Fillion at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in July 2014
March 27, 1971 |
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I'll tell you what I really enjoy. We all go to the movies, we all watch television, we know what they're about, how they work. When the main character is a cop or a spy, it's very exciting, but I also very much enjoy when the main characters are nobodies – a trucker.
I've always noticed a difference between working with a director and working with a writer/director. In how much they're invested and how specific they are.
I think I've been really good at surrounding myself with really talented people. I've picked the right coattails to ride on.
I'm comfortable only when there's a mutual attraction. That's what anyone wants. If I find out she's not attracted to me, it brings down my level of attraction to her. If I'm interested and find out she's not, I tend to cool off.
I was a huge comic book fan as a kid. The only problem I had with comic books is how expensive they got. I didn't have a lot of money, so I had to be very specific about what I wanted to collect. I think they're all somewhere in the basement of my folks' house.
Improv as an actor makes you present in the moment. You listen, you're attentive. You're not acting so much as reacting, which is what you're doing in life all the time.
When people embrace character, there's latzie. It's the stuffing of a scene that's not written. It's not in the stage direction and it's not in the words. When people embrace character, it informs their living, breathing moments in a scene so well.
I like doing things where I can get dirty, work with my hands, and use power tools. Last weekend, I did some grouting.
I want my job to include a little adventure, a little more of a heightened reality than what I'm actually living. And 'Castle' has that. He gets this opportunity to tail these homicide detectives, and he's driven by that. He's a little immature, but he's obviously loving life.
'Castle' is a guy living in a fantasy world. He's in his imagination, writing these stories of murder.
I've got a full plate, yes I do. That iPod, that's nice. A phone recorder? Nicely done. All right I'm a bit of a tech geek. I have a subscription to Popular Science and I keep up on all this stuff.
No one wants to see a person on TV who's super-ultra-cool. That's Superman, that's a thing of the past. Heroes are now flawed, and have terrible tempers, you know? They're real people.
I got amazing training both with Theatre Sports… back in Edmonton, Alberta – I can't give those people enough credit – and the daytime drama I did. Incredible training, both of them.
Basically, after an ABC sitcom I did, I ended up with a holding deal with 20th Century Fox. Absolutely cool. It pays you to be unemployed. And the bigger the entity that gives you the deal, the better.
I don't spend a lot of time online. My mother's really good at picking out if she sees a really great review, and she'll forward it to me. She's like my little Internet filter. It's always nice to see something going up; if I want to find something on Nathan Fillion, I do know where to look, but I've got a nice little delivery system in my mom.
I've had a long line of failed television programs, pilots that were never picked up, series that didn't go very long. I've learned that there's really nothing you can do. If it's not in my control, I try not to worry about it.
I thought what would be really just choice for a revamp and a reboot is 'The Greatest American Hero.' I think I'd be just that kind of perfect not prepared for this kind of thing, but thrust into circumstances he's not prepared for… that's another niche of mine. Unpreparedness. Not knowing what to do. I'm good at being that guy.
I like making sci-fi movies because I like watching sci-fi movies. I like watching horror. I like being in a horror movie. I'm a fan. My perspective's a little different just because I get to participate as well as spectate.
Being in the industry, I've seen many situations where someone will get the call from the network where they say 'You guys have 5 episodes to wrap it up.' Then all your long-term story arcs gotta get wrapped up in five episodes because that's how many episodes you got left. I would hate to see that happen to 'Castle'.
I've always fantasized about being on TV. And I was. Then I fantasized about being in the movies. What could be better than captain of a space ship? I get to ride horses, shoot guns, have adventures.
You want to put out a TV show? If you have the money to do it on your own, by yourself, and you have a TV network, you can do it by yourself. But the nature of the beast is, art needs finance. That's how this industry works. So until the Internet becomes our source of entertainment – and watch it, I believe it will – this is how things go.
I love 'Strange Brew'. I quote that movie all the time, and no one knows what I'm talking about.
You know, I endeavor to be more like my older brother. He's very magnetic. He's actually very much like 'Castle' in that people are attracted to him, and just want to be near him. You want to know where my brother is in a crowded room? He's the guy with the crowd around him.
I'm the kind of guy who, I need a watch that tells me what day it is. I need to know it's Friday on my watch. I need to look at it and go, 'Friday today.' Tomorrow I will not know it's Saturday until I look at my watch. My watchband broke, I was crippled. I have no concept of time, I have no concept of dates.
I had an Indiana Jones fedora that I loved. I don't know what happened to it. I don't know where it went. Wish I had it back. Whoever's got it, you suck.
