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Nathan FillionNathan Fillion - "Slither" Movie - Fangoria Event Panel Report on March 4-5th, 2006
Friday 10 March 2006, by Webmaster
This past weekend, I went to Chicago Fangoria where Nathan was a guest, as was the cast and director (James Gunn) for SLiTHER. Here are some impressions, lazily cobbled together from a few of my posts. Also, assume anything in quotes is paraphrased. I think the quotes are pretty close, but it’s been a few days and I am going off a rather pathetic recall.
THE SLITHER PANEL
James Gunn came out, and introduced the cast one by one. He introduced Nathan as "some guy I met when he was signing autographs at a Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place convention."
Pretty quickly, Nathan took over. He started asking the questions himself, "so tell me, who is your character and how does he relate to Bill Pardy [Nathan’s character]?" The rest of the cast was obviously amused by him, and they frequently burst into giggles. One audience member asked Nathan, "Nathan, Serenity 2, when’s it happening?" and Nathan replied, "Well, here’s the thing. I’ve heard that in order for a movie to get a sequel, it has to make money. My understanding of this might not be clear, but we need people to buy the Serenity DVDs. That’s how the movie got made. So buy them, and they’ll put out more. And I hope all you bastards who bought DVDs for Firefly and Serenity go see SLiTHER." Another person asked him, "what’s your sin?" and Nathan looked a bit confused, and then answered (the reference going over his head), "I’m dirty," going for the BUFFY/Caleb reference, with in turn, sailed over the heads of almost everyone. Then someone asked him if he ever felt typecast as a Texas Preacher. Once again, he looked confused, and said, "what, there was only that one time. Yes. I’m typecast. I also find I’m typecast as a space captain." He was asked why he always seems to get parts where woman are stronger then him, and often beat him up. He said something like, "isn’t that how it is in life?" He then said that he was beat up by James Gunn, who is in fact, "very feminine." When asked about fighting, he said he loves it, but that it gets hard. He said he would be down on the ground, taking a beating, and James Gunn would yell, "’Elizabeth, kick him in the nuts!’, and the cameras weren’t even rolling!" At one point, the actors went around and said what their next project was, and Nathan said he was working on White Noise 2. Someone in the audience yelled, "why?!" Nathan stood up, balled up his fists as though he was going to charge into the audience and beat this guy up, and Michael Rooker pretended to hold him back. Pretty funny reaction to a rude comment.
All in all, he sounded very excited to be doing SLiTHER. It was a bit weird to see how well he interacted with the whole cast—it’s exactly the way I’ve heard he interacts with the people from Firefly. I think that the reason he responds so well to his fellow actors is not just because he loved Firefly, but that’s who he is. Everyone says he was a leader in Firefly, and I got the feeling that’s what the other actors thought of him on SLiTHER, too.
SLiTHER CAST SIGNINGS
After the SLiTHER panel, they started taking people to get autographs audience-row-by-row. I was in the last row that was guaranteed an autograph, and hence, one of the last people to get in. There were a ton of Browncoats, and everyone stayed in their row to get their autograph. By the time my row was able to stand up and get in line, the folks from SLiTHER had been signing for nearly 2 hours.
When I got near to the table, James Gunn, writer and director of SLiTHER, looked over to those of us in line and thanked us for waiting so long. He is a great guy, cute, funny and really warm, and almost as crushable as Nathan. If I didn’t already have a thing for Nathan, I would have one for James Gunn (but he is married, plus I just don’t have time for two obsessions).
Anyway, when I got to Nathan, I managed to make eye-contact, and he asked how I was (Summer asked me how I was at a screening, and I said something really stupid and inane, so I was ready to answer the question a bit more intelligently with Nathan). I said I was doing great and looking forward to seeing SLiTHER. He said great, and I slid over a photo from Firefly (the one with Mal sitting all sexy-like in the captain’s chair, legs all akimbo). He asked me my name, which floored me, because he didn’t personalize the stuff of the people ahead of me. I had to ask him to repeat himself, which he did with a smile.
"Okay, Michelle, one ’L’ or two?"
"Two." (I might have giggled insanely at this point; I don’t remember.)
He signed the photo "Michelle! Stay Shiny! Nathan Fillion"
I then asked if I could get a picture and he said, sure! He stood up, and before I knew what was happening, he slung an arm around my shoulder, grabbed my camera, and took a picture of us. He handed the camera back to me and said, "it’ll turn out great! Thanks for coming."
Then the guy behind me asked for a picture, and as I was grabbing my autographed Mal photo, Nathan and that guy closed in around my arm, and I had squeeze my arm through.
It might not sound like much, but it meant the world to me. I was floored by how genuine and kind Nathan was. He had been signing for almost two hours, and yet he was welcoming and sweet, and I made me feel like I wasn’t just another fan. I cannot express how great he was; all of you who have been lucky enough to meet him, you know what I am talking about. I floated for hours after the signing, and I don’t think my feet have touched the ground since.
(Reading my story over again, it really doesn’t convey just how warm he was. He took his time and didn’t rush, and this was after almost two hours of signing. He was smiling, and looking me right in the eye, and the way he jumped up to get a picture of us both—it was like he understood how much it meant to me. And I know it must have meant a lot to almost every fan in that line, and I know he must’ve made them all feel special, too. Just thinking about it makes me tired for him. What a genuine guy!)
I thought it was great! Really fun, a little creepy, and a couple of "eep" moments. I didn’t think it was too gory, but then, I have a strong stomach for these things. There was one scene where someone gets disemboweled rather creatively, and there are a few people who get their heads shot off, but other then that, nothing too bad.
I thought Nathan was excellent in it, and everyone in the cast shined. It was nice to see a horror movie with a cast who can act. It’s also very funny, and Gregg Henry (who also played the sheriff in "The Train Job") stole every scene he was in.
One thing I really liked was that most everyone gets a hero moment: from Nathan’s hapless sheriff, to the teen girl whose whole family is taken over by the evil slugs. It was refreshing to see a horror where the women aren’t dumb bimbos who are only there to get naked and be killed.
Language is really foul, but that sort of thing doesn’t bother me, and it added to the humor. No nudity except on brief shot of a nipple, and a fat guy’s butt, but none of it is for titillation.
Not one for the kiddies or faint of heart, but if you’ve been on the fence about this one, or if horror ain’t really your thing, go see it. It’s a ton of fun.
I had a lot of fun afterwards watching the actors interact with the fans. Unfortunately, Nathan couldn’t make the screening, but everyone else who did really seemed to enjoy hanging out with the fans, and they posed for photos, answered questions, and Rooker even hoisted a girl on his shoulders.
Good times, good times.