Jennifer Beals Previews Her Castle Arc: Things Get 'Tricky' When Kate Meets Rick's First Muse

Kate was not Rick’s first. That much is revealed tonight on Castle (ABC, 10/9), when Beckett meets the CIA agent on whom Clara Strike, a character in the Derrick Storm novels, was based.

Jennifer Beals (The Chicago Code, The L Word), who plays the sexy spook, gave TVLine a preview of the February sweeps two-parter – in which the hunt for a killer uncovers a chain of events that could plunge the United States into war — and how things will become “tricky” with her presence.

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TVLINE | What kind of threat lands Sophia Turner in Beckett and Castle’s orbit?
They have cases that intersect — Sophia is working on an international case that comes to U.S. soil, and it just so happens that Beckett is involved with part of this case. And because the CIA has its hands tied when it comes to working on U.S. soil, she sees an opportunity to take Beckett into the team to help solve this case.

TVLINE | What amount of swagger if any does Sophia come with? Is she of the mind, “Many hands make for light work” or is it, “I’m CIA and you’re not”?
It’s, “I’m CIA and I’m powerful, but my hands are tied at this juncture and I value your input. So let’s work as a team.”

TVLINE | OK, because we don’t always get that with these February sweeps two-parters. Both Dana Delany’s FBI agent and Adrian Pasdar’s Homeland Security guy arrived with varying degrees of attitude.
Well, I didn’t have a script when I went in, so I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do this show — because without a script how do you know what’s going to happen? So I met with [series creator] Andrew [Marlowe] and he delineated what he had in mind, which I thought was interesting and wonderfully complicated. I just said to him really clearly, I don’t want to have two women fighting over a man. I think this character has to be self-assured enough and mature enough that she knows who she is and how strong and attractive she is, and all those other things she may be. This is not the time or place to be, you know, crying over a guy. But having said that, she knows very well this is a possible complication in [Rick and Kate’s] relationship, yet she will do whatever she needs to do to get whatever she wants to get.

TVLINE | Is she surprised to find Rick at the NYPD, or does she know he’s now shadowing Beckett?
[Plainly] She’s CIA. She knows. [Laughs]

TVLINE | For how long did Rick shadow Sophia?
For a few years, I think, and that was 12 years ago. It was long enough that he based Clara Strike on her.

TVLINE | Is it confirmed or denied that it was more than a professional relationship between them?
Oh, it’s confirmed that it was a personal relationship as well. Yeah. So that makes things… tricky.

TVLINE | Dana Delany immediately landed the Body of Proof lead after shooting her Castle arc, and Adrian Pasdar went on to join ABC Family’s The Lying Game… Do you privately hope to come out of this showcase with a new full-time gig in one place or another?
I didn’t do this to go get another job, because it’d be too much work to do it as a crapshoot hoping you get something else. [Laughs] If I do another television show, it’s got to be incredibly meaningful to me or it has to be a lot of fun – and hopefully both. That’s the mandate for my world.

TVLINE | Do you have a pile of pilot scripts at home on your coffee table right now?
I do, and I’m not interested in any of them. But I am working on an Internet series with Jon Avnet [for a YouTube channel focused on female-oriented drama] that I really am enjoying, and I have a film in the spring…. [Any new series] would have to be something that I really enjoy, because when you’re working that 16-hour day, you don’t want to be going, “Why the hell am I doing this again?” The big goal is to want more than the paycheck. The real brass ring is to find something that has meaning. I need to get up in the morning and be excited to go to work.

TVLINE | I know that The Chicago Code excited you. Since it ended with little fan fare, do you have anything you’d like to say about that experience?
I had a fantastic time. I loved my character, Teresa Colvin, I loved working with [series boss] Shawn Ryan and Jason [Clarke] and Delroy [Lindo] and Devin [Kelley] and Todd [Williams] and Matt Lauria…. We literally had a cast reunion dinner a few weeks ago and it was lovely to see everyone again. I really loved that Teresa was so grounded and so ballsy…

TVLINE | …if a bit socially awkward…
No kidding! At the end of the season, you think, “Maybe she’ll get a real life?” She has that little pick-up at the bar, and wouldn’t it be amazing for to follow up on that? How come [Jason’s character] gets, like, three girlfriends and I don’t have anything – that’s not fair. But yeah, the writing was so good, and working with the CPD was so much fun. And I liked walking around with my little gun!