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The X-Files: I Want to Believe in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The X-Files: I Want to Believe

David Duchovny • Gillian Anderson • Billy Connolly • Amanda Peet
DIRECTOR: Chris Carter

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson THE CONCEPT:
Former agents, Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) are drawn back into the world of the X-Files to attempt to save an agent’s life, with only a psychic’s visions to inform them.

U.S. RELEASE: July 25 2008, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


Chris Carter
“Fox came to us a year after The X-Files TV series ended and said, ‘If you want to make another movie, let’s go.’ And we worked out a story and that story was a story they liked, negotiations began and then it all broke down over a TV contractual problem, which took unexpectedly years to resolve. When it was finally resolved they called again and said, ‘If you want to do that movie we still want to do it, but you’ve got to do it now because there’s a writers’ strike looming and if you don’t do it now it might be two years before you get another opportunity, and we think you will have asked the audience to wait too long.’ We agreed.”

Frank Spotnitz“We actually lost our notes, so we had to start over, and in the process of starting over we found ourselves so interested in where Mulder and Scully were in their lives, and the nature of their relationship, and we realized that to be true to the characters that relationship could not have stood still, it had to have changed. We saw it much more emotionally than we did immediately after the show ended.”

Duchovny & Anderson“My coming back was not based on the script. At this point I have almost complete blind trust in Chris and Frank to come up with the goods, and my only concern was that it should be a stand alone story, I didn’t think it should be something you needed specific knowledge of The X-Files to enjoy it. I had no hopes or plans for what this would be, I just knew the world that we made, and the world that Chris and Frank would remake was going to be satisfying to me.”

CARTER on the difficulty Duchovny and Anderson had recapturing the characters of Mulder and Scully:
David Duchovny“When we started making the movie they’d both been playing so many other characters. You see Gillian in Bleak House, how different that character was, and you see David in Californication, how different that character is, they had not been Mulder and Scully for awhile. It was not dissimilar for Frank and myself in writing this script, that first scene when Scully comes to Mulder in his office, that was the hardest scene in the movie because what do you say after six years? How do you have these characters have a conversation that is true to the story, but is also the first time we’ve seen them in a room together after such an absence?”

Gillian Anderson“I started with one of the most difficult scenes in the film, where she goes through a range of emotions in confronting Billy Connolly’s character, and I had a real hard time the first couple of days just finding her and finding her voice. I think I must have gone through ten other characters in the process of trying to get to her, when I assumed that on the first day I’d be able to show up and it would just be there. It wasn’t until day three when David and I got to work together that it felt natural and familiar, and then it felt like I’d landed for the first time.”

“We wanted to make this as pure a movie as we could about Mulder and Scully, who are the essence of The X-Files. The more characters you bring in from the past, the more explaining you have to do and the more it gets wrapped up in the mythology of the show. In this movie we wanted to keep it as simple as possible.”

ANDERSON on her and Duchovny’s chemistry as actors:
“We’ve actually had a 15 year affair (they both laugh). Whatever it is that is between us was there from the second we started working together, it was something that Chris had seen, which is why he fought so hard to cast me over somebody else, he saw something between the two of us that was unique.”

“I don’t know why [the chemistry worked] in the beginning, maybe just luck, but after this long we actually do have a history, so when I look over at Gillian, or when Mulder looks at Scully, there’s a lot of sh-t that I can call on. As people fifteen years later, we’ve 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.”

ANDERSON on how playing Scully has influenced her life:
“I don’t do things or mannerisms and think, ‘Oh that was kind of like Scully.’ But I don’t know how much of me today was influenced by the fact that I got to play her for such a long time. It’s possible that aspects of my seriousness, my independence or my inquisitiveness about the medical profession or science are somehow directly related to the fact that I lived with her for such a long time.”

“It impacts your life because strangers see you that way. I answer questions about this fictional person, so it stays with me in that way. I wouldn’t say that I get up and think of Mulder, unless I’m working on it. I liked a lot about the guy when I played him. I liked his courage, I liked his energy to get to the truth, I was a fan of the guy, but that’s as far as I go saying that he lives in me.”

Duchovny, Anderson and Carter

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #699, August 2008 cover

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