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Annabeth Gish, Special Agent Part Two

THE X-FILES is over, but the actress who starred as Special Agent Reyes takes one last look at the show

By MELISSA J. PERENSON     May 20, 2002


Annabeth Gish as Agent Monica Reyes on THE X-FILES.
© 2001 Fox
Annabeth Gish was the newest castmember of THE X-FILES this past year, as FBI Agent Monica Reyes. Alas, it was to be her last year on the show as well, for as you well know, THE X-FILES is no more. Today, Gish continues her discussion about her brief but rewarding time on the show.

Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish), Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Shannon McMahon (guest star Lucy Lawless) in the "Nothing Happened" episode of the 2-part ninth season premiere of THE X-FILES.



While Gish wishes she could have had more time to get to know her character, she is glad to have had the opportunity to help shape who Monica Reyes is. "It's been pretty collaborative, actually. Frank [Spotnitz], Chris [Carter], and Kim [Manners] have been the most instrumental in helping me establish who she is. It's not like they could say this is exactly every experience she's ever had, this is who she is. It's a real collaboration between me and them and where we think Monica should go. She kind of leads all of us."

The one thing that Gish never expected was for the long hours and demanding shoots to give her a crash course in both physical and mental endurance. "I've learned that it's interesting what the body can handle," she muses. "I guess the main thing is it's like you have to practice being in the moment. You can't worry about how it's like the ultimate acting thing and life thing. You have to be just where you are and if you're working in the 19th hour and you're exhausted, you've got to still show up. I've always wanted to run a marathon. But I've never thought that I had the mental endurance for it. Now, after this, I feel like I could do anything. I can't wait to do another feature and I'll be like, 'Hey, doing my nails. This is so easy.'"

THE X-FILES 9th season core cast: Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick, and Annabeth Gish



The show's ability to transform itself week in and week out never stops being a source of fascination for Gish. "Reality always changes on that show. But it's cool because sometimes the episodes are so beautifully written and I get chills just when I'm reading the scripts or in some of these scenes. You wonder what the crossover is."

By that, Gish elaborates, "There have been so many intersections for me, just professional and personally. This [role] has been very symbolic for me, and kind of reflects a lot of growth for me. As I get older and stronger, I'm growing, and I'm definitely adding a lot of Monica into Annabeth."

There have even been times when something in Gish's own life has mirrored something on the show in some way. "It is really cool, because little parallels will happen. I was just reading a book about Carl [Young] and the collective unconscious, and then like two scripts later here my character is, talking about that. And it's like, 'Whoa, wait, do Chris and Frank have like a bug in my house? Are they watching my life?'"

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



Gish has observed that series creator Carter has pulled together a unique group of people - and that's one reason the show has maintained its high standards over the years. "That's one of the things too that I've noticed day in and day out in each new episode on the show: Chris has an amazing ability to bring very talented people together," she remarks. "I mean, every actor that he brings has a real sharpness. It's in the quality of acting and also the character of [the actors] just as individuals - even in the supporting characters. He just has a very, very astute ability to gather people together who are going to be great."

The stories are out there, laments Gish, who says, "I do think there's still more to be told." But the actress, who knew the odds of the show concluding this season were good when she signed on, knows that ending now was the right thing. "I'm grateful just to have been a part of it."

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