Interview with Don Castro
(November 2018)

SPOILERS if you haven't watched all of DAREDEVIL Season 3 yet!

Actor Don Castro played Special Agent Arinori on the third season of DAREDEVIL, and here we discuss his role and working with his "FBI" team. Many thanks!

Kuljit Mithra: Thanks for your interest in doing the interview. It's just about a month since DAREDEVIL Season 3 came out, so just wondering if you've been keeping tabs on the critical and fan reaction to the show, and if you've even watched it yet?

Don Castro: Thank you for asking me to take part! I have had some people – friends, acquaintances, and strangers – tell me “it’s a really great season” or “it’s the best season yet,” which is wonderful to hear. It also feels good to be a part of something so well known! I just started watching season 3 and so far, it is unfolding quite nicely.

Mithra: From your site I see you have quite an impressive resume of TV and film work. Tell me a bit about your acting background, and maybe a bit about your audition for DAREDEVIL.

Castro: I’ve been an actor in New York City for about 15 years now. Typically, I work in theater but I also like working on film and television projects, as well. I don’t prefer one over the other. As an actor, both mediums have satisfying elements for me.

In my first and only audition for DAREDEVIL, I wasn’t told what I would be auditioning for. Everything related to the show was labeled under a pseudonym. To be quite honest, I did not know for sure what show I was cast in until I was in the room with the series regulars! However, I was aware that it was a Marvel project.

Mithra: Just from the way Marvel seems to be with secrecy, did you even know Agent Arinori was not on the "good" side?

Castro: At the casting office, I was told that the character was someone who was going to do something “bad.” Pretty general and vague, yet exciting to hear!

Mithra: When we first meet your character, he seems like he's trying to take the Fisk detail away from Agent Nadeem. At that time did you know you were part of Fisk's plan? And did you even know what other agents would be joining you in that FBI office reveal?

Castro: I don’t think any of the recurring actors who played FBI agents knew what was going to happen with their characters along the way. The events that develop within an episode, which were, as part of the process, undergoing constant re-writes, were only made available as we were shooting that particular episode, so we often had no idea what was to come next. For example, during the FBI reveal, I did not know who half of the agents were, so it was a true “reveal” for us as well!

Mithra: How was it working with Jay Ali, Wilson Bethel and the rest of the FBI agents?

Castro: Jay and Wilson were pretty quick with throwing zingers at each other. So, in between takes, all sorts of high jinx went on. [Laughs] I crack up watching some of those scenes now because I know what really went down in between takes. With the rest of the FBI guys, it was a fun surprise to see each other on set and say, “Yes! We survived another episode!”

Mithra: You got to have some scenes with Vincent D'Onofrio in Fisk's guarded hotel suite. He seems like an intimidating actor, especially as Fisk, but it seems he's the nicest person to work with. How was your experience working with him?

Castro: My first encounter with Mr. D’Onofrio on set, I tried to remind him of a scene we did nine years ago for Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He had no recollection of the event. [Laughs] However, one day, him and I were the only ones left in a room as the crew set up for the next scene. We started talking about his experience working with Stanley Kubrick on Full Metal Jacket and he shared some cool stories.

Mithra: Was the set with the monitors watching Fisk in the same location as the penthouse suite set? How about the FBI offices?

Castro: All of those locations are set pieces built within the same studio in Brooklyn, New York.

Mithra: In the church scene with Ali and Bethel, Arinori is upset with Poindexter to the point he has to walk away because no one wants to contact Fisk. Judging from that reaction, what do you think Fisk had on Arinori to keep him in line?

Castro: Arinori’s story in that episode didn’t go beyond what was in the script, though I guess it’s fun to think about what kind of situation he may have been in that kept him on a leash. There was this corner desk at the FBI offices that no one ever seemed to occupy. It looked worked-in, with folders and papers piled high around a computer monitor. There was nothing remarkable about the desk, except that there was a framed picture of a young Asian family right next to the computer. In my mind, that desk belonged to Arinori. I think there is an untold story behind that picture!

Mithra: Do you consider Arinori to be a "bad guy"?

Castro: In the world of DAREDEVIL, it isn’t so easy to define anyone as being “good” or “bad.” The line is pretty blurry. With that said, I wouldn’t necessarily consider Arinori a “bad guy,” but just a man who found himself in a circumstance that has proven to be difficult to get out of.

Mithra: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, I really appreciate it. I see you have a few projects coming soon (GOLDFINCH, Vows: The Series). Anything you can say about those, or anything else coming up? Thanks again.

Castro: Again, thanks for inviting me to do it!

VOWS: THE SERIES is a story about two roommates who fake being in a same-sex marriage in order to get approval for a green card. The creators want the show to be a kind of tributre to the odd-couple, buddy comedy genre. We shot the pilot episode last summer and it was a lot of fun! One interesting fun fact is that Andy Lucien, who plays Agent Ramsey in DAREDEVIL, was also cast in VOWS! Neither one of us knew that the other was involved in the project until right before our first read-through. Him and I joked that Ramsey and Arinori were working under cover as Wesley and Jake, our characters in VOWS, who are very different characters, especially for Andy, from our roles in DAREDEVIL.

THE GOLDFINCH is a feature film starring Nicole Kidman that should be released sometime in 2019. Apart from doing a scene with Nicole Kidman herself and being directed by John Crowley (BROOKLYN, TRUE DETECTIVE), I was also given a specific direction by none other than legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins (SKYFALL, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN), who won the Oscar for BLADE RUNNER 2049, the day after we shot a scene together. That was pretty thrilling.

(c) 2018 Kuljit Mithra & Don Castro
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear

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