X-Files mythology, TenThirteen Interviews Database, and more

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MTV: 'X-Files: I Want To Believe' Is For Loyal Fans And Newcomers, Cast And Crew Insist

‘X-Files: I Want To Believe’ Is For Loyal Fans And Newcomers, Cast And Crew Insist
Tami Katzoff

[Original article here]

‘You want to reach as broad an audience as possible with as little foreknowledge as they can have,’ David Duchovny says.

If you pay close attention while watching the new film “The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” you’ll probably catch a few familiar names and faces buried in the heightened action — but only if you’re super-familiar with the TV show.


It’s a gift that “X-Files” creator Chris Carter, who directed and co-wrote “I Want to Believe,” presents to the true fans: the X-Philes. It’s for the ones who have been waiting eagerly to see what has become of their favorite FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson), in the six years since the TV show ended.

Carter said he can’t help himself: “I try to throw as much into a story as possible. If I have a chance to put a number in there, if I have a chance to put a face in there, if I have a chance to put a reference in there, I just put it in there. And oftentimes these are not perfectly well thought out. … They’re just inspiration.”

But those who are new to “The X-Files” needn’t worry — no prior knowledge is actually needed to enjoy “I Want to Believe.” Unlike the first “X-Files” movie, 1998’s “Fight the Future,” this film has a self-contained story, unconnected to the larger alien/ government-conspiracy “mythology” of the nine-season-long TV series. It’s more like a straight-up horror thriller than a sci-fi adventure.

“I think the movie does a really good job of weaving in certain things for the fans,” said Duchovny, but he stressed that the standalone nature of the plot was the only way to go. “To re-establish the name and the franchise six years after the show’s off the air and 10 years after the first movie, I don’t think you could build that next movie on any specialized knowledge. You want to reach as broad an audience as possible with as little foreknowledge as they can have.”

Anderson agreed: “For this one, coming back after such a long stretch of time, it actually does make more sense that we’re not dealing with all the complicated aspects of [the mythology].”

Back when “Fight the Future” was released, the TV show was still going strong. The movie served as a sort of bridge between the fifth and sixth seasons, and those unfamiliar with the show probably had a hard time understanding it all. “When we went out to publicize the first movie,” Duchovny remembered, “our marching orders were, ‘Tell people that they don’t have to know anything about the show,’ but that was a lie. We’re actually not lying this time.”

So if you’re not an X-Phile (yet), go to the theater, relax and enjoy. And if you are, you’ll be rewarded for your loyalty — but don’t think that you can catch every one of the hidden in-jokes and references. “There are things in there that no one will ever know that I’ve put in,” Carter said.

Collider.com: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson Interview – THE X-FILES: I Want to Believe

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson Interview – THE X-FILES: I Want to Believe

[Original article]
As most of you know, opening this Friday is “The X-Files: I Want to Believe.” Since I’m under embargo….I can’t write anything on the film or even what the movies about. Sorry.

That being said, I can post what Fox supplied me…

In grand The X-Files tradition, the film’s storyline is being kept under wraps, known only to top studio brass and the project’s principal actors and filmmakers. This much can be revealed: The supernatural thriller is a stand-alone story in the tradition of some of the show’s most acclaimed and beloved episodes, and takes the always-complicated relationship between Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) in unexpected directions. Mulder continues his unshakable quest for the truth, and Scully, the passionate, ferociously intelligent physician, remains inextricably tied to Mulder’s pursuits.

Anyway, a few days ago was the press day here in Los Angeles and I got to participate in a small press conference with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. So if you’d like to hear what they had to say about returning to play Fox Mulder and Dana Scully…read below.

As always, you can download or listen to the MP3 of the interview by clicking here. And…if you’d like to watch 2 movie clips and a featurette from “The X-Files: I Want to Believe,” click here.

Question: Can you talk about getting back into these characters after a five or six year period?

David Duchovny: Well, I had two weeks before Christmas of basically running around and chasing Callum Rennie who plays the running bad guy that I chase all over the place. That took a good two full weeks of running even though I know it’s only about ten seconds in the movie and then Gillian and I started working on it after Christmas break. The first two weeks I felt a little awkward and I didn’t really feel like I wanted to do longer scenes. I was just fine running around. Then as soon as Gillian and I started working and it was Mulder and Scully, then I kind of remembered what it was all about and that relationship kind of anchored my performance just as I think the relationship anchors this film.

Gillian Anderson: I had a similar experience. This feels so weird. Summertime. I didn’t have all the running around that David had to do, but I did have my own unfortunate beginning which was starting with one of the most difficult scenes for Scully in the film where it’s later on in the script and she goes through a range of emotions in confronting Billy Connolly’s  character. I just had a really time for those first couple of days that that scene was. I had a really hard time just finding her, finding her voice. I think I must’ve gone through ten other characters in the process of trying to get to her when I had assumed that I would be able to show up on the first day and it would just be there. It wasn’t until I think day three when we got to work together, not just necessarily in a familiar environment which it really wasn’t, but in the environment of each other and the relationship and that it kind of felt natural and familiar and I felt like I’d landed this time.

Question: The film was very heartfelt and thought provoking, similar to some of the early episodes. Did that play part in coming back to this after all this time?

Duchovny: No. My coming back was not based on script. At this point I have almost complete blind trust in Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz to come up with the goods. So my only concern was that it should be a stand alone and not something that you needed specific knowledge of ‘The X-Files’ to enjoy. When I read the script I saw that it was that. Other than that I had no hopes or plans for what this would be. I just knew that the world we’d made and the world that Chris and Frank would remake was going to be satisfying to me.

Anderson: I had stated my interest in being onboard sometime ago as well and by the time I read the script it was kind of a given that this was something that we were going to do. So I don’t think there was ever a point where I jumped more onboard or had an opportunity to back out of it…

Duchovny: She wanted a musical.

Anderson: We’re I not allowed to sing.

Question: What do you think the secret is to your chemistry when you two plays these characters as actors?

Anderson: We’ve actually been having a fifteen year affair.

