Cool things I didn’t know about Nathan Fillion

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 3, 2013
Nathon Fillion at Comic-Con, Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Nathon Fillion at Comic-Con, Photo by Gage Skidmore.

I made the mistake of watching “Serenity” before I went to bed last night. That movie is, as Capt. Malcolm Reynolds, would put it a “trap.”

I’m a fan of the idea that “Serenity” director/writer Joss Whedon is our era’s equivalent of Shakespeare. He’s admitted to the Bard being one of his influences. He has an intuitive grasp of language and syntax. He’s also willing to make works of art that have popular mass appeal. Fillion stars in Whedon’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Obviously, Fillion will forever be known for his role as Capt. Malcolm Reynolds in the “Firefly” series and its subsequent big screen adaptation “Serenity.” I definitely see the Shakespearean mechanics at work in Whedon’s script, and Fillion’s interpretation of the character’s lines really sets the tone for that series.

While I was looking all this up, I learned a few other cool things about Fillion.

Did you know that …

1) He could’ve been your high school teacher. 

Fillion studied to become a high school teacher, while pursuing acting. His parents are both English teachers, which might explain his comfort with Whedon’s writing style.

2) He’s descended from a Confederate General.

Fillion was apparently bringing more to his role as Capt. Malcolm Reynolds than his ear for language. He also claims to be a descendant of Confederate General Jubal Early.

Early once famously said, "I aim to misbehave." Photo source: Wikimedia

Early once famously said, “I aim to misbehave.” Photo source: Wikimedia

“Firefly” and “Serenity” are a nod to the American Civil War. Maybe Fillion’s swagger as Capt. Malcolm Reynolds has less to do with his acting skills and more to do with his DNA.

3) He got his start in soaps.

Fillion played the role of Joey Buchanan in the soap opera “One Life to Live.”

4) He was in “Saving Private Ryan.”

I love this movie, and yet somehow this never occurred to me. Fillion does a nice bit of character acting here and if I wasn’t told he was playing the role, I would probably have never picked up on it.


5) In addition to being the voice of Green Lantern, he’s also voiced other heroic cartoon characters.

Fillion was a fan favorite for the movie role but didn’t get the part. We all know how that turned out.

Here are a few of his more notable animated roles.

Brown Widow, “Venture Brothers.”


Steve Trevor, “Wonder Woman.”


Vigilante, “Justice League Unlimited.”


Source: Filmography info courtesy of Internet Movie Database.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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