If you’d ask me what is my number one TV show of all times, I would say “The X Files” without blinking or thinking that I managed to grow up a lot since then. I would say “The X Files” not only because it shaped the way I see television shows even today, but because it still confirms a theory I’ve been willing to share with anybody willing to listen: everybody played in the X Files, everybody had at least one guest appearance and a lot of them started out their TV or silver screen careers with an X Files episode. What am I talking about? I am talking about some very popular actors who made an appearance in the X Files you might remember seeing there and who are now famous, or at least on their way to stardom.
Compiling lists of such actors is not a world – premiere, as others have done it as well, and the waters have been stirred again with the fabulous Breaking Bad series which turned Bryan Cranston into a god. Did you know that Vince Gilligan chose Cranston because he was impressed with his performance back in 1998 in the X Files Season 6, Episode 2 – Drive? Of course you knew, everybody does! Seeing how so many contemporary stars seem to have been related one way or the other with the iconic nineties show, I will present you with my favorite five actors you might remember from the X files, just to remind everybody that this particular show rocked the ages back then and if you didn’t see it, you should give it a try.
1. Tony Shalhoub – Mr. Monk as a Paranoid Scientist
Mr. Monk is heavily disregarded when people start making lists about popular actors who started out in the X Files or guest – starred in some episode or blessed the series with their already famous presence (see Burt Reynolds). But even if Tony didn’t actually begin his career in the X Files, I am sure many people who saw him starting with the 2000s screamed, just like me, pointing out at the TV: I told you everybody played in the X Files. I very much like him now, but I will never forget his paranoid and quirky character in Season 2, Episode 23 – Soft Light.
2. James Franco – So young then, so famous now
Now this one you know, if not for 127 Hours, at least for the more recent This is the End. But did you pay attention to Cop Number 2 in Season 8, Episode 8 – Surekill? He was there, alright and I swear to God I recognized him years after when I saw 127 Hours.
3. Mark Pellegrino – One of the actors you might remember from the X Files? Probably not
Admit it, you love him! If not because he confused the soul out of you with his character in Lost (Jacob, the mighty and powerful), at least because he is the world’s favorite Lucifer (in Supernatural, evidently). But this intriguing Lucifer also starred in Season 7, Episode 3 – Hungry in 1999, as a freak of nature who fed on human brains. I am not sure this part shaped his future career as a charming villain, but this X Files episode is considered as one of the very best in the entire Season 7. Mark might have helped a lot.
4. Ryan Reynolds – Turbo-ing his career since 1996
Of course you know him! Who doesn’t? Other people making a similar list of actors you might remember from the X Files made an interesting point: Ryan may be the biggest name on the list. Before his short appearance in Season 3, Episode 13 – Syzygy, Ryan had a few parts, but boy did he bloom in the years to come! OK, the Green Lantern thing may have not been his smartest career choice, but Deadpool, people! In the X Files, however, she lived shortly, as the two main characters female psychos ended his life brutally, but Reynolds legacy is still powerful in the minds of the X Files obsessed fans. Me, for instance.
5. Shia LaBeouf – The child who turned into a sex symbol
Season 7, Episode 6 - The Goldberg Variation. Shia plays a dying boy who, unknowingly, sets the main character on an impossible quest. Shia’s short appearance may have not been so spectacular to remember, but it still proves my theory that everybody played in the X Files and jumped from there.
Of course there are many other actors you might remember from the X Files: Seth Green, Danny Trejo, Terry O’Quinn, (who showed up in the show and in the first X Files movie playing different characters each time), the immortal Al Bundy, Michael Emerson and so on and so forth. Actually, they are so many, you might want to consider setting up a 9 Seasons X Files marathon to see them all. Which I do once in two years, but again, I’m with the obsessed crowd.