Posts Tagged ‘robert patrick’

Orbit Magazine: The End is Out There

Orbit Magazine
The End is Out There
Greg Archer

Chris Carter, the brainiac behind The X-Files, TV’s most addictive, head-scratching sci-fi hit, is ushered into the Zanuck Building on the 20TH Century Fox lot with stars Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish not far behind. Sniff the air and you can smell prestige, power- pressure. The buzz is out there-literally. What’s the 411 on David Duchovny’s TV persona, Mulder- really? Who’s the father of Scully’s baby- really? And why, exactly, is this award winning cult show, which spawned gaggles of Internet-surfing chat room chatties (X-philes), fading to black? Carter, clad in comfy tan pants and a handsome shirt sprinkled in cinnamon tones seems ready to fess up: “I didn’t want it to be the sort of thing where people were going to write what The X-Files used to be. [That] it’s past its time or running on some past glory.”

That glory began in September, 1993. The Fox drama about two FBI agents investigating unexplained cases involving the paranormal was a hip amalgam of Twilight Zone, Outer Limits and Night Stalker. In one corner was agent Mulder, a brooding guy trying to shake off the childhood trauma of his sister’s alien abduction. In the other corner was agent Scully, a doctor and realist who would no more believe in aliens than be caught dead without her skepticism. (How’s that baby doing, Dana?). In between, there was Skinner, the boss who didn’t mind going out on a limb. Viewers worldwide quickly soaked up the show and soon there was

Critically, it hit high notes, garnering 61 Emmy nods, winning for Outstanding Lead Actress (Anderson), Outstanding Writing, Art Direction, Makeup, and more. The show also nabbed the George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting and several Golden Globes-Best Dramatic Series, Actor (Duchovny) and Actress.

At its best, The X-Files pushed the envelope. It was cutting edge. It provoked thought. It was often downright scary-those aliens, those hair-raising conspiracies, that mystifying Cigarette Smoking Man. We’ve seen everything from clever cloning and time shifting to primordial beasts and psychic phenomena. And the comedic episodes weren’t bad either.

Fortunately, diehard fans embraced the dramatic shift the show experienced over the last few years, which included The Lone Gunmen spinoff, Mulder’s character being abducted and the addition of Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish as agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes. The spinoff fell flat, but in a surprise twist, which only a show like The X-Files seems experienced enough to pull off, the Patrick-Gish addition paid off.

But how does the gang feel about calling it quits?

“I felt as if I’ve just begun to hit my stride as Monica Reyes and have grown to have a deep affection for the cast and the crew, so it’s sad,” Gish admits. “Although, there’s an elegance to the way they’re dropping the curtain… and there’s a little more chemistry between Doggett and Reyes – an event, shall we call it. I think it’s apparent that Reyes is deeply in love with Doggett. Unrequited love seems to be the theme that The X-Files thrives on.”

Patrick, who’s still dusting off Terminator 2’s “Liquid Man” mystique, is disappointed that his first TV gig is ending but respects Carter’s decision to go out on top.

“They wrote a great character and it’s been fun playing a guy that loves America, loves his job, believes in doing the right thing,” Patrick says. “[Doggett] has a lot of codes that he lives by and I think it’s a throwback character. I believe in a lot of things that Doggett believes in, I tell you that.”

But for Anderson, knowing the end is coming doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to accept.

“It feels very obscure to me, very surreal,” Anderson says. “It’s hitting me. [But] I think it’s great [that David is coming back]. I didn’t realize how important that would be. I really didn’t realize how much I was missing him and how integral he was to the story.”

So, what can fans expect from Carter’s May finale, which Duchovny appears in?

“We’ve gone so far from where we’ve began, so now … I’m going back to where we began,” Carter reveals. “There’s this mythology that people thought was very convoluted and very confusing and it actually all does make perfect sense. And I think that’ll be the thing that makes it [the finale] very satisfying. There’s a beautiful structure to it.”

And Scully’s baby?

“I think everybody knows now who the father is,” Carter adds. “We’ve kind of said that it was Mulder’s, but still, she was barren. So how does a barren woman give birth to a child? I think that it’s pretty clear now that there was some hanky panky.”

Fortunately, the end, as it were, isn’t really the end. Fans can expect another X-Files flick, the plot of which won’t depend on the finale.

“We’re always going to be true to the characters,” says Carter. “We really see the movies as taking the best part of the series, which is the Mulder/Scully relationship and The X-Files franchise, and doing stand alone movies that are their own thing – good scary stories the way we’ve been telling them now for nine years.”

But does Carter really believe in aliens?

“Me? No,” he laughs. “But if there are aliens out there, they owe me a visit after all that I’ve done for them in the last nine years.”

[Unknown]: Interview with the Stars: X-Files: Countdown To The Truth

Interview with the Stars
X-Files: Countdown To The Truth
Leslie Miller

[typed by Nancy]

HOLLYWOOD – The countdown to the truth is on. Just two more episodes of “The X-Files” are left. The popular sci-fi series which has become a worldwide phenomenon is finally concluding after almost a decade. The stars of the show have mixed emotions. Q13’s Leslie Miller sat down with the cast in Hollywood recently to see what they would reveal about the series finale.

Gillian Anderson/Agent Dana Scully: “It’s an important time for all of us to kind of sit and take in the full aspect of what we’ve just participated in.”

After nine successful seasons, the sci-fi show that became a cult hit and made “paranormal” a household word, is finally drawing to a close. The x-files will wrap up with a two hour series finale. The return of David Duchovny as Agent Fox Mulder.

They say the truth is out there, but so far there are many unanswered questions surrounding the final episode of the X-Files, cast members are keeping pretty tight lipped about the ending, but they do say it promises to deliver.

Gillian Anderson/Agent Dana Scully: “There’s a lot of stuff that gets wrapped up, you know, a lot of answers that get tied together and some interesting Mulder and Scully stuff for the history books, and I think that’s about all I can say.”

Robert Patrick/Agent John Doggett: “It’s kind of neat to be sitting in the position where I have the secret and I can’t reveal it, or I can or I won’t.”

But the stars of the show are revealing how they would like to see the series conclude.

Robert Patrick/Agent John Doggett: “I kind of had this vision of Doggett gets on a Harley and he throw Reyes on the back and they drive off into the desert and the suns sinking that’d be kinda cool..”

Annabeth Gish/Agent Monica Reyes: “I personally would like to see some more love relationships and hot stuff between Doggett and Reyes, but it doesn’t look there’s going to be much time for that.”

Show creator Chris Carter has taken viewers on a thrilling journey into the world of aliens and conspiracy theories with more than 200 episodes of the X-Files.

Chris Carter/Show Creator: “The show has been very murky and vague by design and now it’s chance to sort of tie up a lot of those threads and maybe shine some light through the murkiness and show people what it’s all been for.”

But if the saying holds true that all good things must come to an end. Carter says that time is now.

Chris Carter/Show Creator: “I think it did run its course I think that this is a good time to end.”

The stars of the show agree.

Robert Patrick/Agent John Doggett: “I feel like I’ve had mission accomplished you know I came in and we got two more years out of the show and we’re moving on.”

Gillian Anderson/Agent Dana Scully: “It’s definitely had its time in history and its time for it to conclude and be put to rest.”

X-Files fans don’t despair. Creator Chris Carter says while the TV show has concluded, the *X-Files movies* will continue. He also told us he’s working on another television series, but this one won’t deal with the paranormal.

The X-Files Magazine: Doggett’s Pursuit

The X-Files Magazine [US]
Doggett’s Pursuit
Ian Spelling

[typed by Megan]

Amazed us all in Season Eight, and now he’s for bigger and better things in Season 9 (and beyond…?). Robert Patrick chats about Special Agent John Doggett

“I love our show,” Robert Patrick enthuses of The X-Files. “A lot of people love The X-Files. Hopefully, it’s good diversion. One of the big things about The X-Files is that it’s often about questioning authority and not just accepting everything your government tells you is true. I think a lot of it applies right now, in this new world we’re in since September 11. That’s a big thing. Plus, I’d like to think that our characters are heroic and patriotic and on the side of good. They’re not nearly as heroic as the real police and firemen, but our intentions are good. We, as actors, are trying to make our characters people of virtue.”

Patrick, of course, joined The X-Files in Season Eight as Special Agent John Doggett, the man brought in to head up the investigation into the disappearance of Fox Mulder. Doggett initially displayed plenty of doubt. But based on what he himself saw and experienced – everything from shapeshifters to possible alien babies, from death to rebirth (via regurgitation!) – he is becoming increasingly faced with the possibility that perhaps Mulder wasn’t crazy and that perhaps Dana Scully has every reason in the world to believe in Mulder and his cause. Heck, by the end of Season Eight, after dealing with the imminent arrival of Scully’s baby, interacting a few times on missions with Mulder, and facing the possibility that he himself possesses some sort of psychic ability that may tie into the death of his son, Doggett was very close to becoming, well, less of a doubter…

“I thought there were a number of important episodes and moments,” Patrick says of Season Eight. “I think there were a lot of stand-alone episodes we did that were good experiences and good episodes. The one that sticks out is ‘Via Negativa’,” he says of the episode which earned The X-Files its second viewer discretion warning for graphic content (the first being for Season Four’s “Home”). “That was the one where Doggett’s mind was possessed by the leader of a religious group that was invading people’s psyches and getting them to commit these atrocities on his behalf. He started to get into my head. That was a great experience as an actor. It was challenging and a lot of fun. So far as specific character moments, I think he gained Scully’s trust and respect. He came through in the sense that he found Mulder. He gained respect for and insight into Mulder and what he’s done. He was a man of his word and accomplished his goal, and all the while he did that protecting Scully, watching after her and her best interests. Even though he loves Scully, he realized that he was there to protect her, and he didn’t intrude on her relationship Mulder. He stood back and respected that. I thought that was a great thing.

