“What could be better than captain of a space ship? I get to ride horses, shoot guns, have adventures …” —Nathan Fillion
Nathan Christopher Fillion was born on this day in Alberta, Canada in 1971. He is 42 years old.
Nathan is the second son born to Cookie and Bob Fillion, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He attended Holy Trinity Catholic High School then went to Concordia University College of Alberta and the University of Alberta. His parents and brother Jeff are all teachers, and Nathan was on the path to becoming one as well, but just before graduation he was offered a role on ABC’s One Life To Live.
He proved very popular as the show’s character Joey Buchanan and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award, as well as a Soap Opera Digest Award, for “Outstanding Young Actor” in 1996. [Nathan Fillion.org]
His first film role was as the “Minnesota” Ryan in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan.
In 1998 he turned a recurring guest appearance as Johnny Donnelly into a permanent role on To Guys, a Girl and Pizza Place. The series ran for three more years.
A character arch as Caleb, a defrocked priest, serial killer and really, really bad guy on Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer helped bring the series to its dramatic finale.
Fillion worked with Whedon again in 2002 on the science fiction series Firefly. He played Captain Malcolm Reynolds,
Once a sergeant in the losing war for independence, Mal captains a team of misfits in smuggling operations on the edge of the galaxy. His main goal in life is to be left alone and avoid the Alliance government—until he discovers (in the movie Serenity), their heavy-handed plan to fix (i.e., medicate and subdue) the world, at which point he aims to misbehave. He’s broken, bitter and faithless. He’s also damn funny and the one person his crew can count on without reservation. [ PasteMagazine.com]
Fox rather famously (and stupidly imho) cancelled the series 11 episodes in, but loyal Browncoats kept the faith. The creative team and cast came together again for the motion picture Serenity in 2005.
He played the “hapless, frustrated hero, Police Chief Bill Pardy” [Nathan Fillion.org] in the campy horror film Slither in 2006. Then went more romantic as an understanding gynecologist in 2007’s Waitress with Keri Russell.
He joined forces again with Whedon (this time with Neil Patrick Harris and Felicia Day) for the three-part musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
You can currently catch Fillion as the mystery novelist turned detective Rick Castle on ABC’s Castle. The series is in its fifth season.