Quick, think of the most underrated, under-appreciated Canadian in Hollywood! If you said Céline Dion then I will hunt you down and flog you with a mackerel. The correct answer is Nathan Fillion. This 37 year old, chiseled jaw specimen of a man (my wife made me say that) has an acting career going back to 1993 with several small roles in films and shows you probably never heard of until 1998 in Saving Private Ryan. From there, his career started building, mostly in TV, and he started gaining fanboy support that almost rivals Bruce “The Chin” Campbell.
And just like Campbell, all of his TV shows were canceled. Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place went down after 4 seasons, Firefly (which to this day remains one of the best shows on TV never to finish), the very short lived Drive, and now Castle which almost didn’t have a second season and could be in danger of not seeing a third. Even Fillion was shocked at Castle picking up a second season, to which he “tweeted”:
“I can’t remember the last time I had a second season of ANYTHING. I don’t know if I remember what to do. Step one: go to Canada. Relax.”
It’s that style humor, his nonchalant attitude towards roles and his sly grin that are the main reasons people enjoy watching him on screen. It’s also due to the fact that he works a lot with Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who has a good size cult following in his own right. From Firefly to Serenity, to the WGA strike induced Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Whedon and Fillion go hand-in-hand like chocolate and peanut butter, jam and toast, skittles and mayonnaise.
So what show would Fillion like to be involved in if Castle should ever fall? Well Aaron Hillis at IFC caught up with him and had a great interview which you can read in its entirety here. What would his dream project be and what show would he like to do next?
“If I had a dream project right now, I’d like to grab a hold of a superhero. There are so many superheroes out there, I feel like there’s none left. But there is one I think I could handle, and that’s a redo of “The Greatest American Hero.”
When I heard that Barry Sonnenfeld was considering bringing the bumbling, red tight superhero back to TV screens, I couldn’t help but think that Scott MacIntyre, from this past season of American Idol, would be the best choice visually; but now that Fillion has expressed an interest, I can totally see him playing the character. He doesn’t just want to be the character either; Fillion has some ideas of his own for the series.
With the technology we have available today for effects, I’d say it’s largely the same idea, the same story, but the suit would be able to change and morph into whatever it is you needed him to do. So it could become armor, a scuba suit — you could do that stuff.
Interesting ideas, and if the show gets the correct writers, then I could see it working with Nathan Fillion’s involvement…for at least one season that is.
Fillion also has a new movie coming out in October. Did you know that? It’s called Trucker and he plays Runner, a drinking “buddy” to Michelle Monaghan’s (Mission: Impossible III) truck driving Diane Ford. Written and directed by James Mottern, Trucker follows the story of Ford as she sleeps her way across the country driving a tractor trailer and is suddenly forced to watch the eleven year old son she had pretty much abandoned with her ex-husband (Benjamin Bratt). Watch the trailer for Trucker below:
Fillion turns into Dr. Phil for the next question about unconventional relationships between men and women (Runner is sleeping with Ford while he is married to another woman.)
IFC: Some people believe that men and women can’t be just friends when there’s any chemistry between them. Would you agree?
Fillion: No, I don’t agree. I think when there’s chemistry, you know if there’s going to be some sort of compromising. You can know that. I like to think I’m able to draw the line. When it comes to married women, or if you’re in a relationship yourself, I try to keep myself out of situations that would force me to make decisions that could [lead] to trouble.
Is everyone in NBA, NFL, MLB and every other sport with an acronym paying attention? A-Rod and Kobe, he’s talking to you. Good sound advice from a Hollywood type. And how does he feel about working with his co-star Monaghan?
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. Michelle’s as serious as a heart attack about her work. She’s just very, very natural. You don’t need to have a huge role to attack. She attacks what is seemingly a small character.
And what does Fillion think about all of his and Whedon’s fans when he meets them conventions?
One thing I can say about Joss’ fans is that they’re dedicated, passionate, intelligent and very excitable. If you go to a sci-fi convention and there’re 3,000 of them in a room, one of them is going to get a little riled up and ask you to take off your pants. I’m a pretty reasonable man. I don’t let things get too far out of hand. I try not to mix fans and booze. I keep a lid on things.
I tell you what; the man is just full of good advice. I swear I will never take my pants off again when a room full of sci-fi fans asks me to. If you haven’t had a chance to watch Castle, give it a shot. Fillion brings the same sly humor and attitude to the show as he does to everything else his does. Hopefully, Nathan Fillion will be around for many years to come and will continue to get back on the horse even when the ratings bronco throws him to the ground.
Do you like Nathan Fillion’s work and what roles, TV or movie, could you see him playing?
Trucker opens in limited release October 9th, 2009.