot. We talk about that a lot. And we both enjoy wine…we’ve gone up to the wine country and drank too much! (laughs) John’s really cool. We have such a natural rapport that we fell into, which is great. Everyone thinks we’re constantly in character. They’ll observe a conversation that John and I are having and ask “are you guys playing this out?” And we’re like, “no, that’s just the way we talk. We’re not acting here.” At the beginning they wanted our relationship to be something like a marriage. When you spend that much time with somebody you know the things that annoy them. You know all of their stories. You’ve heard them all at least a thousand times. I can’t tell you how many times John says “hey, did I tell you about the time I was in the Air Force and I met this girl and she did this thing?” We had someone in the car with us the other day and he says “did I tell you the story about the midget,” and I say “John, you’re mixed, you can’t tell the story about the midget!” And he’s like, “oh yeah, right.” It’s a great story but not one for mixed company…especially when he’s wired. We know each other really well. We work together very fast…we have a short hand now for everything. It’s really amazing. We know exactly where to stand, how to do something. It’s a perfect working situation because everybody’s cool and we’re working on quality material. It’s really great.
MG: Congrats on the show being picked up for season four. Did you think this show was going to be this big of a hit?
SD: I think it’s great. Our show has been growing steadily. A lot of shows debut to big numbers and then slowly it’s a kind of attrition with the audience. But our shows audience has been growing and that’s great. This is my first show as a series regular so I was really hoping that my first show wouldn’t be one of those stinkers that people attach your name to for the rest of your career. I know for the rest of my career that I have this quality show called “Castle” attached to me.
MG: What can you tell us for the upcoming episodes?
SD: We’re working on a two-parter right now. We did one last year that was pretty successful. We had Dana Delaney on last year, this year we have Adrian Pasdar. He started the other day. It’s about terrorism. It’s sort of a cool cliffhanger. And hopefully we’ll see more of the serial killer…the 3XK serial killer comes back. I know for sure we’re going to see more of Jenny this year. And of course we’ll see more of Esposito and Lanie. That relationship is fun. Every episode since then we’ve had a conversation about that, where my character is now trying to school Esposito in the ways of romance. There’s all of these possibilities…we talk about all kinds of things…Valentine’s Day, things like that. It’s really funny. And to be honest one of my favorite episodes that we’ve ever shot is coming up this week. It’s called “Knock Down.” It’s a continuation of Beckett’s mothers’ murder and getting back to that story. It’s a great episode, written by Will Beall, who’s one of our best writers. He’s the one who wrote “Sucker Punch” from last year. His dialogue is great and there’s always action and a lot of cool stuff we get to do. It’s going to be good stuff.
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