LOS ANGELES—David Duchovny must be weary of answering questions on the status of the third “The X Files” movie. Still, he answered with his boyish smile in our recent chat, “As I’ve said many times, I’m always willing to do it. I know Gillian (Anderson) is, too. Gillian is about to come here and do a Rand Ravich drama on NBC. So, that can only help—Gillian being high-profile here again. And Chris (Carter, ‘The X-Files’ creator) is around. We all love Chris and think he’s brilliant, so…”
Despite his commitment to his TV series, “Californication,” David maintained that he would find time to return as Fox Mulder. “Yeah, we all would make time for that. That’s like a family member.” Grinning, he caught himself: “Well, that makes it sound like you don’t want to make time, but I have nothing but gratitude for the whole chapter and for the people who helped me. It’s a great franchise and a great character. I’d love to continue it.”
“It’s been too long,” David said of the gap since “The X Files: I Want to Believe” in 2008. “I think we waited too long for that second one. I don’t think we should wait too long for the third, if there is going to be one. Things come and go so quickly. It’s almost ancient history now—‘X Files.’ You’ve had ‘Twilight’ and other things come in between, so we don’t have quite the cachet that we used to have. I still think it’s a great show and if new people were exposed to it, they’d get it. I didn’t think vampires were going to be so big.”
“Finally, typecasting,” the actor quipped with a smile about playing Bruni, a villainous spy in “Phantom,” a Cold War submarine drama directed by Todd Robinson that also stars Ed Harris as Demi, a sub skipper.
Did he have an option to play either Demi or Bruni? “Ed was already attached when I got the script,” David explained. “It wasn’t an option. But, Todd Robinson, the director, called me and said he wanted me to play this guy. The first thing I asked him after I read the script was, ‘Why do you want me to do it?’ It sounds like an odd question, because you should be thankful that anybody wants you to do anything. The first part of the job for me was trying to see what Todd saw in me to do this role.”
David added, “I had to ask the question, ‘What is it in me, that I can be this guy?’ I guess the answer was, he’s a true believer. He’s not a guy that sees all the sides of the issue. He only sees one side—his side. That’s not me at all. I see too many sides to a fault.”
With both David and Ed known for their low-key but effective acting, how did they play off each other? “Who gets to be lower?,” he asked. He joked, “It’s like, ‘Ed, are you going to go that low? I’m going to go underneath you. Careful.’ ” He then said, “Everybody has his own style. We never had any discussions like that. Ed is such a terrific actor.”
“It’s like tennis,” David cited about playing against Ed in their scenes. “You’re on there, and you want to have a good rally with the other guy. You’re actually not trying to beat the other guy—You want him to hit the ball where he can hit it. It doesn’t matter what the other guy’s approach is. If he’s as good as Ed, you’re going to have a decent rally even if a ball hits me on the head. It’s always a pleasure to work with somebody who’s good at what he does.”
Asked to give an update on his “Californication” TV series, David answered, “I am just starting to hear from Tom Kapinos (series creator) what the next season is going to be like. But, for me, the show is always about that family—about Hank (Moody, his character), Karen (Natascha McElhone) and Rebecca (Moody), the daughter (Madeleine ‘Maddie’ Martin).”
He pointed out, “An interesting challenge in the show is, since we’re entering the seventh year, you’ve got an actress, Maddie, since she was 13. Now she’s 20, so you’re actually writing a different person. That’s an interesting challenge for a writer and for the actress to try to remain the same, yet different.”
Off the set, David revealed a new passion: “Playing the guitar is my latest hobby. It’s what I’m doing with my free time. I try to play every day. I’m never going to be really good, because I started too late, but that doesn’t matter. I’m just enjoying it. I don’t have other hobbies. But, because of the iPhone, I have a camera with me all the time, so I take pictures.”
On what his camera subjects are, David shared, “Something that appears that I’d like to commemorate in some way. I like that I have one, but I hate the fact that everybody else has an iPhone, because I don’t like other people taking a picture of me. I don’t necessarily want to take pictures of people, but the fact that I’m walking around with a camera at all times is pretty cool to me.”
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