Castle Star Nathan Fillion Talks Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
I always thought I had an overdeveloped sense of justice. Now looking back on my comic book days, my world kind of was formed around comic book justice. I think I have a very strong sense of comic book justice. Maybe that has something to do with how you take on a role. I mean, I'm steeped in the history of these characters. I know it and I love it.
Between Firefly/Serenity and Green Lantern, you seem to spend a lot of acting time in space. Did you ever have desires to be an actual astronaut?
I fear space the same way I fear drowning. I would think it would be a little bit claustrophobic. Sure, you have the vastness of space, but yet you're probably going to be in some kind of little miniature (capsule) and, you know, anything could go wrong. I mean. if you're scuba diving, let's say you're 10 feet underwater – if something goes terribly, terribly wrong, you've got 10 feet to swim to the surface, and you're good. If you're in space, you're boned. That's like being in a submarine at the bottom of the ocean. Uh-oh … Oops. (he laughs) Things you don't want to hear in space or in submarines: “Oops.”
Castle is a runaway hit. You’re a cover boy for national magazines with great regularity. There’s never been greater demand for Nathan Fillion. How do you stay humble through all this adoration?
I'll tell you there sure is nothing like being an actor and having something to do every day. Get up 5:00 a.m. – I’ve got someplace to go and I’ve got a place I need to be. I’ve got stuff I gotta do. I’ve got stories I need to tell. This career that I've chosen, I'm employed gainfully in it – so I’m living the dream every day. That's a good feeling. It does good things for how you feel about your choices.
There was a period of time, I'll say it was 1998 approximately, where I didn't work for nearly a year. I was really questioning my judgment. What have I done? I've made a colossal error in judgment. I'm paying my rent on credit. What am I gonna do?
It's a much, much nicer feeling to know that you're doing something -- that you're playing some music that people want to hear. So I'm gonna play these notes – you tell me if you like them and we'll keep playing if you keep liking them. That's a good feeling. It's nice to walk down the street and have someone stop and politely say “I love your show.” That’s always great. As opposed to doing plays, where there’s immediate feedback, you don’t get that so much in television. So it’s really nice to hear. It doesn’t get old.
You’re on the Castle set at least five days a week, upwards of 14 hours each day. Given all that work, what makes you take time – on a Sunday of a holiday weekend – to record the voice of an animated superhero?
I take the time to (voice characters in DCU films) exactly for the reason that it's fun. I get a call saying “Hey, how would you like to come on down to record Green Lantern?” And I’m asking back, “Can we squeeze it in on a Sunday because that's pretty much my only day off?” I want to make it work because I love doing it. More than that, I love being part of this lore. These are great characters – you’ve got Green Lantern, you have Superman, you have Batman, you have the Flash, all these wonderful pieces of American pop culture. And now I've got a little piece. I can say, “Oh yeah, I was Green Lantern for a DVD movie.” Not a lot of people can say that. “Oh, Steve Trevor? Funny you should mention him.” (he laughs) It may sound silly, but it means something to me.
You have been seen – on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, walking around Comic-Con on a Saturday, at your initial Green Lantern recording session – wearing a Green Lantern t-shirt. Did you own that shirt before being cast as Hal Jordan for Green Lantern: Emerald Knights?
Debbie Zoller is the head of my makeup department on Castle. She saw that fan-made Green Lantern trailer and thought the t-shirt would be an appropriate Christmas present. And I wholeheartedly agree with her. I’ve been known to wear a few superhero shirts … and where better than a Green Lantern recording session to wear it today? So thank you Debbie – I told you it would come in handy someday!