PopMatters.com have been putting the spotlight on Joss Whedon lately, with a series of articles that are both fun and facinating.
They’ve turned their attention to Nathan Fillion:
During a late-2010 science fiction convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia, fans hotly debated the comparative merits of Star Wars’ Han Solo and Firefly’s Mal Reynolds. How to decide which character is most charming or heroic, which is the “best” smuggler, character, or rogue? Both Solo and Reynolds are iconic figures, and Captain Mal often has been compared to his predecessor. Suddenly a call-in fan settled the matter once and for all about the power of Captain Mal.
“Malcolm Reynolds is a man with a plan. Certainly, plans do not always go his way, but he is a man with a plan. Solo, on the other hand, is making it up as he goes along.” Certainly, in this caller’s estimation, Captain Mal is far cooler than his ancestor. The coolness factor of that fan panel immediately rose about a thousand percent, too. The caller? “Captain Mal” himself, Nathan Fillion.
Fillion’s comments are both funny and insightful, a trademark not only of the actor but of many characters he enlivens onscreen. Captain Mal does have a tendency to shoot first—but, really, is that something a traditional SF hero should brag about? That attitude straddles a dangerously thin line between what is heroic and what is villainous—and it perfectly describes many of Fillion’s memorable roles in the Whedonverse. Captain Tightpants. The Big Bad. Hammer Time. Whatever you call him (perhaps King of his Castle nowadays), Nathan Fillion has been a cult TV fixture for nearly a decade, in large part because of his relationship with Joss Whedon.