From Chuck and Morgan to House and Wilson, the television landscape is littered with memorable bromances. But just what makes the dynamic duo that is CASTLE’s Detectives Ryan and Esposito so special? Simple: The fact that actors Seamus Dever and John Huertas manage to do so much with so little [screen time, that is!]. How do they do it, what’s it like making the most out of working in Nathan Fillion’s shadow, and when will Ryan get his moment in the spotlight? We caught up with Dever, one half of the talented twosome to find out.
What are the challenges as an actor to signing onto a series like CASTLE where you know the majority of the focus — for at least the first and second season — is going to be on the show’s leads versus the supporting players?
Seamus Dever: Well you know I think that the challenge there is sort of having the patience to let things develop. Castle and Beckett, and their relationship is the core of the show. But from a practical standpoint, Nathan [Fillion] and Stana [Katic] are very happy to share the spotlight because that means they don’t have to put in close to 70 hours a week. So when we [Ryan and Esposito] get a scene in the interrogation room, which we do on an upcoming episode, John [Huertas] and I will sit down in our trailer before hand and talk about what choices we’re going to make to both compliment each other and to really make something interesting of the scene. The challenge is in not getting complacent so that when the writers give you a little bit of cheese to jump after, you take that cheese, run with it and make it something special.
This season brought with it a new high profile time slot competitor in HAWAII FIVE-0. Have you noticed a tonal change on set as a result of the increased competition and is there any chance the cast will be temporarily trading in their New York locale for a beach that may-or-may-not include Stana Katic in a bikini?
[Laughs] God I wish we could go to Hawaii, that’s great, I’ll put you in contact with somebody to suggest that! But to answer your question, yeah we were a little nervous and apprehensive. You couldn’t help but be when we saw HAWAII FIVE-0, a brand new show with their huge publicity campaign that had them, at least where I live, on the side of every third bus that you drive by! But I think the thing is we stuck to our guns, continued to do what’s made us successful so far and it seems to be paying off. We always knew we’d get the woman because woman love the show, my mother loves the show and everyone that I’m friends with is like, “My mom watches the show!” So we knew we’d always have that strong demo in woman and now everyone has started to come back that might have left to watch HAWAII FIVE-0.
Last season saw Esposito get a big episode to really flesh out his character, when are we going to see Ryan’s?
Everyone has been talking about a Ryan-centric episode and people have been asking me when it’s going to happen and all I can say is that it’s coming. Jenny his long time girlfriend is going to come back and we’re going to explore his past, his relationship with Jenny, and hopefully learn more about Ryan because he’s sort of blank slate. I don’t know when, hopefully very soon, but it might be at the back end of our 22 episode order.
Where do you fall in terms of the Beckett and Castle will-they-or-won’t they?
I don’t think you can tease the audience forever. I hope that people watch our show with the intent that it’s not about if they’re going to “do it” this episode — and I don’t think they do — I think that’s just one of the side gambits, one of the fun things where it will be like, “Maybe this episode will see a little bit more development in their relationship.” I think it would be fun to see them get together and sort of be in a relationship and solve crimes together. I don’t know why it couldn’t happen. I know that everyone is saying this terrible thing like if that happens the show is over and we’ve jumped the shark. I for one hope that we have evolved as a TV audience and viewers to the point that we will watch the show for other things… like Ryan and Esposito!
And speaking of Ryan and Esposito, do you ever try and subliminally plant a “spin-off” seed in the writer’s room?
When we had our premiere a month ago, Andrew Marlowe [CASTLE creator] came up to me and said a lot of people have been talking “spin off,” so it’s in their heads! I don’t know what the hell that show would be about, maybe a half-hour sitcom. We didn’t start out that way, but we have fun together and people notice and it’s one of those things that we’re getting attention for. Starting I really think in season 2 the network started getting interested in developing Ryan and Esposito. It’s fun, so we’ll see what happens.
You can catch CASTLE every Monday night at 10PM on ABC (CTV in Canada)