Herald-Sun, March 28, 2001
Robert Patrick is pleased to cast off his villainous reputation, writes Jane Wollman Rusoff.
'A new man'
From the Wednesday Guide in the Melbourne Herald-Sun, written by by Jane Wollman Rusoff.
After playing villains in most of his movies, Robert Patrick is more than happy to be on the small screen playing a good guy.
Patrick, 42, has joined The X-Files' Gillian Anderson to play federal agent John Doggett, Dana Scully's partner in her search for the apparently alien-abducted Fox Mulder.
Mulder's abduction was forced on X-Files scriptwriters when David Duchovny decided he would appear in only 11 of this year's 22 episodes.
Patrick arrives for the interview, apologising for being half asleep. He was up until 4am learning rewritten X-Files scripts.
Despite guest-starring in three episodes of 'The Sopranos', he says, he still hasn't adjusted to the fast pace of television production.
"With films, you've got more time to digest and live with your dialogue," Patrick says, running a weary hand across his piercing blue eyes. "With TV, I'm being challenged in front of the camera every day.
"But I love to act, so I'm just having to learn to study more quickly."
He pops a hard-boiled egg in his mouth, chews, swallows, smiles. That's breakfast. Soon he'll be off to the studio to start another 16-hour day.
Patrick, best known for his role as the sinister cyborg in Terminator 2: Judgment Day opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, couldn't seal the deal to play Doggett without auditioning.
"I didn't mind, but was delighted when I got the nod," he says.
He sees himself as under self-imposed pressure to "live up to the high standard of acting that Duchovny and Anderson achieved".
The son of a Boston banker, Patrick played college football before quitting school.
"I just drifted. I didn't know what the hell to do with myself," he says. "I kept yakking that I was gonna be an actor, but I never followed through with any action."
"I had no direction, no code and was a puzzlement to my family, and certainly to me."
It took a life-threatening accident at the age of 25 to get Patrick into gear. A violent storm capsized the boat he, his brother (Richard Patrick is now the lead singer for the band, Filter) and three friends were sailing. For three and a half hours Patrick swam alone to shore for help.
"I thought, if I survive this, I'd better start doing something worthwhile with my life. I realised how precious life is," he says.
Patrick made it to shore and organised the rescue of the other four. Within two weeks he was in his car and heading for Hollywood.
"I slept in the car, waited on tables and auditioned," he says.
His first role was as a beatnik in the stage play 'Go'. Producer/director Roger Corman saw him and cast him as a psychotic biker in the movie 'Warlords from Hell'.
"After seven Corman films, I appeared with Bruce Willis in 'Die Hard'. Then came T-2 with Arnie and it has sort of gone on from there," Patrick says modestly.
Patrick is married to actor Barbara Patrick. They have two children, aged three and five months.
Transcribed by Emma.
Sunday Mail TV Scene, March 25, 2001
Still scary after all these years
From Brisbane's Sunday Mail TV Scene March 25-31, 2001
Gillian Anderson used to spend a lot of her time in The X- Files with one eyebrow raised in arch disbelief. Not any more.
Maybe the aliens abducted her character Dana Scully's sceptical streak. Or perhaps it was experiencing a large bug boring into her spine that finally turned her into a believer with not a shred of doubt in her mind.
To tell the truth, though, it was probably David Duchovny's decision to exit the series in which he has played a pivotal role since it appeared on our screens in 1994.
The show's scriptwriters desperately needed another believer to faithfully go where no FBI agent has gone before.
How neat then to turn the tables on the scientific Scully and make her the new mistress of the paranormal. But would this arrangement work? The truth might be out there, but what about the audience?
Without Duchovny as Fox Mulder how could The X-Files (Thursday, 8.30 pm, Ten) survive? Even worse, Duchovny's departure meant the end of a spooky small-screen relationship. Why, Scully without Mulder would be like Bogie without Bacall, Spock without Kirk, Jerry sans George.
Despite much trepidation that the series would fall into a black hole of its own making, The X-Files is actually looking sharper than it has for a long while.
In its final days with Mulder still in the bureau, it had become a shadow of its former self. It was laden down by labyrinthine story lines hinting at yet another conspiracy theory about aliens.
Much as we liked Mulder and his weird ways, the show had become lost in its own search for the truth.
