On The Rookie, actor Nathan Fillion plays a 40 year-old rookie Los Angeles police officer facing the normal challenges of being a cop in addition to being the oldest new recruit on the force. It’s a unique take on the all-too-familiar cop drama, and Fillion tells The Hollywood Reporter all about his starring role on the new series.
Though Fillion is best known for Castle, his experience on TV dates back to his regular role on Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place. When asked about returning to network television and if anything has changed, Fillion replies, “There have been a lot of changes in the entertainment industry [since I started]. Quantum leaps, you might say: the internet, streaming. But at the end of the day, my job has changed almost none. We have a few more responsibilities in terms of digital content, but it’s a treat — it helps you and it helps your show. My job, I go to work, I try to tell great stories, we try to entertain people. That much is pure, untouched, unchanged. That’s the part I’m good at.”
In fact, Fillion agreed to star in The Rookie without reading the script. Regarding why he had so much confidence in the project, the actor answered: “It was the pitch. You want a character you feel you can serve — you can serve the character, serve the story. Being in the business as long as I have, I’ve broadened my scope. And the core idea of the show, it has to be something strong enough to carry it a number of years. You want the potential for more. You don’t want to hit a roadblock where you’ve run out of stories because our engine isn’t built that way.”
Once he was in the role, Fillion had the unique opportunity to be involved in the casting of the series — more so than most actors involved in a new series. He explains:
“I was there for all of it. I was there for all of the casting. I’ve been involved in casting before, but I’ve never seen it go so smoothly. We had our ability to pick and choose from everybody because we were the first pilot to start casting. We had a head start, which worked in our favor. We were very particular in what we wanted.
The worst problem we encountered was we had two people we thought were phenomenal, but they weren’t right for the role. So we simply changed the role so they would fit the people we had. Just a little flip.”