Annabeth Gish, Special Agent Part One -


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Annabeth Gish, Special Agent Part One

The newest star of THE X-FILES looks back at her year on Chris Carter's show, and prepares to say goodbye

By MELISSA J. PERENSON     May 19, 2002

Annabeth Gish as Agent Monica Reyes on THE X-FILES.
© 2001 Fox

Dogget (Robert Patrick) and Reyes (Annabeth Gish) are helped by an FBI trainee to find clues leading them to a serial killer in the THE X-FILES episode "Release"

Annabeth Gish was the new agent on the block this season on THE X-FILES as Monica Reyes. But that didn't stop her from jumping into the fray with both feet. "It's been really great," she says fondly of the experience. "It's been non-stop for me, what with this being the first full season since I'd joined the cast. It was different last year, doing four episodes and kind of having time off in between. Now I'm every day, all day, and working full time. But it's great because it really is such a good playground. There's so much going on - and as an actor there's so many things to play and to find. [The show] is just loaded experiences."

Gish had few reservations about the idea of joining an established series like THE X-FILES in its ninth inning. "There were certain fears that I had about joining this sort of cast, and this sort of huge legacy. Anytime you step into a very well oiled machine and you're a new cog in the wheel and it doesn't need your cog... well, obviously they wanted to add some more elements, but [in so doing] it's like, 'Where is this piece going to fit?' It's something you're going to have to very, very gradually figure out." It helps, she adds, that "everyone on the cast and crew was very welcoming. The support system was inherently strong, and everybody wanted me to join and to succeed, which was nice."

Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Reyes (Annabeth Gish) investigate a bizarre double murder on THE X-FILES episode "Daemonicus."

The prospect of living up to fans' expectations wasn't something that Gish allowed herself to get distracted by. "Following the ratings and following Internet stuff and all of that can be really toxic because it interferes with [the work]; then you're thinking about results as an actress. You can only do your best work and hope that it's received well. It's kind of painful when it isn't and you want it to be watched and seen. But at the same time that's kind of an aspect of acting; acting is not the profession to be in if you want to have direct control over the response to your work. You can't do it. You just have to put it out and give it up. And know that you're never going to please everybody, ever. No one is ever going to please all people across the board. As an actress you always subject yourself to a lot of scrutiny and criticism. But the interesting thing about this job for me and this year, is that, when you're on a show like this, every week, day in, day out, and the scrutiny and the criticism is high, kind, and not kind, it demystifies it a little bit. It takes the onus off of it because it's happening all the time and you see that people are going to have their opinions - and the only thing you can do is just be who you are and do your work. So [this season has been] good that way: It's kind of diffused that whole energy for me."

Agent Reyes (Annabeth Gish) must confront her worst personal fears when she investigates a vicious cycle of murders on THE X-FILES episode "Hellbound."

Instead of worrying about how others received her, Gish focused on doing good work with co-star and on-screen partner Robert Patrick. "Robert and I have been very intent upon upholding the quality of work that has been established before. But at the same time knowing that it's impossible to..." Gish changes course, then adds matter-of-factly, "We are not Mulder and Scully, we are Doggett and Reyes. And so we've had a lot of opportunity to just come in but be ourselves."

Check back tomorrow for the conclusion of our Annabeth Gish profile.


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