King of the Castle
Nathan Fillion may be the nicest guy on the planet. It may not come across when he's playing tough-as-nails Captain Mal Reynolds on Firefly, or the dickish Captain Hammer on Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, but on the phone he's as friendly as all get-out. Which is funny, because his new character -- Richard Castle, the crime-solving crime novelist on the new series Castle -- is a bit of a jerk. We sacrificed our queen to get Mr. Castle into position for a one-on-one phone interview, and he gave us the scoop on his new series, the subtle art of jerkery, and where things stand with Serenity 2 and Dr. Horrible. Plus, he's apparently a fan of ours, which only makes him seem nicer.
TWoP: Thank you for your time today!
Fillion: Not at all, I'm a fan of your site. You guys are tough but fair. And really accurate and passionate!
TWoP: Wow! Thank you! Of course, we're big fans of yours.
NF: I've also noticed that, which is [mumbles rest] alsowhyyou'reoneofmyfavorites.
TWoP: I should have known. So who's the bigger jerk, Rick Castle from Castle or Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible?
NF: Captain Hammer is a bigger jerk. He's a super jerk! He's a super-powered jerk -- being a jerk is one of his powers.
TWoP: Is it more fun to play someone who's a bit of a jerk? You seem like you're having a great time on Castle.
NF: Yeah, you know, a long time ago, I was playing a character on a sitcom called Two Guys and a Girl and he was perfect. I was the character of Johnny, he was so perfect, he was really cool and everything. He was very nice, he was the only person who was centered and relaxed on the whole show, and then they say "...okay, and he's a fix-it guy, but he doesn't fix anything right, and he's cheap." And I thought, [high-pitched] "No, don't! My guy's so cool, why would you -- ! I don't wanna do -- ! Aw, man!" I was so disappointed, and then I realized how much funny there is in flaws, and when you just don't know what to do in a moment, play to your faults, your flaws. When I learned that, I became obsessed with flaws, I embraced flaws. No one wants to see a person on TV who's super-ultra-cool. That's Superman, that's a thing of the past. Heroes are now flawed, and have terrible tempers, you know? They're real people.