The 2011-2012 television season again proved that some of the best storytelling can be found on the small screen. As the Emmy countdown begins, Back Stage gathers several actors, representing the best in television drama and comedy, at Studio 1342 in Los Angeles to discuss how they booked their roles, what it’s like to be nominated for their work, and how they handle being fired.
Since you’ve opened the door, I have to ask: Have the rest of you been fired from jobs?
FILLION: When I was a waiter I was fired twice from the same restaurant. I guess I was that good of an actor but that bad of a waiter.
How did you book your role on your current show? I imagine some of you probably auditioned, some got offers?
FILLION: It’s a colossal mind screw. Almost half of getting the job is if you can survive the process.
Was yours an offer situation?
FILLION: I had one of those deals with ABC. They put a stack of stuff in front of you, and “Castle” just happened to be the last one I read. I had a meeting with the producers, and I literally told them, “Stop looking. I’m right here.” I don’t typically do that.
What was it about the script that grabbed you?
FILLION: I think that I enjoy watching characters who are flawed. I used to want my characters to be perfect and really cool and likable, and I learned quickly that they’re not relatable and really impossible.
People like to use the term “big break,” but when was the moment you first felt you’d really made it as an actor?
FILLION: I think it was the first time I got a lead, which was “Firefly.” And it was a surreal moment, because I was going to be a high school teacher. I thought I would get my degree first, and four months shy of graduating I got a call from New York saying they found a year-old audition tape of mine. They said, “If you’re still acting and interested, we’ll fax you the script and you FedEx us a tape.” And two weeks later I’m living in New York City.
- To See what the other stars said: Back Stage