Fillion at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in July 2014
March 27, 1971 |
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Nathan Fillion (//; born March 27, 1971) is a Canadian-American actor and voice actor best known for his role as Richard Castle on the ABC series Castle, as well as his earlier portrayal of the lead role of Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the television series Firefly and its feature film continuation, Serenity.
He has acted in traditionally distributed films like Slither and Trucker, Internet-distributed films like Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, television soap operas and sitcoms, and theater. Fillion has also voiced several video games, including the Bungie titles Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Destiny, along with the 343 Industries video game Halo 5: Guardians.
Fillion was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the younger of two sons of Bob Fillion and Cookie Fillion née Early, both retired English teachers. Both sides of his father's family were part of the Quebec diaspora in Fall River, Massachusetts and his mother had a Norwegian maternal grandfather and a Finnish maternal grandmother. Fillion was raised in Edmonton's Mill Woods and attended Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Concordia University College of Alberta, and the University of Alberta, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Society. Since 1997 he is an American citizen.
After working in several theatre, television, and film productions, including Theatresports with Rapid Fire Theatre and the improvised soap opera Die-Nasty, Fillion moved to New York City in 1994 where he acted in the soap opera One Life to Live as Joey Buchanan, for which he was nominated in 1996 for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series. In 1997, he left the series to pursue other projects (but would return for a brief guest appearance in 2007).
After moving to Los Angeles, he played a supporting role in the sitcom Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place, and was cast as James Frederick "The Minnesota" Ryan in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. Fillion had a recurring role as Caleb in 2003 in the final five episodes of the final season of Joss Whedon's series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In 2002, Fillion starred as Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the Joss Whedon science fiction television series Firefly, for which he won the Cinescape Genre Face of the Future – Male award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA. Fillion also won the Syfy Genre Awards in 2006 for Best Actor/Television and was runner-up for Best Actor/Movie. Fillion called his time on Firefly the best acting job he ever had, and compares every job he has had to it. Although the show was cancelled, it was adapted to the big screen; he reprised his role as Mal in Whedon's movie Serenity (2005).
Fillion lent his voice to the animated series King of the Hill in 2001, the video game Jade Empire (as the voice of Gao the Lesser), and the animated series Justice League Unlimited (as Vigilante in the episodes "Hunter's Moon" and "Patriot Act") in 2005 and 2006. He portrayed Green Lantern/Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Justice League: Doom, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. Fillion starred in James Gunn's 2006 horror film Slither. For his starring role as Bill Pardy, he garnered a 2006 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards nomination in the category of Dude You Don't Wanna Mess With.
Fillion starred in the romantic comedy film Waitress, written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2007, and opened in theaters on May 2, 2007. Waitress grossed $22,125,001 in worldwide sales as of May 13, 2008, and $29.22 million in rentals as of January 28, 2008. Fillion starred in White Noise 2: The Light. He made one appearance in the 2006–2007 season of the television show Lost, as Kevin, Kate's ex-husband.
In October 2006, Fillion signed a talent holding contract with the Fox Broadcasting Company, and in December 2006, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Fillion was cast as Alex Tully in the series Drive, which debuted on Fox in the spring of 2007. Drive was created by Fillion's longtime friend and former Angel and Firefly writer Tim Minear. Ivan Sergei played Alex Tully in the original pilot episode of Drive. The first two Drive episodes premiered on April 13, 2007, in Canada (April 15, 2007 in the United States). However, the show did not deliver the ratings Fox desired, and on April 25, 2007, the network announced that the series was cancelled. The final two produced episodes were supposed to air back-to-back on Fox in July 2007 but did not actually become available until July 15 when they were posted on the Drive MySpace page.
Fillion joined the cast of ABC's Desperate Housewives at the beginning of the fall 2007 season as Dr. Adam Mayfair. His first appearance was in the episode "Now You Know", which aired on September 30, 2007.
He voiced the role of an ODST Gunnery sergeant in the Xbox 360 game Halo 3, alongside fellow Firefly stars Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin. At one point early in the first mission, he identifies himself as "[Sergeant] Reynolds" over the radio, referring to his character's name from the TV series Firefly. All three actors are given personalities in the game that match those of their characters from Firefly. He provides the voice and portrayed likeness for Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck in Halo 3: ODST, Halo 5: Guardians, and a brief appearance in Halo: Reach.
In March 2009, the first episode of the ABC television series Castle aired, in which Fillion stars as the titular character Richard Castle, a mystery novelist who helps the NYPD solve crimes. In May 2009, ABC green-lit the production of the series for a second season. In 2009, Fillion was nominated for Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama for his performance in Castle. On March 30, 2010, ABC announced that Castle had been renewed for its third season with a 22-episode full-season order. Castle was renewed for a fourth season on January 10, 2011, a fifth season on May 10, 2012, a sixth season on May 10, 2013, and a seventh season on May 8, 2014.