Duchovny: I don’t know why in the beginning, maybe just luck in the beginning. But after this long we actually do have a history and so when I look over at Gillian or I’m Mulder looking over at Scully, there’s a lot of shit that I can call on. We have a lot between us and so you don’t really have to make it up. I think that just as people, now fifteen years later, we have just shared so much regardless of how much we speak to one another. I expect to see Gillian even if I haven’t seen her for a year. She’s not even listening to me.

Anderson: I was, I was!

Duchovny: You just heard the last line.

Anderson: I did. I was really distracted. I was listening to every word that you said.

Duchovny: I don’t have a window like you do over there.

Anderson: You can tune out now. Whatever it is that’s between us was there from the second that we started working together and it’s not quantifiable. I think it’s something that is unique and yes, they got lucky, but it was something that Chris had seen which is why he fought so hard, specifically, and this is something that’s been written about a lot, to cast me over someone else. He saw something between the two of us that was unique. Whether it’s luck or that we were meant to be with each other all along, I don’t know.

Duchovny: I mean, there’s chemistry in life and there’s acting chemistry. I’m not saying they’re the same thing, but they’re as mysterious.

Question: There’s the fact that you’ve both had children and have had children over the past six years or so. Does that align you more with a Mulder or Scully in terms of personal philosophy?

Anderson: I mean, when Scully had a child I’d already had a child.

Duchovny: Gillian had a child the first year of the show.

Anderson: I had a child when I was three [laughs]. But I think that in the series, from what I remember, Scully thought that she had a child early on – Emily. Right?

Duchovny: Oh, yeah.

Anderson: I don’t think that I would’ve been able to get there as an actor realistically, if I did do it realistically because I can’t really remember, because obviously that experience would’ve been informed by the fact that I was already a mother. I’m sure that our conversations that we do have from time to time about this child that I gave away must be influenced by the fact that I’ve had children, but the show was so not about maternity. It wasn’t about parents. It wasn’t about that. They were actually anti-parents in a way.

Question: But in terms of having your own children, does that make you more of a skeptic or a believer of miracles or in absolutes?

Anderson: That’s interesting. I never related the two. Probably absolutes on my end.

Duchovny: I’m gonna look out the window [laughs]. It’s miraculous. It’s spiritual. It’s otherworldly to have kids. It’s more Mulder, I think, but I don’t know.

Anderson: But then also when you have kids, when your kids get sick or when family members do, not just your kids, but when there’s death there’s also absolutes and that can hit home at any stage of one’s life.

Duchovny: See, we’re starting to argue.

Question: When you play characters this deep for so long and then it stops how much of that stays with you for life? Does it impact your personality in some way for life?

Duchovny: That’s a very interesting question and I wouldn’t know how to answer it. I mean, it impacts your life because strangers can see you that way. I’ll sit here and I’ll answer questions about this fictional person and so it stays with me in that way. I wouldn’t say that I ever get up and think of Mulder unless I’m working on it. I think that I liked a lot about the guy. When I played him I liked his courage and I liked his energy to get to the truth and to the quest and all of that and I think that at one point I’d learned a little from that, like a fan might. I was a fan of the guy. So that’s as far as I go in terms of saying that he lives in me.

Anderson: It’s the same for me. I don’t do things, mannerisms or something and think, ‘Oh, that was kind of like Scully.’ But by the same token I don’t know how much of me today wasn’t influenced by the fact that I got to play her for such a long time. It’s possible that there are aspects of my seriousness or my independence or my inquisitiveness about the medical profession or science or something that aren’t directly related to the fact that I lived with her for such a long time. But that’s hard to qualify and hard to say.

Duchovny: When Gillian operates on a human being –

Anderson: That’s when I’m reminded of Scully.

Question: Gillian, Scully was always rocking a cell phone way before everyone else.

Anderson: Rocking a cell phone? Is that what you said?

Question: Yes. Always on the cell phone and using it. What’s your own relationship to your cell phone, and how do you think that the character has informed strong female law enforcement characters?

Anderson: I think I only ever talked to Mulder on that cell phone. I don’t think that there were any conversation that was ever had with anyone else except for Mulder, if you remember.

Duchovny: You were in my fav five.

Anderson: Was I number one or number two? Remember how big our cell phones were? We just happened to have them in our pockets.

Duchovny: Yeah. You had to have like a trench coat to have them in the pocket.

Anderson: A cell phone in one and a Xenon flashlight in the other.

Duchovny: ‘Hello? I’m talking to you on a phone that’s not attached to anything.’

Anderson: I’ve had letters from people, even actually recently, who have said, ‘Funnily enough I’ve been a fan for many years and it’s because of Scully that I’m now a forensic pathologist –’ or ‘I’m now a medical doctor –’ or ‘I’m now in the FBI –’ or any of the fifteen things that she was as a professional to be able to say all those complicated words.

Duchovny: You were talented. The cell phone question is interesting because I think that it extended the life of the series because Gillian and I were so fatigued and the advent of the cell phone, in what year? ’96? I don’t know. But it was instrumental in us being able to have time off because we could split up and we didn’t have to be in the same room to have a conversation. I’m being totally serious. I could have some time off and Gillian could have some time off and we’d just talk on the phone to one another rather than being in every scene together.

Anderson: It’s very true.

Duchovny: So if not for the cell phone no second half of ‘The X-Files’.

Question: In terms of what’s on film how much does Chris encourage a sense of humor?

Duchovny: Very, very, very little. Chris and I have always kind of battled over that. In the series it got in more and more for both of us as we went on and did what we thought of as the funny episodes and we both enjoyed doing those because they were like vacations and certainly Chris, as the show runner, was guiding that and letting that happen and saw the virtue in what a huge tent this show so that it could encompass everything from stand alones to mythology to parody of itself. I can’t think of another show that ever did that. We just never did the musical. We never did that, but that’s the only thing, thank goodness. But in terms of me coming up with stuff in the moment, usually Chris doesn’t like that because he has a different theory about the tension than I do. He really feels like it lets the air out of things and he doesn’t like to do that. I feel like I like to let the air out. So that’s just a difference opinion we have. I don’t know what your take on that is.