“I was also pleased with the scenes between Doggett and Mulder,” Patrick continues. “I thought they were great, and Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz did a great job of respecting both characters, allowing them to get together and find respect for each other. I really loved the way they wrote those scenes.

David Duchovny, the actor who of course portrayed Special Agent Fox Mulder from the very first episode, left the show at the end of Season Eight. Patrick comments on the actor and their brief working relationship. “I think David and I both responded as actors with mutual respect toward each other, and that carried over to the characters. It all went hand-in-hand. You also have to realize that a lot of what Chris and Frank wrote reflected what was going on in real life, in terms of me being a new actor on the show. Mulder and Doggett did a few missions together, but we were bitching in the corners of the office. It’s his office and I have respect for that, but I’m now there and I have a job to do. So what do I do? I can’t not have a backbone. I think Chris and Frank did a great job writing that transition and I commend David for the way he handled it. I thought it was first-rate all the way down the line.”

So, did Duchovny ever approach Patrick and say, either directly or in essence, ‘I’m not coming back. It’s all yours. Good luck’? “David and I had a couple of conversations about it and they went like this,” Patrick recalls. “David said, ‘Man, I’m having fun. This is fun. I’m really enjoying working with you.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I think it’s great. I want you to come back whenever you want and I hope you know that.’ He said, ‘I do and I will, maybe. I’ve got to see how things progress and how they write.’

“That’s how it went for a while,” says Patrick “Then, as things progressed, I got the sense that he wanted to stick with his game plan of saying goodbye and moving on. But I never got a definitive [answer] until the end. He said, ‘Hey man, you’ve got a great job. You’re doing a great job. Just have fun with it.’

“He probably decided that, after eight years, enough was a enough,” Patrick continues. “I’m not going to speak for him, but I want to convey that it was a great experience working with him. I think he really enjoyed it. But I think as he got back into it, he thought, ‘You know, I said I’m going to walk away and I’m going to stick to that.’ He never flat-out said that to me, but that was the sense I got.”

Once it become clear that Duchovny was not coming back, the fate of the series was thrown into question, and not just because of Duchovny’s departure. Carter, just before the eighth season kicked off, signed a one-year contract. And as of the season ended, Carter hard yet to sign on for year nine. Fans wondered if Carter would relinquish his day-to-day writing and producing duties. He did return, but only at the very last minute, after Spotnitz and company had started work on upcoming episodes.

Then there was the matter of Gillian Anderson. She was under contract for a ninth season, but made it clear in interviews that she’d prefer to move on with her career and spend more time with her daughter. Patrick, meanwhile, stood on the sidelines and awaited word of the show’s fate, though he figured it would all work out.

“I’m going to be presumptuous and say I don’t think there’s ever been a show like The X-Files,,” he says. “It’s an expensive show. It’s a fantastic-looking show. They tell stories no other show tells. They try to do things on The X-Files in 8 days of shooting an episode that are incredibly difficult. The hours are grueling. We hear from other people on other one-hour dramas about their 12-hour days, and we’ll be in our 18th hour. The schedule is grueling. There’s not a lot of free time. There were some times last year when I was really treading water, going, ‘My God, I hope I make it.’ It can be a little overwhelming, not just for me, but also the whole crew because the show is so ambitious and there’s so much money behind it. We sometimes do 80 hours a week. Chris takes two weeks off a year, but otherwise he’s got to eat, drink and sleep The X-Files. The whole thing is on his shoulders. I’m sure he probably gives it some thought. ‘Do I want to continue?’ I know how hard Gillian works. And she’s been there from the beginning. I know how hard David worked. I know how hard I work. That’s why I’m excited that the show is now more of an ensemble show. If it’s an ensemble, there are more people and that senses everyone’s workload. It’s certainly easier than having just two people who are in every scene together. We can spread the workload around. So if Chris and Gillian are tired, it has nothing to do with the show, the subject matter or the enthusiasm we all have for the creative part of the show. I think it’s just the arduous schedule that gets to you.

“As I said last year, when I started on the show, I focused on the work, did the best I could and figured ‘Whatever happens, happens.’ And I kind of feel I stuck to the game plan and it worked, thank God. The fans stayed tuned and they seemed to accept Doggett as a new character. I don’t think his being there threatened anybody. I think people, even the Mulder fans, felt that Doggett was there to support all the good work that Mulder had done. And that worked dually, as characters and actors. I think the fans also realized that I was there support David and all the good work that he’d done.”

Season Nine got underway in November with the “Nothing Important Happened Today” two-parter and the show had indeed morphed into an ensemble series. Doggett is partnered with Special Agent Monica Reyes, a relationship that’s complicated on several fronts. On the professional end of the equation, they work well together. She believes in Doggett and does her best to support him, both on the usual investigations into the unusual and also in Doggett’s pursuit of Deputy Director Kersh. Kersh is emerging as a major nemesis, a shadowy figure not unlike Assistant Director Skinner in the early days of The X-Files.

On the personal front, Reyes seems well aware of Doggett’s suppressed psychic abilities and might just be in love with the guy. That last point’s a sticky wicket, for Doggett seems to be interested in Scully, Scully still feels affection for Mulder (even though he’s on the run from the aliens and had to leave baby William behind) and Reyes is fending off the unwanted affections of her snide and oily former beau, Assistant Director Brad Follmer, who looks to be as out to get Doggett as Doggett is out to get Kersh.

“I like what’s going on,” Patrick enthuses. “I want to continue on with this theme of Doggett having virtue, being morally sound and patriotic. He believes in his country and yet he’s willing to question authority and question everything, really. There’s a find line in that. I keep talking about the fine line that John Doggett walks, and I want that to be defined more. I also think Doggett’s going to have to deal better with the situation involving his son and the premonitions. I didn’t realize, going into the show last year, that Doggett had some sort of questionable paranormal experience relating to his son. That happened about midway through the season and it was a good thing. Maintaining your knee-jerk skepticism when you’re taken a shotgun blast, been spit out by a shaman and come back to life… how can you got [sp] through that and maintain your skepticism? That’s been one of the challenges on my job. Doggett has to stay somewhat skeptical, but hopefully that will help him be able to be a little more open to some of the things he comes into contact with as a result of being the ‘X’-Files.

“I also think he’s going to have to resolve some things with Scully and Reyes. There’s a lot going on there. I’ve gone to Scully for some help and she doesn’t want to help me. Doggett find himself alienated. Nobody wants to help him out. The only person on his side is Reyes. So, in effect, Doggett and Reyes are the new Mulder and Scully. I want to see what happens with his relationships with them.”

Might that entail Doggett engaging in a romance with either of the ladies? “I would really like it,” Patrick replies playfully as the conversation comes to an end for now. “Doggett would really like it, I should say. You know what I mean? It would be great for the character.”

SFX Magazine: “Doggett Style”

SFX Magazine
“Doggett Style”
Kenneth Hubbard

ROBERT PATRICK doesn’t initially seem to sense the irony in his declaration: “I think I’m pretty good at being a chameleon.”

This, coming from the man who shot to fame as the shapeshifting, mother-spearing T1000 in James Cameron’s Terminator 2. Patrick, however, isn’t giving a critical reassessment of his role as the killer cyborg. He’s musing over the fact that even though he’s had a prolific and mercurial movie career -“I’ve got 55 films in my 16 years,” he points out -when he was announced as the new star of The X-Files, he was still generally referred to as “the guy from T2 “.

But now, with season eight of The X”Files having been unleashed on the world, Robert Patrick is John Doggett. “One of the good things about that killer cyborg being my breakthrough role,” he reckons, “is that I’ve been able to change my look, do other things, and I’m not quite sure that people really associate the same Robert Patrick from this with that.”

The Robert Patrick giving this interview is very much recognisable as John Doggett, though perhaps one from an episode about alien sleep deprivation experiments. The schedule of The X.:Files is a punishing 70 to 80 hours a week, but Patrick knew what he was letting himself in for when he made the decision to look for television roles. “You know, I kind of expected it. I realised that being the co-lead in a one-hour drama was going to demand a lot of time. And this show is very ambitious. And it’s hard work, it’s gruelling work. But it’s fun. It’s fun work, and that’s what I want to do. I’m having a ball. It’s a great role, great show. It’s fun to be a part of such a well-oiled machine. I don’t think I could have picked a better scenario to jump into TV.”