BuddyTV ranked him #10 on its list of "TV's 100 Sexiest Men of 2009", #19 in 2010, #20 in 2011 and #39 in 2012; #7 on its list of "The 15 Best Drama Lead Actors of the 2011-2012 TV Season"; named his character's relationship with the other main character as #18 (and the Best Flirting Relationship) on its list "Love Is All Around: Best TV Relationships of 2010", #13 (and the Best Delayed Relationship) on its list of "The Best Relationships of 2011", #15 on its list of "The Special Relationships: TV’s Top 50 Love Stories of the Past Decade", #1 on its list "Love... Or Not: The Top 12 Will-They-or-Won't-They Couples of 2012" and #2 on its list "Lip Smacking Good: The Best Kisses of 2012"; named Castle as #6 on its list of "The 11 Best Returning TV Shows of 2011", #11 on "The 15 Best Dramas of the 2011-2012 TV Season" and #12 on "The 12 Best Dramas of 2012".
Fillion was featured in a spoof porn web video on Spike called "Nailing Your Wife", part of the PG Porn series. Fillion made a brief cameo appearance in the season 5 episode "Revolving Doors" of the web series The Guild. In late September 2011, Fillion guest starred as the Action Sports 1 anchor in the web series Husbands. He played Dogberry in the independent film Much Ado About Nothing (2012), based on the Shakespeare play of the same name, written, directed and produced by Joss Whedon.
Since 2011, Fillion has appeared as the recurring Space Western character Cactoid Jim in performances of the podcasted live show The Thrilling Adventure Hour, a stage show premised on the idea that actors are performing as characters in a radio show. The character of Cactoid Jim first appeared as part of the recurring segment "Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars", but was soon given his own segment, called "Cactoid Jim: King of the Martian Frontier". Fillion has advertised his participation as a guest star on The Thrilling Adventure Hour by means of including filmed elements of the live show on the DVD set for season 4 of Castle.
In contemporary culture
Fillion has been associated with the public artist Martin Firrell since 2009. Fillion is the subject of two works of contemporary public art by the artist: Complete Hero (digital projections of text and video portraiture to the West and North elevations of the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London, 2009) and Metascifi (digital app investigating American television science fiction series for ideas and strategies for living well).
Fillion was the 'face' of Complete Hero. The artist explained the choice of Fillion as follows: "I wanted to make a piece of work that looked at all kinds of heroism, not just the usual derring-do of white square-jawed men. But I thought it would be interesting to start with a white, square-jawed man and Nathan Fillion agreed to take part."
In Metascifi, Fillion discusses the deeper significance of his Firefly character Captain Mal Reynolds, reflecting on some of the universal preoccupations of any human life: death, love, evil, intimacy, power, vulnerability, violence and freedom.
Fillion has an older brother, Jeff, principal of St. Elizabeth Seton Roman Catholic Elementary/Junior High School in Edmonton.
|1994||Strange and Rich||Walter Hoade|
|1998||Saving Private Ryan||Pvt. James Frederick 'Minnesota' Ryan|
|1999||Blast from the Past||Cliff|
|2000||Dracula 2000||Father David|
|2003||Water's Edge||Robert Graves|
|2004||Outing Riley||Luke Riley|
|2005||Serenity||Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds|
|2007||White Noise: The Light||Abe Dale|
|Waitress||Dr. Jim Pomatter|
|2009||Wonder Woman||Steve Trevor (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2010||Super||The Holy Avenger|
|2011||Green Lantern: Emerald Knights||Hal Jordan / Green Lantern (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|2012||Justice League: Doom||Hal Jordan / Green Lantern (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|The Patriot of America||Captain James Slade (voice)|
|Much Ado About Nothing||Dogberry|
|2013||Monsters University||Johnny Worthington III (voice)|
|Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox||Hal Jordan / Green Lantern (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters||Hermes||(replacing Dylan Neal)|
|2014||Party Central||Johnny Worthington III (voice)||Short film|
|Guardians of the Galaxy||Monstrous Inmate (voice)||Cameo|
|2015||Justice League: Throne of Atlantis||Hal Jordan / Green Lantern (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|Highway of Tears||Narrator||Documentary|
|2016||Henchmen||Captain Superior (voice)||Filming|
|2017||Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ||Simon Williams||Filming; cameo|
|1993||Ordeal in the Arctic||Master Warrant Officer Tom Jardine||TV film|
|1994–97; 2007||One Life to Live||Joey Riley Buchanan|
Episode: "A Star Is Born"
|1997||Total Security||Troy Larson||Episode: "Das Bootie"|
|1998||Maggie Winters||Ronald||Episode: "Mama's Got a Brand New Bag"|
|1998–2001||Two Guys and a Girl||Johnny Donnelly||60 episodes|