Anderson: I’m not funny.

Question: Did you ever ask her to the No Pants Restaurant?

Duchovny: No, I never did. But I think I will.

Anderson: Give me a few months, please [laughs].

Question: David, you famously sort of distanced yourself from the show in the last season, being fatigued, and then we hear that you’re really the now who was big into getting this movie done. Can you talk about that? Is it a love/hate relationship?

Duchovny: I wouldn’t characterize me as the one who really wanted to get it going, but I’m certainly someone who would always say yes whenever Chris and I would talk about it. The love/hate has nothing to do with the actual content, the actual people, the actual anything. The love/hate had to do with me wanting to get on with the rest of my life, the rest of my career and when you think about it, that I did eight years and Gillian did nine, that’s a lifetime. There are no other dramas that keep the same characters that run that long. If you look at ‘Law & Order’ or ‘ER’, they’re twenty years old or whatever they are, but they’re completely recast. So it’s just not something you see. You don’t see actors not get fatigued and not get frustrated in a drama where we’re working, cell phones or not, everyday for many, many hours playing the same characters. So it’s just natural to burnout. There was always love for the show and love for the character. There was never any hate for that.

Anderson: But it’s interesting that it’s always something for the press to latch onto. It’s always a surprise, in some way or it’s a good headline, that someone wants to leave. It creates good drama and so it always becomes this thing where actually it’s just a natural thing.

Duchovny: Right, like you’re ungrateful in some way. Yes, I love ‘The X-Files’ and I love Vancouver. Those things are true.

Question: Can you talk about working in the severe weather conditions up in Canada?

Anderson: This time around I didn’t have as much exposure to it as David did. Fortunately, Chris didn’t write those words in the script for Scully. But I was up there in Whistler and when I arrived it was about eighteen below. Fortunately it didn’t stay there for too long, but I was out there for probably a good couple of weeks, I guess and it’s beautiful, but it’s also exhausting.

Duchovny: Yeah. Let me try to say this in a way that’s right. Just doing quotation marks is going to get me in trouble. I had to work in one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the world for almost three weeks. Pity me. I think it’s hard sometimes. The logistics of it is if you’re out in the middle of nowhere and you’re running around in the freezing rain or snow you don’t get a chance to go off and warm up in your trailer because you’re seeing so much that your trailer is on the other side of the town. So you are stuck in clothes that aren’t fitting for the environment for a long time. So, yeah, it’s a pain in the ass, but you just suck it up and it’s not going to be that long and your feet are cold and your ass is cold and your hands are cold and your muscles are cold. You just suck it up.

Anderson: I think one of the more physically challenging aspects for me at the time were that there were a couple of scenes where we had quite a bit of dialogue and when you’re in that kind of weather and the wind is slightly blowing and the snow is coming down, your lips actually do freeze. They do. There were a couple of times that were reminiscent of the pilot. There was a scene in the pilot where we’re in this pouring forest rain that’s freezing and I’m screeching at him about one thing or another –

Duchovny: ‘You mean to say thirty miles?! Came here?!’

Anderson: Are you making fun of me?

Duchovny: No. I just remember it.

Anderson: I remember it too. It felt very much like that, but what was reminiscent was the fact that my mouth wouldn’t work. I had all this stuff to say and it just comes out as gobbledygook.

Duchovny: But when you see it on film it’s just gorgeous. You look at those big snow flakes coming down in the movie and it’s worth it.

Anderson: It’s beautiful.

Duchovny: You have to know that when you’re putting up with it, that if you’re experiencing this discomfort it’s probably going to look pretty good on film.

Anderson: If there’s pain involved.

Question: What are your next projects? And was the George Bush/J. Edgar Hoover thing scripted or did it just come about?

Duchovny: Yeah, that was completely scripted and that was an example of where I was trying to be what I thought was funny and Chris was like, ‘No. No.’

Anderson: Probably because he knew in the back of his mind that that little bit of music right there was going to be in there which kind of does the humor for it.

Duchovny: Yeah, so no. That was actually always in it and was written in, literally as George Bush and J. Edgar Hoover.

Anderson: We tried a few other versions of it.

Duchovny: Yeah, what did we do? I thought they were funny. It was funny. I can’t remember. Your upcoming projects?

Anderson: I’ve got a couple of things coming out, but the next thing I’m going to do is a play in London. I’m going to do a play there a couple of months after the baby is born.

Question: During your run of the show and of the movie, because of the things that you guys handled, did you ever experience any real paranormal happenings either on the set or outside of it?

Anderson: At Riverview. There was a place that we shot during the series and also during the film that was an abandoned insane asylum –

Duchovny: But not so abandoned. It was like half abandoned and half not.

Anderson: Yeah. The top floor was being used for something.

Duchovny: But there were some crazy people wandering around.

Anderson: Yeah. It was miles and miles of institution and insanity.

Duchovny: Actually, where we did the photos for this movie, that was where…

Anderson: That was really creepy.

Duchovny: We went into these rooms, tiny little rooms, that only had loops on the floor for where you would hook someone’s retraining irons onto.

Anderson: There’s paint peeling and all of that stuff.

Duchovny: But I’ve never really had a paranormal experience per say in my life. I believe in the spirit and the energy, but I’ve never seen it. I’ve felt it, but not seen it.

Question: David, what’s your next project?

Duchovny: I believe I will be doing this movie called ‘The Joneses’ and then ‘Californication’ season two is coming out in September. I have just three more days of filming of that and then we’re done.

Question: Are you going to Comic-Con?

Duchovny: When is it?

Question: Next week.

Duchovny: No [laughs].

Question: Who was your all time favorite TV crime fighter?

Duchovny: I was always an original ‘Star Trek’ fan. I don’t know if Kirk is a crime fighter, but I liked him.

