Mitch Pileggi, who plays FBI honcho Walter Skinner on The X-Files, is officially back on the case for season 11. While David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have headed up the cast of the acclaimed paranormal drama The X-Files since 1993, several other stars have emerged throughout the series thanks to unique stories and carefully crafted character development. Among them, of course, are William B. Davis as the mysterious Cigarette Smoking Man, as well as Tom Braidwood, Bruce Harwood and Dean Haglund, who play the conspiracy theory trio The Lone Gunmen.
But perhaps the most important supporting player to make a name for himself on The X-Files during its 10-season run is Pileggi, whose FBI Assistant Director Skinner has gone from a thorn in the sides of Agent Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Agent Dana Scully (Anderson) to a trusted ally.
According to Deadline, Pileggi has become the first actor to sign up for the 11th season of The X-Files following the return of Duchovny and Anderson. Pileggi first appeared as Skinner in the show's first season in the episode 'Tooms', and in the ensuing years has appeared in 85 episodes overall, as well as The X-Files movie in 1998 and the second feature film based on the series, I Want to Believe, in 2008.
Prior to his work on The X-Files, Pileggi played small supporting roles in such films as Return of the Living Dead II and Basic Instinct, and the villainous lead Horace Pinker in director Wes Craven's comedy-tinged horror thriller Shocker. In the long gap between the 9th and 10th seasons of The X-Files, Pileggi worked constantly, with recurring roles in TV's Grey's Anatomy and Sons of Anarchy, as well as a regular role on series reboot of Dallas.
Getting Pileggi to come back for the 11th season of The X-Files was an essential move for show creator Chris Carter and the FOX network. The actor has stood out in every episode he's appeared in, and the show would feel vacant without Pileggi's strong presence.
Clearly Pileggi loves being a part of the show, and his deal to return for another season shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Pileggi is even a participant in the new Audible audio production of The X-Files: Cold Cases, which was released Tuesday, along with Duchovny, Anderson, Davis, Braidwood, Harwood and Haglund. It's obvious that the cast knows they have a special sort of chemistry, so they're going to take every opportunity to reunite with their cast mates and Carter that they can get.