BELLO watch: Nikki Castillo I Scorpion

Those familiar with CBS’s “Scorpion” will definitely recognize our latest feature! While currently starting as Patty Logan on CBS’ “Scorpion”, Nikki Castillo, is no stranger to an audience both on the screen and on stage. Since the early age of 10, Nikki has set herself apart from the rest as a thespian: singing, dancing, and acting professionally.  She has been seen TNT’s “The Last Ship,” Disney Channel’s “K. C. Undercover,” and the dark comedy DRIVING WHILE BLACK which was released earlier this year on February 1st.

Tell us about CBS’s Scorpion, your role and how it is working with a giant network.
How exciting has it been for you?

Scorpion is about a team of geniuses who “tackle worldwide threats only they can solve”. My character, Patty Logan, is an intern to Sylvester, the math genius. Aside from Scorpion, he doubles as a city councilman, so I’m his secretary, campaign manager, and “boss”. I’m not really his boss but Patty is just very forward and direct so it often seems like she’s his boss.  It’s all been extremely exciting. The first time I walked onto the set I remember being completely speechless and taken aback by it, because it’s a really cool set! They transformed an entire soundstage into the garage, which is like their headquarters. And I guess I must have given them the impression that I was really calm and composed because they kept telling me how professional I was. I would thank them, but in reality I was freaking out.

How did you get into acting? When did you feel the urge to perform in front of audiences?

When I was 9 I felt the urge to perform at my school talent show when my parents “forced” me to do it. I say forced, but I actually did want to do it. I was just too scared to do it on my own so they just gave me a little nudge and I found out that I loved it. After that I started doing musical theatre. Just local community theatre at first, then regional theatre, then we started flying out for auditions for Broadway in New York, and then LA.

 

What made you want to make the transition from performing on stage to in front of the camera?

By the time I had started flying out to New York for auditions I was already turning 13 and at the top of the height range going up against kids that were a lot younger and shorter than me. In short, I grew too tall to be a Broadway kid, so I started auditioning in LA.

Do you feel more comfortable acting? Singing? Or dancing? And why?

I’d say I’m equally comfortable with acting or singing. I’m equally comfortable dancing as well, if I have enough practice. But if I’m put on the spot I’d rather do both acting and singing at the same time (musical theatre style). That way if I’m not feeling too confident with my singing for a particular song, I can focus more on impressing people with how I act it out and vise versa. Or if I choose to sing a song that I’ve performed hundreds of times, that I’m super comfortable with, it’ll be twice as great .

What is your dream role? Would it be something that involves all three?

A role that I’d definitely want to tackle at some point in my career would have to be Kim in Miss Saigon. It’s just such an amazing show with beautiful music and a beautiful love story. And not to mention Kim is such a strong character. At 17 she loses her family, has to become a prostitute, falls in love with an American soldier, then has to raise their son by herself. She’s pretty badass. And not only does the role require you to be able to sing, dance, and act, at one point in the show she sings this huge vocally and emotionally demanding song while sitting down carrying a child on her lap. I was actually training to audition for it on Broadway for most of last year. I was going to move to New York after I graduated, but then Scorpion called.

As an actress, who inspires you?

I’m Filipino, so growing up my parents would always be talking about Lea Salonga and playing Miss Saigon (she originated Kim) and the 10th anniversary concert of Les Miserables (she played Eponine). When I was little I didn’t really understand the significance of a Filipino actress being able to accomplish everything she’s accomplished, but I get it now. She was able to break through. That’s pretty amazing and I look up to her.

Was there a teacher or person or an event that occurred while you were in school that made you want to pursue acting?

After I sang at my school talent show, our choir director invited me into his show choir group where we sang and danced to show tunes. I loved it, so I started doing community theatre. Then my 5th and 6th grade teachers suggested I auditioned for How the Grinch Stole Christmas at The Old Globe, which ended up being my first professional show. There are honestly so many people who have helped me in one way or another at different points in my career, but I think one constant force is my parents. They’re my number one fans. We live in San Diego and my Dad has been driving me up to LA for every single audition and callback for the past 5 years. Sometimes we’d be driving up 4 or 5 days a week. And before LA we flew to and from New York for Broadway 4 times. It’s tiring. And not to mention expensive, and that doesn’t even include all the classes and coaches. It takes a lot of sacrifice.

Do you have a favorite tv show at the moment (Can’t be CBS’s Scorpion haha)?

What character would you want to play in that show.

My favorite TV show is constantly changing, but I think one show that I’ve always enjoyed is Doctor Who. When I first heard about the show from a friend, I actually ended up binge watching the first 5 seasons in a week. Anything is possible on that show and it’s honestly so weird sometimes, but that’s why I love it. I think the dream would be to play one of the Doctor’s companions, because that would mean being his sidekick while he/she (she’s a woman this season) travels through time and space. But really I’d be fine with any character as long as I get to go in the TARDIS.

What are some of your aspirations in life?

I think the ultimate goal is to be happy. That is, with myself, with who I am, and with what I’m doing everyday (including what I plan on doing for the rest of my life). Otherwise what’s the point? I mean, I don’t think that being happy is the same as being satisfied or settling. I’ll still continue to strive to be more and do more. But I just think that doing so would be a lot less difficult if I was happy with everything I’ve done and everything I know I can do… if that makes any sense… Also being a household name would be pretty cool too..

You got to wear some really awesome clothes in shooting with Bello. What would you say your sense of style is?

Nonexistent. I’m only half kidding. I have no sense of style. The stylists dressed me up better than I’d ever be able to dress myself. It’s always fun to get to wear an outfit that looks very well put together and actually cute. I’d like to think that my style is a reflection of who I am as a person which is usually cute and quirky and sometimes a little edgy, but I’m also pretty weird and random and so are my outfits. They don’t often make much sense. To be honest, most of the time I just ending up wearing whatever is comfortable depending on how much effort I feel like putting into it…

 

photography Arthur Galvao

makeup & hair Matthew Cerda

styling Luke F.

special thanks Maison Privée PR

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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