Actress ANN REILLY is getting her big TV break with a guest appearance in an upcoming episode of “Castle.” The Harrisburg, PA native started pursuing a career in acting in local community theater as a child, but moved on to the Big Apple graduating from the famed Tisch School of the Arts, where she was awarded the prestigious Dean's Fellowship and earned her Master’s Degree in Dramatic Writing. While there, she made the award-winning short film "Sincerely Yours," earning high-praise and international distribution. Now in Los Angeles, she continues to pursue a career on screen and as a writer.
I recently had a chance to chat with the up-and-coming actress about her role on the show, working with the stars, and which episode is her favorite.
HOLLY: Tell us a little about your role on an upcoming episode of “Castle”.
ANN: I play Val Brookstone, a woman who witnesses a bomb exploding at a protest rally in New York City. The episode is called “47 Seconds” because Castle & Beckett have to solve the case by reconstructing the 47 seconds prior to the explosion.
At one point, Homicide investigators Ryan and Esposito question me in the interrogation room, while Castle watches from the hidden observation area for clues. It’s a scene that takes a surprising turn from a tremendously touching script written by my friend Shalisha Francis.
HOLLY: Who exactly did you get to work with…and what was that like?
ANN: When I arrived on set, Nathan Fillion came right over to me, warmly shook my hand and said ‘I’m Nathan, welcome.’ I believe ‘swoon’ is the right word for my reaction. I’ll forever remember that. It’s so far above and beyond what I would expect from the star of a show! And it truly says so much about him. I was feeling a bit nervous of course, but his gracious hospitality really calmed me.
During filming Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas were cracking jokes with me, which instantly put me at ease. They were genuinely interested in getting to know me. They couldn’t have been more warm and welcoming. I feel very grateful that such talented and successful actors proved to be so kind and generous.
The director Paul Holihan was everything you’d hope for -- gentle and encouraging. And my friend Shalisha Francis, the writer, was on set, so it was extremely gratifying when she said, “You nailed it!” It always feels especially good when the person who conceived the character feels you did it justice!
HOLLY: Was there anything that surprised you while you were on set?
ANN: Funny enough, Anne Sweeney, the President of Disney / ABC Television Group was doing a news interview on the set at the same time. She came into the interrogation room to meet Seamus and Jon and I was introduced to her as well. She was very sweet, and told the guys she loved the show. She’s beautiful and commanding! How often does a guest actor meet the President of Disney / ABC? It was funny – one of the crew guys said, “She writes the checks for the people that write the checks.” I thought that was funny!
HOLLY: Aside from your episode, do you have a favorite episode of the show?
ANN: The finale for season 3 was great! It had so much of what I love about the show – so many exciting surprising twists and turns but also the crux of the show – the love between Castle and Beckett that they both still try to deny – even in the face of death. And, season 4 is just building and building on all of it!
HOLLY: Is there a way for fans to keep in touch with you so we can find out what you’re working on next?
Absolutely! Check out my website is: www.annreilly.com
or my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/annfanpage
Thanks for the dish, Ann. I can't wait to watch!