'Castle's' Darby Stanchfield on Meredith's Return: She 'Opens a Can of Worms'
The "Scandal" star, who reprises her role as Richard Castle's ex in Monday's episode, tells THR that her character has a hidden agenda "up her sleeve."
Viewers may be most familiar with Darby Stanchfield as Olivia Pope & Associates team member Abby on ABC's Scandal, but the actress returns to Castle as Richard Castle's (Nathan Fillion) ex, Meredith, in Monday's episode.
"I was delighted when they called and requested me to come back," the actress, who was filming an episode of Scandal when she got the call, told The Hollywood Reporter. "The two characters are so different, I felt I had to do a crash course. I had to rewatch Castle and do a little extra work." But the second Stanchfield entered the Castle world again, "I just really clicked into her," she said. "I clicked into her speech pattern and her demeanor really easily."
In comparing her Castle and Scandal characters, Stanchfield noted that they're different in "just about in every way possible." "Abby's a dysfunctional person who's had a lot of horrible things happen, not very self-aware, doesn't have a filter on her mouth. She's a straight-talker and doesn't see the world too rosy. She is almost cynical, no-nonsense and all about her work."
She added: "Meredith is almost the opposite in that she doesn't take anything seriously. She's a bit of a drama queen. Meredith is very self-aware and she knows exactly what's going on, and she plays a game behind it." The two women have "different priorities," put simply.
When Meredith comes into the fold, it may seem on the surface that she's back to tend to her ailing daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn). "There is some sweetness to that reunion," Stanchfield teases, "but Meredith has a secret agenda up her sleeve that has nothing with her daughter."
And though things may have ended for Meredith and Castle in the romance department, Stanchfield said that her alter-ego is fully aware of her ex's pairing with Beckett (Stana Katic). "She shows up at Castle's apartment fully knowing about Beckett and Castle, and so it really centers on that relationship," she said. "Meredith stirs up all kinds of trouble. She's staying in the house, along with Beckett, so it creates for some really funny tensions. The world is Meredith's oyster; whatever she wants she gets."
How Meredith truly feels about the Castle-Beckett relationship will be explored in the episode. "It's going to be entertaining for the Castle fans," Stanchfield said. "Her thoughts and her actions lead to something really unexpected, which I was not expecting when I read the script."
Meredith "opens a can of worms by the end of the episode that would possibly lead for her coming back some other time," she said. "By no means is anything resolved with Meredith."
Castle airs 10 p.m. Mondays on ABC.