Fil­lion toys around with Pixar

Cana­dian ac­tor lends his voice to Cars 3

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - MOVIES - Richard Crouse For Metro Canada

It’s only June but this year Nathan Fil­lion al­ready knows what his nieces and nephews are get­ting for Christ­mas.

“I have enough lit­tle kids in my life and they are all get­ting Ster­ling Hot Wheels for Christ­mas,” laughs the Cars 3 star.

In his sec­ond gig for Pixar — he also ap­peared in Mon­sters Univer­sity — the Ed­mon­ton­born star lends his voice to the char­ac­ter of Ster­ling, a slick-talk­ing coupe and CEO who be­comes the new spon­sor of racer Light­ning McQueen.

“I had some of the clas­sic toys,” he says. “The G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu Grip. The Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Ro­bots and Smash Up Derby. Do you re­mem­ber those? You’d pull the cord and wheel them at each other. Those are the fan­tas­tic toys I re­mem­ber hav­ing as a kid. Other­wise it was Lego or a stick and your imag­i­na­tion. But to go from say­ing, ‘Isn’t this a neat lit­tle Hot Wheels,’ to ac­tu­ally be­ing one? I can’t even.”

Fil­lion came to Cars 3 fresh off of 173 episodes play­ing mys­tery nov­el­ist Richard Cas­tle on the crime com­edy se­ries Cas­tle.

“As far as tak­ing on a new char­ac­ter goes, the only dan­ger is fall­ing into any habits,” he says of

leav­ing

MOvIE RAT­INgs by Richard Crouse

Richard Cas­tle be­hind. “When you do a char­ac­ter for eight years there are things you will start to do ha­bit­u­ally. I think a lit­tle more fo­cus is ap­pro­pri­ate to make sure you are not re­cy­cling any­thing from your last gig.”

The ac­tor honed his skills on the day­time soap opera One Life to Live. For three years he was Joey Buchanan, the son of orig­i­nal pro­tag­o­nists Joe Ri­ley Sr. and Vic­to­ria Lord. His work on that show earned him a 1996 Day­time Emmy Award nom­i­na­tion.

“They were sea­soned pros. Any­one who talks down on day­time (tele­vi­sion), and I never will, has never done day­time. It is a moun­tain of work. It is 40 pages a day.

De­spite guest spots on pop­u­lar shows like Mod­ern Fam­ily, Big Bang The­ory and Des­per­ate Housewives, he will likely al­ways be best loved for play­ing the hi­lar­i­ous anti-hero Cap­tain Mal­colm Reynolds on Joss Whe­don’s short lived but in­flu­en­tial fu­tur­is­tic space western Fire­fly.

“It was al­most 15 years ago that show came out and peo­ple are still lov­ing it,” he says. “I will be sad on the day they stop do­ing that.”

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