Rock Icon: Castle, Comics & Planet KISS
Not only is KISS frontman Gene Simmons a guest star on tonight's episode of Castle, he's also a fan! We got to chat with Simmons about everything from geeking out with Nathan Fillion to comics to his take on whether or not Castle and Beckett should hook up.
Gene Simmons is a busy man. He's a rock legend, a reality show star and a merchandising mogul. You wouldn't think he has time to watch TV. Well, he does! He's a fan of Castle, he's got opinions on why the show does so well, and whether or not Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) have already hooked up!
Simmons is guest starring on tonight's episode To Love and Die in LA and he plays himself. Gene Simmons, he tells us, is a real character. We got some insight into his geekdom, what superhero he'd like to play and how we'll all soon be living on Planet KISS. Castle airs tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Gene Simmons speaks!SheKnows: I've been a fan of yours for a long time and I know how many projects you have in the works. Do you actually have time to watch things like Castle?
Gene Simmons: Actually, I do. There is prioritizing and allotting and other big words that end with ''ing.'' There is time to do all sorts of stuff, but you shouldn't do the silly stuff. You just have to decide what's important. When I was growing up, no matter what I did, I made time for Star Trek and Twilight Zone and the things I wanted to watch. So I watch TV by choice. In the morning and the evening I watch CNN and FOX because I want both sides of the coin. And when it's time to watch stuff I like, I might tune in to, I don't know, American Idol. But certainly Castle. And it has to do with a kind of a refreshing take, a tone. You know, everybody gets killed on TV. You can watch Law & Order and all kinds of shows, but this kind of unique, subtle thing that I haven't seen since Moonlighting is actually very appealing. It's very seductive too. I like the tension between Beckett... well, I like to call her Stana (Katic) because that's what her name should be on the show 'cause it's such a unique name. But I like it, I think it's a breath of fresh air to have story within story. You have an author who writes a book called Heat Wave and they're making a movie of it, and he has to go on the set and find out if there's a way to figure out who's the victim. It's very clever. Aren't you a fan?
SheKnows: I'm a huge fan. I've been watching since the first episode! So, how invested do you get into a relationship in a show like that?
Gene Simmons: As a fan? Or how did I get on the show?
SheKnows: Both, please!
Gene Simmons: Well, things happen when you're busy making other plans. While you're channel surfing, things either grab your attention or not. Initially people listen with their eyes. It's the visuals that catch your attention. I don't know whether or not you remember a previous TV show, one of my favorite sci-fi shows. I don't want to mention it because we're talking about Castle now. [note: Gene is talking about Nathan Fillion's earlier show, Firefly.] Then you're a fan. And you want to say, "Oh, what's going on here? Nathan is doing another show? Oh really? That's interesting." And it's sort of another side of the coin for him as an actor. And I'm a big fan of Stana. I think she's going to be a movie star. So ABC better sign her up for a long time or she's going to be making features. A message is only as good as its messenger. Religions need their prophets and this show has two great ones. I think it's a great one. I was happy they called me.
Simmons on the Castle castSheKnows: Were there any geek-out moments between you and Nathan on set?
Gene Simmons: We actually started talking comic books! The fact that KISS has a 30-year history with comics and just geek questions -- what's it like backstage type of things. And I'm like, ''Oh really? What's it like being you?'' Stana and I, of course, I mean, I was immediately attracted to her. If only I wasn't gay.
SheKnows: [Laughs] Oh yeah?
Gene Simmons: I mean, it was a love fest. It's much better reading if they said, ''Oh, what an [expletive] that Gene Simmons is,'' but it's not the case. We all got along great. Our director, John Terlesky, has been great. Nobody asked him how to spell his last name... I mean, it was flawless.
SheKnows: Tell us a bit about the episode.
Gene Simmons: I was stunning. I stole the whole show. You won't remember anybody else. The duo go and try to find out what's going on and unbeknownst to them, they knock on the door and run into me. I play a character named Gene Simmons and that's a real character. But I don't want to tell you more than that because I think there are so many interesting twists and turns. I think the script is really well done and certainly worth watching. In fact, it was done in the middle of Beverly Hills. You know, I didn't come with the limo or the security guards... just hopped into my truck and dropped in. Because as you know, those tour buses are going up and down the streets like predators searching for weak animals.
SheKnows: Since you're a fan of Castle, I'd love to get your take on this. There is always a debate about whether or not they should hook them up...
Gene Simmons: Oh, they already have! Come on!
SheKnows: [Laughs] You think?
Gene Simmons: Sure! Of course! But should we take it further or should we not? That's the real story. That's why there is that tension. Look, tension exists when both are cat and mouse... you have to have the hunter and the hunted. If you don't have the back and forth, then it's a dead issue. When one person is interested, that's a stalker. [Laughs] When there is tension, it means they both like the game.
SheKnows: I read that you have a new comic book deal in the works. I'm a huge comic fan so I need to know! What do you have going on with that?
A KISS from GeneGene Simmons: We just signed a deal today in fact. About an hour ago, with Hub, the new kids network, for a new KISS kids show. [He said there will be another announcement soon, but it isn't public yet.] And we just announced the KISS Mini-Coopers in New York City at the auto show. I mean, there is an awful lot going on. I just signed a KISS slot machine deal and there is going to be an 18-hole KISS golf course in Las Vegas. And soon it's going to be Planet KISS. Oh, and I forgot to mention we already own that trademark.
SheKnows: Really? Well, I'm happy to live on that planet.
Gene Simmons: Well, that's good because on that planet, every breath you take of air is KISS air, and every step you take is on KISS ground, so we'll have to figure out a way to charge for all that.
SheKnows: [Laughs] Finally, since I know you're a sci-fi comic book fan, I have to ask this. If you could play a superhero, who would you want to play?
Gene Simmons: That's a good one! Doctor Doom. Darth Vader wishes he was Doctor Doom. Victor von Doom, by the way. He's got his own country. And there should be a Doctor Doom movie. He's not just a black and white character. He was Reed Richards' [Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four] best friend, originally created by Jack Kirby, inked by Dick Ayers, and then later changed to Joe Sinnott. The lettering was Sam Rosen, written by, of course, Stan Lee, otherwise known as Stanley Lieber. I'll give you more minutia than you ever wanted to know. And then later on in the middle years, Vince Colletta was the inker, especially when Kirby and Vince Colletta did Tales of Asgard. But that's another story.
SheKnows: You just made my inner comic book geek very happy.
Gene Simmons: I got Stan Lee to write KISS Meets the X-Men for a special we did, so I really do know my stuff.