Still, there were some magic moments, such as the episode when Scully and Mulder were the inspiration for a Hollywood movie that had the pair smooching in a grave - a neat joke on the pressure felt by scriptwriters to matchmake the two.
Even neater was the casting of Tea Leoni to play Scully. Leoni, of course is Duchovny's real-life wife. It was Duchovny's desire to be closer to Leoni in Los Angeles, which forced the show to move from its original home in Vancouver to California.
It seemed a shame to move the show from Vancouver where its creepy pine forests were a natural cover for the show. Duchovny's part in this upheaval and then his decision to reduce his involvement in the series (he is appearing in 11 of 23 episodes this season) could explain why the scriptwriters have now left him hanging like a piece of meat inside the bowels of an alien starship.
You see, Mulder had become his own X-File, abducted by the aliens for whom he has searched for his whole life.
Enter Agent John Doggett, played by Robert Patrick, who tried to smash up Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2.
At first choice Patrick seems an odd choice as Duchovny's replacement. He isn't cute. He's squarer than of regulation FBI shoes. He shows no sign of whimsy. Even worse, he doesn't believe in aliens.
Basically he is as un-Mulder as you can get. Or so it seems. Doggett has already been revealed as having hidden layers. A child of his has gone missing. What other secrets does he have?
As for his relationship with Scully, well, it doesn't have the same quirky familiarity we saw between her and Mulder.
Doggett is more your knight in shining-armour type, which is actually what Scully needs right now. With Mulder kidnapped by aliens, it is up to her to carry the X-Files mantle. And it's a life-threatening task.
It's true, Mulder is sorely missed, yet the new dynamic between Scully and Doggett has revived The X-Files. It's as if the show has taken a deep breath and opened the window for new story lines.
The conspiracy theories have been shelved for now and the scriptwriters have focussed on brewing up a perfect blend of horror and science fiction.
The X-Files might no longer be the darling of those sci-fi fanatics who made Duchovny a magazine pin-up or mobbed Anderson when she visited Australia a few years back. The truth is, we serious X-Files fans don't care. We're simply glad that it's still scary after these years.
Transcribed by Lucy.
Sydney Morning Herald, March 16, 2001
X-Files creator laughs it up with a new show
The cast of the Lone Gunmen: (L-R) Zuleikha Robinson, Dean Haglund, Tom Braidwood and Bruce Harwood. Below: Chris Carter on the set of The X-Files movie
By FRAZIER MOORE
On this rare escape from writing and producing The X-Files, Chris Carter might have preferred hitting the beach with his surfboard - his other passion. Instead, here he was in a cold, rainy city on the opposite coast, seated in a dark, deserted hotel bar named Journeys.
Scouting X-Files locations?
No, Carter had bolted for Manhattan to talk up his new series, The Lone Gunmen. Something different for him, he says. An action comedy. Laughs. Fun. Plus heart.
Gunmen - which Fox has premiered - is a spinoff. It puts centre stage the trio of beyond-the-fringe crusaders who lately served as X-Files comic relief.
Played by Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood and Dean Haglund, these ill-assorted activists are on their own now, publishing a muckraking newspaper and plunging into quixotic exposes.
Like X-Files, the new series has a sci-fi bent and a paranoid tone. But while one is marked by darkness and opacity, the other dares to lighten up.
In Gunmen, says Carter, "we set aside the sadness."
It differs from X-Files in another way: privatising the enemy. Gunmen looks not to the skies or even the Pentagon for intrigue, but, instead, the Dow Jones industrials and Nasdaq.
"Creating a government conspiracy that keeps the truth away from the people was great for The X-Files, but this show isn't like that at all," explains Carter. "If it deals with conspiracies, they're at the corporate level."
The Gunmen uncover a computer chip that spies on its users and a water-fuelled car kept off the market because it would wreck the petroleum industry. Clearly, corporate bogymen can be as shadowy and sinister as any paranormal foe.
"More sinister," cracks Carter, taking a sip of Perrier.
"Corporate America is in fact a de facto government," he says, turning serious, "and I think there's gonna be a backlash against that sort of consolidation of power. Who's going to have a reaction? The youth of America? I think that would be the natural place."
And, like the young-skewing X-Files, now in its eighth season, The Lone Gunmen may find a particularly receptive audience on campuses.