TheDeadbolt: X-Files Stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson "Want to Believe"

X-Files Stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson “Want to Believe”
Jordan Riefe

[Original article here]

After waiting for an eternity for Mulder and Scully to reunite for another “X File”, fans of the popular supernatural sci-fi series can now head to the theater for the second feature film in the franchise, X-Files: I Want to Believe, which opens this Friday, July 25. At the film’s recent press junket, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson got together to revisit the series, delve deep into the new movie, and look ahead to a possible third movie in 2012 to coincide with the end of the world on the Mayan calendar.

There’s a legion of fans who are anxious to return to Scully and Mulder’s world. How about you guys? Where you anxious to slip them back on again? How much arm twisting did it take?

GILLIAN ANDERSON: I wasn’t anxious.

DAVID DUCHOVNY: I wouldn’t say arm twisting.

ANDERSON: I think it was something – I’ll speak for myself – that I was interested in if it was something that was going to become an eventuality. I was on board for it. I was less active than I think David was in helping it come to fruition, but it was always something that I was enthusiastic about should it see the light of day.

DUCHOVNY: Yeah, you know, it seems like a long time. You know people are asking me, you know, 10 years, which is the last movie – but I think of it as 6 years since the show ended. And when you think about like a 9-year run for Gillian and Chris and then I think the burnout will take you at least 3 years to get over, honestly. And then you’re talking about trying to develop a movie – it’s really not that slow when you think about it. It’s actually kind of on the heels of what was possible given the amount of work we did on it over that decade.

ANDERSON: Good answer.

A lot of fans would say, “On the show, Mulder was always saving Scully…”

DUCHOVNY: Oh, that’s not true.

ANDERSON: No, I saved his life sometimes.

Well, certainly in the movie, though it’s a nice turn around.

ANDERSON: Did I save you? Okay, then didn’t I pass out and then you saved me?

DUCHOVNY: No, that’s the first movie.

ANDERSON: Oh, in this movie – oh, you’re talking about this movie. Oh, I forget you’re part of the new league of people.

DUCHOVNY: The only ones who can… we can speak to them. They know what we’re talking about.

ANDERSON: But you saved my life in the first movie, then you pass out. I’m sorry.

DUCHOVNY: I just saved your life in general. Spiritually, I saved it.

What surprised you most about the script when you got it?

DUCHOVNY: I thought I was kind of intrigued by the kernel of the idea that we wanted to keep secret for a long time, which Chris was protective of because he thought – not because he thinks – if you see the movie, if you know it before you see the movie that it’ll ruin the movie. But I think he was afraid that it was something that could be copied and get out there before our movie got out there, and that would take the wind out of our sails. So we effectively got around that. But it was that idea that I’m not talking about that was kind of fascinating and disgusting and horrifying and interesting. I’m speaking about me with my shirt off.

ANDERSON: And I was surprised by the relationship, I think. And how much a part of the mood of the whole film the relationship is. Somehow it’s, it’s just – it’s there. It’s almost another presence and it’s set up very early in the film. You get to witness very early on that the weight of the history, in a sense. And I feel like this script and also the film itself carries that with it. And it’s tangible, and I like that.

DUCHOVNY: And when you think about the kinds of movies that you might compare our movie to, you say it’s a thriller. You say it’s kind of a horror movie. You say it’s an intellectual – we’ll just say it’s an intellectual caper, whatever. But at the heart of it is this relationship between Mulder and Scully, which is like a real adult relationship; two people trying to figure out their relationship while they’re doing their job, which just happens to be a very heightened reality of a job, you know. And so if you think about any other movie, all other movies, like, in this genre, there’s never an actual relationship in them. There’s never actual – it’s usually a loner. If it’s a couple, it’s kind of rudimentary, you know, meet. So I think that what’s. . . no, not ‘m-e-a-t’.

ANDERSON: It’s either meet or meat.

DUCHOVNY: They meet and then meat. So then that’s what I find kind of interesting, and the balancing act that Chris was able to pull off is that while this horrifying stuff is going on, or interesting or thrilling stuff is going on, you’ve got these two people, not quite bickering but trying to figure out where they’re at, which is, I think, a potent combination.

What do you think it is about “The X Files” that six years after the series finale that people are anticipating more?

DUCHOVNY: I don’t know. I think we’re just lucky in a way. I think the characters were drawn as complimentary of one another so they kind of fit very well like puzzle pieces and became another entity. I know that people used to yell, “Scully” at me all the time. And I’m sure people yelled “Mulder” at Gillian. And we were kind of interchangeable in that way even though very distinct. So I think we’re kind of a romantic idea of a marriage of true minds, you know, of a real marriage even though we were never married. And I don’t know – did we ever have sex? I don’t know? Did we did? We did.

ANDERSON: Yes. I can’t believe you don’t remember. But also I think that because we weren’t married and we weren’t actually in a relationship. We also got to keep the respect for each other…

DUCHOVNY: Because you never respect the person you’re married to.

ANDERSON: You never do. You know what I mean? There was something different. It was like we were like a married couple and yet we saved each lives. We would do anything. We would stop a bullet for each other, which you don’t find in most marriages.

What’s the back story, were you pregnant in the show?

ANDERSON: Well, I actually forgot that I had a baby. When we started shooting somebody had to remind me.

DUCHOVNY: William.

ANDERSON: Yes, William. Yeah, apparently we gave him away.

DUCHOVNY: We had to give him away because as I recall there were forces that were going to take him and do horrible things to do him, so… Actually in the last episode when I came back, or right before the last episode, the one I directed, actually, yeah, Gillian gave him away; made a horrible choice, a “Sophie’s Choice” to give the baby away so that he could live. So he’s still out there and waiting for…

ANDERSON: … the next movie.

Did you guys have a chance to give input for this movie? What was your participation as far as scripting?


DUCHOVNY: None, really. I mean, my only involvement would have been in a discussion with Chris for – to throw my two cents in, that it should be a stand alone. It shouldn’t have anything to do with the alien mythology and show, really be a movie that somebody who’s never seen an ‘X File’ can enjoy. And Chris had already made that decision, so… that was really my only– my only point of view on it.

That said, how important are the tips of the hat to people who do know the mythology and can recite every line in every episode?

