The "Castle" Season 8 premiere episode saw the entry of a new character, Hayley, played by Toks Olagundoye of "Neighbors" fame. Coincidentally, in the premiere episode, Beckett, who has become a captain and the commanding officer of her precinct, goes missing.
Speculations are rife that Tok's character Hayley has been brought on as a romantic interest for Castle. However, in an interview with TVLine, Olagundoye made it amply clear that Hayley is here to bring the sass and kick some ass. Romance is the last thing on her mind as she is focused on her job as a security specialist. She tells TVLine, "I would have resented, after 21 years as an actor, to be brought on a show simply to be somebody's romantic interest."
When asked what her relationship with Richard Castle would be, she replied to the media outlet, "You know, Hayley's an interesting sort — her dynamic doesn't really change with anyone. She's her own brand of sassy and sarcastic. She's witty, she doesn't put up with nonsense from anyone."
When Olagundoye went for the audition, she got the breakdown for the character and gave the audition accordingly. The producers loved it and as Olagundoye says, "They liked it, so that's what we are going to do. So yeah, I stayed really true to what I did that first audition, keeping her [Hayley] sassy and relaxed and confident."
Olagundoye confesses that she's been an athlete. She does Yoga and Pilates and also has had training for stage combat. She is happy that her role will focus on lots of action and kicking ass rather than being somebody's love interest.
"Castle's" Season 8 premiere titled "XY" began as usual with a lot of suspense. Beckett gets involved in a mysterious case and disappears. Castle goes to find Beckett and arrives at a house where a mysterious woman is hiding behind the curtains. She knocks down Castle but he is rescued by Esposito and Ryan. It is then revealed that she is Hayley Shipton, freelance security specialist. But she is not that co-operative even though she helps Castle to locate Beckett.
There are also rumors that besides Hayley, there will be another new character added to Castle in the coming episodes – the role is a series regular and will be a male tech analyst who is described as East Indian and totally hyper.
"Castle" Season 8 now airs on Mondays on ABC.