This Iconic 'X-Files' Moment Was Completely Improvised by Its Stars

In the 25 years since its debut, fans have always associated a handful of things with The X-Files, such as aliens, government cover-ups and sexual chemistry between Special Agents Mulder and Scully. In a surprise break from the will-they-won't-they tension, a moment at the end of the Season 5 episode "The Post-Modern Prometheus" featured the two embracing one another for a brief dance, breaking from their typically professional behaviors.

The episode pays homage to Frankenstein, telling the tale of a local man with facial mutations who wants nothing more than to dance to Cher. The film's final sequence features the man, with Mulder and Scully, finally seeing Cher in concert, as the episode ends with a performance of "Walking in Memphis."

"In the scene where Mulder and Scully dance at the end, I was focused on getting the staging right with the Cher impersonator. I knew that Mulder and Scully only had to be her audience, so I kind of left them alone," series creator Chris Carter recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly. "When the scene got rolling we had a huge auditorium full of rowdy fans, and there were lots of distractions. One of them was a kid I had spotted in Los Angeles and then cast to play a character named Booger. He turned out to be great, but at that moment either he had had it with shooting or he just wanted to bust out—he started throwing gang signs! I was focused on getting him to stop doing that so I could use the footage."

Amidst all the distractions, stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson took it upon themselves to improvise.

"I had all these distractions and other things I was focused on, and at some point David and Gillian got up and started to dance," Carter admitted. "They just did it because they were enjoying themselves. Up until this point on the show, we had gone out of our way to keep Mulder and Scully professional and not to have them romantically involved. As much as we kind of flirted with those things, we had not seen them quite that lovey-dovey. It wasn't scripted; it was one of these moments that just came together on its own."

Given that this specific episode was a "Monster of the Week" episode that didn't have a lasting impact on the show's mythology, the moment got to exist without the series ever having to look back on how it impacted the characters.

Season 11 of The X-Files airs Wednesday nights at 8:00 PM ET on FOX.


[H/T Entertainment Weekly]