Fall TV Preview
Castle Toks Olagundoye

Castle's Toks Olagundoye Clears the Air: 'I Would Have Resented to Be Brought On Simply as a Love Interest'

When onetime Neighbors neighbor Toks Olagundoye was added to ABC’s Castle as a series regular for Season 8, the Internet did what the Internet does — theorize the most pot-stirring purpose for her character, Scotland Yard castoff-turned-“security specialist” Hayley Shipton.

In other words, some speculated she would get too cozy with Nathan Fillion’s Rick — with whom she (reluctantly) partners during the two-part season opener (kicking off Monday at 10/9c), when Beckett (Stana Katic) goes missing — or at the very least draw eligible Esposito’s ever-wandering eye. But as part of her TVLine Q&A below, Olagundoye makes one thing refreshingly clear: Hayley is here to bring the sass, kick some ass and maybe mentor a lass. But romance? No one has time for that.

TVLINE | How was the role of Hayley presented to you by the producers, how was she described?
Well, she wasn’t described by the producers to me. I got the sides for an audition, and there’s a breakdown that describes the character. When I got [the role] I figured, “They liked it, so that’s what were going to do.” So yeah, I stayed really true to what I did that first audition, keeping her sassy and relaxed and confident.

TVLINE | Were you prepared for the physicality of the role?
Absolutely. I was an athlete, I’ve always been very active. I run, I do pilates, yoga, cardio barre…. I have a lot of training for stage combat, for when you don’t have the stunt people. And I enjoy all of that. So it was a nice surprise that not only was there so much physical stuff but that I was allowed to do it.

TVLINE | You have a pretty brutal throwdown with guest star Daisy Betts’ character, outside some storage units….
I had so much fun with that — it was such a good time! Daisy is just lovely, and with my stunt double and her stunt double, the four of us had such a good time on it, learning the choreography. [Director] Rob Bowman likes to really get into it so he makes it really challenging, because he wants it to be perfect, but I love that. I love it when they’re like, “Again! Again! Again!” because I want it to be perfect. I got kind of banged up, but I was proud of my bruises. [Laughs]

TVLINE | How would you describe Hayley’s dynamic with Mr. Richard Castle?
You know, Hayley’s an interesting sort — her dynamic doesn’t really change with anyone. She’s her own brand of sassy and sarcastic. She’s witty, she doesn’t put up with nonsense from anyone…. She doesn’t speak unless she has something to say, and she’s pretty much that way with everyone.

TVLINE | Thought she does seem to have a soft spot for Alexis. Why do you think she takes a shine to her?
I think she’s impressed with her. Not in a way like, “You’re my hero,” but Hayley has always been hardworking and disciplined and focused — No. 1 on her plate is work and getting it done. She’s not really concerned with personal relationships. I don’t think she’s used to being impressed by anyone, but this young woman has just got it so together and is so focused, but also has no ego. That’s a lovely thing about the Alexis character, she’s so capable and smart but she has no ego. I think Hayley enjoys that, and she enjoys giving her something that she probablyTOKS OLAGUNDOYE didn’t have when she was younger, which is guidance from another strong female.

TVLINE | In Part 1 of the premiere, at least, Hayley is very secretive, she’s not exactly helpful to the good guys…. How might we eventually warm up to her?
I don’t know. [Laughs] I don’t know. It’s different for everyone. If people warm up to her, they do, and if they don’t, they don’t.

TVLINE | What else do you know about her backstory? As revealed in the premiere, it sounds like she had obviously a very different upbringing from your own.
The producers have an idea of what they want for an arc, but they’re fluid with it because… you have to be able to change things according to what’s actually going on and how people are responding. I know they have a couple of ideas but I know that they’re not solid, so it’s not something that I would share.

TVLINE | When I spoke to the showrunners last month, they affirmed they were in no rush to point Hayley at anybody romantically. They said that’s not what this character is about.
Honestly, I would have resented, after 21 years as an actor, to be brought on a show simply to be somebody’s romantic interest. [Laughs] It’s not a soap opera. So I like the fact that work is No. 1 on her plate; you shouldn’t have time for anything else. I mean, she’s flying between countries, for God’s sake, to get her work done! [Laughs] I do like showing, “Yeah, there are women in this world who aren’t just looking for guys.” It’s kinda cool.

TVLINE | Lastly, what are you at liberty to say about how the show will keep Hayley around beyond the two-parter? I can’t imagine she’s joining the NYPD or anything…. It seems too regimented a job for someone like her.
Yes, and she was kicked off the force in England, so I don’t know if anyone would be too quick to have her back! The police officers are very proper over there, and what she was doing was a bit more “1970s New York cop.” She was unorthodox.

TVLINE | I’m curious to hear the story behind her dismissal. Maybe they’ll fly you all to England someday for a location shoot!
I’d go!

Want more scoop on Castle, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Coco says:

    I don’t care about a new character and I don’t care about Alexis, especially as a PI, so the two of them together …

  2. Brad says:

    The only thing that’s gonna ruin caskett is themselves

  3. John NYC says:

    “Honestly, I would have resented, after 21 years as an actor, to be brought on a show simply to be somebody’s romantic interest. [Laughs] It’s not a soap opera.”

    Slow clap….

  4. Maria says:

    Alexis has no ego? Umm…what?

