'Castle's' Jack Coleman: Bracken's Return Puts Beckett in a 'Moral Quandary'
In a chat with THR, the former "Heroes" star compared the foes' first interaction in Monday's episode to "the stare across a crowded room, but rather than, 'Oh my god, I love this guy,' it's 'Oh my god, that's the guy I want to kill.' "
U.S. Senator William H. Bracken makes his unwelcome return on ABC's Castle.
"It's such a fun character, and they really fleshed him out in this episode quite a bit more," former Heroes star Jack Coleman told The Hollywood Reporter of his return in Monday night's episode. Viewers first saw the conniving politician in the season premiere, "After the Storm," in a tense standoff with Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), who learned that he had a hand in her mother's murder, which has served as a driving force behind her steadfast ways.
"Beckett and Bracken are so inexplicably linked. This is her quest, to get to this guy and bring him down. When you have that kind of obsession, it colors all areas of your life. It affects your relationship, it affects your ability to work, it affects your ability to sleep," Coleman said. "That's been going on for a long time with her. When you get to see them actually locking horns for a number of scenes, you realize how intense that kind of obsession is."
Beckett's hatred is so deep that even the usual interrogation or interview scene holds much more depth than usual. "She despises Bracken and loathes him," he said, "but because she's obsessed with bringing down this guy, everything is so loaded."
As Coleman shares, the first interaction between the two formidable foes in the next episode is "quite fascinating."
"It's wordless," he said. "We get into it in a big way quite quickly, but the first time they see each other it's like the stare across a crowded room, but rather than, 'Oh my god, I love this guy,' it's 'Oh my god, that's the guy I want to kill.'"
Bracken's reappearance in Beckett's life -- through a murder case -- takes over the New York detective's mind in an unhealthy way. "It puts her in a moral quandary as to the question of should I do what I want to do? Should I do what this guy deserves? Am I that person that can exact vengeance that way?" Coleman said. "She has to wrestle with where she comes down."
Playing the "big bad" of any television show, much less one that looms large in Castle's mythology, can be a pressure situation. Fortunately, Coleman saw it as an "obligation" to make sure his portrayal of Bracken lived up to expectations.
"There is a responsibility there to uphold the mythology," he said. "The unseen monster that builds and builds and builds, and all of a sudden, when he's made palpable, there's an obligation to bring something that lives up to the mythology. I was very happy to have this episode come up. It gave me a little bit more room, a little bit more of an arc."
Something to keep in mind, Coleman says, is that "things are not what they seem, and they're not straightforward. The ground is always shifting. Just when you think maybe he's in control of what's going on, she drops a bomb on him [and vice versa]." Keep an eye on the final scene between Bracken and Beckett, which Coleman hinted was a pivotal moment between the two.
Castle airs 10 p.m. Mondays on ABC.
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