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Interview

The X-Men: The Lone Gunmen
We quiz the X-Files regulars, Dean Haglund And Bruce Harwood

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Played: Richard Langly and John Fitzgerald Byers

Note: The third Gunman, Tom Braidwood (aka Melvin Frohike), is currently in a secluded cabin for six months with no wi-fi. His answers will hopefully be added when he returns to civilisation.

The X-Men: The Lone Gunmen
Dean Haglund, Tom Braidwood and Bruce Harwood

When did you last see an episode?
Dean Haglund: I was at a convention four years ago, and me and Gary Jones from StarGate SG1 did a running commentary through half an episode. It was hilarious... but other than that, I haven't seen one since they first aired.

Bruce Harwood: It's been a long time. I have the entire series on DVD, which I started watching for a second time a long while ago. I stopped watching around Season 7 and have been meaning to get back to it. I've watched all of Millennium on DVD: that's an unfairly forgotten, weird series.

Do you have a favourite monster?
Haglund: The Enigma is a real-life guy from the Jim Rose freak show who was in the episode Humbug. It takes some commitment to tattoo your body in blue puzzle pieces and insert horns under your forehead skin. Nice guy, too...

Harwood: Fluke Man!

Do you remember any of your lines?
Haglund:
I wore my wedding ring in my first appearance as Byers, and later worked up a backstory where Byers' wife was making a living for both of them, and the Lone Gunmen had set up shop in Byers' basement.
"Hey Mulder, do you want to hop on the internet and nitpick the scientific inaccuracies of Earth 2?" How were the writers so topical?

Harwood: I remember there were lines I had trouble remembering. I stumbled forever over those lines about fruit flies in Blood. I remember flubbing a line badly in that episode where Scully was lying near death in the hospital. I remember saying "butt-button" in The Unusual Suspects by accident and our director Kim Manners kept it.

Did you come up with a backstory?
Haglund: Yes, I was a roadie for The Ramones who through a freak electrical accident became a genius, à la Disney's The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.

Harwood: I wore my wedding ring in my first appearance as Byers, and later worked up a backstory where Byers' wife was making a living for both of them, and the Lone Gunmen had set up shop in Byers' basement. This led to a personal crisis when Three Of A Kind came along in Season 6 and Byers was supposed to be unmarried. I later learned that none of the producers or writers had noticed that Byers had been wearing a wedding ring for five years. I eventually got over it, imagining that Byers had been married after the disappearance of Susanne Modeski, divorced almost immediately - his wife got sick and tired of Langly and Frohike hanging around - and being Byers he wore the wedding ring out of misplaced loyalty for four years, taking it off finally just in time for Susanne Modeski to show up again.

Are you a Shipper or a No-Romo?*
Haglund: At Comic-Con this year I moderated the IDW panel, and stated clearly that I was a BIG No-Romo. Only two others clapped in support. I still stand true to the idea that a relationship can be built on trust and respect of each other's skills and beliefs.

Harwood: A No-Romo. I dunno, it just makes more sense to me.

The X-Men: The Lone Gunmen

What's the strangest encounter you've had with a fan?
Haglund: Other than signing odd body parts, seeing tattoos of the logo and/ or characters on different body areas, and hearing a large assortment of personal conspiracies and sightings, none of my encounters have been very strange at all.

Harwood: At one of the earliest X-Files fan conventions, in Minneapolis, I was singing autographs when a woman put a large photo album down in front of me. She told me her husband was an FBI agent who had been wounded in the line of duty. "Oh, dear," I said. "Here's a picture of him before he was shot," she said. She pointed to the picture. Then she flipped several pages. "And here's a picture of the man they SAID was my husband after he was shot," pointing to a man in a hospital bed. "They SWITCHED him," she continued. "May I have an autograph?" Today, I think she might have been role-playing or something, but back then, I didn't know what to think. Frank Spotnitz was also singing autographs there, and afterwards he looked at me: "Did a woman show you a photo album and tell you about the FBI switching her husband?"

What's the best thing you kept from the set?
Haglund: I kept the Ramones T-shirt I wore on my very first day.

Harwood: I never kept any memorabilia from the set, I was too shy to take stuff. Got some terrific presents from the cast, though, like a Razor kick scooter from David Duchovny.

Mulder's obsession is aliens. What's yours?
Haglund:
Sum up the conspiracy storyline in 30 seconds or less? You're kidding, right?
BBQ ribs and allegorical oil paintings of the 16th and 17th century.

Harwood: I suppose I'm an obsessive reader. If I could make a living reading the books I want to read and then telling people about them, I'd pick that over acting. I think I finished reading 13 books this September, not counting the books I'm in the middle of reading...

When did you last cross paths with someone from the show?
Haglund: That would have been the Comic-Con panel in July. Gillian and Chris and I on a panel and then an hour of signing.

Harwood: I ran into Tom Braidwood at Vancouver's Fringe Festival. His daughter is a mask and clown performer, extremely talented, and my wife and I saw her play there.

Sum up the conspiracy storyline in 30 seconds or less.
Haglund: Right. A shadow government agency is in charge of a massive human / alien hybrid breeding program for the purpose of global domination. Two FBI agents are oddly personally connected to this program in numerous ways they don't even realize and go crazy trying to figure it out.

Harwood: You're kidding, right?


* Shippers want Mulder and Scully to hook up. No-Romos don't.


Empire's X-Files Celebration

Head to our X-Files hub for more exclusive features and interviews celebrating the 20th anniversary of the classic sci-fi TV show
Empire's X-Files Celebration

Interview by Nick de Semlyen

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