X-Files mythology, TenThirteen Interviews Database, and more

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 www.thexfiles.com.

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. ..at 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.)