“We are a machine. We can’t stop”: Nathan Fillion Has Vowed to Never be Like Tom Cruise in The Rookie

Nathan Fillion explains that he can no longer act like Tom Cruise and perform his own stunts on his show 'The Rookie'.

"We are a machine. We can't stop": Nathan Fillion Has Vowed to Never be Like Tom Cruise in The Rookie


  • Nathan Fillion clarified that he is not keen on performing his stunts on 'The Rookie'.
  • The actor notes he has massive respect and appreciation for stunt men.
  • Nathan Fillion talks about the legacy of 'The Rookie' where he not only stars but also serves as an executive producer.
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Canadian-American actor Nathan Fillion is popularly known for portraying the character of Captain Malcolm Reynolds on Firefly, and starring as Richard Castle on Castle. The actor is regarded as one of the finest actors in the entertainment industry who in 2018 starred as John Nolan on The Rookie; a police procedural crime drama series.


The Rookie, already in its sixth season, follows the story of John Nolan, who becomes the oldest rookie at the LAPD. The show is based on real-life LAPD officer William Norcross who joined the department in his mid-40s in 2015. The actor has received praise for his performance on the show, but he shares one honest opinion about starring on the show.

Nathan Fillion and Mekia Cox on The Rookie
Nathan Fillion and Mekia Cox

Nathan Fillion gets candid about being less inclined to do his stunts on The Rookie

Nathan Fillion’s portrayal of John Nolan on ABC’s The Rookie, created by Alexi Hawley, has been one of the impressive characters the actor has played on-screen. The show follows a man in his 40s, divorced, joins the LAPD and becomes the oldest rookie, setting up a conflict with superiors his age and newbies who dismiss him.


The actor admitted that he trusted the creator of the show at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. He said via Jacksonville,

“I accepted this job before the script was written. That was a first for me, but all the right ingredients were there. It’s everything we need for a successful show.”

Talking about the show, 47-year-old Nathan Fillion shared that working on The Rookie had made him respect and appreciate the work of his stuntmen. In his interview with Stuff, the actor admits that he cannot be like Tom Cruise who pretty much set a standard with performing his stunts no matter how dangerous those might be. Fillion explained,

“I’m not the guy who wants to do the Tom Cruise stuff at all. I used to be the guy who was super excited about doing my own stunts and then you hurt your back and then you hurt your knee…it starts to lose its luster.”

Nathan Fillion
Nathan Fillion is not inclined to do his stunts on The Rookie

But he has a very specific reason for avoiding performing his stunts as he mentions,


“I have to come to work tomorrow. I have to. I can’t miss it. If I was to sprain my ankle today, a lot of people’s employment is on the line. We are a machine. We can’t stop.”

The actor explains that they cannot hold up production for six weeks and wait for his injury to get better because there are so many people working on the show whose jobs will be on the line if he holds up the production. Fillion concluded that it is why he is less inclined to do his own stunts. Of course age is one of the factors too. Nathan Fillion lastly added that the very talented stuntmen are dying to perform the stunts so he just says that let them do it.

Nathan Fillion talks about the legacy of The Rookie

The Rookie has received a positive response from the audience with Nathan Fillion receiving love and appreciation for his performance on the show. The show recently crossed a milestone as it reached its 100th episode, which gave Fillion a chance to look back on its journey.

The actor, who serves as the executive producer of the show, shared during an interview with THR about the legacy he wishes the show would have. He added,


“One of the worst nightmares for a television actor would be to be forgotten. I would hope the legacy is it turns out to be one of those classic TV shows that people always think about when they think about cop shows, something they think about when they think about reset. I want to become, not iconic but culturally embedded. If legacy means it has to end first, I hope our legacy doesn’t come for a while yet.”

Nathan Fillion
Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion did not forget to be thankful for the fact that the show managed to survive the writers and actors strike adding that this is the best job he has ever had among the crew, the people he works for. He mentioned that there is nothing that he could throw at the cast and crew that they cannot handle and it’s a real privilege to work at a place where he smiles when he drives to work.

The Rookie is streaming on Hulu.


Written by Avneet Ahluwalia

Articles Published: 173

Avneet is a Creative Writer at Fandom Wire with six years of professional expertise as a writer with artistic flair. Avneet combines her years of experience, love of the entertainment industry, and understanding of the expressive capabilities of words into her work.

In addition to her love of Pop Culture including celebrities, TV series, K-dramas, and K-pop, Avneet also prefers to read novels (hard copies), engage in discussions on anything at all, and take in what she sees and hears of those around her.

Avneet's writing style evolved over the years, from writing for beauty pageants to drafting true stories to writing stories about celebrities, television series, and movies. Despite this, she remains committed to discovering something new every day. Avneet believes that her writing will influence the readers since she strives to learn and grow with every piece of writing.

PS: She will never give up on persuading people to read "Normal People" by Sally Rooney.