Monday Hunk Who Reads – Nathan Fillion

By Flickr user RavenU ( [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Flickr user RavenU ( [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Nathan Fillion

Those of you who know me well may wonder why I haven’t featured Geek God Nathan Fillion before. Well, he was one of the first I looked up when I thought of this weekly feature, but I couldn’t find a picture of him holding a book other than a Richard Castle book.

Fortunately my kick-a$$, ninja searching skills have improved since, and I was able to find these lovelies for you. Also, I will try my darndest not to go all fan-girrl. Okay, deep breath.

For those living under a rock who don’t know who he is, he played Capt. Malcolm Reynolds in the cult TV show Firefly. As you might have noticed from my blog’s logline, I’m a huge Browncoat (fan base’s name). I’m one of the small legion of fans that watched the TV show when it aired. Of course, I followed this charming and talented actor’s career since. Currently, he plays mystery/crime writer Richard Castle on the ABC hit TV show Castle. He’s also the only Hunk Who Reads whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I used to be the organizer of the annual charity screening of Serenity for the city of Atlanta, part of the global Can’t Stop the Serenity event, and one year at Dragon*Con, he was gracious enough to donate and sign two autographed photos (I’d only asked for one) for the silent auction. He was every bit as friendly and charming as you’ve imagined.

In researching his reading tastes and habits, I think I’ve hit upon why it’s so difficult to find pictures of famous men reading when I know they read–they probably own eReaders! It makes sense, traveling as much as they do. But, makes it dang hard to find snapshots. This is the case with Fillion; he’s a big fan of the Kindle and even tweeted someone to buy one to save money and trees.

Okay, on with the fun! Last summer at Comic Con, he revealed he was reading George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One. During this period he posted this humorous tweet (anyone who’s seen him and/or Alan Tudyk at fan conventions know they love to rib each other):

He must have read through the series pretty quickly, because then in October he tweeted the following, which made me giggle when I first saw it then, and still does:

Fillion’s parents were English teachers and instilled in him the importance of literacy and a love of books. When his friend PJ Haarsma published his first book and heard that kids wanted it in their libraries but librarians couldn’t afford it, Fillion and Haarsma founded (clutch your pearls, girls) the non-profit organization Kids Need to Read (KNTR) in 2007. The Foundation encourages literacy and social responsibility through its gifts of inspiring books to schools, libraries and literacy programs serving disadvantaged children.

In 2009, in an edition of USA Weekend, he talked about his volunteering efforts with KNTR and what makes it worthwhile. He said:

If you can teach a kid to read, he can do anything.

Last October, he tweeted a promo for KNTR where if you purchased the anthology Every Witch Way But Wicked, proceeds would benefit KNTR. (Just a note here: I think this was a temporary promo for Halloween). And in true Browncoat fashion, a group of fans have been holding fundraisers for KNTR since 2010. In this one poverty-stricken elementary school in Chicago, the funds were used to purchase books, and the kids drew their own book covers of their favorites.

So, what is this book his friend did? The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 and Haarsma got him to do an audio version of the first three chapters. Here he is recording:

In 2009, Haarsma had a signing at a Barnes & Noble for Haarsma’s book, and Fillion and Alan Tudyk came for support and to promote KNTR. Here’s a pic of some fans and Fillion with a rain stick (it’s a Firefly thing):

The American Library Association featured him in their READ poster program: “We’re thrilled to have Nathan Fillion on our latest READ poster. He’s shown great dedication to engaging young readers with exciting books,” said Rachel Johnson, director of ALA Graphics. “Word of the poster’s debut traveled fast, and members, particularly YA librarians, are clamoring for it.”

In the poster, he is holding Haarsma’s book:

Last March he was at the 2nd Annual Milk + Bookies Celebration at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California. Some photos from that event.

All right, so what else… Back in 2006, he did a podcast of the novel 7th Son: Descent. During National Breast Cancer Awareness month he asked folks to read Nicki Boscia Durlester’s book, Beyond the Pink Moon: A Memoir of Legacy, Loss and Survival. And here’s a swoon-worthy photo of him holding a baby at a bookstore!
Some fans have started their own Hey Girl meme featuring Fillion:

Want more, you can follow him on Twitter! I’ve been following him for quite a while now, and it’s well worth it. He even posts scavenger hunts in different cities. One day, I hope to be photobombed by him. One can dream, right? Just saw that TV Guide named him one of the Top 30 celebrities to follow on Twitter.

UPDATE: Memory-like-a-steel-trap commenter ‘rre’ dug up some dragon*con footage from 2008 where someone from the audience brought up KNTR and asked each panelist to name their favorite book. Quick-witted Fillion used the opportunity to say Of Mice and Men:

 “It goes to show that as great as it his to have a goofy, comically lovable character in a story, they inevitably have to die,” and looks pointedly at Alan, making allusions to Wash’s death [Tudyk’s character in the movie Firefly/Serenity].

Here’s the video:

video cuts off in the middle of his discussion of the book, so here’s the rest:

Firefly fans might be interested in the short series of blog posts I did back in the fall that featured writing lessons from the show, called Firefly Friday.

