Two decades into his acting career, Nathan Fillion has his hands full with projects across different mediums. However, by now, he is also aware of the impermanence of success in showbiz. From dropping out of college just three months before graduating to using Twitter to connect with his fans on a global scale, the actor speaks exclusively to HT Café over the phone about his journey in the international entertainment industry.
You have been quite vocal about your days as a struggling actor in Los Angeles, USA. What did that period teach you?
Before I moved to Los Angeles, I met Demi Moore (Hollywood actor), and she gave me a piece of advice. She said, “When you audition, and don’t get any roles, don’t take it personally.” I didn’t know what she meant until a year later, when I was auditioning constantly, but not getting any jobs. Then I realised that after a while, you tend to make it personal. One guy will tell you that you’re too tall. The next one will tell you that you’re too short. The only thing you can do is control what you can control. For me, it’s all about being prepared and making great choices; those things are within my control.
What is your work philosophy?
Acting is easy, making a choice is easy, but making the right choice is hard. I try to stay away from stereotypes. I generally try to be a pleasant person to work with... that actually goes a long way.
You dropped out of college just months before completing your course. Why?
I got a call from New York, saying, “Do you want to work for a TV show? It starts right now.” I said, “Yeah.” I had three months to go, and I dropped out of school to try out this new job. Things worked out pretty well. So far, I’ve been lucky. This has been an incredible adventure. I’ve been all over the world; I’ve met some great people, and I’ve been able to do what I love to do for a living — tell stories.
You are quite the charmer on-screen as well as off-screen. Right from painting a former girlfriend’s toenails to taking another one’s kid (actor Krista Allen’s son, Jake) to a movie premiere — your charming gestures often make news. What relationship advice would you give people?
People always mistake charming for ‘show-arming’. They want to ‘show’ how interesting they are. But being interesting isn’t being charming, being interested is. I’ve met big superstars. They make you feel like you are special. They are movie stars, but they make you feel like you are the special guy. I think that is really charming. Make someone feel special, that’s the key.
What else is keeping you busy these days?
I’ve got a number of video games out there. I do the voice-over for Green Lantern in Justice League; I also play a character in the game, Halo: Guardians. I also worked on a crowdfunded project with Alan Tudyk (American actor) called Con Man.
Watch: The Big Bang Theory: Selfie with Nathan Fillion
You asked the videogame makers to make you look better recently. As someone who faces the camera for a living, how important is looking good for you?
(Laughs) My secret to my good looks is keeping my distance. If you get too close, you’ll start to say, “Your nose is pretty big, and it’s crooked too.” If you get closer, everybody’s ugly. I just want to be comfortable. I don’t want to show up to an event underdressed, but I’m not a huge fan of neckties either.
You are considered one of the wittiest people on Twitter…
It’s an incredible way to connect with your fans, to learn what they want, their likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams. Twenty years ago, things weren’t like that. Neither the celebs nor the fans had access to each other like this. Thanks to social media, we have also raised over a million dollars for charitable causes through fans who are willing to help. My account is my access card to all my fans.
What would you like to tell your fans in India?
When I do come to visit, be really nice to me.