And that jump -despite the hours -has had its advantages. For a start, Patrick’s wife gave birth to his second child -a boy named Samuel -three weeks into production on season eight. Patrick relishes the opportunities he has to see his newborn son, though some may not be envious of an 80-hour-a-week schedule then coming home to a baby with a sleep schedule of his own. “Exactly!” he laughs. “He’s a really good boy. He sleeps through the night, and his mom’s really good, she’s able to allow me to get my sleep and take care of him. I get to bounce him around. That’s the great thing about this gig, and something I was looking forward to, because this is my second child, and with my first child [a girl, Austin], I spent a great deal of time away during these early years and missed a lot. It was one of the things that led me to really trying to find a great job on television.”

Not that Patrick was a complete small screen virgin, having guested as David Scatino on The Sopranos. It was that experience that finally convinced him to take the TV plunge. “I had started to think about it within the last couple of years, and my experience on The Sopranos really opened my eyes to the possibility that there’s some great opportunities out there to do some quality work and do some work with quality writers and find a show that suited what I would be interested in. The Sopranos was the catalyst that totally swayed me that way. I didn’t just want to do anything. I wanted to try to find something that I thought would keep my interests up and really challenge me every day and every week. ”

Not that he met with instant success. “I had done some pilots for all the other networks. I guest-starred in one, I was to reoccur in another, and I was a regular in the other. Each was for a different network. ; None of them got picked up! They were all great shows, by great writers. Lynda LaPlante wrote one called Cold Shoulder, James Ellroy wrote another one called LA: Sheriff’s Homicide, and Kari O’Salem wrote one called The Beast. And they’re all really, really great shows. ” Lucky for Patrick it wasn’t three strikes and you’re out. “I had gone in and told my agents, I want to find a gig for TV, let’s go out aggressively this season and see what we can do. Those three came up, then my wife and I went off on vacation. While we were there r made a joke, ‘Well, we covered every network except for Fox.’ Got back to town, heard from my manager that Chris Carter was interested in me possibly coming in and joining The X-Files. as a new character. ” And we had a meeting with Chris, and I expressed my real desire to be strongly considered. I just said, ‘I really want to make this work, whatever I have to do… . Let me read for you, let me audition.’ And he was, ‘No no, you don’t have to do anything like that to make me want you.’

But Fox bosses did demand an audition. Patrick obliged. Everyone was happy. The part was his. “I was lucky that Chris knew a lot of my work,” he reckons, “so when he said he was interested in me, it was genuine. He thought I would suit the character.” But maybe not everybody did. Patrick acknowledges that perhaps the reason why Fox bosses insisted on an audition may well have had to do with the public’s perception of him in villainous roles.

“I think Rick Millikan, the casting director for The X-Files, really made sure that they were fully aware of a lot of things that I had done that have not been seen by a vast audience, little obscure things that I’ve done. There’s been a lot of times where I had been the lead in some of the, smaller movies, and I had been a good guy; a guy with virtue, a guy with codes. I think Rick did a really good job making sure that they were aware of that. And then they had films to look at like Cop Land, which I was in with some pretty heavyweight actors and they saw how I worked in that. I think the thing with them was… I don’t know, I’ve never asked Chris his, but they really just wanted to check me out and see. ..I think they might have been more familiar with me just as a bad guy. I assume that Rick Millikan was trying to convince them that, ‘Yeah, this guy can do this.'”

And Patrick was well aware that Doggett was also the perfect opportunity to change the public’s perception of him. He may claim chamelionic thesping abilities, but he’s pragmatic enough to know that he’s still perceived by the mainstream as a black hat. “Absolutely, absolutely. I can get into a very long account of this.” He pauses for a moment… “And I will. The way I see it, I’ve got a body of work out there, I’ve got a lot of films out there, as I’ve said before. In most of the films that have hit a wide audience, I’ve been a bad guy. In Striptease, I was a prick husband. InCop Land, I was a prick cop. Terminator 2 -certainly the most famous thing that I’ve ever done -I was a Terminator. So really for the vast majority of the people who see The X-Files, these might be the only things they know me from. They don’t know all those little obscure things. The good thing for me as an actor is that casting directors do, and people in the industry are aware that a lot of the work that I’ve done is basically just small and obscure little films. So this is an opportunity where, yeah, I’m thrilled. I think as an actor that’s the thing that excites you, showing as much versatility as you can and having people see you in different lights. I’ve got a great opportunity here where this hits a huge audience, and probably none of these people have ever thought of me this way, and hopefully it will change their perception of me.

“I just read some article the other day about Sly Stallone. He’s a great friend and a guy I’ve done two movies with now, and he’s just kind of had to duck the Rocky persona and the Rambo persona, and that was sort of the slant of the article. He did a great job doing that with Cop Land, but Cop Land didn’t hit as big an audience as Rocky and Rambo. Still, you’re constantly trying to reinvent yourself and squeeze your own personality into characters that you’re given the chance to play, and people will perceive you differently. So what am I saying there? I’m saying that, yeah, this is a fantastic opportunity for me, and I am certainly aware of the fact that more people are going to see something like this than have seen a lot of the other things that I’ve done. ”

Probably more people than even saw T2…? “I had never realised that, but yeah. As big as T2 is one night of this, more people will see it. And that was another thing. One of the frustrations as an actor is that you do some good work and it never gets seen, but with this you kind of go, ‘Well, if the ratings keep up, at least some people are going to see this work.’ And these guys are writing me such great stuff, that yeah, I’m out there every day challenged, flexing my muscles and doing things that make me go, ‘God, I don’t even know what to do in this scene.’ But that’s exciting, because that’s what creativity’s all about -losing control, having the confidence that you can do it, and getting out there and not thinking about it. It’s exciting stuff.”

Having played Doggett for 22 episodes now, Patrick has strong ideas about what makes his character tick. “He’s very honourable. He’s got a code. He’s sort of a throwback hero. I’m not aware of everything that’s on television, but I’m aware enough that I don’t think there are that many characters like this out there. This is a very heroic guy in the way that they’ve created him.”

Doggett has also allowed writers to bring back a touch of the early X-Files into’the mix, as the new agent plays the sceptic to the once-sceptical Scully. “Yeah, and that’s what makes him interesting. That’s the whole big conflict now he’s assigned to the X-Files. So what do you do with a guy that believes in God and his country and believes in facts and not wild ideas…? What do you do with a guy like that who’s used to rolling up his sleeves and spending 24 hours going over notes and facts of a case? And that’s how he’s been such a fast climber at the FBI! And now you throw him into a situation where he’s got to take all these leaps of faith with all these cases that read like science fiction stories. That’s the interesting conflict for Doggett. He’s got to sort of try to figure this thing out. He’s got to rely on Scully to try to bridge reality.”

Patrick himself is not such a strong believer in all things X, though a few years back he did go through an experience that opened his mind a little to the possibilities of extra terrestrial life. ..but not for long. “I did a movie some years ago called Fire In The Sky which was based on a very famous, ‘true’ alien abduction story. And I met the guys -and I think the world of them – Mike Rogers and Travis Walton. And at the time I did the movie, I really believed these guys went through a very traumatic experience. This is about eight years ago. And I really believe they went through something, something that’s just hard to explain. And you have to go through the facts, and the facts are that they took lie-detector tests -and all the guys that were working on the same crew that day that experienced the same thing took lie-detector tests -and they saw something and something happened for real. ” As time goes by, I still believe that, but I’m a little less willing to believe. ..The research I did for Doggett made me realise that, you know, maybe the government has a lot of technology that we don’t know about. There are a lot of secrets. So I’m sort of getting more into this conspiracy mode that’s going on, or that I guess is already built into the show. As a person, as an individual, I’m realizing that possibly there is a lot of stuff out there that we’re not aware of, that the government can sort of censor what we do know, what the facts are, what’s going on. Maybe not everything is being explained to us.”

Sounds like Mulder’s been getting to him… “Maybe, yeah, a little bit, and that’s not to say that I’m not trying to undermine or diminish the experience that Travis Walton and Mike Rogers went through. Maybe there are some other things they don’t know, you know what l mean? My thing is, God created the universe -I believe that -and I believe it’s a vast, obviously unending universe. Potentially there could be some other life out there; if there is, God created that. If they are coming down here to visit, I haven’t seen it. But I’ll never say never!”

While Doggett has definitely brought a new dynamic to the show, he feels that it is too simplistic to say that Scully has merely swapped roles -from sceptic to believer. “She’s still a sceptic,” he insists. “She can’t make that jump to total believer.”

But she’s quite clearly less of a sceptic than Doggett.:. “Yeah, but only because of her past experience and the things she’s learned from Mulder. She certainly has scientific explanations more readily available to her than Doggett does, because he’s sort of an earthy, blue-collar kind of guy. ” Of course, after seven years Duchovny had built up a massive, loyal fanbase, but Pattick is pragmatic when it comes to dealing with fan reaction.

“The show is a great show. ..we all know that. It has a very strong legion of fans, they have some very serious fans. I just want to say to them that I respect that, and I’m just an actor, and I’ve been hired to come in and bring life to this new creation. The same people that created Mulder and Scully have created a new guy, and it’s giving them the opportunity to look at the show from a fresh standpoint. There’s new blood to deal with here. So to the fans I just say, it’s a new guy, I didn’t come in to replace anybody, the situation arose where the actor playing Fox Mulder was ready to move on, while the show’s ready to keep going. So they came up with a whole new guy and introduced me. Hopefully I’m a part of the X-Files ensemble, and I think that Doggett, Mulder and Scully. ..we can all exist together in the world of The X-Files. So to all those fans who have been with The X-Files over the years, Chris Carter created this guy and hired me, and my commitment to them and to the fans is to come in and try to do the best job that I can to try to bring this guy to life. And that’s all I’ll do, is work my ass off every day and just focus on the work.”