"I hope so, anyway," says Carter.
At 43, the Los Angeles native retains the blond beach boy looks that seem to certify him as a lifelong wave-shredder. But are surf-bum looks misleading for someone who, before Gunmen, masterminded dusky, brooding shows like Harsh Realm, Millennium and, of course, X-Files?
"I've got real darkness inside of me," says Carter in his soft-spoken manner. "But the stories I tell are about constantly keeping the darkness at bay, of embracing the light."
Granted, Mulder and Scully, the intrepid truth-chasing FBI agents of X-Files, embrace the light - or try their darnedest against towering odds.
"Life is full of tremendous sadness," says Carter. "They're trying to find meaning in the sad reality."
And do it in the constant company of fear, a response that Carter can tap in his viewers as if he carried a dowsing rod.
"Maybe I'm a chicken at heart and that's the reason I'm sensitive to fear," he says. "But we all have the same kind of fears: of violent death, of humiliation, of loss of our loved ones, of being out of control, of finding there is no meaning to life."
And what about the fear of failure, especially at the birth of a cherished new project that comes on the heels of two flops (Harsh Realm and Millennium)?
"So much of it is left to fate," Carter sighs. "If you start thinking too much about success, if that starts being your goal, then you've jumped over the important part to the fearful part. You've missed the point.
"I couldn't hope to find this kind of success again," he says, speaking of The X-Files and its impact. "But if I do, it'll be a result of making the same good choices, doing the same hard work and having the same strokes of luck."
And what of X-Files returning for its ninth year?
"I want to come back," he says, "if there's a way, a reason, to tell good stories. That's really the central factor."
If so, come autumn, it might be accompanied by The Lone Gunmen on the Fox schedule.
"We're all hoping for the best," says Carter, who, mindful of the crushing workload two series represent, adds, "and dreading it all the same."
Of course, what happens across the broad TV landscape depends on actors and writers who, within weeks, may go on strike. That also fills Carter with dread. He prays there's no work stoppage.
On the other hand, he says: "The misconception is that I'm a workaholic, that I'm a tense, driven person. I swear, if the strike happened today, I would click my heels and run and play."
The truth is out there: "I'm a really good goof-off.
On the Net:
Official Site: http://www.thelonegunmen.com
Sunday Mail TV Plus, March 11, 2001 (Adelaide)
Scully meets match
Transcribed by Lucy.
Newcomer turns up the heat
Things are getting tense on The X-Files, with the sparks flying between Dana Scully and newcomer, Special Agent John Doggett.
Robert Patrick thinks he might have seen a UFO when he was a kid, but isn't really sure.
"When I was about nine years old, I was with my brother and we saw something in the sky, a blinking light," the new star of the cult TV hit, The X-Files, said from LA. " It could have been just an aircraft though."
This scepticism has prepared him well for his role as Special Agent John Doggett, Dana Scully's (Gillian Anderson) nemesis and foil to her new belief in the supernatural.
After she sees Mulder (David Duchovny) get taken by other worldly beings, her scientific training is all but forgotten. She now knows they're out there.
But as the FBI hunts for Mulder, former New York detective and tough guy John Doggett enters. And he has no time for such hogwash.
The on-air tension is almost tangible, reminiscent of the early Scully-Mulder days.
"Doggett falls in love with her after she throws water in his face. He thinks she's pretty damn cool," Robert said of the on-screen dynamics. "Their relationship does grow from there and the closer he works with her the more he begins to question his scepticism."
To his chagrin, Robert is probably best remembered as the tenacious alien T-1000 who tried to kill Arnie in Terminator 2. In that film he had 15 lines of dialogue, but has more to say as Doggett.
"In looking for TV roles, I specifically sought cops or FBI agents as I was fed up with being the bad guy," he said. "Doggett is one of the best roles I have been offered in a long time. He's a strong character and he has a lot of street smarts. I've always been a fan of the show and while I don't have time to watch TV habitually, I would tune into this because the writing and the acting is so good."
In his 16-year acting career, Robert has been in 55 movies.
But with the entertainment industry changing, the switch from film to television and vice versa is easier than it once was. For Robert, The X-Files gig is a dream job.
