There are many things fans of Castle can fondly recall about the series. One of them was the sharp-witted humor of one Richard Castle. Nathan Fillion's new role in the cop drama The Rookie is arguably more serious than his one as Castle. What challenges has he faced with a more dramatic series? Here is what Fillion had to say:
I learned a long time ago it's very hard to make people laugh; it's very easy to make people laugh at you. Knowing that difference, it's simply a mindset. And it simplifies things.
The Rookie has comedy in it. It's not broad, it's not overreaching; it's reality-based. I've met a lot of cops -- they're funny guys. They have to have a decent sense of humor to do the job they do. There's a lot of opportunities for comedy in this program. If you compare it to the comedies I've done and are bigger, you just have to dial it down. It's still funny, it's just a matter of how you do it.
Fans worried they will not get to see Nathan Fillion show off his funny side should rest a little easier now. The actor's answer to THR clears that up considerably. While the premise of The Rookie seems like it would not leave room for humor, Fillion guarantees its existence. Albeit, in a different capacity than the cult caper. The Rookie follows Fillion's John Nolan, a divorced construction worker with a son in college.
After he ends up acting bravely during a bank robbery, he is inspired to move to Los Angeles. His goal? It is to become a police officer with the LAPD. Hence, his being "the rookie." While room for humor seems a bit difficult to find given the scenario, Nathan Fillion is an expert in tapping that vein.
So much of what drove Castle's humor was Nathan Fillion's upbeat character. With John Nolan arguably being a more emotionally-solemn protagonist, that side is missing. While it does not seem so at first glance, there are some parallels between The Rookie and Castle. Besides Nathan Fillion starring in both series, there are some plot connections. For one, both characters are drawn outside of their regular work.
In Castle, Nathan Fillion's character shadows the police for his work as an author. While he writes about solving mysteries, he must adjust to solving them up-close. His interactions with Becket and others while making that happen infused a lot of the show's humor.
On The Rookie, Nathan Fillion's John Nolan finding his footing as a rookie police officer also involves a learning curve. That seems primed for comic moments. Both characters are also underestimated. Conversely, Castle solved a mystery during a single episode. The Rookie is more like a medical drama as it involves multiple moving parts.
While Castle's humor was easier to define, The Rookie's is "reality-based," according to Nathan Fillion. So, expect something different yet still funny. What Fillion pointed out about the difference in making people laugh is an adept observation. He is a pro, and he knows what he is doing.
For Castle fans, there is a lot to anticipate. While John Nolan is different than Richard Castle, the two shows share something else in common: Alexi Hawley. He was a producer on Castle and is an executive producer on The Rookie. With Nathan Fillion and the executive producer having collaborated before doing this show, the new ABC drama should put off some Castle vibes. Just not in the humor department.
New episodes of The Rookie air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. Nathan Fillion's new series is a part of the fresh slate of fall premieres hitting the airwaves.