Monday, May 16, 2005

Otter the Fan Boy...

On May 5th I was in Austin Texas. On May 5th so was Captain Malcolm Reynolds. More accurately, so was Nathan Fillion. Below is an account of how I spent 35 minutes talking with one of the stars of my favorite TV show (and upcoming movie).

Thursday I was laying off the Booze, taking in some of the local Austin flavor, without taking in the local Austin flavors (Shiner Bock is mighty popular).

One of the “must see” attractions in that Texas town is this bridge over the Colorado (ed. thanks for the correction KernelM) River which runs through the middle of the city. Under the bridge is a huge ass colony of Mexican Bats, the largest urban colony in the hemisphere. At dusk they all fly out at once and it ends up looking like a Meatloaf Album cover. Bats flying everywhere in these great clouds. Thursday, well Thursday they were late, and that was awsome.

Waiting for the bats and standing along the side of the bridge speaking with my boss and her husband, I see a face I recognize looking out over the water below.

“Something something something” someone was saying to me.

“Hey look, it’s Mal” is what my brain was processing. “Holy shit! That IS him! Nathan Fillion! Shiny!”

I pushed past my coworkers with barley an “excuse me”. I should have paused and thought about what I was going to say to the Captain. I didn’t.

What I thought I said was, “It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m a huge fan and can’t wait until your movie comes out.”

According to a coworker who overheard me, I said something like “Hi, me big fan movie soon, wow.”

At this point I need to make two things clear. 1) Nathan has got to be one of the nicest and most accessable people on the planet. 2) I’m not normally a fan boy, and I normally keep my shit together.

Nathan smiles and says “Follow me.” I must of made a scene because he said something about girls over hearing me and he just wanted to watch the bats. As we were walking down the bridge he reaches out to shake my hand and says “Hi, I’m Nathan, what’s your name?” I said “hehe I know… um I’m (Insert Otter’s real name).”

About that time I started regaining my composure. We walked about 30 feet down the bridge, found an empty spot along the railing and began looking for the bats again.

“I’m sure you are sick talking about the movie” I say. He replies “no what do you want to talk about?”

I find out that Nathan was in town to go the test screening that night. I’m shocked and appalled I didn’t notice I would be in TX during the first round of screenings. I didn’t notice this when I was on the “Can’t Stop the Signal Site” IN TIME to buy tickets. Ohh well. Nathan says something along the lines of it being “all the sweeter in September.” I’m not sure I believed him, but whatever.

Unshaven Otter and Nathan Fillion
How cool is that!

His thoughts on the movie were that he was very proud of the picture. It turned out better than he hoped it would. I mentioned that the trailer, which I had watched about 20 times, seemed more action oriented than having that Whedon wit the TV show had. He told me not to worry (he watched the trailer about 150 times), that there were plenty of funny moments. The movie was like the TV show “but bigger.”

I mentioned that it was going to be a success, and more than once he worried that “something still could go wrong.” It seemed to me that he was saying that to keep his hopes from getting up to high. He said that the movie was good enough “to be number one at the box office for 8 or 9 weeks” and that he wants to see it do that. Wanted it to be the "biggest movie this summer."

He had done his job. For his part, the movie was as good as he could make it. What's left was out of his hands.

His real concern was in marketing. He wanted to see the trailer on TV as soon as possible. Start getting the word out now. Selling it to the public would be a real challenge. The typical Whedon “drama-comedy-Sci-Fi” problem, now also with “western-war” thrown in for good measure, could be difficult to sell to the public. Nathan agreed that if only the fans come out, the studio would make it’s money back, but the movie should be more than that.

He didn't want to see a repeat of what happened with FOX and how much that hurt him.

We spoke of Star Wars and the other big Sci-Fi movies of the summer. He said early fall should be plenty of time so that people weren’t sick of space. With a smile on his face he said “I hope Star Wars sucks.” I told him that it probably would if the last two were any indication.

We spent a lot of time talking about the Bats, Austin, and he even asked me some questions about what I did and why I was away from Scaggsville. I didn’t want to be annoying and keep pounding away about Serenity. After all he was being extremely nice to some guy who just walked up to him on the streets of Austin.

I asked him about his other projects, and he told me about Slither. Sounds cool.

