Some actors stick with you. Whether they start off in bits and pieces before landing a lead role and suddenly have you thinking “Where on EARTH have I seen them before?!”, or they just pop up out of the blue and instantly impress.
Canadian heart-throb Nathan Fillion is such a person. Now a veteran star, Fillion made his first notable (yet fleeting) appearance in Saving Private Ryan – unfortunately he wasn’t the Private Ryan Tom Hanks was looking for.
Fillion has gone from strength to strength ever since, so we decided to celebrate his modest achievements by celebrating the five very best things about him.
- He always looks the part
Much credit should go to the costume designers, but there’s no doubt Fillion’s costumes suit him down to the ground. The ruffian Mal Reynolds (Firefly) avoids the obvious Han Solo parrallels not only with Fillion’s well-worn and loose costume, but also the way he carries himself in it – naturally, far from the 70’s swagger of Harrison Ford. Likewise Fillion’s turn as the charismatic writer Richard Castle (Castle) is accompanied by an attire to reflect the character – smart but playful. It’s touches like this which give his performances such effortless-ness.
- His voice suits every occasion
Despite the danger of geographical stereotyping from his upbringing, Fillion’s voice is diverse and effective in all situations. Whether it’s making a emotional stand on Haven in Serenity as it is accompanied by the panicked look of backwater cop Bill Pardy (Slither) as he runs from alien slugs, Fillion commits, and as a bonus he has a particularly good handle on sarcasm. Of particular note is his role as squad leader Buck in Xbox 360 game Halo 3: ODST, which re-united him with some of his fellow cast members from Firefly.
- His has a rebellious attitude
Some could argue it’s Mal rather than Fillion who has the lions share of attitude, but enough can be seen through Fillions repertoire for it to be more than just coincidence. Fillion is a joker and a rebel in real life as much as he is on screen. He once played April fools jokes on his fans through Twitter (@NathanFillion) by saying his cat Spartacus has been killed by coyotes. In one interview Fillion admits to ordering a kit from Amazon to deal with a stray bit of skin on one of the Castle crew’s arm just because he felt like it – talk about devil may care.
- He’s always the underdog
Despite his obvious talent, Fillion hasn’t had enduring success until he began Castle in 2009 – reaching a landmark fourth series with the mystery-solving writer. Fillion might have had to fight and be patient, but that didn’t stop people noticing him along the way. Firefly was famously cancelled after one season, and it was so popular on DVD that it returned on the big screen in the form of Serenity. Luckily, the whole cast returned, but it’s difficult to imagine the film flying without Fillion in particular. Fillion seems happy enough flying below the radar though, even poking fun at himself by dressing up as Mal for halloween in Castle.
- He’s just a genuine, funny guy
All of which leads us to an inevitable conclusion – Fillion is just as fun and interesting a person as the characters he plays. He manages to make a strong first impression on his first appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live (see below), quickly building rapport and coming across honestly, with quips abound. Some of his strongest comedic work is also his latest, since the cheeky personality of Richard Castle, which at times seems little more than a thin veil for his own trickster sensibilities, allows him to have plenty of fun with co-star Stana Katic (Detective Kate Beckett).
For those who haven’t had the fun of watching Fillion on screen, there is plenty to discover, but for the rest of us, we look forward earnestly to his next adventure. Keep up the good work Nathan.
Nathan Fillion on Jimmy Kimmel Live:
Nathan Fillion PSA: