Interview: Dara Creasey, Castle's New Writer

Shana Lieberman (@evilapprentice) of ShowRatings.TV interviewed Castle writer Dara Creasey about her career and what it's like to be on the writing staff.

We here at SRTV love talking about TV almost as much as we love TV itself.
During my adventures in LA, I had a chance to chat with Castle’s Dara Creasey. Dara and her husband Chad are new to the Castle writing staff this season after previously working on shows such as Pushing Daisies and ABC’s Mistresses.
Dara has made a big impression on the fandom on Twitter (she is, after all, the queen of favoriting tweets). As it turns out, Dara was a fan of Castle before she became one of its writers, and she continues to be a fan. Even more exciting? She’s not one of those industry types that are afraid to admit that they still watch and enjoy television.
Dara was gracious enough to meet with me and answer all my questions about her career, Castle, and TV in general.
S: You’re shooting Castle, and you were a fan of Castle before…
D: Yeah.
S: So, that has to be crazy.
D: It is. It’s crazy! I will say we’ve been working now — actually steadily working in this business — for seven or eight years, so you do start to learn to compartmentalize. It’s when you start to think about it too hard that your brain starts to explode a little bit because you’re like, “oh my god, I love this show! And oh my god, I’m working on it!” Even little things, like, we’ve had some guest cast on this show that I’ve seen on other shows that I loved. Getting to chat with them and say, “I loved you on that show! What was THAT experience like,” and the fact that you even have that access and those kinds of experiences is pretty amazing.
S: THAT’S crazy.
D: So, yeah. Sometimes it’s crazy, but you learn to make it a clinical process where you’re looking at the words on the page, and what’s being done in front of the camera, and making sure that your vision and Andrew Marlowe’s vision are being properly realized.
S: With Marlowe’s vision…my friend Christy actually wanted me to ask about that…Is it kind of where Marlowe comes up with something, and the writers have to fit it? Does it change a little bit? Do the writers get to have any input into what the big arc is, or is it all him?
D: The big arc for the season was discussed at the beginning of the season all together, so obviously he has the final say and usually has a vision. What I love about this staff is that everybody’s heard, which is nice. That’s true for your episodes, too. Sometimes there’s something that he really wants to see, but a lot of times, it’s something that you always had an idea for. Our episode was something that I’d been thinking about for a long time, and it was fortuitous that he also saw how that could be a Castle episode.

S: Awesome. So, is it hard to kind of not delve into doing something a little bit too…I don’t want to say fanfiction because it has kind of a bad connotation. But, you know, do you want something really badly for Caskett that maybe just doesn’t work? Is it hard to not write an entire hour of just Castle and Beckett making out? Because that’s what fans want.
D: [Laughs] I get that. That’s not hard for me because one of the things that I love about the show is how well the mysteries are told, and it was actually one of the reasons we hopped on this show. We wanted that experience to be able to write some procedural and some mystery. Castle has some complicated and impressive storytelling, and that’s something we wanted to take a shot at. But, yeah! It’s fun to play with the Castle and Beckett scenes, and a lot of that, again, is what Andrew has in mind for them over the course of the season too. So, it’s actually pretty easy to sort of take a stab at what you want it to be but then ultimately, you know, trust in Marlowe.
S: That’s what we all do…That’s a very…In Marlowe we trust!
D: He hasn’t failed you guys yet!
S: He’s come close a couple of times! He enjoys to stir things up…
S: So, has your experience watching the show changed? Because I know you didn’t even get a chance to watch the premiere until we all did, so was it weird being like, “oh. You know, I already knew this was going to happen, and I already knew how this happened.”
D: Well, yes and no. One of the things that Marlowe and I have actually spoken about is…I actually learned this from watching Ang Lee at the DGA one year…but sometimes what’s on the page is one thing. And then, what you shoot is one thing. And then, what you edit is one thing…
It’s not like what the script is, is completely different than what ends up as a Castle episode, but it feels different when you watch it. You have a vision of what you think it’s going to look like, and then you see it on TV and think, “oh, that’s actually really cool!” Or, “they found an awesome moment.” There are moments — even little things Nathan will do with an eyebrow raise or something like that — that is not something that’s scripted. It’s something that they found when they went there.
It was cool to watch it [the premiere] with you all. You know, as much as I was a fan, I wasn’t actually all that into twitter until just after Mistresses. This whole Castle fandom and community is new to me, and being able to watch it with you guys? THAT added a level of fun to it for me that I would’ve never anticipated.
S: Oh, it’s insanity though. Isn’t it great?
D: It’s so great! You guys are great! My experience so far with the fandom has been incredibly positive.
S: Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of great things. I think this fandom, in particular, is a lot more welcoming than I’ve noticed with others. I’m not going to say that we’re perfect with no problems because I’ve known about a couple, but overall I love it. And everyone’s very creative.
D: Very creative and incredibly supportive. I couldn’t believe that just because we wrote for Castle and wrote for this other show Mistresses, that was on at the same time as Castle, a bunch of the fandom got on the Mistresses bandwagon. They took it upon themselves to support us and promote us. In whatever small way, the Castle fandom helped Mistresses get renewed. I don’t know how much of a part they played, but I would like to think that, in some small way, they were a little piece of that. It’s pretty cool.
S: Speaking of Mistresses, are you going to be able to do both shows still?
D: I am under contract at Castle, so I am…unfortunately….I love all of my Mistresses people so much, and we were all emailing the last few days. Everybody was saying, “we miss you!”
S: Awwwww.
D: They know, too, that we’re contracted, but it was still bittersweet when I heard they got renewed. I’m so happy that that show is going to keep going, but I’m not going to be able to see them every day.
S: It’s kind of…exciting to be on Castle, sad not to be able to do Mistresses.
D: I wish I could be two people!
S: Going back to the idea of being fans of things ahead of time, what is like to work with Samantha Micelli, all grown up?
D: [Pause. Eyes light up.] Ohh! That’s so funny.
She’s awesome. She has a kid around the same age as my kid, so we talk a lot about the motherhood thing. I was just emailing her the other day, and she gave me a ton of things I should be doing with my child. There are all of these cool LA music classes you can join, and here are good resources for you…She was great. She’s very professional.
S: She comes across in interviews as sweet.
D: She is. She was well-loved at Castle, too. It was great to get here and hear everybody say, “we loved her!”
S: She was great on Castle!
D: Yeah. She was great. She really was. She loved it, too. When she heard that we were over here, she was like, “oh my god! Say hi to everybody!”
S: We have the TV Binges feature at ShowRatings.TV, which was kind of like, Blaire and I just wanted to do a re-watch of Buffy so we could live tweet it. Then, all of a sudden, it became a thing. And all of a sudden, we did the #CastleBinge, and it was insane…So! Besides Castle, because that’s an easy one, what’s your favorite show to binge watch?
D: Ohh! That’s such a hard question!
S: You can give a few, too!
D: There are SO many. ER.
S: [Sighs.] Oh my god, ER.
D: The West Wing.
S: Ok.
D: I can’t even think because there are so many…Sex and the City. There’s something wrong with me; I’ve seen those episodes so many times.
S: Well, they come on all the time, and it’s one of those shows like Friends, where it’s obligatory. “Oh, this is on again! Let’s watch it! I watched it yesterday…I’ll watch it again. I used to tease one of my friends because he knew way more about it than I did.”
D: For a while, Chad would watch it with me, but he’s gotten to the point where…
S: Oh, speaking of watching shows with other people, I used to watch Pushing Daisies all the time with my roommates. We used to pile in the master bedroom together with the dogs and watch it every week, but then when I heard it was being canceled, I just gave up.
D: I know. It starts to hurt when you hear something’s getting canceled, and you’re like, “why would I even watch it?”
At this point, we wound up chatting about the Paley panel that was coming up on September 30th and whether or not meet and greet opportunities would be available. Dara wasn’t sure, but she had this to say…
D: What I will say, on the record, is that Stana and Nathan, Jon and Seamus, are four of the nicest actors that I have ever met in my life. They are incredibly kind, incredibly generous, incredibly collaborative. We’re new, but we get hugs every time we see everyone.
S: [Sounding utterly tortured.] You get hugs from Stana?! That is SO unfair!
D: Yes. We do. It’s a loveball right in our orbit. She’s pretty great.
S: She seems like it!
D: She just has an exceptionally great vibe, and she’s very curious about the world.
S: Even when I was thinking I wasn’t going to bother her Wednesday night [at the Jon Huertas concert], I just couldn’t stop watching her. There’s just…something about her.
D: And that’s why she makes such an elegant leading lady. You can’t take your eyes off her, so.
S: I mean, I’m still convinced she’s not human…
D: [Laughs.]
S: …so, if you find any extra evidence, I’d love to have it.
D: Her sense of humor is great, so it makes her feel human to me.

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The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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