He admits, though, that it’s an attitude that has developed as he worked on the show. He did care. first! “My opinion early on -and it’s changing, I change constantly every day -but my opinion early on was, ‘Jeez, I hope these people like me.’ I understand that they’re very loyal, and I hope they understand what’s going on. I’m just doing what I was hired to do. I’m excited about the challenge of bringing this guy to life. Chris Carter, I think, is one of the most talented writers and showrunners in the business, and it’s a great opportunity for me. I have a website, I have been on some chat rooms and just sat there silently observing. I’ve seen what people have said, I’ve seen the people that are really… well, they’re really anti-Doggett, they’re not too thrilled by Doggett, they’re not too thrilled about Mulder leaving. I don’t participate on the chat rooms. All I can say is there’s nothing I can do except work hard for you. Everybody’s entitled to an opinion, and I would rather them have a reaction to me than not have a reaction to me. So if they hate Doggett, that’s fine. I expect that. If they like Doggett, that’s fine too, I expect that as well. So as long as they have some sort of reaction, I think we’re in good shape.”

His movie career hasn’t ground to a halt, though. Far from it. He seems busier than ever, with recent parts in All The Pretty Horses (playing Matt Damon’s father), Texas Rangers (with James Van Der Beek) and the US box office smash Spy Kids (with Antonio Banderas, directed by Robett Rodriguez). So for Patrick an 80-hour a week schedule on The X-Files is a bit of a doddle really.

“Yeah. I mean, it’s a daunting task getting up and working as much as I do. The only thing that upsets me is I don’t maybe get to spend as much time with my family. But at least in this scenario, eight or nine months out of the year, I can come home every night and I know where my kids are, and I give them a kiss goodnight, and I give them a kiss in the morning before I go to work. When I was only doing features I’d be gone, and I’d be calling them from a hotel room, and I’d not get to see them that much for longer periods of time. I love the work, and this is all I do. I have a few other interests that are very small. I’m not a real social creature. I ride Harleys, I work and hang out with my kids. I don’t golf. So if I say to myself, ‘Jeez, I’d like to take some time off,’ then in about two weeks, I’m antsy.

“It’s always been that way when I was just doing features: ‘Well, fuck, I can’t sit around for two weeks l’m supposed to be working;’ What am I doing? An actor has to act. I’m a much better actor than when I’m saying, ‘Okay, let’s take a year off.’ I don’t know how I could do that. I mean, I’m not going to say never again, I could contradict myself next year and say, ‘You know what, fuck it, I’m exhausted. I have to take some time off.’ But this is what I do, and I love to do it. So you can state the obvious: yeah, shit, the pace is gruelling. But I love it. So how can I bitch? I tell you what I can bitch about -you come out here and you try to get into the entertainment business and try to do movies, and you never do it. That’s what I’d be upset about. So I plan to stack as much work as I can year round for as long as I can do it, ’cause that’s what I do.”

Sky Magazine: X-Terminator

Sky Magazine
Thomasina Gibson

Mulder’s vanished, Scully’s pregnant, and there’s a new agent in town. So, it’s weirdness as usual in the new series of The X-Files Sky One. Thomasina Gibson investigates…

When Mark Snow’s haunting music heralds the new series of The X-Files, look between smoke and crossed torch beams for another badge alongside Agent Scully’s – that of Special Agent John Doggett, Robert Patrick, who takes the role of the man investigating Fox Mulder’s disappearance, may be best known as mercurial cyborg T-1000 in Terminator 2, but he’s had lots of practice for his new job. “I’ve played a bunch of FBI guys and police officers,” says the 42-year-old, of roles ranging from a New York police officer in Cop Land to the bad cop in Wayne’s World. “But this is the first time I’ve had a chance to play such a straight shooter to such a wide audience. I’m really excited.”

David Duchovny may have stepped down from his lead role, but creator Chris Carter’s decision to push for an eighth (and a possible ninth) season of The X-Files wasn’t, he claims, about making more money from the franchise. “Adding Doggett gave us the scope to incorporate a new dynamic into the show,” he explains. “While the myth-arc of Mulder’s disappearance and the resolution of Scully’s amazing revelation at the end of season 7 remain to the fore, every episode of this season will be different from each other, with more emphasis on the return to the horror roots of the show.”

In contrast to Mulder (the FBI’s most unwanted) John Doggett is a respected member of the bureau, and, while Scully (Gillian Anderson) has been the one with her feet on the ground for seven years, its now her turn to lead the foray into the paranormal, with Doggett as the knee-jerk sceptic.

“There is a conflict between them in the beginning,” says Patrick. “Scully doesn’t like the way Doggett introduces himself to her, because he deliberately isn’t upfront with who he is. He was willing to risk the first impression because he wanted some information about her former partner.”

Despite initial differences, a strong relationship does develop between the characters. “They have a genuine chemistry,” says Patrick. Anderson has no doubts about her characters view of the new guy, suggesting that “viewers may come to appreciate the way Doggett is protective of Scully, the way he respects her journey and is mindful of her relationship with Mulder.”

Asked if there is likely to be any romantic entanglement, Carter hints, “You’re going to find that we’re dealing with all that in a delicate and provocative way.” No change there, then.

Coming into a television phenomenon that has already countless of millions of fans worldwide, many of whom worship Mulder, could have been a trifle daunting for a lesser man, but Patrick takes it all in his stride. “Early on, I was told that people might not like Doggett or the fact that I’m in the show,” he says. “So we kind of built that into the character, and as people watch the show they’ll see a guy who doesn’t really care whether he’s liked or not. Doggett is very confident. He believes in what he’s being asked to do and he’s going to do it.”

Although comparisons are bound to be made, Patrick doesn’t see himself as a replacement for Duchovny. “I see Doggett as a brand new character, and hopefully people will enjoy him as much as they enjoy Mulder.”

Describing himself as “a film actor who didn’t know a lot about television”. Patrick admits that he “didn’t really know how big the job was. It’s slowly starting to dawn on me that this is a pretty big deal. Mostly I’m known or my role in Terminator 2. Everywhere I go it’s like – “You’re the liquid metal guy!” and I’m used to shouting “Yeah! But what’s my name? – for The X-Files newest investigator, all that is about to change.

New York Times: The voice of X-perience: Robert Patrick on ‘The X-Files’

New York Times
The voice of X-perience: Robert Patrick on ‘The X-Files’
Ian Spelling

John Doggett sees dead people.

“Doggett is starting to be honest with himself, and in ‘Empedocles’ the audience saw why he chose not to believe all the crazy stuff that he had seen,” says Robert Patrick, who plays FBI Special Agent Doggett on “The X-Files.” “It was for very personal reasons. “He doesn’t want to believe what Reyes and Mulder and Scully say,” the actor adds, “because if he believes it’s all real, if he believes the visions he experienced were real, then it’s something else he could have done to save Luke, to save his son. It’s like he tells Reyes: If he doesn’t believe it, then maybe he did everything he possibly could have done. “‘Empedocles’ was a huge turning point for this guy.”

As huge a turning point as that episode was, it pales in comparison to what series creator Chris Carter has in store for the tumultuous two-part “X-Files” season finale. The first part, titled “Essence,” will air on May 13, while the concluding “Existence” will run on May 20. “Adam Baldwin is back as my informant, Agent Crane (Kirk B.R. Woller) is back, Duffy Haskell (Jay Acovone) and Krycek (Nick Lea) are back, Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and Reyes (Annabeth Gish) are around,” Patrick says by telephone from his Los Angeles home, “and a new character played by Frances Fisher is in, but I can’t tell you what she plays or what the character does. “Really, the last two episodes are all about Scully having her baby,” he adds. “It’s all of us, more or less, dealing with what’s going on with that.

“What else can I tell you?” he says with a laugh. “Billy Miles (Zachary Ansley) is back. He was in the first friggin’ episode of ‘The X-Files’ eight years ago, and was in last season’s finale. So all of these people are back, and it’s a mythology-conspiracy two-parter with everything based around Scully’s pregnancy.

“You’ll get a big scene as Scully has her baby,” Patrick promises. “Everybody’s kind of wondering whether the baby is an alien or a human at this point, aren’t they? Well, the characters are, too. So you’ll get that scene with the characters waiting and wondering, but I can’t tell you who’s there when the baby is actually born. But it’s not who you think it’s going to be.” Patrick laughs.

“I have to shut up now,” he says. “I’m afraid to say anything, man. Chris Carter will kick my a– if I give away too much.”

Patrick arrived on the “X-Files” scene in the eighth season’s first episode, “Within,” and made his mark against otherworldly odds. Doggett gradually earned the trust of Scully (Gillian Anderson), who missed Mulder (David Duchovny), and Patrick won over the show’s fans, even those who pined for Duchovny and bemoaned the star’s part-time status.

