CASTLE: Gene Simmons Teases His Guest Spot in 'To Love and Die in LA' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CASTLE: Gene Simmons Teases His Guest Spot in ‘To Love and Die in LA’

May 2, 2011 by  

More than six months after CASTLE stars Nathan Fillion (Castle) and Stana Katic (Beckett) first teased that their show would be having a Los Angeles-based episode, the hour is finally here!

“To Love and Die in LA” will feature the return of a familiar face, a ton of new guest stars and rock star Gene Simmons!

So how did CASTLE land the KISS legend? I talked with Simmons about playing himself on the series…

How are you doing?
Gene Simmons: I’m deliriously happy.

That’s good! Are you happy about life or about CASTLE?
GS: Well, happy to be me and happy to be me in CASTLE.

Yes, I think CASTLE fans are really excited about your appearance on the show. How did that guest spot come to be?
GS: People just pick up the phone and call. It’s really simple. I don’t use managers or agents, and I’m lucky enough that — or blessed as the case may be, not always the same thing — people pitch all sorts of strange ideas. Some of them make more sense than others, but this one, well, I’m a fan of the show. It was really simple.

Oh, so you’ve been watching the show?
GS: Oh yes. I mean Castle and Beckett really should be a series of features, that’s for sure. This is better writing than most other TV shows. The idea that the two lead characters are going after an ex-partner’s killer and the lead character writes a book, which is made into a movie. And then they go down to the movie set to figure out who the killer is…it’s very clever writing. It was a guy named Alexi Hawley who actually wrote [the episode], because I had to read the script. I think it’s just good, solid writing. It’s clever. You certainly don’t see any arrows pointing “here’s what’s going to happen.” There are so many twists and turns.

Did they actually give you the script before you signed on?
GS: Of course.

Are you in more than one scene of the episode?
GS: You’ll have to watch.

Ah, so it’ll be fun for fans to see when you pop up in the show!
GS: It really is. The show moves so fast, you’re never in the scene long enough to go, “I’m used to it, I know what’s going on.” You never quite know what’s going on.

That is certainly part of the fun of CASTLE.
GS: That’s the fun, yeah. It really is an appealing thing. And I really haven’t seen the back and forth between the two leads characters who may have hooked up or may have not. And sometimes it’s funny and they’re close and sometimes they’re distant and really chilly, almost like a married couple or the opposite, a couple who is going out on their first date. They have that strange mixture. I haven’t seen it since Bruce Willis and [Cybill Shepherd on MOONLIGHTING]. And that’s tough to do. It’s easier when things are linear, like LAW & ORDER or CSI — there’s a dead body, we have to get who killed him.

[CASTLE] has different levels of tonality. One level is it’s serious when people are killed and there’s a crime and you want the bad guys and so on. The other level is you have this couple who are forced on to each other, reluctant bedmates if you will. Strange bedfellows, on more levels than one. It’s very hard writing.

CASTLE does that incredibly well.
GS: I don’t know any other show that has that, actually.

Can you tease a little bit about what you’re doing in the episode?
GS: I play a very powerful and attractive man named Gene Simmons. You have to forget there’s a camera there and there’s an entire crew that’s watching every nose hair that’s sticking out of your nose and just get on with it. Or as Spencer Tracy used to say, “Just hit your mark and say your lines.” Have you heard of Spencer Tracy?

Yes, I have! I would hope most people have heard of Spencer Tracy.
GS: You’d be shocked what people don’t know. People don’t know the second most powerful man on planet earth, our Vice President.

That’s sad.
GS: One of my favorite things is when [Jay] Leno goes out on the street and does “Jaywalking” [for THE TONIGHT SHOW]. He goes to Universal and two very attractive [women come up], suntanned, mid-30s, their husbands are in the background. “Oh so you’re here visiting California?” “Oh yes, we’re having a great time.” “Okay, just a few questions: how many stars are on the American flag?” “50.” Okay, that’s correct. “What was Hitler’s first name?” So one looks at the other and says, “John?” The other one goes, “No, I don’t think that’s it.” So they settle on Fred. Fred Hitler. I’m speechless.

That is horrendous. Going back to CASTLE, was it difficult for you to play yourself?
GS: No. I’m an only child. I’m one of the few people I’d imagine who loves the sound of his own voice. I have to be pulled away from looking in the mirror, because staring back at me is a stunning heterosexual male — me. No, I’m delusional that way. I like being me, I like it, I’m comfortable in my skin. You can be overwhelmed with how I steal the entire show.

Somehow that wouldn’t shock me. They’ve been promoting your appearance a lot.
GS: I’m having a great time. I’m very appreciative.

Since you’re playing yourself, did you have any talks with the writers of CASTLE to be like, “Oh, I wouldn’t say that”?
GS: You know, that’s very astute. That’s a good point because we did have a little, “You know what, this doesn’t sound like my speech pattern.” I sort of swallow some words and enunciate others. And we did talk about the cadence. But that sort of thing, that nuance has to be taken into consideration when somebody’s speaking. If I’m speaking, the writer wants to get a point across, but it has to feel real. The words have to be massaged.

Understandable. Can you talk about your favorite part of filming the episode?
GS: Being me.


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2 Responses to “CASTLE: Gene Simmons Teases His Guest Spot in ‘To Love and Die in LA’”

  1. Kath (canakatydid) on May 2nd, 2011 2:31 pm

    Fantastic interview! One of the best Castle ones that you’ve done (and that’s saying something!) I love how appreciative Mr. Simmons is of the writing and the creative forces behind the show. Kudos to all!!

  2. Kath Skerry on May 2nd, 2011 3:41 pm

    Great interview, Marisa. I’ve never been a big KISS fan myself, but it’s always fun to see legendary rock stars show up in unexpected places.