So that’s this month’s Hunk Who Reads. If you like these articles, please comment. They’re fun to write, but are time-consuming 🙂 — on that note, if you run across any photos of hunks reading, please let me know.

For further opportunities to idolize men and books:

Reading is sexy people!

Do you have any photos of male celebrities reading?

Come back next month to see the next Hunk Who Reads…

Past Hunks Who Read/Related Articles:

*previous Ovaries Exploding Award winner

Leave a comment


  1. I love him as an actor. He is super cool and he looks like a really great guy. Been a fan since Firefly…

  2. rre

     /  February 27, 2012

    This reminded me of some hilarious footage from Dragon con Firefly panel where FF actors were asked about their fav books. Nathan mentioned “Of Mice and Men” as one of his, and proceeded to rib Alan, disguised as plot review))))

    So I went and found that YouTube clip (and that wasn’t easy O__o) (closer to the end)

    • OMG, thank you for finding this! I’m going to update the post– I think I was at that panel (I was there that weekend; 2008 was when he gave me the autographed pics)…

  3. What a great post, Angela. I’m a Nathan Fillion fan, too. Did you catch him on Nerdist? #65, and also on TV on “Nerdist: Year in Review” ?

  4. Fantastic that the Captain reads, because we know Jayne doesn’t. Excellent selection for Hunk Who Reads.

  5. Mary Roya

     /  February 27, 2012

    I loved him in FireFly and I love him Castle. And look at the cool things he does. This awesome. Thank you.

  6. I loved this article, and not just because you mentioned the fundraising our group, Nathan Fillion FANS, has been doing since 2010 to honor Nathan’s birthday, but because you also mentioned Kids Need To Read! As a fundraising organizer, you have to be passionate about your cause, and reading, whether supported by a Geek God or one small-town squeeing fangirl like myself, is such an important cause. Every post, blog, vlog, tweet, or mention helps bring the issue of literacy to light. Thank you for all you do and keep doing it!

  7. Yay, Nathan! I wish he’d give the bloggess a picture of himself holding twine (really, would it be so difficult?) but I love that he reads and supports literacy.

    • That whole thing about the twine is a scream! I think it’s awesome that Wil Wheaton sent her the pic of himself collating papers…

  8. Never seen Firefly (probably would have LOVED!! the show if I’d seen it), but I know him from Castle… Great actor.

    • He is! You can watch it streaming on Netflix… Actually, it will open some subtext on Castle, as they’ll often make sly (and sometimes overt) references to Firefly, as they’re all fans…

  9. HA! Just read another blog about Nathan today . . . have you ever watched his Dr. Horrible videos? Hilarious! I love him, also. Did you see him on Jimmy Kimmel last week talking about the Google Earth car? Love, love, love his sense of humor:)

    • Yes, love Capt. Hammer! Those videos are hysterical. I missed him on Kimmel (I don’t watch much TV; right now just Castle and Once Upon a Time), will have to check it out…

  10. Thanks for the great post! LOVE Captain Tight Pants and watching the Firefly series on DVD is a frequent ritual. And Richard Castle is to die for. His posts are one of the reason I stuck with Twitter. It’s nice to know it’s true . . . real men read books.

  11. Oh my gosh. This man really does it for me. If I were crazy, I would stalk him. Oh wait… 😉

  12. *ahem* Yeah… That pic of him holding the baby? That qualifies as an ovary explosion. LOL!

    LOVE Firefly and Castle and I remembered seeing him in Buffy before that too. Thanks for the great post!

  13. Fatima

     /  February 29, 2012

    Need another Hunk Who Reads. Two words: Richard Armitage. Enjoy.

    • I’ve tried finding pics of him reading before and haven’t had any luck, so if you run across any, PLEASE let me know 🙂

      • Fatima

         /  February 29, 2012

        Unfortunately there isn’t any of him reading. (Not yet anyway.) There’s enough about what he reads, especially for his research, it’s enough to have fantasies about his-and-her’s bedroom nigh tables.

      • Hmmm, I might have to invoke the Kindle rule, which I’d discovered while researching Fillion, so I can do Armitage…. Thanks!

      • Fatima

         /  March 1, 2012

        Mr. Armitage strikes me as a man who likes an actual book in his hands. He likes his iphone, but not gadget-centric to the extent of Mr. Fillion. (At least from what I can gather.) Good luck on the researching and writing.

  14. He’s great! I also like that he influences the inclusion of regular pop- and literary-references on Castle – one of his tweets:

    “Did I make a @GameOfThrones reference on Castle? Yes. Was it a cheap ploy to get on their show? …yes.”

  15. Love this series, Angela. Thanks for telling us more about Nathan and for the video clips. 🙂

  16. Pamela Clare

     /  July 13, 2012

    I love Nathan Fillion! Thanks so much for this terrific post. You’ve given me new reasons to respect him. And may Karma chase down and render judgment upon the network execs who didn’t “get” FIREFLY.

  17. I’ve loved Nathan since the first time I saw him in a disco outfit on One Life To Live. Adored him on Firefly. My husband and I are both Brown Coats & follow him on Twitter. He’s one of the few actors I’d probably have a “fan girl” moment over.

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