What Really Happened Between ‘Castle’s Stars on the Hit ABC Drama?

The Big Picture

  • Castle was a popular procedural mystery show with a unique premise, starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic as the crime-solving duo Richard Castle and Kate Beckett.
  • Despite their on-screen chemistry, Fillion and Katic reportedly had a hostile relationship off-screen.
  • The show was ultimately canceled after eight seasons, leaving unresolved storylines and a strange series finale that didn’t provide a satisfying conclusion.

Castle was among the most popular and creative procedural mystery shows of its time. While there are more than a few ongoing series about detectives, cops, and lawyers that solve crimes, the premise of Castle was a unique one. The series starred Firefly actor Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, a famous author known for his iconic mystery novels that revolve around the fictional hero Derrick Storm. Castle begins solving crimes alongside the New York City homicide detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic); while initially, the duo’s relationship was purely professional, it became clear early on that the two characters were smitten with each other. Even though Fillion and Katic had excellent chemistry when they were on-screen together, the filming process for the show was far more hostile.

Image via ABC


Release Date
March 9, 2009

Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Susan Sullivan, Tamala Jones, Molly C. Quinn

Main Genre

Crime, Drama, Mystery



The ‘Castle’ Set Reportedly Wasn’t Pleasant

Beckett, Castle, and Esposito talk with a teacher in his classroom
Image via ABC

One of the joys of Castle was seeing how Castle and Beckett learn by listening to one another. Castle is a mystery novelist with expert knowledge of how popular culture inspires real-life crimes; he can recognize familiar patterns within criminals’ activities, as they’re the sort of cliches that he would put into one of his novels. However, he also has no knowledge of how police procedures work, and is helpless in any situation that seriously puts his life in danger; this is where Beckett comes in to help. She may not have his level of creativity and imagination, but she’s more than experienced in detective work and can defend herself capably. The joy of the series was seeing how magnetic they were together, and how their skills complement each other. To say that Fillion and Katic weren’t exactly “complimentary” towards each other in real life would be an understatement.

According to an insider speaking to US Magazine, Fillion had “been nasty to Stana for a long time,” and the two were very cold together while filming and doing scene preparations. While Katic’s representatives officially reported that there was no on-set tension, another source stated that the tension had gotten “so out of hand they made Stana and Nathan go to couples counseling together.” US Weekly’s source also claimed that the two hated each other and would not speak to one another anytime they weren’t filming, that tension had increased over the course of several seasons, and that Katic could be overheard crying in her dressing room. Sources claim that the tension had gotten so extreme that there were concerns by the producers that it would affect the quality of the show, and that the two had to be sent to shared counseling in order to portray a romantic couple on screen together.

While the show was able to surprisingly keep going for eight seasons without the tension becoming evident to fans, the situation on set had escalated at a rapid pace. Castle had been renewed for a ninth season and continued to be a hit for ABC, but Katic chose to exit the show, and would later describe it as “a harsh ending.” As a result, the show was canceled at the end of its eighth season, even though Fillion had already renewed his contract to appear in Season 9. Even though the final episode “Crossfire” was intended to be a normal season episode, it became the series finale when it became apparent that it would be the last time the characters Castle and Beckett would appear on-screen together.

It was an unfortunate conclusion to a show that possibly could have kept on going for much longer. While the eighth season took the show in a darker direction that didn’t necessarily reflect the same creativity and humor of the prior installments, it didn’t make any huge creative blunders that would have prevented the show from continuing. Fans truly wanted to see a finale that actually gave a definitive conclusion to the characters’ journey, and didn’t feel like another random episode. The only thing that differentiates “Crossfire” from a standard installment in the series is an off-putting final scene set seven years later with a married Castle and Beckett raising their children was just baffling, as it had nothing to do with the plot of the episode itself. “Crossfire” isn’t bad on its own, but as the conclusion of an eight-season arc, it just feels strange.

‘Castle’s Premature Cancelation Led to Unresolved Storylines

Beckett and Castle enjoy some wine after the hostage situation ends
Image via ABC

Castle had a premise that made it more sustainable than a majority of crime procedurals. While shows like NCIS, FBI, and Blue Bloods have started to feel stale after dozens of familiar cases, Castle had both the mysteries and Castle’s writing career to focus on. As a result, some seasons focused more on his creative endeavors, and others were centered around a pivotal case. Castle and Beckett had only just become a married couple at the beginning of the sixth season, so the show hadn’t had the time to explore what balancing their professional and personal lives looked like. How would having children impact Beckett’s ability to perform her duty?

Castle also had more than a few great recurring characters whose arcs felt unresolved. Castle’s daughter, Alexis (Molly Quinn), had grown up over the course of eight years; Quinn was a child actress at the beginning of the show, but by the end, she had grown into a capable young woman who was an awful lot more responsible than her father. Quinn had become a very capable actress, appearing in the Guardians of the Galaxy films among others, and it would have been interesting to see how Alexis’ career evolved and adjusted to her father’s marriage. Additionally, the detectives Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) were always a pleasure to watch and could have easily led the show.

It’s unfortunate that the experience filming Castle was less than ideal for Katic, as none of that was visible onscreen. The potential was there for more Castle adventures, and although the series inspired several novels and comics about the fictional character of Derrick Storm, it wasn’t the same as seeing the beloved duo together solving crimes. However, there’s nothing more important than an actor’s personal health, and if Katic didn’t feel comfortable with Fillion, then her decision should be respected. She can be proud of the legacy the show leaves behind.

All seasons of Castle can be streamed on Hulu in the U.S.

Watch on Hulu

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