Disclaimer: The following is a summary of the
question and answer session. No recording devices were allowed so
this is from notes and I don't know shorthand so I tried to get down
the basics but keep in mind this is not a transcript - only a
summary. I need to point out that the sound system wasn't the best
so it was often impossible to hear the questions asked. I will try
to give you the main points that the speaker touched on with actual
quotes in bold. Occasionally a bit of my own opinion may come
through regarding a question or answer. I mean no disrespect to
anyone who may have asked one of these questions and apologize ahead
of time if I offend anyone. Keep in mind, I'm just another person
with another opinion so don't let it get to you.
Mitch Pileggi's Q&A
Well, you've seen the picture so you know how he was dressed.
Very casual and un-Skinner in appearance. Very impressive, to say
the least...the very least. As I mentioned, they showed the usual
episode clips and when he hit the stage, the first thing he said was
"God Bless Texas!", then admitted that he had stolen that from
a song but what the heck. He said it was good to be back and he was
happy for the chance to have some barbecue. He told the crowd that
he used to live in Austin and did a lot of driving between Austin,
Houston, and Dallas auditioning for work. Without spending anymore
time talking about himself (he said he felt a bit weird just standing
up there and talking about himself) he opened the floor to questions.
[Keep in mind that I couldn't hear ANY questions for this session.
Well, one guy only who talked so darn loud. But no questions so I'm
driving blind here and will just try to get as much down as I
remember. And also, I should mention that Mitch got the same
questions over and over. He had the patience of a saint.]
Mitch mentioned Fox pulling Home off the schedule and said it
wasn't too bad because we'd get to see Small Potatoes. He said he
thought it was a great episode, plus "You get to see Darin
Someone asked if Skinner had a crush on Scully. He said that he
himself likes red-heads but that Skinner only cares about Scully; he
doesn't think he has a crush on her. He said it's all about what
Mulder and Scully are doing. He approves of what they are trying to
accomplish and in that way he really cares about his two agents. He
said he doesn't believe that romance is what the show's about.
"Skinner just has strong feelings for both of them."
The next question was something having to do with the magic shows
he's hosted for Fox. They asked if he got to see how the tricks were
done. He said it's just a script he gets beforehand and he isn't
actually on the set with the magicians so he doesn't see the magic
tricks being performed.
Somebody must have asked something about the Cigarette Smoking Man
because he started talking about him. He refers to him as Cigarette
Butt and said that CSM "really gets around. He's a randy old
dude." I think they must have asked about his illegitimate kids
and maybe whether Skinner would turn out to be one too. Who the heck
knows. I couldn't hear a damn thing. Very frustrating.
He was asked what was his favorite episode to make. He said he
enjoyed every one of them. He said it's a real treat to get a new
script and open it up to see what's going to happen and what he gets
to do. He commented that he especially liked the ones where he gets
to kick Krycek's butt. I should mention that he was making Ratboy
comments all throughout, pretty much at any opportunity. It appears
these two get along great and are good friends and enjoy teasing each
other. He took every chance he could get to shout some obnoxious
thing over Nick's way where he was slaving over the autograph table.
Okay, in my notes I say there were more lame questions here. This
probably means that someone asked again about whether he and Scully
would ever get together or asked if they could come up and get a hug
or kiss. He denied anyone the chance to come up and touch him the
entire time and I thought it was fantastic. He used his wife as a
scapegoat, saying she wouldn't let him. Every person that asked for
something like this was politely told that he'd see them in the
autograph line where he would shake their hand. He was very
gentlemanly about the whole thing but would make no exceptions.
Somebody must have asked about the relationship between Skinner
and Mulder because he commented that he respects and believes in what
Mulder is doing. That's why he lets Mulder get away with so much
stuff in the course of his investigations.
He commented on the on-set atmosphere and goofing around during
taping. He said that there wasn't much he could say since it was a
G-rated audience. He said that Gillian is a real crack-up. That
when she starts laughing it's all over and you might as well break
for lunch. He said she usually starts squeaking first so you know
she's on thin ice. Once the squeaking starts, it usually leads to
her just falling apart laughing. He says that one time as a joke
(and this must have been when they were filming Zero Sum) he came
down the stairs wearing a padded bra and just his underwear.
