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Nathan Fillion has gone from cult favorite to the ruler of prime time.

American Way: Let’s talk Castle. It’s the perfect combination of entertainment and whodunit.
Nathan Fillion: I’d love to take credit for the quality of the show, but the fact is: If Castle were a full-course meal, the most I can take credit for is seasoning. And the table centerpiece.

AW: The show is easing into a romance between Castle and his partner, Kate Beckett. Are you a fan of the drawn-out TV relationship, or do you want them to dive in?
NF: I am a fan of knowing better than the characters I watch. I am a fan of flaws and shortcomings. We can relate, and when characters have room to grow, it gives me hope that I’ll grow too.

AW: In addition to playing a novelist on Castle, you’re an avid reader. What’s on your nightstand now?
NF: Right now, my favorite book is Max Brooks’ World War Z. It’s an important read for anyone wanting to prepare for the coming zombie apocalypse.

AW: Eight years after it went off the air, fans are still clamoring for a return of Firefly. Should they hold out hope?
NF: Serenity taught me to never say never. I play the lottery when it’s over $100 million, always thinking I’ll [use the money to] revive Firefly.

AW: Do you have a favorite fan encounter?
NF: My favorite is when someone looks you in the eyes — not through a camera phone — and lets you know sincerely that you did something that resonated with them. When I meet stars I’m a fan of, I keep it simple and sincere. But if I see them again and they remember me, that’s when I geek out and get a pic! Squee!

In His Own Words
Nathan Fillion is prolific on Twitter, where he talks about everything from fan run-ins to the Pulse, a clean-air vehicle that he’s championing. But he’s also just plain funny. “I like tweets that entertain,” he says. “Tweets to avoid are the ones that don’t make you think — ‘On my way to the gym!’ ‘Had dinner pretty late tonight!’ "

A few samples of Fillion’s finest: Follow Nathan on Twitter twitter.com/nathanfillion

8/2/10 8:55 p.m. Twitter me this, Caped Crusader: if once bitten makes you twice shy, where does being chewed out get you?

8/17/10 8:18 a.m. Ever eat a bowl of cereal and you are so tired you think, “Was that milk bad?”

9/7/10 11:56 a.m. Broke out the Rock Band. I play drums and sing at the same time. I call it, “Phil Collins.”

9/30/10 2:50 a.m. Are Sea Monkeys anything but a child’s first harsh lesson in advertising betrayal?

11/21/10 10:46 p.m. Me: Congratulations! Lady Antebellum: I loved you on Arrested Development! Me: *sigh*