TV

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

King of the Castle

Edmonton actor Nathan Fillion enjoys both cult and mainstream popularity

  • Print

NEW YORK -- Nathan Fillion is enjoying the best of two worlds. He's the engaging and sexy star of Castle, the hit ABC series about a crime novelist who helps the NYPD solve its toughest cases. And he's a cult legend, thanks to his starring role in the 2002 TV series Firefly, which died a quick death but, thanks to fan pressure, was resurrected as the 2005 film Serenity.

The 42-year-old Edmonton, Alta., native, who has a gift for light comedy, has also been a reliable presence in such well-received indie movies as Slither and Waitress. And in Much Ado About Nothing, director Joss Whedon's engaging contemporary version of the Shakespeare play, Fillion is a hoot in the cameo role of Dogberry, a pompous night constable. (Fillion also voices a character in Monsters University, opening June 21.)

 

Q. How long has it been since you performed in a Shakespeare play?

A. I did Shakespeare in high school, and then I did it when we would go to Joss's house for a Shakespeare brunch. He would cast a play, and we would sit in his backyard with a brunch and read Shakespeare, and he said, "One day, we're gonna film one of these."

 

Q. You're a pretty big guy physically, but you seem to have a really light comic touch in most of the things you do. How did you achieve that?

A. That's something I've learned over the years. It's difficult to make someone laugh, and there's no way to do it without being viewed as you're trying too hard. I've found it's easier to make someone laugh at you. Don't try to be funny, say things as if they're true, even if it makes you look stupid. You don't know you look stupid.

 

Q. So what was it like, performing in that archaic, flowery language?

A. I'm not a huge Shakespeare fan. I have found it to be a little hoity-toity, a little moody. The secret to Shakespeare is understanding it. Sometimes when I watch Shakespeare, I see someone who's just speaking it really fast. But Much Ado About Nothing has a lot of meaning; all you have to do is pay attention, and you will understand. It's not a different acting technique. I was looking at my lines, getting stressed, and then I just took a step back and said I wanted to know exactly what I was saying, and that was the key.

 

Q. You're one of the many Canadian actors who have moved south to make a living in their trade. Why is that?

A. This (Los Angeles) is the entertainment capital. If you want to be in this field, this is where the work is. There is work in other countries, but not as much as here. Is it more difficult? Yeah. Y'all don't want us here. Visas, green cards, that's something that's real. And a lot of us have a regional dialect.

 

Q. What about you is most Canadian?

A. When I am in a crowd, be that in a lineup in a bank, in a restaurant, anyplace where your actions are gonna have an effect on the people around you. There is a Canadian consideration; we try to be more considerate. We are aware of the effect we have on other people.

 

Q. You've just wrapped the fifth season of Castle, and have been renewed for a sixth. To what do you attribute the show's success?

A. It's successful because it's a little lighthearted. We do dramatic episodes, but it's the lighter fare that keeps people coming back. We get some great jokes going.

 

Q. You're also the beneficiary of the Firefly cult, with a fan base that is as rabid now as it was when the show first came out. What's that like?

A. I've done a lot of different projects that have garnered a lot of different fan bases, but I have never experienced anything like the Firefly fan base. They will seek you out in whatever you are doing. They will see whatever you do, and I am very grateful for that. That's a gift Joss Whedon gave me. He knew all along what was happening, because of the successes he had with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He knew what he was doing; he would say, "Get ready, buddy."

 

Q. Since you've worked for Whedon in Buffy, Firefly and now Much Ado, you must know what makes him special. What is it?

A. He is a man who is incredibly talented, and it's obvious he loves to tell stories. You want a successful project, hand it to Joss and walk away.

-- Newsday

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 20, 2013 C6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Weekend springtime weather with Doug Speirs - Apr 19

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings jostle for position to take a drink from a puddle in Brookside Cemetery Thursday morning- Day 23– June 14, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support a proposed ban on tanning beds for youth under 18?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google