The X-Files Monster Fight That Almost Went X-Rated

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

One of the more interesting things about The X-Files is how relatively tame it was…this was a series with smoking hot leads who had crazy sexual chemistry but whose onscreen relationship remained largely chaste. Even after Mulder and Scully hooked up and had a kid, we rarely saw the two do so much as kiss each other. But in the episode “The Jersey Devil,” the woman who played the title monster got into a fight with Mulder, and she worried that audiences would think the two were about to do far more than kiss one another.

David Duchovny Knew The Right Person For The Job

Like the best behind-the-scenes X-Files stories, this one is going to take some time to unravel. It all goes back to how Claire Stansfield got the job as the titular Jersey Devil. She and David Duchovny had worked together on David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and become good friends, so when the Mulder actor read the script, he immediately recommended Stansfield get the part of the fearsome monster.

The Jersey Devil

In an interview, Stansfield mentioned how she was an early fan of The X-Files and was very eager to get the job. What she didn’t realize when she got the gig, though, is just how much nudity was going to be involved. You see, the Jersey Devil is meant to be a creature who comes from the woods to Atlantic City after her mate is killed; as such, she isn’t wearing any clothes for the entire episode.

Modesty Through Makeup

For Stansfield, that meant her X-Files wardrobe was significantly skimpier than she might have expected. Her long hair covered her breasts (she compared the look to Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon), and she wore a G-string as her only real article of clothing. It’s nothing you would notice onscreen because she was also covered with makeup meant to simulate layers and layers of dirt, officially making the Jersey Devil one of the series’ dirtiest creatures.

An Awkward Day Of Shooting

All of this behind-the-scenes X-Files context is important because it helps us appreciate Stansfield’s hilarious story. The episode has a scene in which the Jersey Devil briefly fights Mulder. The creature passes up a chance to kill the helpless FBI agent, which is meant to help both him and the audience realize she is more than just some malevolent monster.

However, Stansfield worried about how the scene would look on television because of how it was filmed. In an old interview, she mentioned how “I had to straddle David [Duchovny] while wearing my G-string.” She was thankful their friendship made filming less awkward, but she still worried that “it looked like we were about to engage in something we shouldn’t.”

Fears It Was Too Much For Viewers

The X-Files guest star clarified that actually filming this scene for “The Jersey Devil” wasn’t very sexy at all…she and Duchovny “had to stay in the same position for 20 minutes,” and they were mostly laughing when the cameras weren’t rolling. In retrospect, though, we can understand her concerns that the scene would be misconstrued.

Looking back at this X-Files episode, we can’t get over the irony…this is a show that isn’t known for either fighting or romance, but one star worried that an early onscreen battle would look a bit too X-rated to viewers.