Mitch Pileggi on returning as Walter Skinner in the upcoming X-Files revival
With STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS out of the way and THE REVENANT opening in less than a week, that leaves only one more winter event that I've been looking forward to all year, the return of The X-Files. I've been a die-hard fan ever since I was first introduced to the series and the thought of Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) returning to investigate the paranormal is very exciting. While Mulder and Scully are without a doubt the stars of the series, you could argue that Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) is every bit as important as they are.
Walter Skinner functioned as Mulder and Scully's boss throughout most of the series and, in addition to being a great character, part of his appeal was that you were never entirely sure just where his loyalties lay in those early seasons. Mitch Pileggi will thankfully be returning as the character in the upcoming X-Files revival and he spoke with THR about getting involved with the revival.
My thought was, "I wonder if they're going to call?" [The X-Files creator Chris Carter] didn't tell me I was in the second movie until halfway through shooting it; they're shooting the movie, and Chris is like, "You're in the movie." And I was like, [Joking] "Oh, really? Thanks for the info." I was ready to do whatever they wanted me to do. It's a great character, a great show, and the excitement about it coming back is palpable. It's a huge part of my life. And it's a huge part of my career. I told Chris, "I owe a huge part of my career to you, and to Wes Craven." [Craven wrote/directed the 1989 film, Shocker, which Pileggi starred in.] Those two people are the most instrumental people in any success I've had. So it's very important to me.
Mitch Pileggi then spilled a few details on what Skinner has been up to during the time The X-Files has been off our screens, and it looks as though his relationship with Mulder and Scully has held him back.
He's still in the same office. He's moved his desk. The reason he's still an assistant director is because he was hanging out with Spooky for too long. He's probably been…he's probably been ostracized a little bit by the other higher ups in the FBI, because he hasn't advanced. I think he's a very dedicated person at what he does. He's very dedicated to Mulder and Scully, but before that, he was very dedicated to his job in the FBI. He, obviously, has connections with people who have power, because he is still there. And I would assume, he has something to do with the X-Files being reopened. No one else in the FBI is going to [take that step] … what those connections are, I don't know.
Mitch Pileggi says that Skinner is still "the same cat," but that his mind has definitely been opened due to his involvement with The X-Files. Skinner still has a connection with Mulder and Scully, "a very important connection" as Pileggi says, as he's the one who sets Mulder down the new path we'll find him on when The X-Files returns.
He's also telling Mulder, there's shit going on out there, and you need to do something about it. Things, perhaps, I don't know how to do — paths you know how to follow that I don't. And methods you use that I don't. It's just the nature of who Mulder is — Skinner says, "You need to figure this shit out.
The X-Files kicks off the first of its six episodes on January 24, 2016, and if they're received as well as I hope they will be, it's entirely possible that it won't be the last time we see these characters on television. If the show does continue, you can count Pileggi in, as he says that he "always want[s] to do this character."