CASTLE's Penny Johnson Jerald Teases Her Role as the New Captain - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CASTLE’s Penny Johnson Jerald Teases Her Role as the New Captain

August 22, 2011 by  

Given how CASTLE ended this year — Captain Montgomery was killed and Beckett was shot at his funeral — it’s no surprise that when season 4 kicks off, a new captain will be brought in and things might not exactly go as smoothly as they did before.

To try and get scoop on what’s going down, Give Me My Remote talked with Penny Johnson Jerald (Captain Gates) about her new job, how Captain Gates fits in with the show and more…

Congratulations on the new job! Did you watch the show before you got the role?
Penny Johnson Jerald:
Two episodes before I [got] the role. Since I got the role, I’ve been watching every episode from the beginning.

That’s good!  How far along are you?
I’m in the middle of the second season.

Oh, fantastic. It gets even better as it goes on.
Just don’t spoil it for me!

I’m not saying a word.
Even though I know how it ends because I’m here!

Is that weird going back for you because you’re getting this glimpse of a dynamic that now you’re going to get to experience?
 What it does is when I’m watching, [is] it helps you see where or what shape you are in that [group] so that you are still flowing with it. And then you have that opportunity to add something that you know will take it to another level.

And where do you see your character fitting in with this group?
Well, I think she’s the hot sauce on the meal. Where you’re like, “Wait a minute, did somebody just put hot sauce on that?  Oh, it’s not that hot. Oh yes, it is.” So I think she’s going to make it not as comfortable as it has been and I think that’s great. I love a good challenge. I think she loves a good challenge, too.  I think that’s where she’s coming in and mixing up that crew.

An author working with cops out in the field isn’t entirely the norm, so what is her take on the Castle situation?
Well, the captain’s take is, “What in the world are you doing here? And why are you here? And OK, since you have to be here, let me find out what you know.” And so I don’t know if she takes to that very kindly — it’s more like a bug. Did that bug just come back and what are you here for? And that’s interesting, too, their dynamic together because I’m certain he’s used to being praised to no end and now it’s someone who’s like, “You’re only here for one reason and if it was up to me, you wouldn’t be.” So it will be like a love-hate kind of relationship.

This group has been working together for a couple of years. Does she feel threatened by their dynamic?
No, I think she’s watching them like a new person…with Penny being the new person in this show and then with the captain being the new character, you know, the new captain of the precinct, I think it goes hand-in-hand where you’re trying to feel your way, but knowing that there’s already a rhythm. You’re kind of going with it, but if it kind of rubs you the wrong way and you know there’s another way that might be better, you’re going to throw that in there.

How is the relationship between Gates and Beckett, given that she’s used to being surrounded by males in the workplace?
Oh, that’s very interesting because as a female, you either have a whole bunch of female friends or none. And it’s a challenge where you’re trying, [like] a competition, “OK, I’m really good at my job, too,” “Well, I’m good at my job, too!” So you have that battle, that unspoken battle and we do that [with people] in real-life, “Why am I listening to you? We’re the same!” Except it’s not because it’s the position and that makes the difference.

From what you’ve seen on the series, you know Captain Montgomery wasn’t normally a huge part of the cases. Is that the same for your character, or is she trying to make herself more involved?
Well, I’m very happy so far and her involvement with the cases and being a presence. And I certainly hope that continues. And again, I only just learned how Ruben [Santiago-Hudson (Captain Montgomery)] was like here and there, but it’s been a little different so far and I hope they continue with that.

That could be fun. How much do we know about her personal life?
Not a lot. I’m married. I think I have some kids. I come from the investigative portion of police work and I’m climbing that ladder, that political ladder.

I know the earliest buzz about the character was that she is almost using these guys on her way up to the top. Is that still the case?
PJJ: Well, I think she may be drawn into the challenge of making them better police officers. And so that may be the drawing part to keep her there.

Is there anything you really want to see her do?
I would like to see her go out with them. You know, captains are at the desk all the time and sometimes don’t look for it, but I’d like to go out and do some of that work.


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