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Monsters Of The X-Files: Tooms
Doug Hutchison on playing the stretchy killer

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Monsters Of The X-Files: Tooms

We've given Squeeze the top spot in our greatest-episodes list. Happy?
Wow! I'm doubly honoured to have been a significant part in it, then. I honestly don't know why it's such a memorable episode. Chris Carter, Glen Morgan and James Wong jacked into the collective fear of all of us back in the early '90s; that no matter what we do, no matter how we live under the grand illusion that we're safe, we're not!

How did you get the role?
My agent calls saying that I just got a last-minute audition for some new series called The Files Of X or something. The role is for a mutant serial killer who extracts and eats the livers of his victims. There're hardly any lines. No script.
Here's the abridged version. I wake up with a migraine headache. It's raining outside. I feel miserable. My agent calls saying that I just got a last-minute audition for some new series called The Files Of X or something. The role is for a mutant serial killer who extracts and eats the livers of his victims. There're hardly any lines. No script. I pop a couple of Excedrin, drive to the Fox lot, and slog into the casting trailer soaked from rain, with my head about to explode. I'm not a happy camper. Inside the audition room is director Harry Longstreet, writers/ producers Morgan and Wong, and casting director Rick Millikan. Harry attempts to direct me in the interrogation scene that consists of me saying the monosyllabic lines: "Yes. No. Yes. No." It's ridiculous! And then Harry tries to direct me to, "Act as evil as possible." At this point, my head's hammering so hard in my head that I run out of patience with him and wonder, "What does this idiot expect me to do? Punch the walls or something? Puke green vomit? Howl like a wolf?" Finally, not thinking at all, I'm compelled to get up, walk toward Harry, get right up into his face, and say, in my most lethal tone, "Is this what you want me to do, motherfucker?" Harry turns sheet-white. Morgan and Wong's jaws drop. Millikan quickly hustles me out of the room. And on the drive home, I think: "I'm insane. I just called the director a motherfucker. My career is over." Imagine my surprise when - later that night - my agent calls to tell me that I got the part!

What are your most vivid memories of shooting your episodes?
During Squeeze, in the Tooms-attacks-Scully scene, Gillian's blouse kept popping open. That was memorable. During Tooms, when I insisted on performing the final scene in the buff, David was extremely uncomfortable. That was memorable, too!

Were you given much direction, or did you come up with the performance on your own?
To be honest, with all due respect to Longstreet, who was pretty much a lame-duck director, I came up with Tooms on my lonesome.

Monsters Of The X-Files: Tooms

Did you really perform one scene completely naked?
Yes. As I mentioned previously, I performed the final scene in Tooms completely butt-naked, immersed in sticky, gooey, ice-cold, yellow cake-icing, standing in for bile.

Did you have much interaction with Duchovny and Anderson on set?
After Squeeze, I sent Chris a calf's liver as a thank-you gift. It arrived at his hotel suite in a gift-wrapped box. Since I couldn't get my hands on a human liver, I decided a calf's liver was the next best thing.
David and Gillian were completely accessible during Squeeze and we had a lot of fun goofing around together. Once Tooms rolled around, the series was becoming incredibly hot and I noticed a significant difference in David and Gillian's temperaments as they contended with their newfound celebrity. They seemed generally overwhelmed and less accessible than at the beginning of the venture. I heard rumours to the effect that they weren't really getting along, but I can't substantiate those rumors. Who knows? The only certain thing was: David and Gillian must have been under a great deal of pressure as the series caught fire.

Is it true you sent Chris Carter a rather unusual thank-you gift?
After Squeeze, I sent Chris a calf's liver as a thank-you gift. It arrived at his hotel suite in a gift-wrapped box. Since I couldn't get my hands on a human liver, I decided a calf's liver was the next best thing. Not sure if he really appreciated it or not, but he did hire me again to do the sequel, so...

When did you last see one of your episodes and what did you think of it?
I watched Squeeze with my wife, Courtney, about six months ago and laughed my head off! It seemed hysterical to me. I was actually surprised, when it first aired, that fans were exclaiming how that episode scared the piss out of them and kept them up at nights staring up at their air-conditioning vents.

How did The X-Files change your life?
The X-Files put me on the map in TV-Land. It was my first significant foray into prime time. I'll forever be grateful for that. It was also the first opportunity I had to play a villain and would eventually lead to a plethora of many more delicious villainous roles, including Percy in The Green Mile, Bristol in Bait, and Morgan in The Salton Sea.



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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