'Castle': I was on set of tonight's episode, 'Dead Pool.' Here's what happened -- and what I wish didn't happen

CAstle-Dead-Pool

Image Credit: Matt Kennedy/ABC

My hours on the Los Angeles set of Castle were much like Richard Castle’s first time working at the police station: I’m a writer, was there by invitation, had no idea what I was doing, and every attempt I made to make myself look cool failed miserably.

I got the backstage tour while the team was hard at work filming tonight’s episode, “Dead Pool,” which finds Castle and Beckett investigating the death of a champion swimmer whilst Castle’s protégé (Brendan Hines) mulls about, putting the charm on Beckett. I didn’t get to meet Hines, which is just as well. I embarrassed myself quite enough without adding someone else to the mix. To be honest, my incident probably wasn’t as bad as my memory is leading me to believe — or it is and, like any trauma, my brain is blocking out the worst part. But here’s what I do know: 

I tip-toed onto the set with my two escorts (exec producer Laurie Zaks and ABC publicity guru Chandler Hayes) around mid-day. This was my first set visit, so it was jarring to walk into the fake police station. Entertainment folk usually like to talk about how some of the magic is lost when you see things behind the scenes, but I feel like the magic is the creation of a world where there once was an empty studio lot. Color me fascinated — or easily amused.

In my attempt to take in the details (no coffee in the coffee cups) (the police station is green – was it always green?) (damn, the cop extras are tall) I missed one important thing: We were walking up to Jon Huertas, who plays Esposito. I wiped my nervously clammy hand on my dress and prepared to shake his hand, but was distracted when someone spun around in a twirly chair about a foot from me and rose — Nathan Fillion.

Farewell, composure.

Suddenly, I was in full-blown fan seizure. My shoulders rose to my ears, like a turtle trying to shield others from noticing its fanatic excitement with a shell of invisibility, but I still managed to stick out my hand frantically before he thought I was a freak. “Why, hello,” he said, while I’m convinced he was still in character as Richard Castle. “Oh my God,” I squeaked out in an octave I was unaware I could reach. “Hi!” Thankfully, Fillion didn’t notice my blushing, but ever the smooth individual, I outed myself as I felt as redness spread over my cheeks. “I’m sorry. I’m having a moment,” I said, turning my head away and fanning myself to try to regain composure. The damn blushing was completely out of my control. I think I blacked out because I didn’t hear a reaction, which I’m pretty sure was laughter.

Thankfully, I recovered enough to regain my sense of awareness, and, as one of my tour buddies claimed later, Fillion and Huertas turned on the charm. (I think it was to make me feel better about being an epic dork.) The pair proceeded to show me the poster they shot on Fillion’s iPhone for their fictional spin-off series, which (in their minds) would focus on their friendship — not Castle’s relationship with Beckett. Hopefully the photo will one day see the light of day — it is quite bromantic.

A few more tid-bits:
• ABC launched this “official” Richard Castle website today, which you’ll see in tonight’s episode.
• Seamus Dever (who plays Det. Ryan) was walking around in a ripped jacket. We investigated while on set — it’s because of an on-screen scuffle in tonight’s episode, not severe budget cuts.
• Beckett’s coat in tonight’s episode is gorgeous.
• When walking into the writer’s room, I got a peek at the finale. Okay, the back of my head did — because I was instructed not to turn around and look at the white board of secrets. The back of my head says there is a huge twist to come.

Follow Sandra on Twitter @EWSandraG

Comments (25 total) Add your comment
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  • Angie L

    Lucky girl!

  • Polly

    I take it you didn’t get even the tinniest little peek at the secrets? That’s so tragic.

    • ugh

      yeah, someone’s dying!!!!
      And I’d love to see Nathan again. He’s such a nice guy.

      • Polly

        That’s a shame. The cast works so well together. [sigh]

  • Tracey

    So jealous

  • Dr. Linus

    Sounds like you had a good time for your first set visit. That’s nice they tried to make you feel welcome.

    Funny you should mention the coffee, my friends and I were just talking about that. It always bugged me because you can tell there’s no liquid in TV cups.

    • MelindaB

      I always hate that, too. I understand why they don’t–if it spilled on someone, it would take valuable time to get their costume clean and dry–but they could at least weight the cups so they appear as though they have something in them. And teach the actors how to “fake drink” from a supposedly full cup. Most of them would be wearing half of their beverage because they tip the cup up to a horizontal position.

  • Jake

    Thanks for sharing your expereinces and it’s great to hear that the stories I’ve read on how warm and grateful Nathan, Jon and the rest of the cast and crew to their fans.

  • Rachel

    I loved your account. I think I would’ve reacted the same way you did when seeing the actors. Sounds like you had fun!

  • KatieBell

    Thanks for sharing. I can only imagine that my reaction would be exactly like yours… I could totally relate to the turtle comparison! So awesome! Lucky you!

  • Luciana Mangas

    Honestly, I don’t blame you one bit. I’m sure that if I ever get to do a set visit for TVOverminf, I’ll react the exact same way. Probably even worse than you.

    -Luci

  • Luciana Mangas

    TVOvermind*. I’m so tired I can’t even type.

  • nwo

    I was never a huge Fillion fan, but now I think he is HOT! Love Castle.

  • T

    Haha, loved reading this. Yes, yes, that would completely be my reaction. Nathan Fillion would look, and I would forget my name. Hilarious. I love Castle – Monday nights are my favorites!

  • athena

    Haha, I’d totally behave like this if I ever met him. Or probably worse. Yeah.

  • Annabelle

    Brilliant recount, I was laughing the whole way through. I love Castle Mondays!!

  • Nancy

    You lucky lady…..love my Castle and Nathan Fillion….sounds like you had fun

  • SarahFaith

    So exciting and I have no doubt I would have had the same reaction except I would not have been able to make a noise.

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