Social TV: See Why Nathan Fillion Gets a Kick Out of Twitter
A few months ago Nathan Fillion was literally stalked by a Twitter follower. He reacted the same way any other Hollywood actor would: He took a picture with the guy, and then tweeted it.
Fillion is best known these days for playing the crime-solving Richard Castle in ABC's Castle, but in the "Twitterverse," he's revered for his geek-chic resume (he starred on Joss Whedon's Firefly and in his online-only Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) and his must-follow Twitter feed. Whether it's his goofy musings or completely random photo uploads, fans can't get enough of Fillion's good-natured tweets. We spoke with him about his love for Twitter, how he thinks actors should use it and what he'll do when he hits the 1 million mark.
TVGuide.com: You've really embraced the idea of using Twitter as a conversation with your fans. How were you first introduced to it?
Nathan Fillion: Twitter was forced on me by [Horrible co-star] Felicia Day, already a Web celebrity herself. We were sitting at dinner and she had me download the Twitter application and sign up. Then she went on her Twitter and said, "OK, everyone, Nathan Fillion is now on Twitter." I came home to 2,000 emails saying "You have a new follower on Twitter." I turned off the email notifications after that.
TVGuide.com: Were you hooked right away?
Fillion: I was. I had tried MySpace and Facebook -- mostly because people were out there posing as me. But I found it all too demanding of my time. What I love about Twitter is that it's forced brevity. The 140-character maximum really forces you to be concise. I like the immediacy of it, and the fact that you can reach so many people in an instant; it blows my mind.
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TVGuide.com: How did you get such a large following?
Fillion: Thanks to Felicia Day, I got 2,000 followers immediately. I don't know how it built up from there, but I do know that I'm getting close to a million. I think at a million, I'm gonna...make a cake -- and tweet a picture of it.
TVGuide.com: A lot of celebrities have their publicists tweet for them. Have you always controlled your own account?
Fillion: I know of people who don't do it for themselves and to me that's just... come on. It's 140 characters; you really can't handle that? It's important to me, because if someone's following you on Twitter, they really ought to be following you on Twitter. If it's my Twitter, I want you to see what I'm doing. I want you to see what's going on with me.
TVGuide.com: Have you had any strange Twitter experiences?
Fillion: I was in New York City and I was sitting in a park and they were mowing the lawn, so I tweeted a picture of it and said to people, "Guess where I am?" As I started to walk, the tweets started coming in, saying, "Oh! You're in this park right across the street from my office! I can't believe you're here! I'm looking out my office window looking for you!" Then I went down the street and took a picture of Radio City Music Hall and said, "Guess where I am now?" I walked two more blocks, sat on a bench, and had a cup of coffee. All of the sudden this kid came up to me and goes, "Hey! I work in the neighborhood! I saw your tweets and I thought, I have to find you! I got a guy to cover for me at work because I had to try and get your autograph!" It was so funny. This kid was all out of breath and sweating and can you imagine him tracking my tweets? It killed me! So I took a picture with him and tweeted it.
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TVGuide.com: Do you think actors and actresses who aren't into social media are doing themselves a disservice?
Fillion: I don't. I think as an actor, your job is to act, to tell stories. You are providing entertainment, that is your job. I don't think it's your job to sign 8-by-10 photographs and send them out to your fans. I don't think it's your job to do a radio tour at 5 a.m. Your job is to portray a character, tell a portion of the story, and do your part in entertaining. I think there are benefits, but I don't think that it's necessary for your job. Me personally? I get a kick out of it.