FOX LIVE CHAT (April 2001)
Moderator: Welcome Annabeth Gish !
Annabeth: Hi everybody ! Glad to be here today.
Oliver: How familiar were you with The X-Files when you took on the role of Reyes ?
Annabeth: I had been a fan ever since the beginning of the series, but in terms of in-depth mythology savvy, I was not savvy on all of that.
KrycekIsMine_KIM: Is working on a television series harder than you first expected it to be ?
Annabeth: Yes !!!!!! It's the hardest job I've had in 16 years of film and television. And that's just after four episodes !
reyes_rocks: In real life do you believe in aliens/the paranormal ?
Annabeth: I definitely believe in alternative life. I'm not quite sure it's alien form. It's different from us. But I am very similar to Monica Reyes in that I very much like to keep an open mind.
Denied: how many more episodes are you supposed to do this season ?
Annabeth: I'm in a total of four, so two more after last night.
amyhis: Great work in Empedocles. What's it like working with David and Gillian? How do you and Robert approach your relationship knowing it's going to be compared to the Mulder/Scully dynamic ?
Annabeth: It's daunting, because Scully and Mulder have such a legacy. But to compare the Doggett/Reyes relationship would be I think counter-productive. Working with David and Gillian has been a gift, really, because they're consummate professionals and wonderful people as well.
Suzee: Is it hard to be the "new agent" on "The X-Files" seeing what David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have done for so long ?
Annabeth: Again, yes ! It is because they carry such a prestigious mantle. But it's also a good opportunity to rise to the occasion, or try to maintain the quality of work that they've established. The most daunting thing, ironically, is the hoping to be embraced by fans. :-)
Orion: So far, what do you think of the passion shown by us philes ? Can you compare it to any other fan base you know of ?
Annabeth: I've never experienced such a thing! I mean the fans are undoubtedly a real force. But a good one !
annabethurock: What specifically intrigued you about the role of Monica Reyes that made you want to portray her ?
Annabeth: Well...I am, along with the audience, discovering who Monica Reyes is at the same time. But I think what intrigued me was the fact that she's not a definite skeptic or believer. She's open, willing and sunny. And friendly. I think those are all qualities that are a new color to play on The X-Files.
Teska_Future: What was your favorite scene to film on the show ?
Annabeth: Hmmm. Some of the upcoming scenes, in the finale, have been really thrilling.
LauraScully2: your character is so lucky being in the birth scene with Scully. Was that a weird scene to film ?
Annabeth: It was exhilarating. It was challenging. And it felt like an honor to help Scully give birth.
iamanxfile: what kind of mental preparation do you do before the show to get into character ?
Annabeth: Well, it's funny, I found that on the show I have to be really sharp because there is so much technical jargon. I have to be mentally sharp, so it's been important to feel focused and centered and a lot of that comes through breathing (actor-wise), meditating, focusing.
Courtney_BadBlood: I've noticed that Reyes seems to be REALLY cheerful for someone on such a dark series. Was that a decision on the part of The Powers That Be, or yours, or was it just unconscious for you ?
Annabeth: It was a specific request from Chris and Frank. They wanted Monica to be very specifically sunny.
xfileschik: Will the viewers find out any deep dark secrets about Agent Reyes' past in the next two episodes you are in ?
Oliver: Are you a real-life smoker ? Or do you smoke herbal cigarettes? Are you the next CSW (Cigarette-Smoking Woman) LOL ?
Annabeth: Just like Monica... I'm trying to quit! :-)
Suzee: What would you say to fans who claim that Reyes is a threat to the Mulder/Scully relationship ?
Annabeth: I think that's a reductive perspective. Because there's no way I could threaten Scully. She's such a force on the show, that there's nothing to be threatened. I'm just a new player. An added player.
The_Writer: Hello Annabeth. I've liked Reyes from the moment she appeared. I'm curious, how did you get the role, and where would you like to see Reyes go ?
Annabeth: I got the role by auditioning my fanny off! And I'm excited to uncover where Monica will go.