Skinner/Pileggi fans can meditate on THAT image for awhile.
Someone asked how much of himself goes into Skinner. He said a
lot of who Skinner is comes from his own personality and experience.
"Except he doesn't smile and laugh." He said he tried to
laugh on the show once and Chris Carter said no, that Skinner just
He talked about how great it is to work with a group of such
talented people. He commented on David and Gillian, in particular
saying that working with such a cast brings out a higher performance
Someone congratulated him on his impending fatherhood. He thanked
them and I think he said they were due in May...but I could really be
He was asked about what he has planned career-wise for the future.
He said he has one more taping for another of those magic shows on
Fox. The X-Files feature film, of course. And he said between
those, The X-Files itself, and moving from Vancouver to LA, he thinks
he'll be busy enough without seeking out any additional projects for
Somebody came up and asked him if he'd say the "pucker up and kiss
my ass" line. He did it but somewhat reluctantly. He said when they
originally filmed that scene he said the line many times and many
different ways. When he first saw the script, he thought it was a
fantastic scene and a defining moment for the show and his character,
He was asked what kind of music he enjoyed. He said he liked
country, rock and roll, and a wide variety of music in general. He
said his wife is really good with the names of bands and knows all
the lyrics of songs but he says he's an idiot. He likes what he
likes but he doesn't necessarily know who it's by or what the song
title is. He named a few bands, though, including Led Zeppelin and
He was asked about living overseas and what languages he speaks.
He said they moved all over and he lived in many countries so he used
to speak some Turkish, German, and Arabic. But he says he doesn't
use these languages much anymore so he's losing his skill and
fluency. He thinks that with a little practice he could be speaking
them again without much trouble.
Somebody from the Screaming Pileggians asks to bring something up
to the stage for him. This is actually the second person who has
taken an offering up to Mitch. I'm not sure what the items are since
I can't hear what the people at the microphone say, but Mitch has
them come up to the stage and accepts the items graciously.
Some poor guy finally gets his turn at the microphone and can't
remember his question. Mitch tells him it's no problem and to just
step to the side and ponder for awhile then take another stab at it
More comments on Mitch's physique. A young woman says something
about him being a pectoral god. The crowd goes wild. Then she and a
friend ask if they can come and rub his head. He tells them no, of
course, once again using his wife as an excuse. But as they step
from the microphone he says, "But thanks for that pectoral god
He is asked if he ever plans to write, direct, or produce. He
says, "No. Absolutely not." He says he doesn't have the
discipline for it and besides, his true love is acting.
I'm not sure what the question was but Mitch mentioned that there
is a Skinner-centric episode coming up. He said he has probably the
most dialogue he's ever had in an episode. Sounds promising.
Someone mentions that they are in the military and wonders if his
experience growing up around the military has influenced his
portrayal of Skinner. He says that being in a military setting (Army
and Air Force) while growing up has certainly had an impact on him
and on the way he views the character of Walter Skinner. He says
some of the behavior is ingrained and comes across in his
characterization of Skinner.
Another red-headed woman (one of about a dozen!) comes to the
microphone and he comments on all the red-heads today. I didn't
write down the question because I think it was another repeat of an
earlier question. At least three people asked about a Skinner/Scully
relationship and this wasn't the only repeated question.
While Mitch was answering a question, Nick Lea, who had just
finished his autograph session, sneaked up on stage behind him and
goosed him. Mitch said it's an agreement he has with Nick. Nick has
to do that every half hour. Then Mitch said, "He loves me."
Someone asks him to say the "pucker up and kiss my ass" line
AGAIN. He doesn't do it saying (1) he already did it, and (2) it's
too hard to just say a line without being prepared and in character.
He can't just jump into the role immediately. He mentioned getting
into his make-up and being on the set, around the other actors, and
how by the time they're ready to shoot, then he's in character.
Okay, this had to be my favorite part. Somebody asked him about
the boots he was wearing. He had cowboy boots on and they wanted to
know if they were custom-made. I thought this was fairly obscure as
questions go but now I'm glad they asked. He said he wasn't into
custom-made anything so, no, they weren't custom-made. But then he
said he didn't know what brand they were. He then proceeded to
remove his left boot and look inside to try to figure out what the
brand was. He just kept peering in there saying it was hard to see
and he still wasn't sure. After a dramatic pause he announced,
"JC Penney". Truly hilarious. I think he said the actual
brand after that but I didn't catch it. He then tried to put the
boot back on but ended up with his entire pant leg inside the boot.
