The Netflix series A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS has returned for its second installment of its 3-part story and, while attending this year’s WonderCon in Anaheim, we had a chance to sit down with Nathan Fillion and talk about him joining in the A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS in Season 2 as Jaques Snicket, brother of Lemony Snicket.
How do you feel about joining the show? Are you excited?
Nathan Fillion: I am excited! As you know, I’m a big fan of Neil Patrick Harris. I enjoy his company. I even enjoy watching him. I enjoy his talent.
As we have seen from DR. HORRIBLE, you guys have a history.
Nathan Fillion: Yes, exactly, and we met years before that. So I’ve always been a fan. And before that, I was a fan of DOOGIE HOWSER. I used to watch it all the time. So, was I excited? Yes! I watched the first season of Lemony Snicket and I was just blown away at the amount of work that goes into it. It is cinematic — it is gorgeous and it’s ugly. It’s so beautiful in its ugliness.
And it has a dark side.
Nathan Fillion: It’s certainly dark. I mean, not just in the circumstances of the SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS. The story’s awfully dark. But, the level of detail — that world, that they’ve created — it’s like an alien planet. There’s no detail missing. It’s all normal-ish, but, in an era and in a flavor and this doom and gloom everywhere. I mean, it’s gorgeous. So when I got a text from Neil saying, “Keep an eye out for this project that’s gonna come across your table,” I knew that I’d likely do it. I’d be in Vancouver, I’d be working with Neil Patrick Harris, which I’d love to do, and I’d be involved with this piece that I’m so wildly impressed with. And, it’s elegant, I mean: the words, the stories, the script — elegant.
Because you’ve worked with Neil Patrick Harris before, what was it like with you and him working together again, but, in a different dynamic?
Nathan Fillion: It’s fantastic. I mean, heaven! You cross your fingers that you’re gonna get a job that you’re going to build a character that you enjoy playing. So I had those things going for me. Then there’s the factor of: when I go to work, will people be cool? If you know the people, you know you can rely on their talent. You know what they’re gonna be like working around. I knew exactly what I was walking into and I did so happily. I was only too happy to work with Neil.
Do you think this might be an opportunity to kind of play a little bit, which, as an actor is a privilege, that you get the chance to not only do your craft, but, enjoy it?
Nathan Fillion: Absolutely. I enjoy what I do, but to work with people who just continually impress. Neil does so much and he does it so easily. He makes it look super-duper easy and it’s not and I know that. I know it’s not, because I’m terrified of the sheer volume. But the way that guy attacks work — I don’t think he knows how to not work hard. I think that’s his one weakness. The boy’s good at it!
It’s also got be fun to play in the sandbox of Netflix since they have a lot of money and give you a lot of creative freedom. So, that’s gotta be, also, an enticement.
Nathan Fillion: Yes, I’ve done two projects for Netflix and had a great time.
Can we expect to see anything musical happening between your and Neil’s characters in an episode, maybe?
Nathan Fillion: In an episode of SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS? Probably not, no. When I say probably, I mean, for sure. I’m not that familiar with the books, but, I think it would be quite a departure. That would be a little creative license. But I’ve said this before, Neil and I are very comfortable playing nemesis — enemies. That we hate each other. It’s kind of our thing now. It’s our shtick.
Yeah, but, you hate each other with a smile. That’s a lovely way to be.
Nathan Fillion: [Laughs] Exactly, exactly.
How was it like working with the kids in the show?
Nathan Fillion: Cool. They are something else, right down to the baby. They are all so incredibly hard working, especially while they’re doing everything that’s required of them to keep up with a television working schedule. They’re also going to school. I mean, school was a lot for me, when I was going through school. I couldn’t do school and this job. I mean, the lines they have here are eloquent. The words are not easy. It’s a lot of work and one of them was carrying around a baby the whole time! And I’m told that the doll they have when the baby’s not available, the doll they have is even heavier than the actual baby! [Laughs] I mean, [television] is a young person’s game, I’ll tell ya that right now. The show is successful because of the people that are in place. Like I talk about the look of it and I talk about the script/writing, the words, the stories — but obviously it is the cast. They are in a really good place with such very capable talent.
What do you think about using this as a family-enticing kind of show? I watched it and I went, “Oh, my gosh, it’s a little darker than I might let some of my siblings or people watch!”
Nathan Fillion: But, you know what? It’s kind of a safe darkness. I think it’s a really interesting way to introduce kids to bad news and darkness, and at the same time, so eloquently written that it’s smart enough for adults to enjoy. Just the rhythm of it.
What would you say would be the arc for your character this season?
Nathan Fillion: I feel like for an arc there has to be a fundamental change as the character has changed in some way — and, I think Jacques Snicket remains true to something good and strong within him. I think he has a bit of a knight-in-shining-armor complex. I think he knows what’s right, he knows what’s good, and I think he’s dedicated to that cause — and I don’t think that changes in his journey. I think the world changes around him and there’s opportunities to change, but, I think that is a constant, his willingness to do what’s right and what’s good.
So it’s more of a survival show where bad things happen and it is about how you deal with it and where you are gonna end up with it.
Nathan Fillion: [Laughs] Yeah, I think that’s a great point.
To see how Jacques Snicket aids the Bauledaire children in their ongoing struggle with their challenging circumstances, Season 2 of A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS is currently available for binge-watching on Netflix, and look for Season 3 to debut in 2019.
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS Season Trailer: