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‘Honey, I love you but…’: Jewel Staite unleashes crushing truth upon ‘Firefly’ fan

Our television heroes are rarely the same in real life.

Jewel Staite - TikTok
Image via @jewelstaite/TikTok

2002’s Firefly is a triumph of sci-fi television and persists as one of the best projects Joss Whedon ever produced.

It’s also been over since 2003, with its film wrap-up, Serenity, releasing a few years later, in 2005. It’s still a massive fan favorite among sci-fi geeks, but there’s essentially zero chance those calls for a return will ever be answered. A reboot, maybe, but we’ll never see those original actors return to their iconic roles.

Which leaves the stars of the ill-fated series in a tough spot. While some of the bigger names attached to the show, like Nathan Fillion and Morena Baccarin, went on to headline new projects, some of the show’s smaller stars are still largely associated with their roles on Firefly. Jewel Staite‘s career certainly didn’t begin an end with the delightful Fox series, but her role as Kaylee is so persistently popular she can’t quite seem to escape it.

Which brings us to a recent TikTok shared by Staite, in answer to a fan request. The request in question, as so many of them do, relates back to Firefly, and asks that the 41-year-old mother of one provide her fans with “some Kaylee vibes” by witnessing the actress “working on cars as a little video series.” Their suggestions for content include “an oil change” or ” compression coil change.”

Staite’s response to this request was short, Kaylee-sweet, and to the point. She provided a quick, six-second video, noting “Honey I love you, but that was a TV show. I have never changed oil in my life.”

The TikTok’s caption drives the point home even further, admitting that, while Staite’s statement may burst some fans’ bubbles, “might as well be real about it. This is JewelTok… Not KayleeTok.”


Replying to @Tibs2067 bubble perhaps burst, but might as well be real about it. This is Jeweltok.. not Kayleetok 🤷‍♀️❤️

♬ original sound – jewelstaite

It’s an entirely fair response and was likely delivered with far kinder words than some actors would use. Kaylee has haunted Staite for years, with some fans even blasting the real Staite as lesser than her on-screen character. While she no doubt adores Kaylee, it’s been nearly 20 years since she last stepped into her skin. We can treasure that single season, and the miracle that was Serenity, for the rest of our lives, but Staite has every right to move on. And do things other than engine work.

Back in the day, Staite’s response may have stirred up criticism from over-invested fans, but her comment section is instead rife with reinforcement. Staite’s fans showed up to support her kind rebuttal, with sarcastic comments and cheery affirmations quickly overtaking any disappointed sentiments.

As one fan aptly noted, it’s rather absurd to expect our stars to replicate their characters off-screen. They sarcastically expressed shock that “there’s a chance Sarah Michelle Gellar has never killed vampires,” even as their fellow commenters were sharing their wholesome enjoyment of JewelTok.

It’s fair to love Kaylee, of course — she’s a wonderful character — but fans can get more of her whenever they want. The entire (all too brief) Firefly run is available to enjoy with a subscription to Hulu — but you’ll have to invest some cash to polish the story off with Serenity.

Nahila Bonfiglio
About the author

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila carefully obsesses over all things geekdom and gaming, bringing her embarrassingly expansive expertise to the team at We Got This Covered. She is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor with a focus on comics, video games, and most importantly 'Lord of the Rings,' putting her Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin to good use. Her work has been featured alongside the greats at NPR, the Daily Dot, and Nautilus Magazine.