"I drive to work every day-it's like working at the local factory. I come home and can spend time with my two kids," he said. But with a part in such a commercial cult hit, Robert has felt under pressure not only to do the show justice, but to appease the serious fans known as the X-Philes.
"I think I was under a lot of pressure and I didn't realise it. I believe I'm doing a good job but it's really out of my control," he says.
Robert is adamant that he is not there to replace anyone, particularly Duchovny, who appears in only 11 of this season's 21 episodes.
"My character is a totally different dynamic"' Robert says.
Take 5, March 7, 2001
I was a teenage PUNK
Transcribed by Lucy.
Gillian went from a wild child to serious movie star
Looking at her on screen with her sleek style and buttoned-down character, it's hard to imagine Gillian Anderson was once a teenage punk with spiked purple hair, torn clothes and a safety pin in her cheek.
Or that she used to sing back-up in a punk band, dressed only in bandages.
Today, she's everyone's favourite TV FBI agent- and the devoted mother of her gorgeous six year old daughter,Piper Maru.
What's more, the actress who plays The X-Files' Dana Scully was even talked of as a possible Oscar nominee for her classy performance in the new movie House of Mirth.
Alas, that wasn't meant to be. But her portrayal of turn-of-the-century New Yorker Lily Bart, who must find a wealthy husband fast, even though she loves another poorer man, shows Gillian has acting muscles not normally displayed in her TV role.
It's a revelation that's made Hollywood sit up and take notice. But the 32 year old star says the performance came easily to her- partly because she understood Lily's situation.
"Her plight is about choices we make in our own lives, whether it's a choice of the heart or a choice of money, social standing or whatever," she says emphatically.
"Today, and particularly in show business, there are many parallels to that. The easiest one for me as an actor is choosing to do films that move me and are socially conscious as opposed to those that could make me more money.
"I happen to be in an incredibly fortunate situation where I wouldn't have to work. So that's easy for me to do my life on a daily basis."
It's a far cry from her days as a teenage terror in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where, just weeks after voted by her schoolmates as Class Clown, Most Bizarre Girl And Most Likely To Get Arrested, she indeed was thrown into the clink for trying to glue her school doors shut.
The eldest of three children to Edward Anderson, who runs a film post-production company, and his computer analyst wife rosemary, Gillian was born in Chicago on August 9, 1968. But, when she was two, the family moved briefly to Puerto Rico and then it was on to London, where they spent the next nine years.
When they returned to the US, Gillian says she felt like a stranger. To overcome the peculiarity of her English accent, she chose to punk it up.
She was a rebel although not quite sure of her cause- and she never expected to see the inside of a police cell.
" The crowd I ran around with was pretty notorious," she remembers. "We were at a high school graduation party and got bored. So we decided to do something to liven it up. I wanted to end my school career with a bang."
So she and her pals showed up at school with a pile of chains and a big pot of glue.
"I wanted to fasten the doors so tight they'd never be opened again," she laughs. "But, halfway through, someone called the cops."
She was hauled to the nearest police station but didn't dare call her parents.
"I kept phoning my boyfriend but he'd gone home and fallen asleep," she recalls. "So I was stuck there until someone came and bailed me out."
Luckily for her, the police decided not to file charges, although she was booked, photographed and had her fingerprints taken.
Luckily, too, Gillian soon found a new outlet for her wild ways- acting. So after she graduated from Chicago's Goodman Theatre School of Drama, she headed straight for New York to find work.
By now the piercing holes had healed, her hair was no longer purple and, after a few off-Broadway plays and a small role in a low-budget movie, The Turning, she decided to try her luck in Los Angeles.
At first, jobs were hard to find and, although she'd sworn never to do TV, her agent persuaded her to try out for the pilot of a new and different sci-fi show.
" Initially, the producers just didn't want me," she says.
"But somehow I got hired."
And Dana Scully was born. Mind you, Gillian admits, she was still a bit na´ve about the whole television process.
"I was 24 and totally clueless," she smiled. "I didn't know what a pilot show was .I didn't know that a TV series had seasons. And the most important thing I didn't know was how lucky I was. I thought shows were picked up all the time."
The X-Files became an instant hit, and so Gillian's a cult figure among viewers worldwide.
