Nathan Fillion Credits Make-a-Wish Kid for Giving The Rookie Cast a ‘Reality Check’
“With all the hours and different challenges we face in our work and even personal lives, it’s so very easy to forget the magic of what we do," Nathan Fillion tells PEOPLE
“With all the hours and different challenges we face in our work and even personal lives, it’s so very easy to forget the magic of what we do. To have Kaydence come and work on The Rookie was a reality check for us,” Fillion tells PEOPLE exclusively of 12-year-old Kaydence, whose dream is to become an actress.
“She brought fresh eyes, an open heart, and such a grateful energy every day,” he says. “So much happens to film a show, and watching our cast and crew stop to teach and share with her warmed my heart and gave me pride.”
Despite suffering a congenital heart condition, Kaydence didn’t let her disease stop her from sharing a memorable performance on set.
“She has the best heart and the best energy. Honestly, it seems like she has been doing it for a long time. I would never know this was her first project,” Titus Makin says in a clip shared with PEOPLE, as Kaydence danced in the background.
Fillion was particularly moved by the aspiring actress’ “perspective” and “joy,” which he says united the cast “as a community.”
“We still remember Kaydence and speak of her often. I feel confident speaking for all of us when I say, as much as it may have meant to Kaydence, it meant more to us on The Rookie,” he tells PEOPLE.
The pair showed off their bond in the clip shared by Make-A-Wish, which includes them laughing and Kaydence playfully arresting Fillion while she wore a cop uniform and dark aviators.
“Make-A-Wish is doing awesome things for kids that have diseases,” she says in the clip, while sitting alongside her co-star for the day. “I think it is very important to look at those kids and see the smile on their face when they actually get their wish.”
“You put a smile on my face,” Fillion interjects, causing Kaydence to burst into laughter.
To make her lifelong dream possible, the Make-A-Wish foundation flew Kaydence to Los Angeles for the walk-on roll, which exceeded the cast’s expectations.
The Rookie airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on ABC.