Nathan Fillion is such a beloved actor that even on “American Housewife,” Katie Otto had to incorporate him in the Spring Gala for her proposal to be accepted by the strict panel. Fillion is mainly known for his roles in “Castle” and “Firefly” but unbeknown to many, the career of the 51-year-old actor began in 1994.
He never planned on being an actor but has proven persistence is an ingredient to success. As a result of his determination, Nathan Fillion’s net worth has grown to $20 million, an amount that is likely to increase before he retires. Here is more on how he achieved his wealth.
Giving Up on His Teaching Aspirations
Fillion grew up in Edmonton, hoping to be a teacher like his parents. He loved how people would walk up to his parents and thank them for changing lives, and that experience inspired him to one day be a teacher. Of course, having English teachers for parents also influenced life at home.
For instance, as he told Parade, he was not allowed to use “eh” despite that being a trait of Canadians. His parents also warned him against using double negatives and split infinitives. To this day, Fillion cannot stand anyone ending a sentence with a preposition.
After attending Holy Trinity Catholic High School, the actor joined the Concordia University of Alberta and later the University of Alberta, aiming to be a high school teacher. He was in the education faculty studying art and drama although Fillion never dreamed of being an actor.
However, he had already developed a love for acting in fifth grade. His parents had transferred him to a different school where the actor became friends with the class clown.
Fillion Stepped in for the Class Clown
For a pupil who had been shy throughout his life, he suddenly came out of his shell when the class clown fell sick, and Fillion had to step in for him.
The feeling of making other people laugh got him excited but he never pursued it until while in college when he started performing with local troupes in Edmonton at the Fringe Festival.
His passion for acting took over his need to be a teacher; thus, attaining the degree became plan B. As a result, he was not as serious with his studies as auditioning for roles.
Consequently, with only four months left to graduate. he left the University of Alberta and moved to New York. He had been trying his luck by sending audition tapes to casting directors but had been unsuccessful.
Luckily, a tape he had sent to Vancouver in 1993 for a Canadian movie somehow found its way to New York, and the casting director of “One Life to Live” told him if he was still interested, they would fax him a script and Fillion would mail the tape to them. Fillion did exactly that, and three weeks later. He was in New York City.
A Lucrative Acting Career
According to an interview Backstage, Fillion had previously been on an improvised soap opera “Die-Nasty” but the work involved with the daytime soap opera “One Life To Live” hardly compared. Still, he outdid himself in the role of Joey Buchanan and was nominated at the Daytime Emmy Awards as an Outstanding Young Actor.
From then on, everything fell into place. After leaving the soap opera, Fillion moved to Los Angeles, where he got five jobs including being cast in “Saving Private Ryan” and “Blast From The Past.” The actor’s lucky streak then ended.
For nearly a year, he was unsuccessful. He survived on credit since waiting tables was no longer an option for the optimistic and ambitious young actor.
Thus, he paid his rent on credit and then waited on tax returns to settle his credit card bills. The light at the end of the tunnel came in the form of becoming a regular on “Two Guys and A Girl,” where he played Johnny Donnelly for 60 episodes.
The Role That Changed his Career
Fillion continued landing different roles, and perhaps the one that got him recognized is Captain Malcolm Reynolds in “Firefly.” He was the lead for the 14 episodes before the hit series was canceled.
According to The Things, the actor even disclosed that his heart still lives in “Firefly” because he made his closes friends there. Fillion’s star was on a meteoric rise because then came “Castle,” where he bagged the main role of Richard Castle.
From 2009 to 2016, Fillion played the lead and reportedly earned $100,000 per episode. This translates to at least $1.73 million for the 173 episodes.
Fillion was also a regular on “Desperate Housewives” for 12 episodes. Although his salary could not be as much as the main cast’s $275,000 back then, he still must have pocketed a substantial sum.
Video Games Voice Overs and Audio Books
Fillion’s love for gaming began as a child. He told Game Informer that when he was a kid, Fillion had a Telestar which would be connected to the television and play Ping Pong. However, his neighbor, Kevin, had a video game system that piqued his interest.
Thus, when Xbox came out, Fillion bought it. He also had Halo in his collection, a game he described as the end-all of gaming for him. His love for gaming was publicly known. He landed a voice-over role in "Halo 3" as Seargent Reynolds in 2007.
A couple of years later, the game producers wanted Fillion to do more than a few lines. He got the role of Seargent Edward Buck. He reprised it in “Halo 5,” but as Spartan Edward Buck.
Although it is unclear how much Fillion received for his voiceover work in the video games, celebrities like Seth MacFarlane reportedly earned $100,000 per episode on “Family Guy.”
Fillion grew up loving books. Even if it was past his bedtime, thirty minutes of reading didn't hurt. It is no surprise that as an adult he was pulled into the world of narration. Fillion did a couple of audiobooks to his name: “World War Z” and “The Salvage Crew.”
Someone like Morgan Freeman charges millions for voiceovers meaning narrations earn him more. Therefore, Fillion’s net worth must have grown when he pocketed earnings from his narrations.
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Written by Allen Lee
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