It was 20 years ago (yes, you're old) that skeptic Dana Scully first teamed up with believer Fox Mulder to investigate the FBI's creepiest cases. Plenty of guest stars joined leads David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the paranormal paradise of The X-Files, including tons of actors who would later blow up in their own right. We've combed through the show's 200+ episodes to bring you 13 of its most significant cameos.
Seth Green already had a healthy filmography built up by the time he was cast as a teenage stoner in first season episode "Deep Throat." But his diner conversation with Special Agents Mulder and Scully probably had a big influence on his future career as showrunner of the geek-tastic cartoon series Robot Chicken.
The West Wing star, next seen in the ABC comedy pilot Trophy Wife, plays a seismologist losing his grip in second season episode "Firewalker."
Future Academy Award-nominee Felicity Huffman was trapped with our heroes while investigating the mysterious deaths of a research team at an Alaskan excavation project. She plays Dr. Nancy Da Silva in "Ice", one of the most suspenseful episodes in the entire series.
It's no surprise that Hollywood hottie Ryan Reynolds would be cast as a popular football player in third season episode "Syzygy." Of course, it's The X-Files, so his high school reign is cut short by two flaky teens driven mad by a rare planetary alignment.
Jack Black/Giovanni Ribisi
"D.P.O.", another third season episode, boasts not one, but two up-and-coming young actors. Jack Black's character owns an arcade where video-game obsessed teen Darin Peter Oswald (Giovanni Ribisi) hangs out when not using his mind to command lightning to kill anyone who pisses him off.Tony Shalhoub
A post-Wings, pre-Monk Tony Shalhoub stars as a dark matter researcher in season two episode "Soft Light." This one is also notable for being the first episode written by Vince Gilligan, who would go on to create a little show called Breaking Bad.
Teeny, tiny Shia LaBeouf can be found late in the series, pulling heart strings as a very ill young boy in season seven's "The Goldberg Variation."
Cutie Jewel Staite has huge nerd cred, having played a kidnapped girl in "Oubliette" from season three and then going on to star in Joss Whedon's epic space western Firefly. Would that the latter would have had as long a run as The X-Files.
What was it about the third season of The X-Files that predicted the future success of almost all its guest stars? We've got another one in Elementary star Lucy Liu, who is credited as "Lucy Alexis Liu" in "Hell Money."
Bryan Cranston was hardly a nobody when he took the role of Patrick Crump in season six episode "Drive." But this appearance earns a spot on the list simply because the episode was another penned by staff writer Vince Gillian, who clearly remembered Cranston's desperate, tension-filled performance when casting Walter White.
The X-Files creative team had a knack for sniffing out future Oscar nominees. Winter's Bone star John Hawkes played a tortured writer in sixth season episode "Milagro," a role written specifically for him.
What could possibly be ickier than a bile-covered, liver-eating mutant who crawls around in sewer ducts? Ask 43-year-old character actor Doug Hutchison, who played classic X-Files monster Eugene Victor Tooms, about his marriage to 19-year-old attention seeker Courtney Stodden.
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The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.