by David Hughes
THE X-FILES' Alex Krycek may only have one arm, but he can still kick Mulder's butt, actor Nicholas Lea insists.
The last we saw of Krycek, THE X-FILES' baby-faced double agent, in the fourth season, he was having his left arm cut off, instantly making him the most (un)popular one-armed man on television since THE FUGITIVE. Nevertheless, Lea, who has played Krycek since his introduction as Mulder's new partner in the second season episode "Sleepless," was ready to give his right arm to return to the show. "I was dying to get back on THE X-FILES," he admits, "but it was difficult because I was doing this other show," referring to his starring role in John Woo's action/comedy series ONCE A THIEF, which premieres on HBO this fall.
Nevertheless, Krycek's long-overdue comeback was well worth waiting for. One highlight for Lea was the fact that Krycek got to pay Mulder back for a series of physical beatings he had taken since his introduction back in season two. "You finally got to see Krycek take advantage of Mulder, instead of always getting beat up," Lea laughs. "He gets to give him a little bit back - and with one hand, that's quite a feat!"
"Also, my character has a speech which sets up the film, about what's going on currently in the whole story, which was a culmination of the last five years.. I had two scenes, but they were both big scenes."
Given that his character was used to set up the story of the film, was he disappointed to be one of the only X-FILES regulars not cast in the film? "Yeah, I was," he states emphatically, "although I was in Toronto working on ONCE A THIEF at the time, so it would have been almost impossible. I know that they were trying to get me into it, and that they had written four or five different drafts, some concerning me, some not. But as far as I know, there's going to be another film, and they told me I would be in that one. So I was disappointed but, you know, I'm over it."
Although he enjoys the high profile THE X-FILES has brought him, Lea admits that he sometimes finds the level of fan attention paid to the show a little overwhelming. "I think that there are things in the world other than THE X-FILES to be putting your energies into," he says candidly. "If the fans would devote maybe a third of the energy they give to THE X-FILES to doing something a little more important... I just think the focus is a little misplaced - after all, it is just a television show."