Bet­ter Late THAN Never

Nathan Fil­lion (Joey, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) gives a mid­dle-aged guy a new lease on life in ABC’s THE ROOKIE

ABC Soaps In Depth - - Old Friends, New Lives - — Kelli M. Lar­son with re­port­ing by Deanna Barn­ert

Nathan Fil­lion may have come a long way from his early days as ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Joey Buchanan, but he still lists the soap on his re­sumé and cred­its the ex­pe­ri­ence for his suc­cess. “It was an in­cred­i­bly safe, won­der­ful place to learn at an in­cred­i­bly in­tense rate from peo­ple who have been in the busi­ness 35 years,” shares the for­mer CAS­TLE star. “I was bump­ing el­bows with the best.”

Loyal To Llan­view

In his new ABC se­ries, THE ROOKIE (pre­mier­ing Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 16, at 10 p.m. EST), Fil­lion plays John Nolan, a mid­dle-aged man who, as he puts it, is “look­ing for a way to mat­ter.”

When John is in­ad­ver­tently caught up in a bank rob­bery, he finds it. “He is faced with a mo­ment where he can sit and do noth­ing or ac­tu­ally tr y to help in the face of some­thing that is ac­tu­ally ter­ri­bly dan­ger­ous,” Fil­lion ex­plains. “He

dis­cov­ers a call­ing to pub­lic ser­vice” that leads him to be­come the LAPD’s new­est — and old­est… well, you know the ti­tle of the se­ries!

If he can, Fil­lion, who also serves as an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, hopes to bring his OLTL men­tors along for the ride. “I want Bob Woods (Bo) on THE ROOKIE,” he says, adding that he’d love to have more Llan­view friends ap­pear, too. “I’m go­ing to try my damnedest!”

No Last To His Firsts

In some re­gard, that would be a way for Fil­lion to re­pay the guid­ance he’d re­ceived as a 22-year-old, soap-set new­bie. “I wasn’t a bright kid. I didn’t re­ally care about much,” he ad­mits. “I was kind of per­fectly suited for the job I’m in.”

For­tu­nately, Llan­view’s vet­er­ans were the ones who showed him the ropes and af­firmed the value of tak­ing chances that Fil­lion has since taken to heart. “My un­cle said to me, ‘The longer you live, the more valu­able firsts be­come,’” the ac­tor re­flects “I’m 47 years old and still ex­pe­ri­enc­ing firsts. I think I’m lead­ing a life well lived.”

THE ROOKIE’s John joins the LAPD be­cause “he’s no longer re­quired as a dad, he’s no longer a hus­band.”When Fil­lion was a new­bie on OLTL, “I re­mem­ber peo­ple [like Erika Slezak, Viki] talk­ing to my par­ents,” he says. By the time they left the stu­dio, they were “calm and re­laxed, and said, ‘Okay, this is go­ing to be a good life for you.’”

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