DUCHOVNY: I think it’s just like sprinkles on the top in this movie. You know there’s a bunch of kind of winks at the audience. And Chris was very kind of into, you know, having these winks. Not so much me because I always feel like that’s not part of the realism or the drama, you know. You don’t know we’re winking at anybody, but it’s something that fans, I think, enjoy. And I can’t remember any that are actually in it.

ANDERSON: Well, I think the impression was, you were saying yesterday, that the previous movie was winking. But in fact, it was mooning. You know, there was an attempt to hint at little areas of stuff that had to do with the mythology to get people involved enough who were previous fans but still attract people who weren’t. And it was actually much further in that balance than this one is by any stretch.

If there is another one – and supposedly 2012 is the year the world ends according to the Mayan calendar. Would you like to see a further film go back to the black oil and the aliens?

DUCHOVNY: Sure, I mean I think that’s like the bread and butter of the series, and it’s kind of a natural for 2012. And I think that’s what Chris and Frank are thinking of. Yeah, bring on the aliens.

Going back, it’s one thing to read the script. It’s another thing to be in front of the cameras that first day. Was it a little surreal?

DUCHOVNY: It felt like, in a way, I was there two weeks before Gillian just running my ass off and pulling a muscle. And none of it is in the film, which is fantastic.

ANDERSON: Is that – really?

DUCHOVNY: A little bit, you know, it’s just ridiculous. But then after, then we broke for Christmas and then came back and I started working with Gillian almost immediately, and, you know, in a weird way it felt like absolutely no time had past because we were in Vancouver. It was– it just seemed like we’d come back from summer hiatus or something, which was kind of terrifying sometimes to think about. But for me, in terms of getting back into the character it really was – when I started working with Gillian was when I started to discover Mulder again, for real instead of kind of faking it. I was running so it doesn’t matter how Mulder runs, really.

ANDERSON: But even for me, the first couple of days that I worked were, were in a particular scene with Billy Connolly and, you know, 6 years on and never addressing, you know, having an experience with that character before and jumping into some big emotions on the first day that have nothing to do with the grounding of the show, which is the relationship between Mulder and Scully was kind of hard and really disconcerting. And I felt like I had nothing to grab onto, that I was, I kept trying to hang my coat on something that felt familiar, and there wasn’t. It felt really odd. And it wasn’t, again, until, I think it was day 3 that we got to work together that I was kind of like, “Oh, I forgot. This is what it is.”

DUCHOVNY: It was a real relief.

You were talking about working with Billy Connolly whose sense of humor is so infectious. Were there moments between takes where that would come out?

DUCHOVNY: Oh, yeah. There were no moments when it didn’t.

ANDERSON: Well, just the few seconds when he was on camera.

DUCHOVNY: No he’s a really – he’s a really talented actor. And he goes back and forth very quickly, and, you know, he’s a restless mind and if he wants to talk… He doesn’t really want to entertain so much. He really wants to have a conversation, but wide ranging and odd and interesting, always.

In the interim you’ve obviously you’ve grown as people but presumably grown as actors, too. And I’m wondering were you able to bring experience to the roles now that you couldn’t back then?

DUCHOVNY: Oh, yeah. When I have the misfortune of catching one of the early shows, like from 1993 or something, and I see myself or that version of myself, I just think, “Thank God that I got the chance to continue to work and figure out what kind of an actor I am.” Because the guy that I see up there in ‘93 is just barely hanging on. And that gives it a certain kind of tension and earnestness and eagerness to please, which kind of works, but it was not intentional. It was just panic. So yes, I mean, now, 15 years on, it’s a whole different ball game, completely. It’s night and day the way that I work and the kind of things that I want to do. But still you have to honor the character and you can’t just change him. So it was interesting to have the same box and to fill it up with different stuff.

It seems like there was a rowboat scene at the end of credits. How did that come about?

ANDERSON: Not ours.

DUCHOVNY: Well, you know we were sitting in a tank in a lot in Vancouver.

ANDERSON: With a crew around us.

DUCHOVNY: And towards the tail end of winter, and I was shirtless, and Gillian was–

ANDERSON: –in a bikini.

DUCHOVNY: In a bikini, and it was really silly. But it was very important for Chris that that be. Because to him the movie is about the relationship that the final image be, you know, two people together alone on the wide open sea. And that’s his image of this relationship, you know.

You’ve said, “Vancouver is one of my favorite places.”

DUCHOVNY: Vancouver is one of my favorite places. Unfortunately, yeah, no one believes.

Can I ask you a couple of Hank Moody questions, cause “Californication” has become a real guilty pleasure. . .

DUCHOVNY: Don’t be guilty. Don’t be guilty.

How much of a reflection is it of the reality, or is it just pure satire?

DUCHOVNY: Well, it’s not satire so much as it’s really a character study. And it’s not, it’s our goal on the show is not realism. It’s, you know, we’re making a comedy, and that’s always what we’re trying to do. And we’re trying to make the comedy real, and we’re trying to make the real comic. So that’s always what we’re thinking about. It’s not really satire in that way. It’s really just an extreme character sketch of a guy who has no censor.

Gillian are you working on anything right now?

ANDERSON: Well, the first thing actually is How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which is with Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst. And that’s about a book, or it’s an adaptation of a book by Toby Young about his experience as a writer at Vanity Fair, as a Brit writer at Vanity Fair and his inappropriateness in the world and also not having any censors. And Boogie Woogie is a satire about the art world. It takes place in London, and I think it’s very funny.

Shock Till You Drop: Interview: The X-Files' Gillian Anderson

Interview: The X-Files‘ Gillian Anderson
Shock Till You Drop
Ryan Rotten

[Original article here]

ShockTillYouDrop.com spoke to Gillian Anderson on the set of Fox’s new X-Files sequel, opening in theaters on July 25th.

ShockTillYouDrop.com: Why return to the X-Files after all of this time?
Gillian Anderson:
I think that I’ve always made it pretty clear, no matter what has been rumored in the press, that were we to come together, or were somebody to get it together to do a film, that I would be happy, willing and hopefully able to participate. There were a few times there where it looked like it might not happen, but there are many times when I, when people were saying it was going to happen, didn’t believe it was going to happen. I was always on board, no matter else what I was doing at my time in my life.

