Mystery Swirls for David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson Over ‘The X-Files’ Future

A bittersweet reunion for fan favorites, Fox Mulder may soon be working solo.

January 29, 2018 5:00 am
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson on the set of 'The X-Files.' (Cr:  Eric Millner/FOX.)
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson on the set of 'The X-Files.' (Cr: Eric Millner/FOX.)

They want to believe that that the The X-Files can beyond this season after Gillian Anderson’s Special Agent Dana Scully leaves, but the show’s stars admit what comes next is one big mystery.

That fits the premise of the iconic series The X-files of course, and while the search for truth is the very foundation of the entire narrative of the show, the series stars sounded very enigmatic during during a recent set visit by RealClearLife.

Sitting on the FOX lot, the duo that made the series must-watch TV— Anderson and David Duchovny, who played Special Agent Fox Mulder— appeared ready to give some intel on this season of the show…when a surprise plot twist emerged.

Clouding this event was a development in a recently aired episode of the series, one that had Anderson confirming that she wouldn’t return for any future X-Files seasons.

“(Last year’s six-episode season) was dipping our toe back in again and getting to play these wonderful characters again, and I think that that short stack of episodes kind of felt like we were learning how to walk again,” said Anderson. “This (10-episode) season often feels like the pace is up and we are running.”

Anderson elaborated on her decision to forego returning as her character after this season, saying, “I thought that the previous six was going to be it, but that didn’t feel like the right way to end it. It didn’t feel like I would necessarily have been happy if (that) how we said goodbye. Another season sounded more like a good ending to me. So, when I was asked to do another season, I agreed to do another season.”

Any conspiracy theories that she may yet return must be debunked. “It never occurred to me, nor was it discussed or suggested, that it was now a new series,” said Anderson. “So, I said, ‘Yes, I will do this,’ but in my mind, it had always been that it would just be one season.”

Anderson revealed that it’s her drive to do other things that cemented her decision to move on. “It’s been an extraordinary opportunity and an extraordinary character, but there’s lots of other stuff I want to do,” she said, “and I don’t really want to be tied down to months and months of doing any particular one thing that I feel like I’ve done. That’s why.”

But, she wasn’t quite finished as she added, “I like to do many, many different characters, and that’s why I got into the business. I’ve done this now for decades, and it’s time for me to hang up Scully’s hat. It just is.”

When it was suggested that Scully could come back in, say, ten years, the actress said emphatically, “No. No. This is it for me. I’m really serious. I have so much respect for Scully, and I have respect for David, and it’s really sad, but I’m finished, and that’s the end of that.”

As open as Anderson is about her future, Duchovny is being as secretive as the Cigarette-Smoking Man, when it comes to a possible future for The X-Files without his partner. “I will say this and I mean this in all honesty that The X Files is a frame,” said Duchovny. “It’s a show. It happens to have these three actors in it that people have become attached to, but I believe that [the show] as a frame is completely legitimate in any form. So, whether it can go on, who knows.”

Then it was Anderson’s turn to stammer a bit, as she tried to answer an inquiry about whether she was happy with how this season, and possibly the entire series, is wrapping up. She took a lengthy pause before answering: “That is a good question. I’m not quite sure how to answer that question. Good question. Let’s say I’ll think about it.”

The producers did reveal that this season contains an episode that only has approximately 15 or 20 lines of dialogue in the entire hour. On that subject, Anderson had plenty to say. “It’s really interesting, as an actor, to work on something that has no dialogue because you don’t want to end up, like, miming what you would say were you to have dialogue,” she explained, “and so it really was a fascinating challenge to not end up just being Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton in the way that we were communicating to each other.”

Duchovny added, “I think it’s one of our more special episodes that we’ve done in a long time.”

If this truly is the end of the series, it’s also the end of two of the most identifiable characters and one of the most enduring pairings in television history.

“I feel like my relationship to Scully and (Mulder and Scully) has changed so much year after year after year. At the beginning, I had no idea what to expect,” said Anderson. “It was all such a big whirlwind. We became as popular as we became, and it was intense for a period of time. I feel like I every time I’m asked to reflect, I have a completely different and new perspective on what it was and what it meant and a new understanding of what it might have meant for other people.

“This year, I feel like for the first time I truly understood how special and unique the dynamic was between Mulder and Scully.

“It’s taken me a while,” she added with some sarcasm, getting a laugh from the assembled journalists.

“I feel like I’ve developed a whole new appreciation for the uniqueness of what people always ask me about and referred to, (by saying) ‘You (two have) chemistry.’ It’s special.”

Duchovny tends not to think too deeply about the nuts and bolts of what makes the show and their on-screen relationship tick. “It’s just not in my nature,” he said. “I’ve always felt from the beginning, (that) there’s looking at it as a viewer and then there’s the making of it. I keep those two things very distinct because if I start to think of myself as iconic then, I’m f–ed. Then, my performance is s—.”

Legacy and history are subjects for another time.

For now they are both enjoying the moment. “I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to play somebody as extraordinary, as iconic a character, as Scully,” said  Anderson, “to be in this duo is a very special thing, indeed.”

For his thoughts on that matter, Duchovny said, “I’m good. either way. I’m good, with this being the end. I’m good with it not being the end. I can’t see the future.”

And that’s the truth. Nothing cryptic about it.

‘The X-Files’ airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX.

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