SADLEOGrrl: Has anyone pulled any practical jokes on you while filming an episode ? If so, then philes would love to hear it !
Annabeth: Hmmm. Not yet! Although, I love to laugh and jokes are always welcome.
BenT724: Can you tell us anything about the future of the show, or at least can you give us any info on the season finale ?
Annabeth: The only thing I can say is that it's a guaranteed good ride. I don't think anyone will be disappointed.
pleaseanswermyQ: Any embarrassing moments on the set ?
Annabeth: Always! LOL! Part of being an actress is being willing to make mistakes, which can sometimes be embarrassing.
AnnaPavly: Hi !! I just wanted to ask you what do you like in Agent Reyes character and what do you don't ?
Annabeth: I like that she's committed to discovering the truth and being truthful. I like that she brings humanity to her professional life -- to the investigative side of being an FBI agent. She's a person as much as an agent and she brings emotion into her intelligence. And, she's not afraid to say how she feels.
file_freak: Do you ever get online to see what the fans are saying about your new character ?
Annabeth: I'm a huge Internet person myself, but I haven't wanted to read anything bad! So, I've been wary.
pleaseanswermyQ: Is the work harder or funner? Do you have time to laugh with the other members of the cast or is it more focused ?
Annabeth: It's very focused when cameras are rolling. But there's also a lot of levity and joy on set. There has to be because so often the subject matter is scary or emotional or serious. So, laughter is necessary in between.
BriSlayer: I noticed that part of last night's episode took place in Spartanburg SC. Was that a Shag reference ? (Shag being one of my fave movies).
Annabeth: Oh! Thank You! No, it was not a specific reference. I like to think it's one of those synchronicities of life.
file_freak: I thought you were excellent on screen in Double Jeopardy. Are you planning on doing any films this summer ?
littlescully: Annabeth, do you have any projects you will be working on this summer ?
Annabeth: This summer I'm going to Houston to shoot a movie for VH1 about salsa dancing.
The_Writer: If you were asked to appear on The Lone Gunmen, would you take the opportunity ?
Annabeth: Sure !
amyhis: Just a quick note to say the online fans really all seem to be pro-Reyes! What's the one thing you hope to be able to see the character do in the future ?
Annabeth: Well, let's see...it's pretty fun to try to be a bad ass on TV. Gun-toting and crime-fighting. That's a fun element I'd like to explore, because I'm not one in real life. I'm very excited to explore the relationship between Doggett and Reyes.
LibertyBelle79: Hi Annabeth! I am an actor with a problem ! My current scene partner and I have no chemistry, no matter what we try ! You and Robert Patrick have *great* chemistry onscreen. Did that take any work, or is it just natural ? Any advice ?
Annabeth: I got lucky with a partner like Robert Patrick. He's an amazing actor. But, as far as acting advice, sometimes you have to replace the person you're working with with someone else in your mind. Or try to find one thing about that partner that affects you.
AnnabelleCrane: Do you and the other actors get to try your own thing with the script sometimes, like rework the lines as you read them ?
Annabeth: Normally we don't have to because the scripts are so well written. But, if something hasn't worked well for me personally, I've been able to approach the writer and work to find another way of saying it.
ishie: Would you do another season of The X-Files ?
Annabeth: Yes !!!!!!!!!
thethinker: Do you have any ideas in your mind about Reyes' past ?
Annabeth: Yes. In my mind I've had to create my own backstory, just so I know where she's coming from. I would imagine that it might be pretty close to what Chris and the writers think as well. Because we've been so in sync lately.
Orion: How open are Chris and Frank on ideas about your character? Is there anything about Reyes that was your idea ?
Annabeth: Well, I think because when they cast me they didn't know exactly who she was. So, some of what I've brought as an actress has fed their ideas about who Monica is. It's symbiotic that way.
Jellybean: How does Monica Reyes compare with other characters you've portrayed ?
