Trailers for the newest X-Files movie, “The X-Files: I Want
to Believe,” have been airing in heavy rotation lately, in preparation for the
movie’s release this Friday. If you watch the scenes carefully, you may find
that the scenery looks eerily familiar.
That’s because parts of the latest big screen version of the
cult classic series were shot in Pemberton over the winter.
Neal Talbot, a computer programmer and long-time local
resident, was one of many people from the Sea to Sky corridor who got involved
with the production of the film, appearing as an extra – more
specifically, one of the ubiquitous FBI agents that appear so frequently in the
“It was hard to turn down the chance to throw on the old
iconic FBI parka,” Talbot said with a laugh.
A huge X-Files fan, Talbot had heard from a friend that his
favourite series would be coming to town to film their latest flick, and jumped
at the chance to play a role, even if it was a small one.
“After years of
watching and wondering what it was like on a movie set, I think it was a dream
come true to not only be on set, but to be in a movie and still only be minutes
The popular series stopped filming in Vancouver during the
last few years of the show. But Chris Carter, the director of the film, was
apparently very adamant that they return to B.C. to shoot the latest movie.
“I can remember Chris Carter said it was the best place for
natural landscape,” Talbot said.
Talbot, and many others, were also excited by the prospect
of getting to rub elbows with some of the big stars appearing in the film
– Xzibit, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, and Amanda Peet. During the
three weeks the extras were needed for production, they definitely had ample
opportunity to meet the actors.
“Normally for an extra you do one day and you’re out,”
Talbot explained. “Because we were there for three weeks… most of the time
you’re just waiting for shooting to begin, and Duchovny will be beside you, so
you start chatting to him… You quickly realize that they’re no different than
you — it sort of kills a lot of the awe people had about Hollywood,
because you get to meet these people and they’re just like you.”
Being an extra was also a great learning experience.
“I think a lot of people were surprised at how slow the
movie-making process was,” said Talbot. “We would do a scene, and then it’s
redone from so many different angles and we’d have to sit around, and you realize
how complex making a movie is. I think most people came away with a whole new
perspective on not only movie stars, but how movies are made.”
The process definitely wasn’t always exciting and glamorous
— they ended up working in some pretty rough conditions, with
temperatures dipping below -20 degrees.
“The second week was really nasty,” Talbot recalled. “The
weather turned on us… and it was a night shoot, so we would shoot starting at
around 10 o’clock and go until two or three in the morning in blizzard
But the cast and crew were amazed at how well locals handled
the extreme conditions.
“The extras complained far less than the actual crew,”
Now, Talbot and many other local extras are hoping to catch
a special midnight screening of the new flick at Village 8 Cinemas tonight. You
can be sure they’ll be watching very closely, trying to spy familiar faces and