Skip to main contentSkip to footer

5 surprising facts about Nathan Fillion you need to know

Get to know more about The Rookie star here…

nathan fillion in the rookie
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
March 3, 2023
Share this:

Nathan Fillion has been a familiar face on television screens for decades. The star has built up a huge fanbase, particularly for his role as John Nolan in the ABC police series, The Rookie.

But how well do you really know the actor? Below is a list of surprising facts about the 51-year-old, including details about his first-ever acting gig, which you can check out in the video below.

WATCH: Nathan Fillion looks totally different in his first on-screen role

His first role was worlds apart from John Dolan

Before Nathan become known for his parts in The Rookie, Castle, and Firefly, he starred in ABC's made-for-TV movie, Ordeal in the Arctic, as Master Warrant Officer Tom Jardine. The movie first aired in 1993 and tells the true story of the Canadian military flight that crashed into the frozen Atlantic two years prior.

While Nathan is known for his TV roles, he went on to star in such high-profile, big-screen fare as Saving Private Ryan, Dracula 2000, and, more recently, The Suicide Squad.

MORE: The Rookie teases tragic death of beloved character in dramatic promo

MORE: The Rookie star Nathan Fillion inundated with fan messages after falling ill

Nathan Fillion in his early career© Photo: Getty Images

Nathan Fillion in his early career

Acting wasn't originally Nathan's career of choice

While Nathan has found success in his acting career thanks to his many credits and awards, including a nomination at the Daytime Emmys, he nearly ventured into a totally different job altogether – teaching!

Nathan revealed back in 2009: "I always wanted to be an actor, but in Edmonton, Alberta, that's not a success-oriented career. So I said, 'I'll get my (teaching) degree and then I'll see what happens, but I'll always have that to fall back on.' So if anybody were to look at me and say, 'Oh, you're an actor,' I could always say, 'Hey man, I'm a teacher!'"

Nathan has been open about his ongoing health condition

Nathan hasn't spoken about it much publicly, but the actor is actually deaf in one ear. Nathan lost all hearing in his left ear back in 1977 when he was six years old but it is not known how he came to lose his hearing.

At the San Diego Comic-Con, he did reference his hearing when a panelist asked him if he had heard a question put forward to him, joking: "I'm good in my right ear."

Nathan Fillion sits at table in The Rookie© Photo: Getty Images

Nathan is best known as John Dolan in The Rookie

He's dated some familiar faces in the past

Nathan prefers to keep his personal life private, but the actor has been engaged twice before. In 1995, Nathan proposed to actress Vanessa Marcil after eight months of dating. However, it wasn't meant to be and they soon split. Vanessa starred alongside Nathan in General Hospital in which she played the part of Brenda Barrett.

In more recent years, Nathan was in a relationship with the actress Mikaela Hoover, who was known for her roles in How I Met Your Mother, Happy Endings, and The Suicide Squad. In 2013 he popped the question, but similar to his relationship with Vanessa, they split shortly after Mikaela said yes in 2014. You can read more about his romantic history here.

MORE: The Rookie's Nathan Fillion shares rare insight into dating life after two failed engagements

Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic in Castle© Photo: Getty Images

Nathan Fillion previously starred in Castle

Nathan hasn't always seen eye-to-eye with his co-stars

Before Nathan began starring in The Rookie, he was known for his part in Castle which ran for eight seasons. His leading co-star was Stana Katic, but it's been reported that the pair didn't always get along.

Neither party spoke about the feud but when the show was canceled, Stana did speak out about the odd circumstances around the show's ending: "I'm actually still not clear on the thought process behind the way that it went down. It hurt and it was a harsh ending" 

Like this story? Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter and get the heads-up on the shows and films everyone’s talking about.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.