It wouldn’t be The X-Files without Assistant Director Walter Skinner, and from the sounds of it actor Mitch Pileggi was just as thrilled as we were to hear that he would be returning to the role of Mulder and Scully’s badass boss.
“I was ready to do whatever they wanted me to do,” the actor told THR. “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 [Carter], ‘I owe a huge part of my career to you, and to Wes Craven.’ Those two people are the most instrumental people in any success I’ve had. So it’s very important to me.”
As you might expect, the new series sees Skinner fighting for the truth alongside Mulder and Scully, having had his eyes opened to the reality of the paranormal back at the end of Season 7, and he teases that Skinner is integral in bringing the agents back into the FBI.
“I think he’s still the same cat,” he explained. “I don’t think he’s changed much. Obviously through the last few seasons of the show, he saw things that opened his mind up and gave him realizations as to what Mulder had been doing all this time and what had been transpiring, as they both did — Scully and Skinner.
Them being back in the picture, he has this connection with them, and it’s a very important connection; he’s attached to them. And 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.'”
He also revealed that Skinner may have been slightly tainted by his association with Spooky Mulder and the X-Files.
“He’s still in the same office. He’s moved his desk…That’s what it comes down to: 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 ostracised 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.”
Finally, Pileggi answered the question of whether or not he’d want to come back as Skinner after the end of this six episode revival series.
“If it continues, I’ll always want to do this character. Whether [Carter] wants me to do it or not, or whether he has things for me to do are another thing.”