A.GISH TALKS MANNERS, FAMILY AND "X-FILES" (February 2009)
While we were away, we managed to get some awesome goods for your entertainment, and what can be better than a great conversation with the enigmatic Annabeth Gish?
This experienced actress, who has been in our Phile minds as the quirky and brave Agent Monica Reyes, has taken under her wing a great portfolio of acting experiences that she has been brewing since childhood. Many parts come to mind, like the naive teenager alongside Julia Roberts in Mystic Pizza, one of the first daughters to President Bartlet in The West Wing, our very own Monica Reyes on The X-Files and her most recent venue in TV as a troubled wife in Brotherhood.
Coincidentally, our interview with Annabeth was scheduled for the same day we scheduled an interview with another Phile favorite and also Annabeth’s: Mr. Agent Doggett himself, Robert Patrick.
Just out of luck, another role in Annabeth’s life took over: Her wonderful kids Cash and Enzo came first in her list of priorities, and we can’t praise enough the good work of a good mom, but in a second time at our “Skype experience” we sat for 45 minutes and the first topic that came to mind was the recent loss of X-Files Extraordinary, Mr. Kim Manners.
The light that shined through.
Annabeth remembers her time with Kim fondly. “He was a force for sure and I can only believe that sometimes those who burn so bright choose to go a little early.” She begins. “He never stopped, he was always positive, and had more energy and commitment than any other director I've worked with. He was a huge part of my X-Files experience, mainly because he was kind of my “go-to” guy. He welcomed me with open arms, and assisted my integration in key ways.”
When asked about a specific memory of her experience with him, she can’t pinpoint just one, but a recollection of the experience. “I have these vivid collage-type images of him. He had the most unique walk, Kim, and he always wore those Merrell Slip-on shoes and had his fluffy hair. All those late nights on set he would walk his walk around, commanding the set, but always with kindness and a willingness to laugh. Every department loved him because he knew what he was doing, could lead them where he wanted, but without ordering anyone around disrespectfully!”
And this is because if anything, Kim has been mentioned as one of the few directors that “nailed” what the philes wanted to experience out of an X-Files episode. Annabeth adds that, “He was a human being before anything else, and that's how he related to people in work and in life.”
Being part of the Show.
We have to admit in many ways that people looked at the addition of the character of Monica Reyes with caution, but setting those reservations aside, how was for Annabeth Gish to be part of such a show?
“I loved it. Sincerely loved it. All of the cliches are true. It was like a family. It couldn't NOT be an intimate experience because we worked such long hours.” Memories served her right. While Annabeth didn’t spend much over a year working on The X-Files, the experience was just as enriching, just as powerful as any of The X-Files Alumni claim it to be.
“I was just on the Fox lot this week and it was surreal to walk by the old stages. It made me sad, sentimental for those days. For me, it was a singular time in my life. I met my husband on that set and from those two years there, my life took a different direction.”
And it did alright. In these past 7 years (can you believe it has been this long?) Annabeth got married to Stunt guy pro Wade Allen and brought two kiddies into this world, 2 yr. old Cash and four month old Enzo.
How has marriage & motherhood treated Annabeth?
“Well the marriage part was pretty easy before we had kids... just the two of us, independent and free... now we have two kids barely two years apart and life is forever altered.” She continues. “I have a wonderful husband, a strong marriage and we're blessed with these amazingly beautiful boys, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it was hard. Especially trying to manage a career and such... but it's the same for every parent around the world, no? It's the best and the hardest job there is... Did I say that I love being a mom?”
I ask her, because I always wonder when do mother’s finds time, “If you were to choose, would you be an actress with a nanny or a mom with occasional acting jobs?”
“Hmmm. Good question... because I've been both. Last year on Brotherhood I was an actress with a nanny and now, since the show is supposedly finished its run, I'm a mom.” She continues. “The great thing is that the babies are transportable and can come to work... If you were to ask my nanny though, I think she would say unequivocally that I am a mom first and foremost. It's my priority and my first thought always. I do believe that being a thinking, independent woman who works is good for kids to experience. What I mean is that I would never have another person be responsible for raising my children.”
Annabeth was a child star, once being recognized by Roger Ebert because of her interpretation in Desert Bloom; now, being almost 38 years old and with over 40 film and TV credits under her wing, how does she feel about the possibility of her own children getting into the biz?
“Dear god, I hope not... My experience has been my experience and it's made me who I am in a large part, but I don't think I want my children in such an unstable environment which doesn't naturally support self-esteem and unconditional love. No way.” She states very energetic. “If they want to be actors, I won't stop them but I'd rather they wait out the professional realm until they are 18. If they want to be stuntmen like their father, then I'm in BIG trouble and will need a life-time supply of anti-anxiety medication for sure... Really, I'll support them whatever they want, but I am a huge advocate of education, college and such... so hopefully that's where they'll go.”
IWTB & Monica Reyes.
While she embarrassedly admits to not have seen yet The X-Files: I Want to Believe, we forgive her for being busy with a toddler and a newborn. Still, we couldn’t help ourselves to ask about the possibility of a third movie out there and the chance of her being part of a new X-Files project.
“I've always been a fan and I'll always be grateful for my involvement in the show and I'll always have tremendous affection for everyone I worked with during my time there. So… yes.”
What would Annabeth say to Monica had they encountered in real life?
“Another good question... but I'd be more interested in what Monica would say to me... maybe she'd say, ‘Go deeper into the unknown!’” She continues about the possibility to talk to the character that brought her to The X-Files realm. “I'd tell her, ‘You better hit that! …and soon!’ Meaning, hook up with John Doggett! Story wise, it's always more interesting to play the unfulfilled desire...”
Sometimes, I sit and wonder like always about the “what if’s” in our X-Files world. I ask myself always, like so many have pondered what if there had been a tenth season? What if the powers that be had just given it another year?
After speaking to Annabeth Gish and Robert Patrick in such lucky coincidences, I feel blessed that, even though for a short time, we could enjoy the talents of such amazing actors. The X-Files always brought us quality over quantity, in my opinion, and Annabeth is an example of that.
Do Annabeth fans dare to dream of another round for Agent Monica Reyes? Have we learned to appreciate this character even more over the years? Is that whale song forgotten and forgiven ?
I’m ready for more of her. Are you?
XFiles.com Quick Six:
1) Favorite Food - Quinoa.
2) Favorite Word - Ferocity.
3) Guilty pleasures/addictions - "wine and food - total Piscean!"
4) Dream career - Singer/Songwriter.
5) I wish I had invented ____: The Internet.
6) Favorite X-Files quote: "No friggin' way!"