|1999||Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits||Michael Ryan||Episode: "Star Crossed"|
|2001||King of the Hill||Frisbee Guy (voice)||Episode: "Luanne Virgin 2.0"|
|2002||Pasadena||Rev. Glenn Collins||3 episodes|
|2002–03||Firefly||Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds||14 episodes|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Caleb||5 episodes|
|Miss Match||Adam Logan||6 episodes|
|2004||Hollywood Division||Det. Tommy Garrett||Pilot|
|2005–06||Justice League Unlimited||Vigilante (voice)||3 episodes|
|2006||Lost||Kevin Callis||Episode: "I Do"|
|2007||Drive||Alex Tully||6 episodes|
|2007–14||Robot Chicken||Various voices||5 episodes|
|2007–08||Desperate Housewives||Dr. Adam Mayfair||12 episodes|
|2009–2016||Castle||Richard Castle||Main role; 173 episodes|
|2010–16||Venture Bros., TheThe Venture Bros.||Brown Widow / Jared (voice)||4 episodes|
|2012||American Dad!||Joel Larson / Joe Kidney / American Businessman Klaus (voices)||2 episodes|
|2013||Writers Guild of America Awards 2012||Host||Television special|
|2014–15||Community||Bob Waite||Episodes: "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking" (2014) and "Ladders" (2015)|
|2014–16||Gravity Falls||Preston Northwest (voice)||4 episodes|
|2015||The Big Bang Theory||Himself||Episode: "The Comic Book Store Regeneration"|
|Kroll Show||Mountie McMinniman||Episode: "Twins"|
|Drunk History||Wernher Von Braun||Episode: "Space"|
|2016||Talking Dead||Himself||Season 6, episode 10|
|2016||Modern Family||Rainor Shine||3 episodes|
|2017||Santa Clarita Diet|
|2008||Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog||Captain Hammer||Internet miniseries|
|James Gunn's PG Porn||Chris||Episode: "Nailing Your Wife"|
|2011||Morning After, TheThe Morning After||Himself||Episode: "1.173"|
|The Guild||Himself||Episode: "Revolving Doors"|
|The Nerdist: Year in Review||Himself||Season 1, Episode 2|
|2011||Husbands||Anchor||Episode: "Being Britney!"|
|2012||The Daly Show||Himself||Episode: "The Daly Superheroes"|
|Neil's Puppet Dreams||Dr. Mayfair||Episode: "Doctor's Office"|
|2015–||Con Man||Jack Moore|
|2005||Jade Empire||Gao the Lesser (voice)|
|2007||Halo 3||Sergeant Reynolds (voice)|
|2009||Halo 3: ODST||Gunnery Sergeant Buck (voice)|
|2010||Halo: Reach||Gunnery Sergeant Buck (voice)|
|2014||Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff||Himself (voice)|
|2015||Saints Row: Gat out of Hell||God (voice)|
|Destiny: The Taken King||Cayde-6 (voice)|
|Halo 5: Guardians||Spartan Edward Buck (voice and motion capture)|
|2016||Con Man: The Game||Jack Moore (voice)|
|2013||World War Z||Stanley McDonald (voice)|
Awards and nominations
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- Littleton, Cynthia (May 15, 2009). "ABC's pilot pickup spree". Variety.
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- "TV's 100 Sexiest Men of 2012". BuddyTV. December 3, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
- "The 15 Best Drama Lead Actors of the 2011-2012 TV Season". BuddyTV. June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- "Love Is All Around: Best TV Relationships of 2010". BuddyTV. December 14, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
- "The Best Relationships of 2011". BuddyTV. December 8, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "The Special Relationships: TV's Top 50 Love Stories of the Past Decade". BuddyTV. November 26, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
- "Love... Or Not: The Top 12 Will-They-or-Won't-They Couples of 2012". BuddyTV. December 8, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
- "Lip Smacking Good: The Best Kisses of 2012". BuddyTV. December 13, 2010. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- "The 11 Best Returning TV Shows of 2011". BuddyTV. December 12, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "The 15 Best Dramas of the 2011-2012 TV Season". BuddyTV. June 15, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- "The 12 Best Dramas of 2012". BuddyTV. December 11, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
- "Nailing Your Wife". Spike.com. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- "Revolving Doors". Watchtheguild.com. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
- "HUSBANDS 3: Being Britney!". Blip. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
- "MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING" (PDF). MuchAdoTheMovie.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 13, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
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- SheltonFilms.com. "The Daly Superheroes". Retrieved April 10, 2012.
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- "The Hero Outside". London. November 9, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- "The Art and Philosophy of Star Trek and Stargate, SFX Magazine". London. January 18, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
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