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This is Nathan Fillion’s adorable, efficient system for fan selfies

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After more than a decade, you work it out

Nathan Fillion visits Broadways’ production of Waitress
Walter McBride/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Firefly is the show that turned Nathan Fillion from a working actor into a science fiction icon and, no matter what he does from here until the end of time, he’ll likely always be seen by a certain population as Captain Malcolm Reynolds.

Firefly originally aired in 2002, which means that Fillion has had time to get really, really good at taking selfies with fans.

“I was really into the selfie before digital cameras,” he told Digital Times in a recent interview. “I actually got really good at it. I kind of long-armed a lot of cameras, and that was before we had a name for it. Then the digital cameras came along and you could pop a selfie or two and then check the screen to make sure it was okay. Some cameras have a little a centering light that comes down and if you could put it just under your chin that’s about perfect. I was pretty good at those things.”

He’s learned the process across 14 years, and in that time he’s figured out what people expect of him, and how to keep from disappointing fans while also making sure he has time to live his life. Fillion’s thought process on the interaction is actually fascinating.

“If they hand that camera or phone off to somebody else that person stands about 20 feet away and now you’re taking pictures of two little bodies out on a street somewhere, and they don’t know how to work the camera and they’re standing there and with it for so long,” he explains. “You know they could have taken a picture by now but you don’t know what they’re doing. And then you go, ‘Hey is everything okay?’ And as you’re talking they take a picture and now your mouth is all open. Now I’m late because it took so long, and then the other guy asks if he can get one too. So now they have to switch out cameras and start the whole process again.”

What should have been a fun and quick interaction has turned into an ordeal due to Fillion giving up control, so now he has a better protocol for dealing with fans who want pictures.

“So I just say, ‘I’m actually really good at this. Hand me your phone,’” he said. “I take the phone, I turn it around and I go ‘pop, pop, pop.’ I take about six pictures from different angles and one of them has got to be good. That’s the way to do it. I’ve got it down to a science.”