'Castle': Jon Huertas goes to war in 'Halo: Reach'

jon-huertas-castle-320.jpg Jon Huertas has a big week coming up: The third season of "Castle" premieres Monday (Sept. 20), which means millions of people will see him on TV.

Millions more will hear him starting Wednesday (Sept. 14) as the voice of a character in "Halo: Reach," the highly anticipated prequel to the huge "Halo" video-game series. Details of the game are being kept very quiet until the release -- Huertas couldn't even tell Zap2it the name of his character when we spoke to him.

"I signed a non-disclosure agreement. They're really serious about that," Huertas says. "... So all I can say is that there are definitely a lot of cool new characters in the game, and a lot of people did voices. Greg Grunberg ['Heroes'], William Mapother ['Lost'] -- I saw a lot of those guys I know doing voiceover for the game."

As for "Castle," when we spoke with Huertas he was just about to go back to work on Season 3, so he wasn't about to give us any spoilers (though we know now from ABC that in the season premiere, Castle himself ( Nathan Fillion) is a murder suspect). He did say, though, that the show is shaking up its writing process some this season.

"This year [creator] Andrew Marlowe is kind of taking a different approach. He's assigning a writer to each actor, and that writer is responsible for that actor's storyline and the arc of the character throughout the season. ... So I had to meet with the writer right at the end of the season and again [right before filming started]."

Based on early returns at least, Huertas is liking the new arrangement. "I do know some inside dish on my character from the meeting we talked about. ... I cant divulge it, though. They swore me to secrecy. I wish I could; it's kind of exciting."

Huertas -- who spent his hiatus directing his first short film, "Lone," and working on a music project -- does have a few ideas about what could happen with Detective Javier Esposito this season.

"I'd like to see us explore a little bit more of his military background," says Huertas, who's an Air Force veteran. "We've talked about a couple of episode ideas tying the military background of Esposito into it. ... I'm also really big into mixed martial arts. I train really hard myself, I love fighting, and I'd like to work in some sort of amazing fight scene where Esposito saves Beckett's [ Stana Katic] a** by having to fight some guy without guns."

He also says he'd eventually like to direct an episode of the show, and his short film was in part an effort to make that happen.

"I just wanted to see if I was any good at it," Huertas says. "Hopefully I can try to leverage it into directing some 'Castle.' I had to create this reel and show [executive producer] Rob Bowman that I was capable. So we'll see. I think I am -- I know I am."

"Castle" begins its third season on ABC Monday, Sept. 20.

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Photo credit: ABC