Michael Trucco knows a thing or two about being "that guy" in a TV love triangle.
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Trucco's Samuel Anders came between romantic leads Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff) and Lee "Apollo" Adama (Jamie Bamber) on Battlestar Galactica. Now on Castle, Trucco plays Detective Tom Demming, an increasingly powerful wedge between Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Detective Beckett (Stana Katic).
But Trucco tells TVGuide.com there's more to his role on Castle than creating another obstacle to a Castle-Beckett pairing. "It's an interesting plot device to enter in a third wheel — it always helps raise the stakes for all parties involved. But often, those characters can be one-dimensional," Trucco says. "What I like about Demming is he's actually a good guy. There's some sincerity in this character and I think he's genuine in his feelings for Beckett.
"He checks with Castle first," Trucco continues, recalling one of his character's first scenes. "It's a guy thing. He just wanted to make sure he's not poaching or intruding on anybody's territory. I thought that was indicative of the character. I like that there's nothing subversive. It's always fun to play that guy, but there's something inherently challenging in trying to find the humanity in a character and bring a reality to it."
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Trucco, 39, also says his four-episode arc is paced in a way that makes it easier for viewers to accept his character. "I think that was smart play by the producers and writers to not force a new character down the audience's throat," he says. "They're clever about it. The character's a robbery detective and this show's about a homicide detective. We all work in the same precinct, so if there's a robbery aspect to the crime, they bring me in. They're respecting their boundaries."
In Monday's episode (10/9c on ABC), however, a robbery-homicide pulls Demming back into the mix, setting off a heated battle between him and Castle to crack the case first — and win Beckett's attention.
"There's no real animosity; we haven't played these characters at each other's throats, but there's clearly a sense of competition that's starting to ramp up," Trucco says. "We're both trying to interject our knowledge into this case, and he's got some great ideas and I've got some great ideas. We both want to be teacher's pet."
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And that competitive drive could be what Castle has needed all along, especially when he sees Demming and Beckett kiss. "Demming is willing to step up and make the move [for Beckett]," Trucco says. "There's been some reticence by Castle to seal the deal. Demming comes along and suddenly holds a mirror up — Demming seems to be willing to put himself out there to make himself available, whereas Castle's holding back."
But could Castle be too late? Although Trucco is about to begin shooting the USA drama Facing Kate with Sarah Shahi, he says his character's ending is left open and that he'd be "more than game" to return next season. For the time being, though, he's just worried about how fans will react to the season finale.
"It's a precarious perch that I sit on," Trucco says with a laugh. "These are die-hard fans and they take this stuff very personally. I want to be embraced by the audience, but it's fun to stir up the pot."