At press time, all indications suggest that “The X-Files” will return for a ninth season, though no official announcement has yet been made. Anderson, Patrick and Pileggi are all contractually obligated to return, leaving only Duchovny unaccounted for. The buzz is that, if Duchovny stays involved at all, he’ll make only a handful of appearances next season. “The honest-to-God truth is,” Patrick says, “with the two-part finale, I feel like we’ve shot an episode that brings a sense of almost-closure, and yet there’s more to be told.”

Patrick plans to spend his hiatus – and any additional down time imposed by the looming writers’ and actors’ strikes – relaxing with his wife, Barbara, and their two young children. Still, he makes no bones about his desire to return to “The X-Files,” however traditional it may be for the show’s stars to waffle and procrastinate on such issues. “Do I want to come back for a ninth season?” he says. “Absolutely. I’ve got a multiyear contract with these guys. I love this gig. I hope I get to do more with David – I thought we had really good chemistry in the oil-rig episode. “Look,” Patrick says with a laugh, “I am really spoiled by playing Doggett. I love the character. For a guy like me it’s fun – it’s a leading-man role, and the only chance I get to be the leading man in the movies is when I do really low-budget films. “I’m just having the time of my life playing Doggett,” he says. “I’m used to being a villain or a supporting character in my bigger projects, so ‘The X-Files’ has been great.” (Ian Spelling is a New York-based free-lance writer.)

Chicago Tribune: Trial by ‘File’: Scully and new parter face first ‘monster’ test

Chicago Tribune
Trial by ‘File’: Scully and new parter face first ‘monster’ test
Allan Johnson

[posted to atxfa by Alfornos]

Now that the two-part season premiere of Fox’s “The X-Files” has come and gone, the real test begins.

Last Sunday’s episode concluded yet another chapter in the paranormal series’ so-called “mythology.” This intricate, sometimes confusing history of the show includes government coverups of alien existence, alien plans for world domination, and the struggle of intrepid FBI agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) to reveal the truth.

Mulder has been abducted by those marauding aliens and subjected to some really nasty experiments. This storyline is a convenient way of explaining away Duchovny’s absence from the series, since he’s only contracted to be in half of this season’s episodes.

“The X-Files” passed its first test. It recast Mulder’s partner, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), as the show’s center, a former skeptic of things that go bump in the night. It introduced agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) as Scully’s new associate in investigating X-Files who also leads the investigation into Mulder’s “disappearance.” And it effectively put Mulder in the background while keeping him very much a part of the series.

But the meat and potatoes of “The X-Files” has always been its “monster” episodes. These are the stand-alone segments that featured Mulder and Scully tracking various freaks, mutants and creatures.

The first such episode is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday on WFLD-Ch. 32. Scully and Doggett investigate their first X-File together, a case involving murders that seemed to have been committed by a batlike creature.

If the relationship between Scully and Doggett doesn’t work, and if the story feels like a rehash of other monster episodes, it could signal the final creative demise of “The X-Files.” (No advance tape of the episode was available.)

Those connected with the series say don’t write obituaries yet.

According to producer-creator Chris Carter, the show has “found a new way to tell good scary stories,” mostly because of the addition of Patrick, the abduction of Mulder, and Scully’s transformation to reluctant believer.

“I think what that does for us is it forces us to increase a new dynamic in the storytelling,” Carter says. “And I think of it as going back, really, to the first season and telling good, scary stories again, using this new dynamic.

“The cases come to them through the X-Files office, but now, of course, Scully is the one holding the remote on the project and taking Doggett through the cases, and he is the one who is shaking his head saying this can’t be.”

Says Patrick of Doggett: “He has to really lean on Scully’s experience with this, and he’s sort of nurtured that relationship, I guess, as a working partnership. And he’s dealing with things that he’s never had to deal with before.”

Carter had planned to do less mythology episodes this season, but now he realizes any show that has Mulder in it “becomes a kind of mythology episode.”

As is his nature, Carter is coy about future stand-alones . . . except for one: a man who is contaminated by “smart metal . . . which I think Robert [who played the morphing metallic cyborg T-2000 in “Terminator 2″] and everyone else can appreciate.”

Whether the stand-alone episodes work or not wasn’t an issue with Anderson. She had tired of the job and just didn’t want to be back (she was not only contracted for an eighth year, but she also is going to be around for a ninth if Fox wants one).

Now, she feels renewed.

“I felt that I was losing sight of what I had left to give,” she says. “Much to my chagrin, and also [because of] some conversation with Chris about the potential for the new season and the introduction of the new character, I started to get more interested and more excited about the potential of the new year.”

Anderson and Patrick are co-stars, but it really falls on Anderson to carry the show as Scully because she is the one fans have formed a relationship with. Anderson says rediscovering Scully is the reason she has been able to shoulder the load.

“What I’ve found since Scully has had more to do, and Mulder has kind of temporarily fallen into the background, [is] it almost feels as if Scully has found her voice again,” she says. “It’s almost as if when there was two of us [Scully and Mulder], part of me kind of stepped down or stepped backwards in a way. And now that half of that equation is no longer here, it’s kind of allowed me to open up a bit more.”

Carter is going to see how this season goes, but he stresses, “I don’t want to go on with the show, unless the show can be good.”

We’ll see just how good it is on Sunday. As X-Files enters its eighth season it now must contend with being partially Mulder-less and the introduction of a new partner (Robert Patrick) for Scully – yet the cast and crew affirm that it’s still business as usual for Fox’s popular sci-fi show

As X-Files enters its eighth season it now must contend with being partially Mulder-less and the introduction of a new partner (Robert Patrick) for Scully – yet the cast and crew affirm that it’s still business as usual for Fox’s popular sci-fi show
Anthony C. Ferrante

[typed by Alfornos]

As the end of Season 7 of X-FILES was drawing near, it looked like the doors were finally closing on FOX’s venerable series. David Duchovny was getting increasingly impatient with not being able to move forward in his movie career and the increasing reliance on humor on the show was taking some of the dark edges off its once truly creepy stories.

At the 11th hour, though – after the season finale was shot where it was revealed Scully is pregnant and Mulder abducted by aliens – Duchovny worked out an agreement with FOX. He would appear partially in a handful of episodes (around five or six) and full time in the last six of the season. Hence, the show was back from the dead, but the question was: how do you cope with a Mulder-less show for most of the season?

“David is still a regular,” admits the show’s creator Chris Carter. “Even when he’s there he’s going to be ‘not’ there – he’s going to be an absent presence and an absent center. And so, his involvement in the show, even though it’s in an abbreviated fashion, is going to be very important.”

Naturally, this meant bringing in a new character to fill the void in Mulder’s wake. With FBI agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), and now her and Mulder’s boss Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), being firm believers based on what they’ve seen, bringing in another skeptic was almost a requirement.

Enter John Doggett (Robert Patrick) – a former New York cop thrown into the mix who will be working alongside Scully during her investigations throughout the season.

“Doggett is an FBI agent and he was a cop and that’s actually not atypical for FBI agents,” says Carter. “He is not assigned to the X-Files to begin with. He is not Scully’s partner to begin with. There is a gradual, hopefully realistic integration of the character into the series.”

While at the premiere of the Season 8 two-parter in North Hollywood last weekend, the cast and crew of X-FILES were obviously relishing in these changes, and Patrick’s chumminess with Carter and others looked like he’s been welcomed into this sci-fi staple’s fold with open arms.

“It’s nice to have a really fine new actor to write for,” says Carter. “It’s interesting to be doing some of the shows without David. He’s always a big presence on the show, even when he’s not there, because this is the search for Mulder this year.”

Patrick, who is best known for playing the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (and more recently for a multi-episode arc on HBO’s The Sopranos) was thrilled to join the show calling it a “no brainer.”

“It’s a win-win situation,” says Patrick. “It’s a brand new character. They wanted to write a brand new character, and I think Chris is a great writer. I’m having a ball working with Gillian and I’m looking forward to working with David. It’s all about the work for me.”

For the new dynamic with Scully, Patrick confirms his character’s “skeptic” status.

“I don’t buy any of it and think it’s all bullshit,” says Patrick. “I just go for the facts and try to solve everything with facts only. He’s a very street-smart guy and that’s how he goes about it. He has a really strong work ethic and he tackles each case with those abilities and traits.”

Though one of the appeals of the show has always been Mulder’s dry sense of humor, Patrick says there isn’t a lot of levity with his character – as of yet — but he says there is definitely a chemistry all its own going on between his and Scully’s characters.

“My chemistry with Gillian is my chemistry and David’s chemistry with Gillian is David’s” says Patrick. “I think Doggett really enjoys Scully and admires her craft. He enjoys working with her and bringing his abilities to work in tandem with hers. It’s thrown his reality a bit for a loop – that these things are kind of otherworldly — but he’s keeping his feet on the ground.”

Coming back to a show without your familiar partner might be a bit jarring, but for Anderson she says the presence of David is felt in every episode they’ve done so far this season, despite him being holed up on the spaceship by his lonesome.

“Even though David wasn’t here, he was the focus of the episodes, so I feel like he’s there,” says Anderson. “We’re always talking about him. We’re looking for him. It’s not as if Mulder is completely gone. It doesn’t feel like he’s not there.”

The quality of the writing continues to remain high, Anderson also notes.

