|Nathan Fillion is a Canadian actor, currently starring as Richard Castle on the ABC series Castle. He is also known for his 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, voice acted in video games Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach, television soap operas and sitcoms, and in theatre.
Fillion was born in Edmonton, Alberta, the younger son of Cookie and Bob Fillion, both of whom are retired English teachers. He has an older brother, Jeff, 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. According to Fillion, he is descended from Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Anderson Early.
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. 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 the late 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.
He reprised his 1990s role as One Life to Live’s Joey for the series’ 9,999th and 10,000th episodes, aired August 16 and 17, 2007.
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 a Marine 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, a role he briefly reprised in Halo: Reach.
In March 2009, the first episode of the ABC television series Castle aired, in which Fillion stars as the title 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, and for a fifth season on May 10, 2012.
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 will be playing Dogberry in the upcoming independent film Much Ado About Nothing, based on the Shakespeare play of the same name, written and produced by Joss Whedon.
In 2012, he appeared in the episode “The Daly Superheroes” of the web series “The Daly Show.”
On February 17, 2013, Fillion will be hosting the 2013 WGA West Coast Awards.
Fillion co-founded the non-profit organization Kids Need to Read with author PJ Haarsma in 2007 to help inspire kids’ imaginations by getting more books into underfunded libraries.