Shock: You’ve done so much in your career and life in the interim, since the series ended, what’s it like to come back? Is it familiar or does it seem strange?
I wasn’t cocky, but I was really confident that it was going to be easy on the first day. I wasn’t afraid at all. I’m usually terrified for the first couple of days on something and it sucked. It was horrible. I had a really hard first couple of days and a I think a part of that was that I’ve spent such a long time trying to do something that didn’t remotely resemble Scully, I’ve been pushing it away for such a long time that when I was inviting it back, my brain was going, No! This isn’t supposed to be happening! And we started on the worst possible scene that we could have started with. It was a confrontation scene, so it wasn’t even normal, flatline Scully. [laughs] No, I don’t mean flatline. I didn’t mean that. I didn’t even have a chance to be normal Scully before I was upset Scully.

Shock: Do you look at her different six years later?
I think what’s important is that she has not changed a lot. It’s finding who she is again. I think it’s important to show someone who’s recognizable to the audience who is used to that. But there’s obviously a maturity that has taken place naturally. To hold that and to use that fact to inform how she might be in this present stage.

Shock: Is there anything in this film that tells us where she has been the last five or six years?
Not really, I think it’s a given that…there’s something said here about the choices that she’s made which covers that.

Shock: What was behind your willingness to take the role again, did you not want to be the one who said ‘no’?
No, it was a formidable experience for all of us. Even at the times when I was very outspoken about the challenges of it, it was still something I wouldn’t have changed at the time. I was always aware that this was something unique and valuable and precious. Something that doesn’t happen all of the time. We were incredibly lucky and despite my frustration at the exhaustion, I’ve always been grateful on some level. The idea of us all coming back together again has always been exciting.

Shock: You just didn’t want to be defined as Scully…
Sometimes I still am. When producers or whatever see my work, they go, Oh, she can act! There’s nothing much I can do about that, but I try to continue to challenge myself and challenge people who want to put me in a box…

Shock: Can X-Files still comment on the times we live in?
I think if one is paying attention they’ll see that the issues addressed are bigger than current events. I guess there’s some current stuff, but it’s the bigger picture in certain respects of human beings and…I’m going to dig myself in a hole here. [laughs]

Shock: Do you think the Mulder and Scully relationship here outweighs the scary plot that’s being promised?
I think what is remarkable – and still find it remarkable today after working with other actors – just what kind of energy there is. It just happens, it’s weird. It’s cool now once I’ve seen things in the past and wondered, Where the f**k did that come from? It’s still there and of course it’s going to be appealing to people. And I now see what the appeal is. In the old days, I was like, Yeah, so what? We get along? Yeah, there’s chemistry. I was just using that word. Now I see there really was, and there still is and I think it will always be there.

Shock: What’s that like with David now that you’re not with each other 16 hours a day on a series?
It’s great, but it was great then, too. This is like a sibling relationship and I never had siblings. I had brothers and sisters that started when I was 13, so I was out of the house and didn’t have that experience. There was always this love/hate – hate is too big of a word – but there was always something. It was a natural relationship over a period of time. Now we’ve grown up and we’re older, we’re more appreciative of the relationship period and the unique experience we had together and have an opportunity to continue that and foster it. We’ve always loved each other and we’re always going to be a battle sometimes.

Shock: Scully started as a skeptic, then a believer – are you going back to that skeptic/believer dynamic or is there no going back to that?
I think we have to. That’s part of one of the big premises of the film, of the relationship and what makes it work is this constant fight to be right in some way. I think no matter what film or what episode, you have to maintain an element of that. This isn’t a love story, [but] it can be. That can’t be in the forefront. What’s in the forefront is these two people’s minds and their passions. Naturally, they’re going to swing in the direction that they are built for and that’s going to cause tension between them.

Shock: How do you see X-Files now in the context of your diverse body of work?
It has never really been my cup of tea. I’m not really a television watcher, I don’t think I would have watched the show [were I not in it]. I see what it is and I can appreciate its appeal to people, I can justify it in the context of my life.

Shock: Are you more comfortable with the fact that this role is going to be with you for the rest of your life?
I feel very fortunate. I think my desire to distance myself stemmed from maturity. I started this when I was 24, I told them I was 27 to get hired. Somebody sent me an interview from some cheesy TV station and I was so sure of myself and the way I was talking… I think I had to surround myself with so many survival mechanisms in order to – just as a 24-year-old to be thrown into that so early… People would say in interviews, what a whirlwind life you’ve had and I didn’t even have enough of a perspective to stand back and say, Yeah, man… In a sense, it was to a detriment because I just assumed I should be able to deal with stuff. When it ended, there was part of me that didn’t want to see a set. It just got really intense. I didn’t do that much during our hiatuses. I didn’t go after that between exhaustion and being a mom – I just wanted to do something different for f**k’s sake. I needed that, I really needed that. But I’ve found a place again of appropriate perspective and great appreciation and gratitude for being invited into such an extraordinary experience.

Shock: How is the story intertwined by the character relationships that producer Frank Spotnitz says plays a big part in this film?
I should think they’ve done a really good job of touching on all of the elements that are important for it to make sense to people and to stand-alone. I think they’ve done a really good job in that respect and there’s enough of a balance between our determinations about the things that are currently working on mixed with the dilemmas that we find ourselves in as the two characters, mixed the history, mixed with everything… I think they’ve done a great job.

Shock: How is Scully different from when we last saw her in the series finale?
I think she’s more relaxed and she’s made some choices in her life that have allowed her to do what she most wants to do, and that has mellowed her a bit. She hasn’t lost any of her determination and passion about things by any stretch. How she is in this film follows perfectly with where we last saw her and who she has always been.

The X-Files Magazine: Agent Anderson

The X-Files Magazine
Agent Anderson
John Reading

In an exclusive interview for The X-Files Magazine, Gillian Anderson reflects on her nine years playing Agent Dana Scully, as she faces the future without her alter-ego. Interview by John Reading

It’s all just starting to dawn on Gillian Anderson. The X-Files television series is over. She spent nearly one-third of her life portraying F.B.I. Special Agent Dana Scully on the show, first opposite David Duchovny as Fox Mulder and, later, opposite Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish as John Doggett and Monica Reyes.

