By Follow on Twitter
on January 15, 2016 at 10:40 AM, updated January 15, 2016 at 11:11 AM
PASADENA, Calif. — In a loose, entertaining press conference for “The X-Files” event series that debuts Jan. 24 on Fox, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson playfully bantered about their chemistry as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.
Duchovny, Anderson and “X-Files” creator Chris Carter were on hand, along with guest star Joel McHale, to discuss the six-episode “X-Files” with reporters and critics during the TV Winter 2016 Press Tour at the Langham Huntington hotel.
In returning to their roles after 13 years away from “The X-Files,” Duchovny talked about how he and Anderson now have a history that informs their onscreen relationship as the conspiracy-hunting duo.
Anderson commented that the chemistry was something she and Duchovny had “from the beginning.”
Duchovny responded that he wasn’t saying he and Anderson didn’t have chemistry from the start, then joked that they could add biology to their chemistry and history, and be ready to graduate from high school.
On a more serious note, Anderson and Duchovny were both asked about the years immediately following the end of “The X-Files,” when the actors seemingly went out of their to distance themselves from the characters of Dana Scully and Fox Mulder.
Anderson said it took her a decade to appreciate “The X-Files” as “the gift” that it was, and to embrace playing such an iconic character in such an iconic show.
“I was very lucky,” Anderson said.
Duchovny echoed Anderson’s sentiments, that it took him a while to recognize how special “The X-Files” remains. His desire to not be typecast as Mulder, he said, acted as “a spur” for him to do more work, “to keep expanding myself as an artist, or as whatever I am.”
During the panel, “X-Files” creator Carter said that the original plan was to do eight episodes of “The X-Files” event series, but the order was cut to six because of scheduling concerns.
Carter also answered a question about the return of the Lone Gunmen, the conspiracy experts who advised Mulder in the original series. Toward the end of “The X-Files” run, the characters died.
In the new “X-Files,” Carter said, the Lone Gunmen come back in a fantasy sequence.
McHale talked about being a huge “X-Files” fan back in the 1990s when the show was gathering steam. He and his now-wife used to sit on the couch and watch new episodes, McHale recalled, and he added that he proposed to his wife on that same couch.
“I can’t believe I’m up here,” McHale said, adding, it “seems like a mistake.”
McHale’s “X-Files” character, a conservative talk-show host named Tad O’Malley, appears in the first episode of “The X-Files.”
Carter said that the first and sixth episode of “The X-Files” will focus on the series’ mythology, while the tone will shift in the middle episodes , which feature some of the “Monster of the Week” cases that were fan favorites in the show’s early days.
“Think of it as a Bento Box of ‘X-Files,'” Duchovny deadpanned.
“The X-Files” event series premieres at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, on Fox (12.)
Stay tuned for more coverage from the TV Winter Press Tour.
— Kristi Turnquist