So now he's standing up there with both boots on but one pant leg
over the boot and one inside. He just looks down at the state he's
in then finally leans over and begins trying to pull the pants out.
As he finally succeeded, he lifted the pant leg just a bit higher
than he needed to and flashed some skin. The crowd responded and he
admitted, "That was so cheap!"
The next guy at the microphone was the only guy I ever heard pose
a question (and to tell you the truth I'm not sure if it's the next
one I wrote down). The funny thing was that after he blasted off his
question up to the stage really loud and really fast, Mitch asked him
if he worked for a radio station.
He was asked if he had talked to any FBI agents or visited the
bureau. He said he hadn't been (I think) but said he'd heard from
some agents that his portrayal of Skinner was pretty much on target.
He commented that he thinks the XF feature film is going to be
Someone asked him to take his hat off. Actually, this was at
least the second time and he still declined. The first time he said
it was because he wasn't sure if he had washed his hair. This time
he said no because he would probably have a big hatband mark across
Somebody asks about the whole Spender/Mulder thing. He says that
Spender is just another character to bring on board and is not
intended to replace David's character. In the course of this, he
says something about "that David Du-chuv-ny guy", making a
point of mispronouncing DD's name and pronouncing a 'ch' sound
instead of a hard 'k' sound. He says, "Spender is a good
character but he's not David Duchovny."
He must have been asked something about the episode Bad Blood. I
think they might have asked what he thought about the portrayal of
the sheriff; did he think it was demeaning, or something. I'm not
really sure. But his reply was that he thought the sheriff was
great. That it was a parody and they weren't making fun of anybody
(Texans) and he thought it was a good performance and very funny. He
also mentioned that in the scene where Mulder and Scully are waiting
to come in and see him and his secretary is on the phone telling
someone it might be a long meeting...well, the actress that played
the secretary was his wife. When she heard that the episode called
for a scene with Skinner's secretary, she called casting and asked to
play the role.
Asked about the length of time to shoot an episode. He says the
first unit usually shoots for 8 days. It seems that as the episodes
get more and more complex, the shoots take longer and longer. He
said, "It's getting pretty wild." Sometimes scenes are still
being shot on Friday that will need to be on the air for Sunday.
He comments about Skinner sacrificing a lot for The X-Files. He
mentions that Skinner has a wife but that his commitment seems to be
focused on his job and that he's constantly putting his job and his
life in jeopardy.
The guy who forgot his question has finally remembered it.
Unfortunately, I still can't hear it. Mitch says that he doesn't
think Skinner knows as much as people think he does. He says that
Skinner is not hiding things or holding information back from Mulder
and Scully. He thinks that Skinner would tell Mulder and Scully
anything he possibly could to keep them informed and out of danger.
He is asked his favorite episode and he's hard pressed to come up
with only one. He mentions Home, Ice, Memento Mori. Then he asks
the person what their favorite episode is. He did this more than
once; turned the question back on the person who asked. Like the guy
who asked about music got asked what HE listened to and liked.
Somebody asked what it felt like to be a sex symbol. He didn't
really have an answer for this one and seemed to want to avoid this
sort of question. He said he was finding some of the questions
When asked what he thought was the hardest thing (don't go there
you text perverters!) about the job, he said memorizing his lines.
He said both he and Gillian have a harder time memorizing dialogue
but David, he said, has a mind like a steel trap. He finds it
irritating. He said he'll be there on the set, struggling with his
lines and David is just standing there and he wants to say, "At
least pretend you have to work at it!"
When asked what he thinks makes the show so good he said the
writing and directing.
Some guy came up to the microphone and explained some long
drawn-out thing and the end result was that the guy walked up to the
stage and Mitch took the plastic bottle of soda he'd been drinking,
signed it, and gave it to this guy...unfinished. I have no idea what
that was all about.
But that about wrapped it up. The event coordinator came up on
stage and nearly dragged him off to start the autograph signing. He
said, "It's been great talking to you all. Thanks for
March 23, 1998
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