You can't embarrass Joss Whedon, he's got no pride! He fully admits it. 'Oh, it's me. I'm little and goofy.' You can't wound his pride. He's too self-deprecating.
Karaoke is something that's near and dear and very close to my heart. I was a karaoke host when I was working my way through university. I was a full-time student and karaoke was my night job.
I think my printing to this day looks like the printing right out of a comic book. Actually, I always wanted to be in a comic book. I watched cartoons when I was a kid, too, and both comics and cartoons lit fire in my imagination. This realm holds a lot of interest for me, a lot of passion for me. So to be comic-ized, yeah, that's cool.
My brother used to say that when you deal with women, it's difficult to remove emotions from an argument. I never really knew what he meant. Then I read an article that said when it comes to emotion and logic, men's and women's brains are different – my brother was right! Women are very mysterious, but that's part of their joy.
My guiltiest pleasure? 'Untamed & Uncut'. Videos of people being attacked by animals. Yeah. I don't know why. I just love seeing guys who say, 'I'm gonna stick my hand in that crocodile's mouth and see what happens.' And then it snaps down on them. There you go – that's what you get! It's a wild animal, my friend.
What I know of Steve Trevor is everything that I learned from 'Wonder Woman,' the television series with Lynda Carter. And I don't remember much. I do remember his uniform, though.
I was attending the University of Alberta. I was going to be a high school teacher, like my parents. I failed – no, I didn't fail a class, I just barely passed. I really didn't try. It was Canadian history, through the plays of the time. My God, those were boring plays.
I have a trophy case that contains all the action figures ever made of me. It also has items I've stolen from my movies, like three guns and holsters from 'Serenity'.
There are people who have energy that say 'don't come near me, don't get too close.' There's people like Adrienne Shelley who have the energy of 'come over here and give me a hug and if you're around me you're going to be happy about it.'
I like to say there's certain things you can't take back: One of them is 'I love you,' and one of them is bullets.
I've got a fantastic life. I enjoy what I do for a living. I see the blessings; I'm not blind.
I love hiking in the hills not far from my house. I'm invested in my hikes. Sometimes kids go up there and spray-paint over the signs; I've found a biodegradable paint cleaner, and I'll scrub the signs so they're nice and clean.
I was shy. I was painfully shy, until fifth grade when I transferred to another school and befriended the class clown. And one day he was sick and I kinda stepped in for the class clown and I said, 'Wow, this is exciting, I'm a little bit nervous.'
My dinner spot is usually in front of the TV. I'll grill a steak and whip up a salad and watch 'Hoarders'. I love it because a) I'm kind of voyeuristic, and b) every time I see an episode, I go to the one room where all my unpacked boxes wound up, and I throw out a box of stuff.
I tell you, 'Firefly'? Best job I ever had. Heartbroken when it was canceled, but had it not been canceled, I never would have gotten 'Serenity'. I think 'Serenity' is the most incredible thing I've ever been able to actually get my hands on and do. I can't even tell you how much love I have for that project.
I kind of found a niche for myself after 'Firefly'. I found something that I enjoyed doing and that I did well, but as far as how I seek out a part, it's always different. It's always something that lights you on fire when you read it. It might be just one scene, it might be one line that defines the character for you.
I think TV has been a little bit irresponsible in how they portray these people because homicide detectives are not brooding, tortured souls who are stained with the stink of the city and who have blood on their hands. They are real, live people that are incredibly entertaining.
'Desperate Housewives' is an ensemble cast, where I played a tertiary character. I made a lot of great friends, but that show didn't keep me very busy.
I told myself a while back, 'Love what you do, but don't fall in love with what you do.' That way you won't be brokenhearted if ever it gets canceled five episodes in – which has happened to me.
Thank God there is a such thing as hiatus. We got the first 'Dr. Horrible' done in six days, we banged it out.
My first Comic-Con was when I first met Joss Whedon: He introduced me to that world and I'd never been to a convention before that. He and a bunch of the 'Buffy' and 'Angel' writers were all going down in a big van and he invited me along.
'Castle' isn't really affected emotionally by murder. He's thrilled about, 'Oh, my God, I wonder how this happened?'
I remember when TiVO first came out I was all about TiVo. I came home and that thing was frozen, and I thought 'This is awful. This is the end of the world'. Then I unplugged it, and I plugged it back in, and still frozen. It was paralyzing. I called them. They said, 'Just unplug it longer.' Fixed. But it also taught me I'm an addict.
