"The X-Files" star Gillian Anderson (Agent Dr. Dana Scully) has been hopping across our screens over the past few months. Her BBC series "The Fall" just ended last month and it's now available to stream on Netflix in all its thrilling, sexy, complicated glory (though be warned: the finale is bizarrely unfulfilling). She also had a recurring role on NBC's "Hannibal," and is returning to NBC this fall with a new series, "Crisis." She's also been working a lot on the big screen with roles in James Marsh's "Shadow Dancer" and Sandra Nettelbeck's upcoming "Mr. Morgan's Last Love."
Her "X-Files" co-star, David Duchovny (Agent Fox Mulder), is coasting along, with the seventh season of "Californication" set to debut next year on Showtime.
The two actors got together yesterday at Comic-Con in San Diego to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their famed sci-fi show along with "The X-Files" creator Chris Carter, and writing alums from the show, including "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan and Howard Gordon ("24," "Homeland").
1. What didn't Gillian Anderson know about Mulder right away?
"I didn't realize that Mulder was so cool until a few years later. And I thought 'Damn! Should have gone there sooner!' Not that it was my choice," Anderson said, starting off the discussion. Gauging the audience to see how feisty she could be, she added, "Am I supposed to behave myself?"
2. After Duchovny said he wasn't sure, judging solely by the episodes, if Scully and Mulder ever had sex, Anderson responded:
"We shot [a sex scene]! It's somewhere!" Turning to Duchovny, she proved good on the suggestion she wouldn't behave herself, adding "I bet you've said that before!"
3. What would "Breaking Bad" be without "The X-Files"?
Said Gilligan, "There'd be no 'Breaking Bad' without 'The X-Files.' I started off my association with 'The X-Files' as a fan. I was sitting alone in my house in Powhatan County, Virginia in 1993. September, I think. And this new show came on. I only had four channels; I didn't have cable. I figured I'd give it a second to watch. It has aliens or something and by the end of the first commercial break, I was hooked. I was a fan. I loved it. When the opportunity arose for me to write for it, I felt very very lucky. I worked on it for seven years. And I learned everything that I do know about producing television and writing for television. It was a great job. It was like going to film school except for getting paid to attend. I was as lucky as hell to be apart of it."
4. Duchovny wants to come back to be Mulder "as much as [he] can."
"The show was so flexible and it could encompass so many ideas that we could do it forever. I've always thought that whenever we can come back together, we would. We will, as much as we can."
5. Anderson absolutely does not want to make another series, no matter how short.
After moderator Michael Schneider of TV Guide Magazine noted that "24" would be coming back for a mini-season, he asked the panelists if they'd be interested in doing the same for "The X-Files." To which Anderson quipped, quickly "No!" She happily added that she'd do a movie.
6. The boy who played Scully's baby is producer John Shiban's son, who was also at the panel:
7. Asked one audience member, "If Mulder and Scully went on a real-live date, what would they do?"
Anderson: "Have sex."
Duchovny: "And then maybe dinner? Maybe barbeque."
8. Asking people to be on the show could be fun, if not always successful.
Gilligan: "I asked Drew Barrymore to be on the show. I wrote a movie with her called 'Home Fries.' She seemed interested. I wanted to do an episode with Drew Barrymore where she had that kind of Godlike power [inspired by an episode of "The Twilight Zone"]. Her agent called me and said 'stop bothering my client.'"
Anderson: " I remember having a conversation with Tom Waits, because you guys wanted him on the show. And for some reason, he and I had the conversation about coming on the show. That was a pretty cool moment in my life."
9. "When did Scully and Mulder know they were in love?" asked one audience member.
Carter quipped, "When you (Scully) first walked into his office in the basement,"
10. What was Carter thinking when he created such a strong female character in a sci-fi series?
"Scully was kind of my fantasy woman. Strong, smart, opinionated, resourceful, tough, all those things that I liked. [Her relationship with Mulder] was also a fantasy relationship that was as intellectual as it was anything else." On why she had a Christian backstory: "It was a natural to me. She was a scientist, but to me that made her a one-dimensional character. If she had a religious upbringing, it was always tearing at her, she was believing in something that was irrational."
And the big question...Will there be another movie soon?
Carter trailed off at the end, saying, "Being here today and seeing all these people. You need reason to get excited about going on and doing it again because it's very hard work..."