A Closer Look at…. Nathan Fillion

Hollywood cult hero and darling Mr Fillion’s most recent non-Castle adventure was the crowd funded TV show Con Man, where 2 actors from a prematurely cancelled critically loved  sci-fi TV show with a cult following (we see what you did there you clever shrew) embark on bouncing from Comic Con style convention to convention getting into mischief, is about as A typical of Fillion as we come to expect and really is what he is all about.

Alberta born Fillion’s early career was localised to Canada where in his teens until his early 20’s he did a lot of theatre and television work, notably on the improvised soap opera Die-Nasty. A year later in 1994 Fillion decided to up sticks and move to New York to pursue more opportunities in the big city. It is in this time that he started work on One Life to Live where he ended up being Emmy nominated (but not winning) for ‘Outstanding Young Actor in a Drama Series’. It was less than a year later that he left to concentrate on other projects and expand his horizon even further.

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Fillion clearly is a man that loves the work he does and the people around him/fans do nothing but show it, whether it is Browncoats aiming to misbehave or the quoting some of Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog at him, there is always love for him wherever he goes. An example of these fans repaying in kind is the support shown for Con Man’s IndieGoGo campaign to the tune of $3.1m. This is a massive 635% further funding than they had initially planned to and is an achievement that should not be underestimated.

Something else that comes across from when he speaks about his work is that nothing seems beneath him either. It would be wrong to say he is in the business only for the money (although I’m sure he wouldn’t mind a 7 figure pay check) as he has taken part in small projects such as the adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing and the web series Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog . At one point he was linked with almost every male action lead around (very much how Chris Pratt & Dwayne Johnson is now) and there was even significant fan movement for him to be The Green Lantern instead of Ryan Reynolds and to be cast as Nathan Drake for the Uncharted film adaptation. Sadly neither came to pass but needless to say the guy is popular.

Hardly desperate for work his most recent (critically acclaimed) series he was the co-lead in police procedural ‘Castle‘ and in his time has also made an appearances on shows such as; Desperate Housewives, Community, as a recurring voice character in the Halo games, voice acts the Green Lantern in DC’s animated films and even was one of the GCI prisoners in Guardians of the Galaxy. Mr Fillion’s charismatic talent was clear to see as early as his role as Jonny the handy man in Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place (also where Ryan Reynolds career took off).  This bit part led to him becoming a season regular before moving on to (among other things) a role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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(In case you missed it, Fillion was this guy in GotG)

A self professed total geek (that is in no way derogatory), he has openly admitted always having an affinity for video games and collecting comic books (Spiderman cited as being a favourite) and has never shied away from this lifestyle. While I’m sure he doesn’t mind the amount of dollar he may get from conventions on the face of it he does love what they are all about and in turn makes the experience for fans he meets something special.

Arguably his cult rise to fame came along with all too brief but much loved Firefly and Serenity. Joss Whedon carries a certain amount of TV clout with him, especially post Buffy/Angel finales and so the captain of his new ‘shiny’ Space Western was going to have to be someone pretty capable. Enter Mal Reynolds. He’s confident, charming, balls of brass, sexy as hell, slyly intelligent and the captain of the Firefly Class ship Serenity. Nathan (we’ve graduated to being on a first name basis) gives the character a requisite playfulness and charisma that sets him apart from almost all other sci-fi lead characters out there. I will go as far as to say he is the closest thing to a Han Solo type character as there has been in the past 35 years. He makes the character sympathetic in the face of getting his hands dirty and vulnerable when coming across as strong, versatility is something that never lacks in his performance. He also has the ability to pull off one liners without being cheesy, something sorely underrated in TV. Don’t believe me? Here are some examples.

Granted Fillion isn’t exactly an ‘A’ list celebrity but he is known and doesn’t shy away from the attention it brings him. He gives back to the fans in a way that it would be nice to see more actors doing and isn’t afraid to make a fool of himself to get a laugh for whatever work he might be doing. He is the sort of infectious character it would be nice to see more of and even though Castle has ended it won’t be long until he graces our screens again in some capacity, I can assure you of that.

A final treat for you…

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