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Men's Journal - Exit interview with David Duchovny

On his sandwich-making skills, his affinity for whales, and an extremely painful trip to the urologist.

What one skill should every man have?
To be able to make a good sandwich. I possess that skill in spades. I am the Earl of Sandwich. I can make a sandwich out of anything. I don't even need bread. I don't even need a plate. A good sandwich can stand-alone.

What's the best advice you ever received?
In the middle of basketball season my senior year of high school, I fainted in the elevator at school. I knocked some teeth around, and nobody knew what was up with my brain or heart, so I was in intensive care for a couple days. My Latin teacher came to visit me and said, "Don't hurry back." When he said it, I didn't understand what he meant. I was eager to get out and resume achieving and achieving and achieving. I thought he was crazy. Until 20 years later. I wanted to go back and thank him, but by then he had died.

What's the worst physical pain you ever experienced?
I've broken things. I've cut things. But the worst? When the urologist last checked me out. He stuck something all the way up in there. It's startling and completely unnatural. Just unnatural. He said he had to. Maybe he just didn't like me. Also, I've had a hammer and chisel to my mouth, to take out one tooth when I was young. I was sitting there on the gas, and I remember thinking, Really? A hammer and chisel? At least the urologist didn't use a hammer and chisel.

How do you make your favorite drink?
When I have the time and resources, I like to have fresh lime juice and good tequila for a margarita.

Do you have a recurring dream?
I have dreams where I am flying, and I do it by making the treading-water motion with my arms. I just swirl them around and I go up into the air and motor around. And I wake up and I'm not sure I can't do it.

What's the most cherished possession you ever lost?
A surfboard given to me by director/writer Chris Carter. It was a big, nine-foot thing. It was made just for me. It was really beautiful and a heartfelt gift. I don't know how I lost something that big. Chris doesn't even know I lost it. Well, maybe he will now.

What was your first car?
A '72 Dodge Dart. It was beige, but I had a gay friend who said it was biscuit. We called it the Biscuit Bomber. It had been owned by a 400-pound guy, and the springs were completely shot. When I got in I would sink to the bottom, and I looked about five-foot-one, so I got no play from the women on the highway. I was lowriding. In the worst way.

What nickname would you like to have?
Duke is my nickname. Always has been. I like it. It's better than Puke or Fluke, which were the alternatives.

Which commandment do you break most often?
Oh, Jesus. I guess the swearing one. I try not to think of them as commandments. I think of them as vague suggestions. And why were there only 10? Do you think they were the first bullet-point presentation? And did people really have to be told not to kill one another? I think when you are trying to build a society, not killing each other should be understood.

What one experience do you want to have before you die?
I want to swim with large sea mammals. It sounds like I'm joking, but I'm really not. Maybe swim with whales. Dolphins are played out. And they are bad pieces of work. They just have a good publicist. Did you know they are the only mammal besides man that will kill their young?

Where's your favorite place on earth?
We have a family home in Massachusetts where I go every summer. It's perfect. I love the humidity. There's no television. It's on the water. I had it written into my contract that I wouldn't shoot in the summertime. I waived it this year. Next year, forget it.

If you became president, what's the first thing you'd do?
Demand a recount.

Interviewed by Allison Glock. Men's Journal, November 2007.

Thanks to Polly from Haven for the transcript!

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