By Kristal Cooper, theREELaddict.com
You know him, right? Depending on who you talk to, he’s the guy best known for poking out one of Xander’s eyes on BUFFY or as the Dashing Captain Tightpants from FIREFLY. Or maybe you know him as the sheriff charged with defeating an oozy alien species in SLITHER, or if you’re my Grandma, you know him from doing….something on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Inevitably whenever I bring up his name, the response is always the same: “Oh yeah, that guy! I LOVE that guy!”
So why is Nathan Fillion not a huge star? This is a question I asked myself recently as I was rewatching (but not obsessively or anything) WAITRESS, which was one of my favourite films of 2007. In this sweet little confection of a romantic comedy, Fillion plays Dr. Pomatter, a Lloyd Dobler-esque small town doctor who pursues Keri Russell’s titular waitress. I defy both women and men alike to watch Fillion in this role and not fall just a little bit in love with him. The same goes for his role in FIREFLY and its big screen counterpart SERENITY. Captain Mal Reynolds, with his bad boy streak and his heart of gold, is just the guy you want ride through the black with for the rest of your life, swooning all the way.
So again I ask, why is this guy not a gigantic movie star? Below are some reasons I have come up with.
IS HE JUST TOO DARN HANDSOME?
This is a distinct possibility. Maybe “the man” is simply jealous of his rugged good looks. Those limpid blue pools he calls eyes, his broad mountain-man like shoulders, his impish smile. Most people simply do not win the genetic jackpot the way Nathan Fillion clearly has, and that makes them angry and petty.
IS HE TOO FUNNY?
Yes. It just makes people feel insecure about their own inferior wit.
I think I may be on to something here. Fillion’s innate adorable-ness is liable to cause a giggling schoolgirl-like reaction that would make those who are not actually giggling schoolgirls rather uncomfortable. Big-time studio executives probably don’t like to giggle in public.
IS IT BECAUSE HE’S CANADIAN?
And therefore way too nice? If you’re not tossing your cappuccino at your assistant or holding up production until just the right type of organic eggplant is airlifted to your trailer, people just don’t respect you.
NOT MAINSTREAM ENOUGH?
As much I believe in my heart that it’s all of the above reasons, my head is telling me that this is probably the real issue. Whether by choice or necessity, Nathan’s resume is best described as quirky. He may have started his film career playing one of the Private Ryans in the Oscar-winning SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, but the majority of his roles have been in cult favourites or small indie films. While FIREFLY or DR. HORRIBLE’S SING-ALONG BLOG is very near and dear to the heart of many a TV/movie geek, the majority of the population just hasn’t had a chance to get to know our Nathan, and as much as we’d probably like to keep him all to ourselves, it’s a crying shame that the world at large has yet to discover him.With his latest role as the star of ABC’s CASTLE, Fillion is reaching a wider audience than ever before. I predict that he’s on the brink of super-stardom. Today a television detective, tomorrow world domination and you heard it here first.