Whenever a television show can give a warm nod to the fans that have followed actors from their prior television shows, it is a token of the mutual love between the show and the fans. Fortunately, for fans, the writers of CASTLE delight in tossing FIREFLY fans a little love-note once in a while. This upcoming episode “Headhunters” reunites star Nathan Fillion with his former FIREFLY co-star Adam Baldwin for a bit of light-hearted fun and adventure. In an exclusive interview, Adam Baldwin talked about what it was like working on CASTLE bringing the memorable character of Detective Ethan Slaughter to life along side his long-time friend and co-star Nathan Fillion.
It looks like the double-trouble duo of FIREFLY are back together again with you and Nathan Fillion working on CASTLE.
ADAM: Roger that. We’re up to some thrilling heroics. This time the tables are a bit turned because my character Ethan Slaughter gets to be in charge more than Nathan did on FIREFLY and SERENITY. So I was stoked for that bit of sweet revenge and boss him around a bit.
Did he take that with good humor?
ADAM: Oh absolutely! Nathan Fillion and I have been friends for 10 years now. Working with him is like slipping on an old comfortable brown coat.
I love how you inserted the Browncoat reference there! Speaking of Browncoats, may be you could talk about whether this character was created just for you. It certainly feels like it because it has some shades of Jayne Cobb feeling to it.
ADAM: I don’t know what the initial inspiration was, but I did get a text from Nathan just inquiring after the show I was on before CHUCK ended its run, and it said, “Would you maybe be available for a character that’s coming down the pipe ’cause there’s a guy on the show that might fit you?” And I said, “Absolutely! To work with you again, absolutely!” And so once they heard that I could do it that they were able to craft it more — well, once they got the nod from the producers and the network and all that stuff — to craft it more toward my wheelhouse.
Did they give you the reasoning behind the name “Slaughter”? Detective Slaughter sounds a little daunting.
ADAM: Yeah, but they tempered it with Ethan. Ethan is not a Nick or an Axl. It’s not Axl Slaughter or Ace. It’s decent, so there’s a balance there. But Slaughter is a guy who works for the Gang Unit and he’s a colorful, kind of rogue character who uses unorthodox methods to get results and I think that is something that Castle feels drawn to. He wants to write about that.
Was this more a duo thing, where you worked with Nathan and didn’t really work with the rest of the cast on CASTLE, or do you interact with the other actors as well?
ADAM: Oh, we did scenes with the other characters absolutely. Some of the funniest stuff was with Stana — between Beckett and Slaughter. Just hilarious. It was a couple of interrogation scenes. Actually there’s several interrogation scenes that I’m really proud of and I find are very, very funny — and still dangerous. It was a fine-line to walk, but when you have guys like Nathan, Stana, Jon and Seamus, they’re so multi-dimensional that you can make it funny and dangerous at the same time.
The pairing of Richard Castle and Detective Slaughter seems unusual. Was this perhaps schemed on behalf of Captain Gates?
ADAM: [Laughs] More serendipity I think. Castle is in a bit of a transitional phase with Beckett, figuring things out, and this was an opportunity to see another side of law enforcement, and Slaughter is in turn using Castle for selfish reasons. It’s a partnership of convenience for both.
Was the door left open so that you could reprise the role of Detective Slaughter if it becomes available?
ADAM: Well, that’s above my pay grade. I don’t comment on those things. I did very much love playing that character. So I just wish them well through the next couple of episodes of Season 4 and into Season 5. I just wish them all the best. But, hey, if they say “yes,” I’ll come back.
We’d love that! Perhaps you could describe one of the funny scenes or a memorable scene for you working on CASTLE.
ADAM: There’s a particular interrogation scene where Nathan and I spend quite a bit of time in a car and we have someone that we’re interrogating, like I said, in an unorthodox manner. Nathan and I got to spend some time laughing and chuckling. Fortunately, there was good air conditioning in the car, otherwise it gets a bit hot and sweaty. And there’s a nice scene where I’m able to share some wardrobe with Castle. Plus, some of the scenes between Slaughter and Beckett are hilarious in my view because they don’t see eye-to-eye at all.
Does Slaughter have a pet name for Beckett that just drives her crazy?
ADAM: How about “Sexy”?
That’s a good name! You seem to have of the most passionate fans based on your previous work with both FIREFLY and CHUCK, and now you’re entering the world of CASTLE which also has a passionate fan base. What is the secret of your success in getting these shows where you have these fans that cherish and love you and will follow you anywhere?
ADAM: Ah shucks. I just try to return some of the love the fans have shown me. Again, “if its not on the page, it’s not on the stage” somebody famous once said. I’ve been fortunate to work with writers that can give me such rich stuff to play with.
As can be seen, Adam is a gracious and generous guest star who appreciated the wonderful opportunity provided. It is going to be a guaranteed pleasure and a bit of a wild-ride watching this week’s episode of CASTLE, which airs Monday, April 16th at 10:00 p.m. on ABC. Don’t miss a second of it!
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