I'll never look down on and I love running into actors who say 'Oh yeah, I did a soap.' I say 'Tell me which one!' It's like being a member of a secret society.
I have a lightsaber at my front door for home protection. I have an 800-watt electric skateboard that I use to run errands in my neighborhood. It can go about six, seven miles, so depending on how much time I have, and how much I have to carry home, I'll take it really far. I love that thing.
I kind of fell backwards into acting. I was studying to be a high school teacher. I look now and I understand completely, or actually barely, how much work it is to be a teacher. It's an incredible amount of work.
Somebody told me long ago that in acting, it's okay to steal, just steal from the best.
I had a Ford F-250. It was a big ol' farm truck, but it wasn't a rig. That's about the biggest I've ever driven. That's what I drove back and forth to high school. I was a poor guy, and it was a truck that my uncle owned and let me drive because I had no money.
I still buy actual books. The smell, having it in your hands – there's really no substitute.
Oh, boy. I'm still in touch with about 90 percent of my exes. They would describe me as being unlucky in love.
I've kind of learned this about Joss Whedon. Never say never. I've learned that. I also have another rule about Joss Whedon. Never say no. Just… whatever Joss Whedon wants to do, just do it.
I love what I do. And why not be nice? I mean, I've seen people who work and they're apparently not enjoying it, and they're making sure everybody knows it.
There's comedy even in tragedy. There's comedy in life. And in 'Castle', we go for that comedy.
I would love to be employed for the rest of my life… But what I would want to do is things that would frighten me, things that would scare me. I've never done that before; can I do that, can I show them that I can do it?
It's a trap I've fallen into earlier in my career – trying to be liked. Don't do it. When I watch TV and I see someone trying to make me like them, acting cute or quirky or goofy, I'm not impressed. Don't act like America's watching you. Just latch onto your character. Characters are flawed. Be unlikeable. Be flawed. Be a person.
It's so great in Hollywood now. You have people past 40 sitting and talking about serious stuff, writing and making movies and TV, but there's laser pistols and superheroes and alien monsters involved. It's viable and mainstream.
You have a dramatic portion of your television program and you treat it dramatically, and then you have a comedic portion of your program, and you treat it differently. Why do you change who are between the two pieces? You're the same person. Just go.
You know, Castle's the kind of guy that when he meets somebody, that's a connection for him. He remains connected to the people that he meets. That's the kind of guy he is, be they criminals, gangster rappers, mafia guys, art thieves, whoever it is, he nurtures those relationships.
If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to 'Firefly', make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet.
In all my characters, I try to find an iota of myself, and in Castle, I found a lot. He gets away with a lot, so that's fun.
Whatever our bedtime was as kids, we could stay up an extra half hour if we were reading. My parents didn't care as long as I was under the spell of a Stephen King or a Douglas Adams. Now I read in bed. I read at work. I read standing in line. It's like, 'Hello, my name is Nathan and I am a reader.'
Working on 'Drive', a lot of fun. This is Tim Minear whom I've worked with before on 'Firefly' of course. He called me up and said, 'I've got a part for you that you will love,' and I love Tim's writing. I love his stories. I love his characters, his dialogue. He has a knack for reveals and he has a knack for moments.
I'm the biggest geek of all. Adventure, fantasy, comic books – I can't get enough.
When I go to a sci-fi convention, oh God, it's the closest thing to being a rock star I will ever know in this life. I want to be a rock star, don't you? It's a good thing to be, a rock star.
You know, Castle, like anyone else, is a human being first. If you take a human being – especially a vain one like 'Castle' -and you bring in a gorgeous woman and have sparks fly, who can help themselves? What are you gonna do? Sparks happen!
My brain is like a hard drive. Once you start adding new information, you start cutting off old information.
I'm the one who often makes the 'Murder, She Wrote' reference, and ABC hates that, they don't want me to do that. And I say that having never actually watched 'Murder, She Wrote'. I think people have been trying to compare it to crime shows that are on right now, and all I can do is listen. I don't watch a lot of TV.
I consider 'Dr. Horrible' a tremendous success. The fact that it won an Emmy I just think lends validity to what we were doing and the point we were trying to make: taking the power into someone else's hands and changing the world.
I'm constantly pitching one episode where we see life through Castle's eyes. I think Castle's just a little off as far as his perception goes. A very, very clever man, but I want to see the world as Castle sees it – kind of a rose-colored glasses, all the women find him irresistible, all the guys find him super cool and do whatever he says.