“It’s going really well,” she says. “I think they’ve written some amazing episodes. Everybody is really enthusiastic the way things are going. The new character of Doggett is interesting and Robert is great to work with. I think there won’t be as much lightness and back more to the old flavor of X-FILES. You’ll like them – they’re good.”

However, one thing that executive producer and writer Frank Spotnitz actually misses this year, so far, is the way Mulder’s character was able to explain even the strangest scenarios – which the writers haven’t been able to fall back on as readily.

“You realize how much having Mulder around helps tell these stories because he can come out with the big theory and take the big leap,” reveals Spotnitz. “There’s nobody to do that now so it has put us in more than one quandary on how to tell a story.”

While the mystery of Scully’s pregnancy will be an ongoing arc throughout the season, one of the show’s mainstay directors Kim Manners notes that a February sweeps episode will deal specifically with this new revelation.

“We just finished up that episode and it’s a bit of a new conspiracy,” teases Manners. “Her pregnancy is going to be a conspiracy.” Another character going through a major change during Season 8 is Assistant Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) who watched as Mulder was abducted during last year’s season finale. He will now finally get a chance to get up from behind his desk and actually be an active part in the rescuing of Mulder. “Skinner has changed enormously since the end of last season because he saw a spaceship so he’s no longer the man in the middle,” says Spotnitz. “He’s firmly in Mulder and Scully’s camp. That’s really changed the role he plays on the show. He plays a bigger role this year than he’s ever played. He’s out of the office and clearly an ally of Scully and Doggett – and one episode in particular we have Doggett and Skinner together in an investigation.” For Pileggi, this rethinking of his character has been a breath of fresh air, too, and he says whole-heartedly that this season he’s been able to do “the best work of my career.”

“The episodes I’m in I definitely have a lot more involvement,” says Pileggi. “He is now a firm believer and it has really impacted him and how he feels about what Scully and Mulder have been doing.”

The show will be getting more dramatic according to Pileggi but for Skinner at least his character’s awakening has definitely provided more shadings for him as an actor to work with.

“It’s not so negative,” he admits. “That skeptical aspect of Skinner is gone and he can be a little more active. It’s really a nice new avenue for this character to go down.”

While it may seem like Season 8 could very well be one very long mythology episode, Spotnitz notes there will be the regular mix of stand-alones and mythology episodes.

“It’s mostly broken down in the way it has been in the past,” says Spotnitz. “Most of the episodes are still stand-alone investigations, but it’s the relationship between Scully and Doggett in each of those stand-alones which makes it more serial than it used to be. There is the search for Mulder that keeps coming back and it, along with Scully’s pregnancy, those are the big mysteries that drive the season.”

Of the stand-alones, Spotnitz notes an episode about a man “who seems to kill like a bat” will be particularly startling as are a handful of others.

“One has Scully getting stranded in this community that’s nowhere on any map and the people are really creepy and have a very scary secret, so it’s up to Doggett to find her and rescue her from this small town,” says Spotnitz. “There’s another where a boy who has disappeared ten years ago returns and looks exactly the same – he hasn’t aged a day. That’s a very scary one, too.”

According to Carter, he confirms like others on the show that it’s going to be a good scary season like the first year and there will also be some high concept stories thrown into the mix as well.

“Joe Morton guest stars in the episode where time goes backwards and Joe finds himself convicted of a crime that he doesn’t know he committed,” says Carter. “Then he starts living his days in reverse.”

In the end though, the big questions are about where Mulder is and where he will be when the season comes to an end and Manners is excited to see what happens when the actor comes back to the show full time.

“It’s going to be exciting when David returns and does the last six episodes of the season because it will be an interesting challenge for the writers,” says Manners. “It will be interesting weaving new stories and how we’re going to create the whole dynamic when Fox Mulder comes back from space.”

The whole absence of Duchovny may seem like a big deal for a show like X-Files, but it’s not the only controversy the show has faced both behind the scenes and from fans. When Duchovny wanted to be closer to his wife Tea Leoni, the show moved from Vancouver to Los Angeles two seasons ago with many fans thinking it would lose its look and feel. However, that has become a non-issue now and Spotnitz feels the show being Duchovny-less will be a non-issue as this year progresses as well.

“Nothing went wrong once we came to L.A. though one of our editors said before we were ‘wet and dark’ and now we’re ‘dry and dark,'” says Spotnitz. “For us, the big change that came with L.A. is it costs more than it did in Vancouver so we have to be a lot more clever in how we tell our stories and have to manage to hide the fact we can’t do the things we did before. We used to have huge locations. One two-part episode had moving trains and train cars blowing up – stuff on bridges. It’s stuff like that which is huge to do on a TV schedule and budget and even though the budget of the show has increased quite a bit since we moved to L.A., it’s still not enough to allow us to do the same epic things we did in Vancouver frequently.”

Spotnitz also wants fans to know that the behind-the-scenes talent are still firmly entrenched in delivering a show that won’t disappoint in Duchovny’s absence.

“I think the fans should know we love the show as much as they do,” notes Spotnitz. “We love the character of Agent Mulder as much as they do. This wasn’t our choice to do the show this way. This is something between David and the studio. The only thing Ten Thirteen had to say about it is that ‘we will not go forward unless you make David Duchovny happen. Give him what he wants.’ Our audience hopefully understands we’re telling the best stories we know how and keeping the X-FILES as good as we know how. We’re on the same side as they are.”

While the whole season has been mapped out, whether the show will return for a ninth year is still up in the air and Carter reveals that it will likely stay that way until it comes time to renew contracts in the Spring.

“Last season was the first where it was up in the air and while I anticipate every season would be like that I don’t think it will be quite as 11th hour as last year was,” adds Carter.

One thing is for certain – Patrick’s contract extends beyond this year if the show continues.

“I’m committed for the full season this year and then some,” says Patrick. “I think I can say I’m contracted for another year.” And now that he’s tied up with a show, Patrick might also have problems scheduling in Terminator 3 if he were asked back but he says no one has approached him about it yet – “I’m not aware of it.”

Whether the creative team in place may still be around for another X-Files season is entirely a big question mark too, but Spotnitz thinks it may be time to move on.

“I suspect this will be the last year for us – for this creative team,” he admits. “I never say never. I never thought we would last this long. I don’t know what will happen beyond this year. We definitely have a plan of what will get us to end of this season and where the characters will be. It can certainly go beyond this year. Whether it will or not, I don’t know. ”

Some of the team’s energies might actually be funneled into The Lone Gunmen spin-off which is scheduled for mid-season with a 13-episode commitment.

“It will be much lighter than X-Files,” says Carter. “The characters actually get to develop in ways we’ve never seen them before on X-Files. They aren’t in service to Mulder and Scully. They’re working on their own beat.” As countless shows past and present continue to appear and disappear on FOX all hoping to fill in that void likely to be left once X-Files finally leaves the airwaves, Carter reflects on how lucky he’s been to keep the show on half as long as it has.

“With reality programming, there’s hardly room for anything on TV, so it’s a miracle that everything worked with X-Files,” says Carter. “There’s just a million ways to fail in television. And when you have something like this that hits, I know how lucky I am that I had the Gods in my favor. Everybody can be lined up, but you’d better make really good choices and hire really good people every step of the way or else there’s a good chance you’ll fail. A lot of people would like to be popular and successful – however it’s mostly hard work, but it’s a lot of luck too.”

Dreamwatch: Hasta la Vista

Hasta la Vista
Jenny Cooney Carillo

“It feels great, but I really feel like I’m joining David because I’m another part of the ensemble and a brand new character. ” ~ Robert Patrick on joining the show

While he is best known as the heartless cyborg in Terminator 2, Robert Patrick is hoping all that will change now he is assuming the lead main role on The X Files. Jenny Cooney Carillo gets the lowdown on FBI agent John Doggett

Talk to the unassuming 41-year old actor and he quickly makes it clear he is not only genuinely grateful to join the cast of one of the most successful television series ever but also for the chance to remain in Los Angeles close to his wife of ten years, Barbara, and their two children aged four and one month.

In the X Files seventh season cliff hanger, Mulder was abducted by what appeared to be an alien spaceship and Scully revealed that she is pregnant. As the eighth season begins, Scully searches for the truth about her missing partner while contending with a resistant FBI bureaucracy and a sceptical new partner, Agent John Doggett, played by Patrick. Doggett’s character is introduced to Scully in a dramatic scene which ends with her throwing water in his face. Where can they go from there?

Question: While you are not quite replacing David Duchovny, there will be comparisons. How do you feel about that?

Answer: It feels great, but I really feel like I’m joining David because I’m another part of the ensemble and a brand new character. I can’t wait to see, and I hope the audience does as well, how the character of John Doggett evolves. I’m really excited about it personally because I think it’s one of the best roles I’ve ever had the opportunity to play. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity to actually work with David a little bit more than I have, but I’m enjoying working with Gillian too.

Question: How was your first day on the set?

Answer: I was actually a lot more nervous on that day than I have been in a lot of other situations on big movies where I don’t know anything about the star I’m working opposite. It was partly because I was really just so excited I couldn’t calm down and I was a little goofy that day , as I think I am now with you!

Question: Did you feel a lot of pressure?