Annabeth: She's tougher. She's not whiny. She really stands in her own truth and is not a victim. I seemed to have played a lot of dramatic, wounded people in my career.
annabethurock: Hi Annabeth ! We've noticed you since Mystic Pizza and have been fans of your work since, but do you get noticed a lot ? Or can you get away with it ? Love, Diane & Ashleigh.
Annabeth: I'm pretty anonymous. And usually the people who come up to me are people who are familiar (like yourself) with my work, rather than any kind of "celebrity."
agentmoe: Do you have any question about us fans ?
Annabeth: God, yeah ! I'm intrigued by the level of devotion. Are the fans themselves skeptics or believers ?
KrycekIsMine_KIM: Believers !
ms_spooky_1013: Believers !!
Teska_Future: Ms. Gish, we are both ! But very opened minded and continually think: "Trust No One" *grin*
Bridget: It's well-known among fans that Mr. Carter loves to be secretive about what will happen in future episodes, and the actors often either don't know or can't talk about it. Has this been hard to adjust to ?
Annabeth: Well, you just sort of accept it. You can't adjust, you have no choice! It adds a level of mystery that sort of charges even my interest. In a good way.
pleural_cavity: Is Monica Reyes meant to be Latina ? All the Reyeses I know are, and it would be good to see a nonwhite lead character.
Annabeth: Yeah, I think even her surname indicates there's an ethnicity to her. There is Latino in her family.
Terry: I notice you've got a new hair color & style. (looks good) Did you change specifically to play Reyes ?
Annabeth: Thank you! But, no I had changed my hair prior to my X-Files auditions. I'm loving the dark, edgy look !
mkai: The dark, edgy look to play the sunniest character! X-files is full of intrigue !
believer12: Hi Annabeth, Do you find it difficult to watch yourself on screen ?
Annabeth: Unequivocally, YES. It's painful.
pleaseanswermyQ: Is there any one cast member that you work with, that you feel like you look up to for the way they act or play their role ?
Annabeth: Everyone is so different. Robert is so passionate. Gillian is so strong and clear. And David is so very intelligent.
Emily: You probably bond with everyone on the set, but who do you think you bond the best with ?
Annabeth: That's something I can't answer because everyone's chemistry is unique. I will say every member of the crew is just as interesting and committed and "bondable" as the cast.
britt: in the first episode that Monica appeared in, she was all smiles and very sunny. Will she be getting more serious in the episodes to come? Or will she stay bright and cheery ?
Annabeth: I think her sunny attitude is an inherent quality, but I hope that in future episodes it will be revealed that she has a dark side.
Jewlz: Do you get to keep Reyes' clothes ? They are totally cool. :-)
Annabeth: I didn't take anything home this season, although I wanted to. But I thought I'd keep them there so they'd make me come back next season ! :-)
crystalspsyche: has it been difficult to overcome the initial stereotype that comes with entering an already functional show ?
Annabeth: It's been challenging. There are so many preset expectations, but they're good expectations and they've made me work hard.
gordon715: I heard you were at the Buskaid concert. What did you think of it ?
Annabeth: It was one of the most moving events I've been to in a long time. For me, Gillian set an example of the best way a celebrity can use their fame for a true, good cause.
SkepticalScully: Has there been a difference from being a fan before you were cast and now that you see everything first hand ?
Annabeth: Yeah. One of the coolest moments for me, when I started working, was being on the stage and standing under the fake spaceship and looking up and saying "Oh my god, this is so cool. I'm on the set of The X-Files !
ShipperLyndsay: Have you had any nightmares since working on the files ?
Annabeth: Ironically, no. But, I think that's because often times when we confront our fears we purge them.
eek7: I think that its great that Scully finally has another woman to relate to on the show. How do you think that might play out ?
Annabeth: Hopefully in a bonding, expansive way. I think women working together always stirs up the pot.
Bridget: You said that Gillian sets a good example of how one can use their fame to influence the world in a positive way. I couldn't agree more. How would you want to do that ?