  5. Ace says:

    The first one to speculate her potential coziness” with Rick was you guys Tvline! You people wrote that blurb that way. “Don’t shoot me I’m just the messenger : hayley will be sending “a lot” of time with Castle’

    It was your sensationalist slant that caused a headache for fans, the actors AND the showrunners. They had to put it down vigourous after tvline reported it that way. Nathan did in your own interview, Toks did on Twitter and the showrunners in every interview since then.

    So you guys are at fault too. Quit using so much sensationalism and bring back the integrity that your job requires but what you guys keep losing day by day now. Get back to the better days of tvline pls.

    Yes and I’m sure you’ll delete this, but many people (most of the castle fandom) will agree with me.

    • BK says:

      Exactly, totally agree. Same goes with that blind item. Easy to blame the crazy fans.

      • Smile says:

        It is easy but then certain sections of the fandom are a little *ahem* highly strung and it’s not going to be pretty on here and elsewhere once realisation dawns that the blind item was indeed Castle all along.

    • Gern Blanston says:

      They hold no responsibility. They made a completely innocuous comment that was based around the constant overreaction by Castle fans which resulted in, shock of shocks, another round of overreaction by Castle fans. They could have said “New character will have storyline with Rick” and everybody would have still lost their collective mind. Its not TVLine’s fault that the Castle fanbase is one of the most paranoid fanbases around. And the same goes for the Blind Item. Ausiello, I believe, reported what he knew and the Castle fans ran with it. Its nobody’s fault but the fans and their over active imaginations.

    • Georgee says:

      lets all go back as far as late May early June when Hayley came on board , her main reason was to cause a major split between Rick and Kate and will Castle and Beckett’s relationship survive. I never seen anything Ms Olagundoye has done, but I already dislike her acting a lot. To come in and destroy 7 seasons of a super relationship. What is Mr Winter thinking. The other part is ABC does not care how many fans it makes mad, they have a plan. I just hope they really think about what they are destroying. Maybe there plan is having the new tech guy is to have affair with Beckett. All I know for sure is that ABC never answers any questions about the show, not really good customer service. I hope we all have a good season of Rick and Kate with many more to follow.

      • kmw says:

        If you haven’t seen anything she has done how can you hate her acting already? They have stated repeatedly that she is not coming between Castle and Beckett she will just be working with him more. The more they talk about their season the less likely it seems they are the blind item. It actually sounds like a pretty good season opener for them

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:


  6. Mr. Tran K says:

    The new character isn’t my cup of tea and the new season is going to be more or less disappointing. Feels like come Monday I’ll be saying “the season premiere let me down”.

  7. Luli says:

    I’m excited for this new character! can’t wait for the premier.

  8. D says:

    Oh, TVLine, let’s not forget that the pot stirring began with you and your theorizing in an article/manipulating spoilers for maximum effect and click bait. Don’t poke fun at the Castle fandom for reacting exactly as you wanted them too.

  9. lkh says:

    In the promo clip, I really liked the attitude she brought–but Beckett used to have attitude too–hope that’s back.
    Regardless of her perspective and desire not to be a love interest-which I really hope is true–there is always testosterone in the mix…so to speak.

    • John NYC says:

      Or estrogen: could add some interesting aspects for Rick, his daughter having a gay mentor. He IS a bit conservative when it comes to Alexis, witness the scifi convention case or her online blog.

      • lkh says:

        I’m not sure I know enough about the character’s profile yet to comment on your point, but actually I was thinking more about Espo.

        • John NYC says:

          That’s the other potential path for sure as I get the impression Espo and Lanie are being cooled off for a while anyway.

          Just with Captain Holt’s treatment on B-99 other low key options have been seen to exist. mostly just leave it alone, but…

  10. Bev says:

    Just as bad an idea as when Castle departed from what was originally a good show and plot line with the last five episodes of Season Two. It’s been a downhill slide for the show ever since, and this looks like it’s a dive in the deep end of the pool when the swimmers do not surface.

    First season, second season up until those last five episodes were a smashing success. The rest? Meh & sometimes Ugh.

    • castlelover66 says:

      If you think the show has been nothing great since season 2, why don’t you quit watching? Honestly! Why do people keep watching something they don’t like? I’ll never get it!

      • Tom Johnston says:

        Castlelover just stole my line. What is with these “experts” who hate a show, continue to watch it , and then hate the season opener that hasn’t been shown yet ????? I just saw the season opener and thought everyone played perfect parts for a show that needs a shot in the b.u.t.t !! I like it. !!

  11. NDFan says:

    She sounds very interesting, I’m looking forward to seeing how she interacts with everyone.

  12. L says:

    We get it, she’s going to be a great character, her relationship with Alexis will make eveyone wants to watch Castle blablabla. Seriously we’ve had more spoilers about Haley and interviews of Toks than things about Castle and Beckett or interviews of Nathan and Stana about S8 (not together of course, I’m not crazy).
    We have not much from Sunkrish Bala and it makes me more curious about his character since it doesn’t feel like they’re forcing us to like him before we even see him.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      You have nothing from Sunkrish because he doesn’t (really) show up until Part 2, whereas Toks is a major element in Part 1.

  13. liame says:

    Maybe one day adults will grow up. SMDH at the silliness because of a TV show.

  14. grumpiestoldman says:

    “Toks Olagundoye saves Season 8 of Castle.” should be the headline.

  15. Shane says:

    I can’t image Castle being worth watching without Beckett. Granted, the writers have been phoning in in the past few seasons, but if Stana doesn’t come back for the next season, then neither will I. This has always been the Beckett and Castle Show.