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Henriksen on Millennium

Lance Henriksen talks to TV Zone about MillenniuM.

 

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Interview Info

This interview has been viewed 2582 times.

It was last viewed on Thursday, December 13, 2018, 3:30 AM (UTC).

Interview Source:

Richard Preston / TV Zone.

Interview Date:

2001


Millennium Cast or Crew Interview:

This is a cast interview with Lance Henriksen.

Born:

  • Lance Henriksen was born May 5 1940.

Personal Trivia:

  • Lance Henriksen's parents are James Henriksen and Margueritte Henriksen.
  • Lance was married to Jane Pollack (m. 1995-2006) and Mary Jane Evans (m. 1985-1989)
  • Lance has 2 children, Sage Ariel Henriksen and Alcamy Henriksen.
  • Lance Henriksen appeared in 67 episode/s of the Millennium television series.

Henriksen on Millennium



Millennium Profile image of Lance Henriksen.

Interview:

Even though The X-Files spin-offs were short-lived, no one could accuse them of being dull. Millennium was set in the same 'spooky' universe as Mulder and Scully's adventures, but it didn't seem to gain the same trust from the networks. Now Season Three is to get its first screening on British television, and series star Lance Henriksen reveals to TV Zone he has mixed feelings about three seasons playing Frank Black.

"The second season I wasn't as crazy about," he says. "The third I thought was pretty wild though as I didn't know where it was going, ever. The first season is the season I liked the most, because it was Chris Carter doing it and he had a real control over it. He had his hand on the helm in other words. So doing Millennium was always an adventure because I never knew what was going to happen when they handed me a script. That's kind of an exciting thing, you can't refuse the scripts if you don't like them."

It is fairly well known that Season Two was not Henriksen's favourite and, like The X-Files, it was sometimes noticeable which episodes Carter had a hand in producing and directing as if there was an element of his passion coming through. Perhaps the universe created by Carter really needed Carter himself to be there to make sense of it all. But after a whole year with the creator and whole year without, was Henriksen feeling reluctant about doing a third season? "You can't predict the future, you really have high hopes for the season that's coming. Season Three was OK. Season One was fresh and new and it was trying to find itself and I just think that Season Two got off to a crazy start with the guys who wrote it, but they were OK. The third season was not the worst it was just more scattered. I think that once the Millennium Group was found out to be a group of bad people, the guy producing it didn't know where to go with it. I think Fox made a big mistake cancelling Millennium."

The Good and the Bad

Was Henriksen perhaps upset at the way the second and third seasons developed after Carter's departure? "I don't think so. Chris has a very philosophic view of this thing, when he makes a decision he sticks with it," says Henriksen. "Some of it I'm sure he didn't like but if in a year you're doing 26 shows and 10 of them are excellent, you've really done something. Some of it was very good television. It was shot well and it was well thought out. I don't think anyone should feel that it failed in anyway. The reason it came off the air was totally a Fox decision, we were all ready to go again."

Perhaps Carter saw something unique in Henriksen he new producers didn't. "I have no idea why he hired me, Chris never told me. But I read the script and thought, 'Wow it's so dark, what's the redeeming quality in this guy?' Chris and I met at a restaurant and talked about it and he said that the heroic nature comes from the fact that this guy will never give up, he won't quit but despite this, it did get very dark, there's no doubt about that."

As fans will know, Millennium came to an end shortly before the end of the real millennium and if it were to come back to our screens, wouldn't the fact that it is now the 21st Century dampen the concept of the series? "It isn't about the millennium finishing, it's really something else. The millennium was a good hook but in reality it was about something that is going on all the time. Like, right now there is an awful lot of strange cases going on in America and everywhere else. My biggest hope was that we would have done a Millennium feature film. If anything ever leant itself to a feature it would be Millennium. It would be pretty dark and with language too, that's the best part. I think the reason to do a feature is that it would have language. On television you could only get away with so much. Millennium if anything needs language. I would love to see what the movie would be."

Season Four?

Henriksen seems keen that the series, or at least the character of Frank Black, could return in some form. If Millennium was to spawn a feature film the repercussions on its universe would be very interesting. If the desired project did go ahead it could leave the door open for a fourth season, but what route would that take? "In a Season Four there would be less solving the case by the hour, and there would be many more cases going on simultaneously so that you would never know when the show was going to end. You would just be totally involved in the world that these characters were in. Because some cases in reality take years, you don't do it in the course of a show which is what I wanted to see from the very beginning. Artistically it would become more poetic and deal with issues in a more abstract way."

With The X-Files about to enter a ninth year, there will be spooky goings on for quite some time. "It's pretty extraordinary. If Chris Carter wants it to continue he'll put his vitality into it. If he gets distracted with something else, then everything suffers just a little bit. I guess you can't be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral," the actor jokes.

With the parent show continuing, could Frank Black turn up again just as in the Season Six episode "Millennium"? "I had no idea what they were doing with that. I thought it was going to be the close of it all but it turned out it had nothing to do with ending Millennium it just had to do with The X-Files having a zombie show. It was a little disappointing for me because I wanted it to be something a little more. The only thing that ended Millennium was the fact that it was New Year's Eve. But I'd probably come back as Frank Black, I'd love to, but depends on what they would want me to do though."

Carter Control

From watching the second and third seasons of the show, it seems apparent that those who had inherited Millennium didn't put the same amount of heart and soul into it that Chris Carter had during the first season. The show became more about the character of Black and the cases he solved than his ability. Did the cancellation of a show that Henriksen enjoyed and was obviously proud of upset him? "Yes it did, but only in the respect that it was potentially a really great show," Henriksen sighs. "I really miss the opportunity. Chris Cater was much more honest to the original idea which was of this character, Frank Black, and his world. If Chris had stayed with it, it would have evolved even better and been more hardcore. It would have been really good. I can't look back on it and think that way though. It's like sour grapes; it would be foolish to go and pick the episodes apart now. It was a good and powerful experience and a lot of I hard work."

Interview Source:

Richard Preston / TV Zone.

Interview Date:

2001