But while her career has blossomed, she's not been so lucky in her personal life. On New Year's Day 1994, she wed then X-Files art director Clyde Klotz in a Buddhist ceremony in Hawaii. Soon after, in August that year, she gave birth to Piper Maru. Sadly she and Clyde divorced after two years and Gillian says Piper is now the centre of her life.
The other steady influence in her life is The X-Files, now in its eighth season, but with David Duchovny replaced by Terminator 2 star Robert Patrick. "He's a damned good actor," she says. "He's literally shaken us all up and I think that's a good thing."
By Rebecca Gideon
Sun-Herald Television, March 4, 2001
Gillian's Out There.
Transcribed by Lucy.
She may be the show's doubting Thomas, but The X-Files' Gillian Anderson may well also prove its saviour writes SUSAN KING.
The future of The X-Files was in limbo last year. Though Gillian Anderson was committed to the series for another two years, co-star David Duchovny's contract was up for renewal.
To say relations between Duchovny and The X-Files producer 20th Century Fox Film Corp were strained is an understatement.
He was suing the studio, alleging it gave its own broadcast stations and its cable network sweetheart licensing terms instead of going after the highest bid in a competitive situation. And last, but not least, executive producer and the series' creator Chris Carter wasn't sure he wanted to return without Duchovny.
"This all led to a lot of general anxiety about how to end the show or not," admitted Carter. So with the series' outcome a big question mark, Carter and executive producer Frank Spotnitz fashioned an episode that could double not only as a season finale but a series finale-Duchovny's Mulder would be abducted by aliens and Anderson's Scully would learn she was pregnant.
Carter then informed the studio he's devised a way to do the series with Duchovny in a limited role giving Scully a new partner to help in the search for Mulder.
Carter knew from the beginning he didn't want Scully's new partner to be cut from the same cloth as the alien-obsessed Mulder. So the latest member of The X-Files, FBI agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick), is the antithesis of Mulder- a by-the-books FBI agent.
The new prominence of Anderson and the presence of Patrick, best known as the evil Terminator in Terminator 2:Judgement Day and as an obsessive gambler on The Sopranos, has really invigorated the series, Carter believes.
While Doggett will team with Scully to find Mulder, they will not become partners- not immediately, anyway.
"There will be a gradual, hopefully, realistic integration of the characters into the series," Carter said.
More than 100 actors were considered for one of television's most coveted roles. But Carter said Patrick stood out.
"Robert Patrick embodied this character," he said. "Everything from the timbre of his voice to his presence, to his intensity. Because he's going to be on-screen with Scully a lot, I saw them as worthy adversaries and worthy partners. He was not going to be a person who would shrink because he's a very powerful person and actor."
But, make no mistake, The X-Files has become Gillian Anderson's vehicle. The 32-year-old actress, unknown when she joined the show in 1993, has risen through the ranks, writing and directing an episode last year and planning more for the current series.
She has also quietly crafted a feature film career, working on movies such as The Mighty, Chicago Cab, Playing By Heart and The X-Files movie during production breaks from the series.
While she polled as the fan choice for the role of Clarice Starling in the Silence Of The Lambs sequel, Hannibal, she lost out to Julianne Moore. Instead of sulking, however, she spent last year's The X-Files production hiatus in Scotland, working on the cinematic adaptation of Edith Wharton's House Of Mirth.
After Mirth wrapped Anderson spent a long holiday in London with her six-year-old daughter Piper, by former husband Clyde Klotz, an art director she met on the set of The X-Files.
The trip reminded her of her own childhood in the UK. Born in Chicago in 1968, the eldest of three children of Edward Anderson, a film production manager, and computer analyst Rosemary Anderson, both now 57, Anderson moved to the UK in 1970 so her father could take classes at the London School of film Technique in Covent Garden.
The family returned to the US in 1979, settling in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the conservative heart of the Midwest.
It was there her well-documented punk period- complete with blue hair, piercings and minor infringements of the law- took place.
However that is all behind her now and her 13-hour days on the set of The X-Files have led to riches and her Emmy and Golden Globe awards have brought her respect.
And now that David Duchovny-whose off-screen relationship with Anderson was, by her own admission, not the warmest- is appearing in fewer episodes, Carter promises that this will be "Gillian's and her character's year."
The X-Files is © 20th Century Fox
Top of the Page
Back to Newspapers and Magazines Main Page
Back to Australian Media Main Page