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Nathan Fillion Talks About "Serenity"

On Working with Joss Whedon and "Firefly's" Cancellation


Firefly DVD

The Cast of Joss Whedon's "Firefly" Series

20th Century Fox
Nathan Fillion discusses working on the much-anticipated "Serenity" movie in this interview from the premiere of "In Good Company:"

NATHAN FILLION INTERVIEW ('Capt. Malcolm Reynolds'):

How much do audiences have to know about “Firefly” before watching “Serenity?”
They set up the movie in such a way that somebody just walking in off the street who’d never seen “Firefly” could actually enjoy “Serenity.” But knowing that there’s a DVD set available, I would feel that it would make a lot of sense – a lot more sense – to go get the DVDs, or borrow someone’s DVDS, or rent them, however you want to do it, but invest in the characters before you get into that movie because then you can start loving them off the top. You don’t have to spend any time getting to know them or getting to understand who they are. You can have a history on everybody and a lot of things will make more sense. You’ll just know the characters are being true to themselves, and true to who they are, and true to their relationships, if you’ve seen the DVDs and know their histories.

How does working with Joss on the TV series compare to working with him on the movie? Was there much a change in how he handled things?
It’s exactly the same with the exception of the level of pride we have is far higher. Our sin is pride. We had the sin of pride doing that movie. We were so happy to be back together, number one. And to be doing “Firefly” or “Serenity” again.

Speaking of that, why is it “Serenity” instead of “Firefly?”
Because “Firefly” was the name of the TV show, and it’s no longer a TV show. It’s a permutation of that.

Will there be a "Serenity" sequel?
If this first movie does well… We’re all roped into a trilogy. We all signed for a trilogy so if this first one does well, we’re going to do two more.

So let’s say you do three movies, can you go back and do a “Firefly” TV series again after that?
I hope so. Daddy’s got bills to pay!

What was the most exciting day on the set?
Day #1 would be extremely exciting. I got to do a lot of stunts. I got to do a lot of adventurous stuff. On the series we had a little ATV, a little 4-wheeler that we used to ride around on. In the movie, it’s a big old hovercraft and I got to drive that thing around and smash it up and crash it. We had a great time. I got to shoot people. It’s always exciting when you shoot people (laughing). Any kind of stunt day is extremely exciting. Working with Chiwetel Ejiofor, what a talented man. Working with him is always very exciting. And it was always good whenever we had the whole cast, when the cast was assembled together. We would be in the kitchen and it would be just like old times. A couple of things were a little bit different with the sets and whatnot, but it was just like old times.

How did Joss balance all these characters?
Oh, now you’re asking a question to me that I... Joss is a brilliant man. He’s one of those guys that is so very, very clever, he can leave you in the dust intellectually. But he’s one of those guys that keeps his feet on the ground and doesn’t ever make you feel stupid. He’s far more intelligent than I. How he does it? I don’t know. If I could kill him and take that talent I would.

Does he allow you to play much with his words, or does he hold you tightly to the script?
The words are completely his. He’s very clever with his words and there’s a certain kind of Joss-speak, “Firefly”-speak, that we were using. What with the Chinese and the old-timey Western talk, almost a Southern feel but no accent. There’s a lot of weird things going on. But the words are all his. Every once in a while I would come up with an idea and say, “I’m going to try doing this.” He’d say, “Oh, I love that!” or “When you do that thing…not so much.” (Laughing) Or, “That was awesome except for the part where you did something on your own. I don’t know what you were thinking.”

Is "Serenity" going to be Universal’s big movie of 2005?
Let’s hope. Well, we were going to open in April, we got pushed back to September. A couple of big blockbusters – I say a couple of big blockbusters but there’s like a monumental amount of movies coming out around April and the summertime. And they didn’t want “Serenity” to be that movie that was really great but nobody ever heard of it because it got lost. So they pushed it back to September and said, “We’re going to push it past all the summer blockbusters. By the time it comes around, everybody will be ready.”

How much do you credit the Internet and the “Firefly” fan base with getting “Serenity” made?
I credit Joss Whedon number one. I credit the fans number two. I credit the Internet number three – with a close tie for third with the DVD series.

Why did they cancel the series so early on when it didn't get a chance to find an audience?
This is the question that everybody asks me. If I knew the whys and wherefores of studio producers and production, I’d be a smarter man and get paid more than I do - Which is $50. That’s my going rate (laughing).

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