I told him a couple of times that I normally don’t act like that, but he has been in 2 of the 3 TV shows I ever really cared about. I hoped I was more-sane than the people he meets at conventions. I told him that I must have converted about 8 to 10 people into Fire Fly Fans. I told him that in Scaggsville when bored we just “pop in a Fire Fly.” He said thanks and that “Fans like you, made the movie happen. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.”

35 minutes after I rudely jumped in front of him and made a fool out of myself, the bats still didn’t fully take to the sky. He asked me the time (9:05) and told me he had to get to the screening. Trying not to be too much of a tool, I asked him if I could take a crappy PDA camera picture of him. He suggested I get in the photo as well. The picture turned out dark and he suggested I take a movie (Quicktime required) and he would use his camera to take a picture of us with it’s flash. It turned out ok, I only wish I shaved so I didn’t look like such a bum). From there we parted.

When he left. I left. Screw the bats. I got on my phone and started calling Browncoats within 30 seconds (one of which had a Firefly DVD on at the time). We crossed paths again as he back tracked down what must have been a wrong turn. He laughed and said “hey.” I’m sure he heard me say “and that was him again” as I talked on the phone. Meeting Nathan Fillion was one of the coolest things that's happened to me in a long time.

Best of luck to him and the rest of the Fire Fly cast.



Blogger The Management said...

It's great to know that the actor who plays one of my favorite characters of all time is cool and accessible - even to unshaved cutters, like Otter. Would have been a real disappointment if he had been an ass.

Makes me want to actually do something to help the movie. Perhaps we'll link to the trailer on our site (that's probably up to Otter - who I just outed as a cutter). I'm thinking of sending mass e-mails and forcing all guests at the Scaggsville estate to view and answer questions about Firefly.

Anyway, if you haven't seen firefly, order it from Amazon or netflix or, hell come on over to our place and we'll screen some episodes for you (Plus, for the ladies, I really am handsome).

Excellent story Otter.

Kid Handsome

2:34 PM  
Blogger rusticus1773 said...

d00d. u r s00 1337.

i can't even make fun of you. man. so awesome.

-Browncoat Kiwi

2:41 PM  
Blogger The Management said...

Ok, so here's what I'm doing. Every site that discusses Star Wars and enables comments is going to get a gratuitous Fire Fly comment from me - something to the effect of, "I am looking forward to the new Star Wars, but to be honest, I am much more excited about the September release of Serenity (based off the TV show Fire Fly). I've seen the trailer and it looks awesome."

Feel free to cut and paste that into the comments section of any blog that comments on Star Wars. Don't however, post it on Star Wars fan sites - that will get you in trouble.

Kid Handsome

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Otter,
See, French women are jealous now... But I spent the best part of my evening with you Nathan (reading your story). Thanks for telling us !

3:59 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I linked to your site from Whedonesque.
I'm so jealous!! :) Lucky you!
Of course, I would've had a gander at his behind too! ;)

4:30 PM  
Anonymous KernelM said...

Wow... jealous doesn't even begin to cover it. As a (more or less) Austin native (currently abroad... in the Midwest) though, I have to correct you on the river. It's the Colorado River (also called Lake Austin at that point). The Red River is several hundred miles north, on the OK border.

But man... that's just awesome. I was able to see the preview in Chicago, but we didn't get anybody. It sounds like you were able to keep composure a lot better than I would have.

5:20 PM  
Blogger The Management said...

Errr, thanks everyone. Yeah that was pretty lucky. I can't think of too many other people I would have dropped everything and just walked up to. I'm not easily star struck, but this was MAL!

Anyway, like I said he was so very very friendly. Glad you liked the story.

Concerning Kid Handsome, I really like his idea. Maybe he will follow up with a full post about invading the Star Wars Blogs with Firefly references.


5:57 PM  
Anonymous Sonia said...

Wow, thanks for sharing that story. I've met Nathan a few times at conventions and stuff but only got to properly have a one-on-one convo recently and he is such a sweet, charming guy <3

It sounds like you had a good time!
Any chance I could put this story on my Nathan fansite? (with credit to you)

Sonia x

3:01 AM  
Anonymous Badger said...

Otter, thats just cool as hell. Glad it was nathan you met because if it was Jewel there might be a restraining order lodged against ya.

1:06 PM  

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