Along the way, Anderson made time for a wide range of other experiences, both personal and professional. She married, divorced and became a mother during the show’s run, and helped raise nearly half a million dollars for Neurofibromatosis, Inc., a charity dedicated to those, like Anderson’s brother, who suffer from this genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on a person’s nerves. The actress also managed to squeeze in performances in such films as Chicago Cab, The Mighty, Playing By Heart and The House of Mirth, and lent her voice to the likes of the animated feature film Princess Mononoke and TV shows such as Frasier, Harsh Realm and The Simpsons. Closer to home, Anderson wrote and directed the “all things” episode of The X-Files.

Now, however, it’s time to get on with the rest of her life and career. We caught up with Anderson just as filming on the series was approaching its end, engaging her in a wide-ranging conversation about matters past, present and future as they relate to both The X-Files and to Gillian Anderson.

THE X-FILES MAGAZINE: So what are your thoughts on this major chapter of your life closing?

ANDERSON: This is so surreal. I swear to God it’s only started to hit me over the past couple of days. It feels like the nine years was so short. You know what I mean? While we were in the middle of it I felt that it would never end and now all of a sudden it just feels unfathomable.

XFM: So does that mean you don’t want it to end?

GA: No, no, no. I think ultimately that it’s good. I think it’s good for everybody and I think that everybody has put in such a huge effort over the years in really trying to keep the quality of the show up, to continue with its integrity as much as we could. There’s a time for everything to end and I think this is the right time. I think everybody in their own way is excited about moving on to other things. But both things can co-exist; one can be sad and in the process of mourning and at the same time be excited and hopeful for the future and change.

XFM: After nine years, is there a favorite episode that stands out in your mind?

GA: I felt akin to (all things). It certainly wasn’t one of my favorite episodes, but the process of it was exhilarating and rewarding. There are a few that I liked, that were fun. Bad Blood was a bit of a comedic episode that I felt was fun and smart and well written. Our schedule is so crazy that it’s hard for me to keep them straight. I’m terrible at that, so I couldn’t even begin to tell you favorites, but you know there are some.

XFM: The X-Files went from cult favorite to pop culture phenomenon. Let’s talk about the so-called craziness of the fans.

GA: I haven’t been feeling the craziness of it lately. We’re pretty well protected from that. It all just feels like there’s another entity out there that’s kind of breathing with the same heartbeat as we are and they support us.

I don’t experience a lot of craziness. We don’t get a lot of visitors on the set. Once in a while we do and people burst into tears and stuff, but the crazy period of time was earlier on and I didn’t even realize that that was crazy until it stopped being crazy. Then I thought, “Oh God, that **was** crazy!”

XFM: But you must go to restaurants and get recognized?

GA: Yeah, but it’s not on the same level as other people have. It’s not what Gwyneth Paltrow has, where you can’t sit in a restaurant without the entire restaurant stopping and trying to listen to your conversations. So I’m blessed in that way that I don’t have the pressure of that in my life. I live a very quiet, private life and every once in a while it feels abruptly jarred by somebody who’s extra-enthusiastic.

XF: OK, let’s get into the show a bit more. The past couple of years have focused not on Mulder’s story, but Scully’s. She was the anchor. What’s your take on the character’s evolution and where she’s at as we build to the end?

GA: Well, it’s happened by necessity because of the fact that David was going to be leaving. I think that for the first year he was gone the writers did a very good job of keeping him in the public consciousness even though he wasn’t around. It was remarkable. It’s interesting how if someone is talked about, it feels as if they’re present even though they’re not. So they were very successful in doing that. The show certainly did start out as Mulder’s quest. The show was primarily about his character and his genius and his revelations, and Scully’s job was to kind of help solidify that in the questions she would answer. They created a whole partnership, but it was 70/30, then it got to 60/40 and then to 50/50. And I’m not talking financially.

XFM: This season, Scully spent a lot of time with baby William and away from Doggett and Reyes. What did you make of that turn of events?

GA: That’s interesting. I don’t know about this whole baby thing. It certainly adds a level of complication to the filming! I think it added an interesting storyline, but it’s also been complicated. How do you involve Scully in the cases they’re investigating to a degree without the audience thinking, “Well, where’s the baby and why isn’t she home with him?” And if she **is** with the baby the fans are going, “We want her out in the field. We don’t want her home with the baby.” It was a very fine balance that they had to play.

XFM: Speaking of kids, how excited is your daughter Piper about the likelihood of having you home more often?

GA: Well, she’s not necessarily going to have me back home. She’s going to be doing a lot more traveling is what she’s going to be doing.

I don’t know what she’s feeling right now. I mean, we’ve had a couple of conversations about it and she’s just at that age right now where she’s starting to understand what it is that Mommy’s being doing for her lifetime. And I think she has, for the first time, a bit of a romantic view of what that is, and I’m trying to break that down as quickly as possible!

XFM: How do you feel about David coming back for the finale?

GA: I think it’s great. I didn’t realize how important it would be for that to happen. When I heard I was very excited and he called me and we had a conversation about the fact that he was coming back and possibly going to be directing something. I guess I didn’t realize how much I was missing him and integral he was [to the show], and I didn’t realize that we needed his presence to make a necessary closure.

XFM: You and David started on this journey together. How differently do you think you might feel if he didn’t come back to close things out?

GA: I don’t think I would have known that until the very end when I would have thought, “Well, wait a minute. This isn’t right. This isn’t right.” I’m very glad that the show is completely ending now because I have a feeling that, even though I would have mourned to a certain degree in saying goodbye, there would have been something left undone. Because the crew would have been continuing and, even though I was saying goodbye, it wouldn’t have been as clean. I feel like we have an opportunity now to really tie it up in a whole and constructive and completing way.

XFM: What will you miss most about The X Files?

