"She's just so fun and cool to be around," Brews Brothers star Mike Castle tells PEOPLE of wife Lauren Lapkus

Lauren Lapkus and Mike Castle
Lauren Lapkus and Mike Castle

Mike Castle is making his dreams come true one joke at a time.

In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, the Chicago native, 31, opens up about how he got his start in comedy, why his most recent role in Netflix’s Brews Brothers is a “dream come true,” and why he and his wife, actress and Orange Is the New Black star Lauren Lapkus, are the perfect match.

“I grew up in Chicago and started doing improv at Second City when I was 13,” Castle tells PEOPLE. “I grew up in a very sports oriented neighborhood, and so it felt like I would secretly do acting on the side. The rejection, and even going out for an audition, was all kind of this secret thing, which I think, in some weird way, made it feel less bad, because it just felt like this big unlikely dream anyway, or something.”

After getting involved in local theater and improv, Castle moved to Los Angeles without a plan, but found his footing along the way.

“I’m glad I just did it, because I had no plan and I slept on a cot in someone’s living room,” he says. “You get all the normal struggles and everything. I’m glad I did it when I was 21 and had a greater rate of bounce back.”

After scoring small roles here and there, Castle landed his dream role in Netflix’s Brews Brothers.

“It just kind of came out of nowhere when I was thinking I would never work again,” says Castle, who costars with Alan Aisenberg as brothers who run a brewery on the new Netflix series. “The show was about two brothers who have opposite personality types, but both love to brew beer. But it’s really a dream come true of a job for me, because the Shaffer brothers are so pro-comedy and improvisational comedy. They really let you find it and stuff. They would make fun of me if I was saying the scripted lines too often. They would want me to change it up, which is, to me, the coolest, never happens kind of thing.”

Brews Brothers
Mike Castle in Brews Brothers

Along the way, he met Lapkus — who also hails from Illinois — while working on a show.

“We could have met so many times,” he says. “Where I went to Piven Theater, that’s blocks away from where Lauren grew up. It was very strange when Lauren and I eventually started dating, then I was like, ‘I know this whole neighborhood so well and I’ve never met you.’ ”

“She’s just so fun and cool to be around,” adds Castle, who wed Lapkus in October 2018. “Before I ever start a job with anybody, I always do a slightly unnecessary amount of research on them. With Lauren, I listened to her podcast and I always thought she was funny and everything, but I remember when I heard the podcast I was just enamored. I couldn’t believe how funny she is.”

Brews Brothers is currently streaming on Netflix.