Calgary·Q&A

Firefly's Nathan Fillion talks Canadian fans, Castle and the Netflix bump

Nathan Fillion says Canadian fans give him a “swell of national pride,” Netflix has created a new generation of Firefly fans and he jumps at any chance to work with directors like James Gunn.

'I jump at any chance to work with people I love,' says the Edmonton-born actor

Nathan Fillion is set to appear at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo Friday thru Sunday. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/The Associated Press)

Nathan Fillion says Canadian fans give him a "swell of national pride," Netflix has created a new generation of Firefly fans and he jumps at any chance to work with directors like James Gunn.

The Edmonton-born actor spoke with The Homestretch ahead of his appearance at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.

Here's an edited version of that interview:


Q: What's it like meeting fans in person at conventions?

A: You know what, I am always pleasantly surprised. People are always polite and excited. The convention itself is an exciting thing that people have been anticipating and the energy there is positive and excited and it's always good.

However, culturally I see there are differences across the board as to how people react to you. I am always refreshed, no matter how polite and wonderful I find any country, when I come back to Canada.

It always just feels really good when everybody is really super, duper cool to me, I feel a swell of national pride.

Q: Contrast the San Diego Comic-Con and the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.

A: San Diego Comic-Con isn't much of an opportunity to meet and greet the fans. That's more so a lot of press, whereas I can go to Calgary, it's a lot more of one-on-one — an intimate room of me and just 7,000 people.

Q: Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds in Firefly seemed to really resonate with fans. Why do you think there has been such an enduring following?

A: First of all, thank God. Second, I think it is because all of these Firefly fans suffer from the same excellent taste that I do.

I have always loved Firefly. What makes somebody love a show and what makes a show great? I wish I knew. I think, in my humble opinion, is that Firefly, although it is a sci-fi western set in space with horses and guns and spaceships, it is always just about people and making choices.

I think people really enjoy that about the show and I know I do too.

Q: Firefly is now on Netflix. How has that affected its reach?

A: I am meeting literally a new generation ... because they have been generating these Firefly fans, which is great, the more the merrier.

Q: Many fans loved your work as Richard Castle in Castle. Talk about that.

A: That was a first for me and it's incredible.

I have never been able to attack a character for that long, to attack a job. It's hard not to invest in any job you do, but try not to invest in a job you did for eight years.

It gets pretty near and dear.

Q: What was your experience with the sitcom Modern Family?

A: It's like if a bunch of friends got together and said, 'Hey, let's put on a show in the barn' only it's like super, duper, polished.

They crank things out so quickly and so professionally. They know what they are doing. They hit the ground running all of the time. 'And go, and we are done.' You are home by 4 o'clock in the afternoon. That is a very different experience for me.

More importantly, they are super kind to their guest stars which was me. They are really nice to me.

Q: While your cameo was cut from the final release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, talk about working with directors like James Gunn.

A: I jump at any chance to work with people I love.

I have been fortunate enough that those friends of mine, who are in those positions, just so happen to be guys like James Gunn, who handles these major motion pictures.

He just calls you up and says, 'Hey, can you come down for an afternoon.' 'Absolutely, yes sir, yes sir I can.'

It's just having fun with your friends.

Nathan Fillion is set to appear at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo Friday thru Sunday.

With files from The Homestretch

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