Exclusive! Castle Captain Ruben Santiago-Hudson Talks Season Finale Cliffhanger and On-Set Pranks
Add Ruben Santiago-Hudson to the members of Team Castle who think Beckett and Castle are going to get together. In an exclusive Wetpaint interview, the Humanitas Prize-winning actor and writer — who plays Captain Roy Montgomery on the ABC hit — told us why a Castle-Beckett hook-up is “inevitable,” laughed about the show’s Three Musketeers of pranks, and hinted at a season finale that will “shock” fans.
Wetpaint: What do you enjoy most about playing the boss?
Ruben Santiago-Hudson: I just try to play him as a human being. I enjoy playing Roy. There’s a lot of room for growth and interpretation and discovery. I try to discover as much as I possibly can — especially about the relationship between Beckett [Stana Katic] and Montgomery.
How do you think the dynamic between Montgomery and Castle (Nathan Fillion), and Montgomery and Beckett, has changed in three seasons?
First of all, I have developed a relationship with Castle, but I’ve always had one with Beckett because she’s one of my cops and I feel like I’m part of her family. I know about her losses. I trained her. I’ve had her working under me for quite some time and so we have this relationship of respect and like we’re family. Castle, I’ve learned to like as long as he’s not in the way. He’s always welcome because he makes me look good. He does come up with ideas we wouldn’t normally think of. I’m learning to really appreciate him, but there are times when he’s a thorn in my side.
Your co-stars Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic recently came down on opposite sides of the “Will they or won’t they” question. Do YOU think Castle and Beckett should get together?
I think it’s inevitable. When two human beings have that kind of chemistry and that kind of sexual tension and they work that closely together it’s almost inevitable. And they have that attraction — so I think they will get together.
What can we expect from the team in the last leg of the season?
I think there’ll be more discoveries. In my estimation, I think that the writers are trying to come up with some big, dramatic pop for the end of the season, a cliffhanger that will be huge and make you come back for more. What I’m hoping for is development of the characters. I would like to see some more humanity from Montgomery as far as, you know, personally — who he is, and why he is the way he is. But if you’re asking me as the writer and the creator of a show, which I’ve done [HBO’s Lackawanna Blues], they’re probably looking for a huge cliffhanger at the end that’s going to shock everybody, so that’s what I would expect.
Is there any chance we’ll get a Captain Montgomery episode?
You know, I would love that. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in three years, and I could definitely add more to the show. I would love to direct or write, and I look forward to that maybe happening one day. You never know.
Will we ever get to meet his family?
That would be beautiful, man. You know, that is what we don’t see in African-American characters on television. We don’t see that part of them that shows anything other than anger or authority. We rarely have an opportunity to see humanity. And that’s the thing I try to bring to each character I play.
What’s been your favorite episode so far?
Probably because it gave me so much to do and I was very busy was “Kill the Messenger” and that was some time ago. But since then we’ve done the Triple X Killer, which I thought was a good show for Montgomery. [This week’s episode] was a very good show.
What’s your favorite on-set experience?
My favorite on-set experience is when I bring my kids and my wife to the set, the way the people embrace them. From Mark, the camera one operator, to Nathan and Stana hugging them — I mean, there are pictures of them that they don’t even know I took… hugging and laughing and reading the script scenes. My daughter is an actress at LaGuardia—the Fame school in New York — in the Drama Department, so she loves being [on set].
Wetpaint reader Judy wants to know: What’s the secret to keeping a straight face while delivering such hilarious lines?
I’m always in the moment. I’m not a Method actor, but I am really an in-the-moment kind of actor. I don’t do a lot of jostling and joking like a lot of the other people. I mainly stay in the scene. I know that Montgomery’s got a tremendous sense of humor, and I hope the audience sees it, but I know that somebody’s got to be the adult in the room. [Laughs] Unfortunately, sometimes it’s got to be me.
Is that real whiskey in the decanter?
Oh, no. No, no, no. Real whiskey is at the bar, you know, where we go to afterwards.
Who’s the biggest prankster on Castle?
The biggest is probably Jon Huertas or Nathan. Those two are always in the mood to kid — and Seamus [Deaver] is right behind them. So that trio, the Three Musketeers, you never know what’s going to happen with any of them. But I have pulled some pranks. One time, we did a fight scene [and] the boys came into the room and I kind of cussed them out about something and said, “You’re all off this case right now!” So they grabbed their badges and I grabbed my gun and we just threw them on the table. Another time, I was supposed to pull out my badge and say, “What does it say on my badge?” and Seamus says, “Captain.” But I wrote on the badge in masking tape “Superstar.” So I pull it out and say, “I appreciate your loyalty but what does it say on my badge?” Seamus looks at it and says, “Superstar?” I said, “That’s right.”