GA: There are many, many things that I’m going to miss. I’m really going to miss David and Kim (Manners) and Chris (Carter). I think my body is going to keep expecting to do something familiar that it’s not going to have an opportunity to do. I’ll have the hiatus and then come July it will kind of feel like, “Well, something’s supposed to happen now, right? I’m supposed to go on a sound stage.” So it will be interesting to watch how it transpires in my body and in my psyche.

XFM: Would you even for a second consider jumping into another TV series?

GA: No, I’m just done. Please, it’s been nine years. There are so many other things to do, so many other things not even in the business that I want to do and in the business, but in other ways. Eventually, after I do some features, maybe if HBO asks me to direct something, I might do that. But there are so many things I want to do first.

XFM: How about the next X-Files feature?

GA: Well, there’s one that they’re hoping to do in the next couple of years. That I would definitely do.

XFM: Any concerns about ending the show now and then having to turn up on the set of an X-Files feature a year or so down the road?

GA: No. I’ve got a lot of stuff that I’m going to be doing between now and then that will be feeding me creatively in completely different ways. So when an X-Files film eventually presents itself, it will feel more like a reunion, I think, than something to dread or be afraid of.

XFM: Chris was asked about the meaning of the tagline “Trust no one,” and he said, to paraphrase, “I live in Hollywood. I work in Hollywood.” Do your experiences in Hollywood make you think the same way?

GA: I don’t trust anybody. I don’t trust anybody in Hollywood or Ohio. No, that’s not true.

XFM: But does working in this business, if nothing else, make you more cynical?

GA: Probably, I think. It’s interesting, because what I’ve heard about that aspect of the business is much more devastating than my experience. Because I don’t tolerate that, and I don’t behave in that way with people, I have a tendency to bring people into my experience who do not behave that way, because there’s no room otherwise. And so I don’t have that experience very much. I generally work with and get into business with people who are very on the line and honest and straightforward.

XFM: You’re currently gearing up to do a play and a movie. What can you tell us about those two projects?

GA: I optioned something that I’m going to adapt and direct eventually. Hopefully I can start writing over the summer. It’s a book called Speed of Light by Elizabeth Rossner. It’s a beautiful little book. But I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to get to that. I’m looking for different film projects for the summer and then I’m going to do a play in London in October and then maybe a feature after that. Or I might take a little time off. The play is a new Michael Weller (show) and it’s called What the Night is For.

XF: How full an experience has this show been for you? You started as a young unknown and you’re leaving as a mature woman and a famous and respected actress?

GA: The fact of the matter is that I grew up during the course of the show. I started when I was 24 and ended at almost 34. That’s almost a third of my life. I was young and naive and impressionable and didn’t have a clue about the business or anything at that time. Then, to grow up and to make mistakes along the way and to experience my life while trying to be somebody else (Scully) and try to be something other than myself for 18 hours a day was an interesting task. I also was doing that very publicly. So, as I’ve said, it’s been surreal.

Zap2it: 'X-Files' Cast and Crew Say Bittersweet Goodbye

‘X-Files’ Cast and Crew Say Bittersweet Goodbye
Rick Porter

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) – Gillian Anderson says it won’t hit her for a couple of months.

She’ll take some time off after “The X-Files” ends its season, as she’s done for the past nine years. Then, as TV production starts up again toward the end of the summer, “my body will want to start seeing this other person again. It’s like an old friend.”

Only then, she says, will she likely realize in full that “The X-Files” isn’t coming back to FOX. The conspiracy-laden, extraterrestrials-among-us drama, which grew from cult hit to mainstream success without ever really — pardon the pun — alienating its loyalists, ends its run on Sunday (May 19) with a two-hour finale that promises to answer a lot of the questions it’s posed about aliens and coverups and just what the heck the government is hiding.

“It really is an example of a mixed blessing,” Anderson said as she walked down the alien-green (not red) carpet at the series wrap party a few weeks ago. “I’m really looking forward to the future, and I’m excited about getting out into the world again. On the other hand, I don’t think I really get for one second that it’s over.”

Still, Anderson, series creator Chris Carter and other cast and crew members agree that now is the right time to wrap up the series. Ratings have dipped since David Duchovny left the cast for good this season, and the show faced stiffer competition in NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and ABC’s “Alias.”

“It’s good to go out while we’re still smelling good,” says Kim Manners, a co-executive producer who also directed more than 50 of the show’s 200 episodes. “I’m very proud to have been a part of it.”

Few involved with the show had any idea of how big the show become when it premiered on a Friday night in September 1993. Executive producer Frank Spotnitz joined “The X-Files” in its second season, and he says at the time, few people he know had heard of the show.

“It was like a pleasant dream, where every year we got bigger and bigger,” Spotnitz says. “But we never expected the phenomenon it would become.”

Indeed, the show made a star out of the previously unknown Anderson (whose biggest previous role was a guest shot on FOX’s “Class of ’96” ) and cult figures out of recurring characters like the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) and the Lone Gunmen (Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund and Bruce Harwood).

“We didn’t know each other when we got asked to [play the characters],” says Braidwood, who played Gunman Melvin Frohike after starting out as an assistant director on the show. “So we met, and we did the scene. Then we got a call the next year and they said we’d like you to come back and do another gig — it was such a surprise.”

Cast and crew members had a tough time picking out favorite episodes, although more than one, including Mitch Pileggi (FBI Assistant Director Skinner), cited the controversial 1996 episode “Home.”

Pileggi also counts season 1’s “Ice” and season 3’s “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” for which guest star Peter Boyle won an Emmy. “I’m not in any of them,” Pileggi says, laughing. “I don’t know what that says.”

Sunday’s finale is titled “The Truth,” and it features the return of Duchovny’s Fox Mulder, who faces a murder charge at a military tribunal. Carter promises that much of the series’ complicated mythology will be wrapped up. But as the show has done throughout its existence, it will probably some things open to interpretation.

“There’s so much going on” in the episode, says Annabeth Gish, who plays Agent Monica Reyes. “A lot of people return. Things are answered and tied up, but always leaving more.”