EXCLUSIVE: Actress Tamala Jones Talks 'Castle'

Sunday, 05 February 2012 11:37 Written by  Dana Feldman
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EXCLUSIVE: Actress Tamala Jones Talks 'Castle'

ABC’s Castle keeps getting it right by constantly keeping it fresh and next week’s brand new film noir episode that takes us back in a time machine to the 1940’s is no exception. Entitled The Blue Butterfly, fans will get to follow novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), as they investigate the killing of a treasure hunter. In true Castle-style, there is an ominous twist when they discover that the current case is linked to a mysterious homicide from 1947 that involved a hard-nosed private detective. Of course with Castle on the case, all involved are lured into his theory that the only way in which to solve this present-day murder is to solve the mystery from the past. Through stylized flashbacks with Castle as the private eye and Beckett as a femme fatale, the 1947 case is resurrected.

Cast member Tamala Jones (Medical Examiner, Lanie Parish) speaks about her character’s 1947 alter-ego as well as this most special of episodes that she is calling her all-time favorite. “We had the best time ever making this one! This is my personal favorite and everyone is just going to love it!” Excited that Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural, The Closer) is guest starring as Tom Dempsey, she says of his performance, “He plays a mean gangster that owns the nightclub that my character, Betsy, sings in.” Also guest starring in this episode are Patrick Cassidy as Clyde Belasco, Chad Everett as Jerry Maddox, Ellen Geer as Viola Maddox and Darin Toonder as Frankie.

Of her first time ever singing in front of a group of people, Jones tells me, “I sing in the shower and in my car, but decided to take Andrew Marlowe (Creator/ Executive Producer/Writer) up on his dare.” Marlowe asked Jones if she could, in fact, sing and when she said yes he told her that she would be portraying a Billy Holiday type of a character for this one. Taking the risk, she realized just how much she enjoys singing. “I want to do a lot more!” she excitedly explains.

Expressing that she loves the way this episode was written and that going back to the 1940’s was a blast for everyone, she adds, “I love the clothes! Even the background actors looked beautiful and the sets were fantastic.”

Of this particular episode, Jones says that there is so much going on. Well, real fans of the show know this to be true of every episode, though there is simply no arguing that this one is unique in and of itself. Fun to watch, Jones tells how the cast are a family. “We are all friends on and off the set.” She says that she cooks for everyone and brings meals to set. “Seamus (Seamus Dever, NYPD Detective Kevin Ryan) is now requesting my mac n’ cheese and collard greens,” she says laughing.

When asked where she would like to see her character’s story go, her reply, “I want to see Lanie and Esposito get back together. Thankfully, things were left open between the two of them.” Wanting to further delve into her character, she questions Lanie’s back story, “Why is she so closed off and why doesn’t she want to marry Esposito?” So will they get back together? “I don’t know! Andrew keeps everything a secret!”

One thing is for certain, Jones loves portraying Lanie. “I love the way she is written. She so matter-of-factly discusses her findings as an ME.” She goes on to tell of how she and Katic plan to pitch a few ideas to Marlowe for future episodes. If history repeats itself, and it tends to do so, those episodes will be as fun as fans have gotten used to and yes, fans of Castle have become quite spoiled.

Jones has a long list of credits on television as well as in film. At twenty years-old she made her feature film debut in How to Make an American Quilt as the great-grandmother of Maya Angelou's character. In late 2009 she appeared on the big screen in the Oscar-nominated feature Up in the Air with Academy Award-winner (and current nominee) George Clooney.

Rounding out the Castle cast are Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers, Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle, Penny Johnson Jerald as NYPD Captain Victoria Gates and Jon Huertas as NYPD Detective Javier Esposito.

A show best described as a funny murder mystery, ABC Television Network’s Castle airs Monday nights at 10PM. The Blue Butterfly airs Monday, February 6th.  This episode was written by Terrence Paul Winter and directed by Chuck Bowman (executive producer Rob Bowman’s father).  David Amann, Laurie Zaks and Armyan Bernstein also serve as executive producers.

To read our exclusive interview with actor Seamus Deaver about playing Detective Kevin Ryan on Castle, please click here.

To watch a clip of Tamala Jones from the upcoming episode of Castle entitled The Blue Butterfly, please click on the video player below.


Castle airs Monday nights at 10PM on ABC.

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