Somebody once asked me what it was like to be Malcolm Reynolds. Usually I get, “Why was Firefly canceled?” and “Is there going to be another season/sequel?” But what was it like? Specifically, to be Mal? I wasn’t quite ready for it. I mean, sure, it was great. Boots. Coat. Gun. Ride horses. Shoot guns. Shoot guns at horses. Stinks like awesome. But what was it like? It was so long ago it pieces together like childhood memories, complete with those moments of clarity that suddenly strike you with, “Oh, yeah! I remember that!” and a lot more moments of, “Really? We did that? Was I drunk?” But like those childhood memories there are images and feelings that are indelible.
Getting the job was stressful. I’m convinced the process of auditioning is designed to weed out the weak. Yet somehow, I still got it. There was the other actor up for the role, of whom I’m a huge fan. There was the fact I had to do the audition four or five times. There was the huge stack of contracts in triplicate to sign, potentially spelling out how I was going to spend the next seven years–or eight months, whatever the case may be. The stakes continue to rise throughout the process. Actors get knocked out of the mix, narrowing the choices. More and more faces show up to watch you pretend to be a spaceman. The offices get bigger and there’s a special room for the audition. Meetings are …