CASTLE’s Darby Stanchfield Teases Meredith’s Return: ‘She Opens a Whole Other Can of Worms’
January 3, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
CASTLE fans, look out: Deep Fried Twinkie (AKA Meredith, Castle’s first ex-wife) is back!
With Alexis sick, her mother decides now would be a good time to visit — and as such, she ends up staying at Castle’s place when Beckett is also there (due to B’s apartment renovations). As you can imagine, things are going to get a bit difficult for a certain ruggedly handsome author.
To find out how bad things are going to get, I spoke with Darby Stanchfield (Meredith) — who is also currently starring on SCANDAL as Abby — about her character’s return, stirring up trouble, and more…
Meredith has been away for quite a bit of time, and I think a number of fans were wondering when she’d pop back up again. How did things end up happening now?
Darby Stanchfield: I was wondering, too! Andrew Marlowe, the creator of [CASTLE], once I was back shooting the episode, he popped by the set and he said, “I’ve been watching you cause all kinds of trouble on SCANDAL and thought of you.” [Laughs] I think it kind of jogged his memory, like, sure, let’s get her back! I was just delighted when they brought Meredith back because it’s truly a super fun character to play. She’s such a troublemaker and so different than Abby, so it was fun to jump in that skin.
What kind of trouble can you tease will be following Meredith this time around?
DS: [Laughs] Well, one thing that describes this episode is that Alexis comes down with mono and Meredith shows up to take care of her daughter. There’s one thing I can tell you and that’s Meredith definitely has a secret agenda that has nothing to do with her daughter. And it involves bright lipstick and a pair of panties.
That’s something Castle might not be entirely comfortable with…
DS: It’s so funny, because when we were shooting it, the thing that struck me — Castle has to deal with a bunch of strong cooks in the kitchen. He is by no means in control of anything. Martha has a strong opinion, Meredith has a strong opinion, Beckett has a strong opinion, and so does his daughter. So it’s a visit from hell for him. Poor guy.
How much contact does Meredith actually have with Beckett in the episode?
DS: Oh, well they’re under the same roof, there’s plenty of quality time together.
Do they share a one-on-one scene together?
DS: They do. They do share a one-on-one scene together. And it’s a pretty juicy one. So it’ll be fun for fans to see that.
I’m not sure if you can say this, but is the scene shared before or after Meredith finds out Castle and Beckett are together? Or does she go into the situation knowing that they’re a couple?
DS: I think Meredith fully knows they’re together before she gets there. Meredith is a really smart cookie. She comes across as a ditzy actress, but she really knows what she’s doing. It’s all a big act.
How much is this act going to hurt Alexis? Is this going to impact her daughter, or is this not in Meredith’s thought process?
DS: [Laughs] I don’t think Meredith has much of a motherly instinct. Although they had some sweet tender moments in 2009 and they do again [in "Significant Others"], motherhood…it’s probably safe to say that motherhood is not on the top of the list of things Meredith wants to do with her life.
On that note, do we find out any more about what Meredith has been up to since we last saw her? We’ve gotten comments here and there, but nothing huge about what she’s been doing.
DS: Not really. I sort of played it as it’s been the same old stuff: she’s in Paris, she’s been shopping, she’s been acting in films, she’s been spending other men’s money. She’s just been doing whatever it is she wants to do. And the way it’s written and the way the story picks up with Meredith entering Martha, Beckett, Castle, Alexis’ lives again, it’s like no time has passed. And I love the fact that none of it is really explained. I feel like it doesn’t have to be with Meredith. She’s always been the same and she always will be. The world’s her oyster.
With the way the episode ends, do you see a good way for them to work you back into the series soon?
DS: You know, it’ll be left up to the viewers to decide whether she does it on purpose or it’s purely by accident, but she opens a whole other can of worms before she leaves. So it’s not like she’s gone forever.
Has there been any discussions about your return?
DS: No, we haven’t had any current discussions — I’m pretty booked with SCANDAL. It was great, I shot both simultaneously, and it only worked out because it happened to be a lighter episode for my character, Abby on SCANDAL, so we just got really lucky that way. The two productions worked together. But definitely with the way it’s written and talking with the writer of the episode, Meredith could pop back in to Castle’s life at any moment.
Stanchfield’s episode of CASTLE airs Monday, January 7th at 10 PM on ABC. Make sure to check back soon for some SCANDALous dish, too!
CASTLE’s ‘Significant Others’ Video Preview: Meredith Guilts Castle and Jack Wagner Gets Questioned
CASTLE: ‘Under the Influence’ Photo Preview
CASTLE: ‘Significant Others’ Photo Preview — Beckett, Meredith, and Alexis Crash with Castle