Annabeth: I'm very involved in causes for children, animals and nature. And I would like to figure out a way to combine those three causes into one.
pleaseanswermyQ: I don't know how long you've known David, but seeing that he is leaving The X-Files, do you wish you could have had more time to get to know him better and work with him more ?
Annabeth: Absolutely ! When working with David, one immediately senses that David is a consummate person as well as a consummate professional. He'd probably be a damn good friend!
Jewlz: What does your family think of your new job as Agt. Reyes? :-)
Annabeth: They are as excited as I am. My nephews loved it when I said "No friggin' way!"
ShipperLyndsay: Do people like me annoy you when they constantly say "no fricken way?"
Annabeth: It's become my catch phrase as well.
FoxyMulder43: Are you married ? Do you have any children ?
Annabeth: I'm not married. No children. But would like to do both some day.
agt_dscully: Do you have any pets ?
reyes_rocks: Are your friends looking at you in a "new" way now that you're on The X-Files ?
Annabeth: My friends are thrilled for me because they see what a good fit the show is to who I am as an actress. It's quality and intelligent, but no one looks at me different. I'm just the same old, dorky Annabeth :-)
Scout1041: Annabeth, so glad you joined the show ! Really enjoying your work! What were the last 3 CD's you bought ?
Annabeth: Train (the new one), Journey's Greatest Hits and Jill Scott. SexyDuchovny: Any celebrity crushes ? I personally love David ! :-)
Annabeth: Uh, yeah. So many ! Of course, who doesn't ?
Xfilesfan: What do enjoy doing when you are not working ?
Annabeth: Hiking, reading, yoga. Small dinners with family and friends. And I love to dance !
iamanxfile: do you feel Reyes has been accepted more than Doggett was at the beginning of the season ?
Annabeth: I'm not quite sure. I think Robert had a tougher entrance into the show because of David's impending departure. But he's accomplished so much in one season. He sort of broke open the way for me to do this.
marie: Most episodes are quite sad (watching), do you feel this tension and sadness when shooting ?
Annabeth: Yes. All of the episodes have an element of deep emotional tension, but that's exhilarating for an actor to play.
Emily: YOU ROCK ANNABETH !!!!!!!! WHAT TYPE OF SCENE WOULD YOU SAY YOU LIKE TO FLIM THE BEST? Whether it be action, dramatic, comedic ?
Annabeth: I've done a lot of drama. The action in the X-Files is totally cool. But I also love comedy. So, I love all three.
Scully: do you see yourself as a replacement for Scully in the future ?
Annabeth: No. There could be no such thing !
FBI_Girl_4_U: How have you coped with the grueling hours of acting for The X-Files ?
Annabeth: I'm still trying to figure that one out ! Lots of ginseng, naps in between shots and eyeshades for when I sleep !
Suzee: How much time do you typically spend on the set per day ?
Annabeth: Anywhere between 12 and 16 hours a day.
Jadzia: Is there a special story as to the origins of Monica Reyes' name on the show ? So many characters' names are significant (like Scully being named after Vin Scully).
Annabeth: Chris Carter names a lot of his people after sports personalities. Reyes is an announcer in L.A. (I hope that's right).
Drea: If you did not get into acting, where do you think you would be now, career wise ? What other things interested you before you decided that acting was the place for you ?
Annabeth: Being that both of my parents are professors, I would probably be teaching somewhere. And I because I loved college so much.
englishfoxmulder: who messes up their lines the most ?
Annabeth: We all do! It's inevitable.
FOXcom_Host: Say goodbye to Annabeth !
Annabeth: Thank you so much ! I've enjoyed the questions and I hope to talk to everybody again next year !! (If they'll have me...)
omokage: bye Annabeth.
Emily: bye Annabeth you're awesome.
cool_cat: bye, Annabeth, thank you for your wonderful work .
Starbuck: BYEBYE ANNABETH !
ScullyMulder4ever: BYE !!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ROCK !
Orion: Bye Annabeth ! Keep up the great work !
Lil_Scully: Bye Annabeth !
Scully: Bye Annabeth !