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Fillion talks Mal and family

Hat tip to Jeffrey Overstreet for this USA Today blog piece that excerpts a portion of a book of essays about fav-sci-fi-series-of-this-blog Firefly. In this particular one, Nathan Fillion talks about his experience playing Malcolm Reynolds, the ship's captain:
What satisfied, and impressed, me most was the process of discovery. Putting a scene together with actors who could find the real life, the moments that define characters and the relationships that live between the lines. I didn’t just watch; I was living it. Right there. Though for only moments at a time, I could be Mal. I couldn’t help it. You’ve got everyone dressed up, in the cargo bay, looking at, talking to, and treating me like I’m the captain. There were strange moments, weird suspended seconds when I bought it all. If you have ever watched an episode and felt a connection with a character, felt he was speaking to you, or for a moment were somehow transported and felt you were on the ship listening to the conversation beside you -- that’s the feeling. Those instants that take you away, pull you in. I WAS THERE. I lived those moments. I got my ass saved by Zoe so many times. I mooned over Inara. I hit Jayne with a wrench. There were moments I could believe it. You’d have believed it, too, thanks to Joss. Looking at Kaylee, I could tell what kind of man Mal was. Speaking to Zoe, I could tell what kind of leader Mal was. Arguing with Wash and Jayne, I knew the limits of Mal’s patience. They made me Mal. Looking back, I know now that everyone in the cast was, in essence, his or her character. What makes Jayne so Jayne, is that Adam is a Jayne. Jewel is a free spirit who was cast as a free spirit. Alan is a clever smart ass who questions authority. Ron once gave me the shirt off his back (true story -- still a favorite of mine), Gina is alluring and powerful, Morena is elegant, Summer is grace, Sean owes me money. . . .

There is something in those characters that people identify with. I see it in people’s faces when they try to convey to me why or how it hit home for them. A specific episode, a moment, or a line that was particularly truthsome to them. Others have trouble putting their finger on it, but I see in their eyes a little Firefly burning. I understand, my friend. You ask me? It’s family. A group of people who, though flawed, would cross through hell for each other. For you. You’re feeling what I was feeling. I understand. I was the captain.
Indeed, this is part of what made the series resonate so strongly with me. The characters--all so different--blended into a community. They each brought gifts and purpose to the group. It was a family that allowed that, sometimes grudgingly, sometimes with open arms. It was a rag-tag family that helped each other to be the people they were created to be and had the potential to be and urged them to embrace that.

It is something many of us long for with good reason--it is the way we were created to live.

(Image: copyrighted by 20th Century Fox via Wikipedia) fireflyctgy

Comments

KEANAN BRAND said…
I love this show. I've just about worn out my Firefly DVDs. The same with Serenity. The characters are fun, solid, and intriguing. The dialogue is great.

I admire many writers, but only a few make me want to write just like they do. Mr. Whedon is one of those.
Carmen Andres said…
keanan, thanks for stopping by again! and i agree with you, whedon is one of the better out there.