Answer: I don’t feel any pressure because the hard part was really just seeing if this was going to work out, that I could actually be able to do it with my schedule the way it looked. So once that obstacle was cleared, I feel like if I just work hard and take it scene by scene and show by show, everything else will take care of itself. The writing is there and if I execute the role of John Doggett the way Chris Carter designed him, I think it’s a win-win situation , no matter how I look at it.

Question: Was it difficult to make the decision to join a show that could be on its tail end and has so much to live up to?

Answer: I’ve been looking to try and get into television for the last five years so I was actively pursuing that idea during pilot season with no idea what was going to present itself. When this came along, there was no hesitation. It’s a great show. I had met Chris before and I think he’s a terrific writer and the show is unique.

Question: How did you develop the character of John Doggett in your mind?

Answer: I’ve played some FBI types before and I feel like, with this character, I’ve done a lot of things that they’ve asked me to do before at different times in my career. I have a lot of experience to draw off to help create this guy, and I feel like it’s perfect timing for me.

Question: Doggett does start off on Scully’s bad side. Are you expecting a backlash from the fans?

Answer: I hope they have an honest reaction and they’re compelled one way or another. If they don’t like the guy, they don’t like the guy. If they do like the guy, they do. I’m there, but I am the new guy and I’ll just be happy if they have an honest reaction, whatever that is.

Question: Were you much of an X Files fan before winning the role?

Answer: I work so much I don’t watch a lot of anything, to be honest with you. I have watched The X Files for the last season when I could and I always enjoyed it every time I watched it. I’m not a hardcore fan of any genre. I’ve done some science fiction in the past and I’ve actually produced a couple, so I guess I’m excited about that aspect. But the main thing was when I watched the show I was always amazed at the performances of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. I think they’re marvellous in the way they handle their dialogue and their relationship, and I think the dialogue in the show is great. The weird thing to me is that a lot of things that happen in the science fiction world sort of seem to come to fruition. It’s like what was thought to be pretty far out years ago, all of a sudden now we’re doing it and it’s commonplace and accepted, which is kind of neat.

Question: How hard is your new schedule on your family?

Answer I’ve never been one that’s had to take time off. Last year I was gone for ten months and the year before that eight months, and I’m really talking about gone. So my wife and my children are really excited about the fact that at least I’m here in town and I do get to go in and see them in bed every night. This was another reason that I was really curious about getting into television, because I love to work, so I figured I might as well get into something that was a little bit more structured than having to do a film and take time off before finding out what my next gig was going to be.

Question: Were you working on The X Files when your second son was born?

Answer Yes, we were way down near San Diego when my wife went into labour and we were all kind of worried about whether or not I was going to have to be helicoptered in, but everyone on the show was great about trying to make sure I was going to be there for my wife, and in the end I was there.

Question: You played a bad guy in Sopranos recently. Are you actively looking to get away from that bad guy image now?

Answer My career is really interesting to me but probably boring to a lot of other people. I get to do a lot of big, mainstream movies every once in a while, and they just happen to cast me usually as a tough guy or villain, I do a lot of smaller films that I’m proud of where I’m a good guy, but they never hit a wide audience so it’s great to finally hit a huge audience who can now see me in a different light. If all you ever know me as is T2 or the asshole form Striptease or the prick in Copland … least my parents can enjoy this one!

Question: You play Matt Damon’s father in the upcoming drama All the Pretty Horses

Answer That character is a sweet, damaged, World War II veteran who is a rancher but comes back from the war shell-shocked and a shadow of his former self. It’s a small role but pivotal because what I can’t give Matt Damon is what he goes looking for and sends him on this odyssey. That movie was one of the highlights of my career because Matt was terrific, I loved the character, and Billy Bob Thornton was one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with.

Question: One recent American story about The X Files season compared our coming into the show as similar to Dick Sergent in Bewitched. Do you think that’s fair?

Answer: No. They’ve created this new character so why not be excited about that? That’s what I’m excited about. The possibility of whether it’s going to do this or that or have this effect or be compared to whomever, who cares and who knows, anyway?

Question: When did you first know you wanted to become an actor?

Answer I had acted briefly in elementary school and done a few things crammed between sports I played, but I don’t think I ever took it seriously because nobody from my family had ever done it and I lived in the Midwest and you just don’t take that kind of career seriously there. But I did sit in on some drama classes and they intrigued me. We moved around a lot when I was a kid so I always felt like I was acting every time I went to a new city and had to figure out who I was going to be. I studied acting very briefly but I can’t say I’m trained. I’m a guy who read a lot of Stanislovski and really kind of banked on the fact that I had something organic.

Question: What kind of baggage does Doggett bring to the show? Do you know much about his background?

Answer I can’t tell you what went on with Doggett or anything about his family, female relationships or his personality. I hate to be vague but it’s not fair to the show to do that. I can say he has a great deal of respect for women and he definitely appreciates them and he really appreciates Scully and admires her craft and the way she goes about her work. I think that’s what charms him from the start. Our first scene together has me going out on the line and lying to her to try to get some information and she catches me at it , and Doggett digs that!

Question: Do you believe in extra terrestrials?

Answer: I go back and forth on that. When I was doing the movie Fire in the Sky, about alien abduction, I met those guys and I kind of believed their story so I believe something happened to them, but I don’t know. Doggett doesn’t believe so I think now that I personally will be buying into his mindset and I won’t buy it either. But it’s a big universe and there could be something out there. I think God created the universe so I think if there’s anything out there, He created it.

Question: What does T2 mean to you now and what did it mean to you then? Has it helped or hindered you in the long run?

Answer It was the greatest experience that happened to me where I was in my career at the time. I had never worked with such a talented writer/director and it was a wonderful opportunity to work with the best of the best in every field of filmmaking. Being an unknown and having an experience like that and that thing being a hit on such a level. I think it might have had a little bit of an effect on my career in a negative sense, but that’s OK because it just makes me work harder to get people to try to see me in a different light, and that’s my journey. I’m very proud of it, but I don’t know if I could ever do that again.

Question: So would you be interested if a cameo arose in T3?

Answer I don’t know if I could do a cameo. I like where my career is going now with The X Files and I like the gig I have now. I haven’t talked to Jim Cameron or Arnold in a while. I see Arnold occasionally and he’s a very nice man and I love his wife, who is fantastic, but I’ve never spoken to him or anybody else about being in the next Terminator movie, and that’s all I can say about that.

Entertainment Weekly: ‘The X-Files’: Fighting the Future

Entertainment Weekly
‘The X-Files’: Fighting the Future
Mike Flaherty

[Original article here]

Robert Patrick will take David Duchovny’s spot on the Chris Carter sci-fi show

They appear like sentries every hundred yards or so on the dusty, winding back roads of Southern California’s Ventura Farms. Pink Day-Glo signs, stapled to telephone poles and trees, bearing one word: ”Patience.” A five-minute drive to the end of the line reveals this to be the title of an upcoming X-Files episode, the placards showing the way to a suitably eerie wooded lakeside, where a crew is lensing a few location scenes. But they might as well be advisory signposts, their message a watchword for X‘s upcoming season, which holds an uncertain future for the Emmy-winning drama, its reeling network, and, most of all, a legion of leery fans.

Much like some of the less fortunate creatures who have populated its paranormal tales, The X-Files enters the 2000-01 campaign a mutant, largely due to the phasing out of beloved costar David Duchovny and the attempt to fill his sizable gumshoes with journeyman character actor Robert Patrick. Patrick will star as FBI agent John Doggett, a hard-nosed career climber charged with leading the search for Duchovny’s Agent Fox Mulder (abducted by aliens in last season’s finale), but who could very well come to — gasp! — replace him as the gun-toting, flashlight-waving partner to Gillian Anderson’s Dana Scully.

”I hope you write some nice things about me that will help win over the fans,” says Patrick, ”’cause I’d kind of like to help keep the show going, you know?” That’s not just Southern-fried humility coming from the Georgia native; it’s an acknowledgment of the extreme skepticism the actor faces from the show’s more, um, custodial supporters. ”I don’t expect the fans will like him right off the bat, because Scully certainly doesn’t,” says executive producer Frank Spotnitz. ”David is a terrific actor with a huge amount of charisma, so no matter who you put in there, some segment of the audience is going to be hostile.”

Mulder and Scully, Scully and Mulder — they go together like plausible and deniability. And certainly with the show’s more passionate followers, Patrick runs the risk of joining Bewitched replacement Dick Sargent in the annals of TV infamy. On the other hand, it might just help make a name for him other than ”that Terminator 2 guy.” Despite a tragicomic arc last season as a sicko gambler on The Sopranos and a résumé boasting 55 feature films, the 41-year-old actor has yet to escape his most infamous role as a cyborgian assassin in the 1991 Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster. ”A character like that is great because it gives you a career,” says Patrick, who lives in L.A. with his wife, Barbara, their daughter, Austin, and newborn son, Samuel. ”But it’s also like this thing.”

Ironically, Patrick’s emergence on The X-Files is largely due to Duchovny feeling that very same way — about Mulder. So Patrick could be trading one straitjacket for another — not that he or his new colleagues are complaining. ”There were a lot of actors who were suggested to us, but not a lot who fit the character we were writing,” says X creator Chris Carter, ”which was this hard-boiled cop, salt-of-the-earth Everyman, who was going to be a nonbeliever to the core.”

Not surprisingly, the Hollywood trades spent the spring abuzz with casting scuttlebutt. Among the actors who vied for the gig: Hart Bochner (Apartment Zero), Lou Diamond Phillips (Courage Under Fire), Bruce Campbell (The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.), Gary Cole (American Gothic), and D.B. Sweeney, costar of Carter’s short-lived Fox actioner Harsh Realm. None, according to Carter, communicated Doggett’s blue-collar essence like Patrick; the steely-eyed actor imbues his FBI agent with a Dirty Harry-esque sense of righteous menace. As stand-up as Mulder is flaky, this G-man is not likely to be seen thumbing through Adult Video News or traipsing off to Graceland for a kitschy holiday. ”There’s heat,” says Carter, who remembered Patrick from a 1999 casting meeting for Realm (coincidentally, the actor’s brother Richard Patrick plays guitar with Filter, a band that has contributed music to Files as well as to the 1998 feature film, Fight the Future). ”Robert’s got a very masculine quality.”

Heat. Masculine. Just what’s being implied here? ”David’s and my chemistry has been a topic of conversation for a long period of time, and it’s valid and tangible, and so is the chemistry between Robert and me, thank God,” says Anderson, whose Scully will now be the show’s resident believer. ”I hope that people can open their minds enough to allow a natural progression to take place.”

Anderson is convinced that, like her character, fans will come to appreciate ”the way Doggett is protective of Scully, the way that he respects her journey, the way that he is mindful of her relationship with Mulder. We were fortunate enough to get an actor who knows exactly how to play that.”

Mulder’s abduction? Scully’s pregnancy? Cancer Man’s could-be death? Those revelations from last spring’s season finale were nothing compared with the truly scary real-life X-Files cliff-hanger: whether Duchovny would return for another year. Carter, who at the time had not signed on for season 8, balked at the idea of continuing without Duchovny. The show’s producer, Twentieth Century Fox, and its affiliated network Fox were within their rights to keep the show on the air without its mastermind or marquee costar, but, as Carter understates, ”it would have been very hard for them.”

Finally, on May 17, a mere day before Fox was to unveil its fall lineup to potential advertisers, Duchovny agreed to a limited role in X‘s eighth season (he’ll appear in 11 of 22 episodes — the first two, the last six, and three more in between, and not always in a lead capacity); his salary renegotiations plus the settlement of his lawsuit will reportedly total nearly $30 million. (The suit alleged that Fox had forged a sweetheart deal wherein X-Files reruns were sold to Fox’s cable outlet, FX, rather than offered up for competitive bidding, thereby depriving Duchovny of millions in syndication profits.) ”The lawsuit created a certain amount of rancor,” says Carter, who nonetheless tied his own return to the show to Duchovny’s. ”Right down to the end, I was saying ‘I don’t want to do this without David,’ and finally everybody figured out a way to do it with him.”

Carter claims that in Fox’s negotiations with Duchovny, and subsequently with himself and Anderson, the network was ”incentivized” by the fear of airing a compromised version of its popular series. Though X‘s ratings have fallen off 26 percent in the last three seasons, it’s still Fox’s highest-rated drama and a perennial cash cow for both the network and the studio. Compounding the network’s woes was a dismal 1999-2000 season that yielded a solitary hit (Malcolm in the Middle), the end of two signature dramas (Beverly Hills, 90210 and Party of Five), and diminishing returns from its other hour-long hit, Ally McBeal. The words over a barrel come to mind. ”We are obviously in a building phase,” concedes the network’s new entertainment president, Gail Berman. ”We don’t have the next X-Files yet, so getting the show back is a tremendous asset for the company.”

But the network was not without its own negotiating gambits. ”There was a lot of leveraging going on,” says Anderson, who admits that while Fox’s need to deal was a ”huge” factor in the talks, she had to make a significant concession herself — signing on for a ninth year with the show — as a trade-off for a salary jump that would amount to ”fair compensation.” ”Because they have me on contract for this year,” she adds, ”I basically had no bargaining chip unless I agreed to do the next one.”

Why bargain at all? The truth is in Duchovny’s lucrative deal. ”There was a gulf for five years,” says Anderson of the longtime pay disparity between her and Duchovny, ”and then we narrowed the gulf. And then, based on what was being offered for the few episodes that he was doing [this year], we were back in the caveman ages … It was ludicrous.” Anderson will now make between $200,000 and $300,000 an episode.

Still, in light of previous comments Anderson has made (in an October 1999 Access Hollywood interview, she spoke of being ”physically, psychologically … spent,” and said of a then-projected eighth season, ”It would be a big mistake to try and draw it out. It would be great to go out with a modicum of respect”), that she re-upped at all seems an attitude adjustment drastic enough to do any of X‘s morphing villains proud. She attributes those grousings to a long-running ennui on both her and Duchovny’s part. ”David and I kind of settled into a rhythm of just showing up and doing the work,” she says. ”We’d get little bursts of stuff here and there, but it was dragging.” Now, having worked with the fleshed-out Doggett character, she reports, the show ”has got a whole new life.”

And not a moment too soon. With the series’ sprawling conspiracy having wound down over the past couple of seasons and its declining Nielsens, Carter is taking a decidedly hands-on approach to season 8, having written or rewritten five of the season’s first seven episodes, and directed the aforementioned ”Patience.” ”This is the most involved I’ve ever been,” he claims, adding ”I’ve been somewhat facetious about being a prisoner of [the show], but my feeling is, if I’m going to be doing it, I want it to be good, so I work hard.”

Harder, for sure, since for the first time in four seasons, Carter won’t be straddling two fall series, as he had during Millennium‘s three-year run and the canceled Harsh Realm‘s intensive start-up (his next project, X spinoff The Lone Gunmen, doesn’t debut till mid-season). Alluding to the automatic-pilot lethargy — and bloated paychecks — that often characterizes TV series in their autumn years, he notes, ”I didn’t want this to be another year of The X-Files as a matter of commerce. I want to make it interesting for the actors and myself so that the show might go on, that we might, indeed, preserve the movie franchise.”

Back in the woods, Scully and Doggett stand beside the murky lake, interrogating a hermitic old geezer about a series of murders apparently committed by a half-human, half-bat creature. In a rare moment of forthrightness, Carter has admitted that season 8 will mark a return to the show’s horror-driven origins and take a break from the ”comedy” episodes and high-concept flights of fancy like last year’s ”X-COPS” and 1998’s cruise-ship time warp, ”Triangle.” For Spotnitz, that retrenchment bodes well for the series’ second wind: ”As it’s turned out, it’s been more interesting and challenging than it’s been in a long time … You find out more about what the show was, and is, in the process of redesigning it for a new character.”

But while Agents Doggett and Scully will be busy pursuing real and imagined bogeymen, says Carter, ”the search for Mulder kind of informs the whole season.” That quest, however, is also connected to a power struggle within the Bureau, as Assistant Director Kersh (James Pickens Jr.), introduced as a nemesis to Mulder and Scully in season 6, is promoted to deputy director. His first act in his new capacity is to send the ambitious Doggett to the basement, literally as well as figuratively, by saddling him with the X-Files.

In other Bureau-related news, costar Mitch Pileggi will get a promotion of sorts, as his Assistant Director Skinner takes a bigger — and friendlier — interest in the agents’ paranormal exploits in the wake of Mulder’s abduction. ”Having seen what he saw in the season finale, he becomes something of an ally to Scully … an inadvertent believer,” says Carter.

Speaking of the finale, how about Scully’s from-out-of-nowhere pregnancy (the other bombshell dropped in that tumultuous hour)? Although an explanation is promised as to how the ostensibly barren agent was able to conceive in the first place, more troubling are recent, near-blasphemous intimations that Mulder may in fact be … Dad. Spotnitz, who says he and Carter had been pondering the pregnancy idea for a long time, points out that in addition to the agents’ New Year’s kiss in the holiday-themed ”Millennium” episode, we saw Scully wake up not once but twice in Mulder’s apartment last season. ”I’ve always said nothing is impossible on The X-Files, and anything is possible on The X-Files,” Carter concurs.

Maybe so, but that (hypothetical, he says) possibility would be durn near apocalyptic for some fans, as Mulder and Scully’s resiliently chaste romance has been an unspoken point of pride for the show, both in its defiance of television cliché and as an essential part of what’s made the soul mates so quirkily endearing. ”These are two people who have maintained a very powerful and respectful relationship,” says Carter, ”but like all relationships between men and women, sometimes feelings are expressed in a physical way. I don’t think it would be dishonest for them to have done that.” In any event, says Anderson, ”I have confidence, and possibly inner knowledge, that the fans will get to see how Scully got pregnant … before Christmas.”

The season premiere (Nov. 5) takes place the day after the events of last season’s finale, so don’t expect to see a telltale tummy bulge any time soon. Viewers won’t have to wait all that long, however, to see the show’s past come face-to-face with its future, as Doggett will catch up with old ”Spooky” in the season premiere: ”I do run into Mulder, and it’s a confrontation,” says Patrick. ”I have a gun, and I basically tell him I’m going to shoot unless he does what I say. He does — and then he does something un-f—ing-believable.”

Wanna know what? Sorry, you’ll just have to sit back like the rest of us and try a little … patience.

Additional reporting by Lynette Rice and Ethan Alter