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David Duchovny and daughter at the beach

David Duchovny and his daughter Madelaine West with a friend are seen enjoying the waves and sun at a Los Angeles beach on june 28, 2008:

David Duchovny at the Californication set in LA

David Duchovny at the Californication set in LA on 27 june, 2008:

David Duchovny embarrassed about doing sex scenes in 'Californication'

LOS ANGELES — David Duchovny never gets used to seeing himself naked on screen.

"I just think it's embarrassing to be naked in front of a lot of people," says the actor. "I guess I'm a bit prudish in a way. I wish I wasn't - I wish I could let my freak flag fly a little more."

Duchovny was speaking to reporters earlier this week on the set of his delicious dark comedy "Californication," which returns for a second season in September on Showtime and in Canada on the Movie Network and Movie Central.

Duchovny stars as Hank Moody, a brilliant if troubled novelist trying to hold on to his wife and child while battling all the distractions and temptations of Hollywood. The first season found Hank up to all sorts of sexual hijinks, even though, as Duchovny maintains, the show is really about "this guy's quest to pull his family together."

He says that now that Hank is back together with his wife Karen (played by Natascha McElhone) and daughter Becca (young Canadian actress Madeleine Martin), other characters on the show will take up most of the sex slack.

The former "X-Files" star - who goes back in character as special agent Fox Mulder in the upcoming feature "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" (in theatres July 25)-says there is a basic problem with shooting sex scenes: "Sex is a ridiculous looking behaviour," he says, adding, "if done correctly."

Which is just fine for "Californication," he says. The adult cable show is, after all, a comedy.

"We don't do sex to turn you on in this show," he says, speaking for the rest of the cast as well as series creator Tom Kapinos. "That's not the way we approach it. We approach it as the ridiculous human behaviour that it is."

Duchovny is only half kidding.

"For me, theoretically, sex is ridiculous because you're driven to do it. Once a human being is out of control it becomes funny. To me that's the essence of comedy - it's when you're driven to do something that you don't necessarily want to do."

This may come as a shock to Duchovny's actress wife Tea Leoni, to say nothing of their two children. Duchovny just thinks the sex act itself is, as he said before, "funny looking."

A pause.

"When I do it it's funny looking."

None of the female foreign press reporters at the session were buying it. Sure, sex was very serious when he was younger, he says.

"That's how we go, isn't it? As we mature, everything becomes more and more ridiculous. Gone from serious to comic," he says, looking around the room. "I'm just talking about performance here."

A performance he's happy to talk about is getting back under the skin of his old "X-Files" character, Fox Mulder.

"Mulder is as old as I am - he always will be," says Duchovny, 47. He was 32 when he started playing the special agent on the paranormal series, which ended a nine-season run in 2002.

For "The X-Files: I Want to Believe," he says there was no effort to make the character "the same guy he was in 1993."

Duchovny says "The X-Files" was his "sixth or seventh job" at the time and that he's a much better actor now. He also feels he can bring some of what he has learned playing Hank Moody to his old role, although he cautions that the new "X-Files" movie is not a comedy.

"It's more skewed toward horror, a throwback to the first couple of years on the show," he says.

He says he hopes to do another "X-Files" film with creator Chris Carter and co-star Gillian Anderson. He sees Mulder as cut from the same iconic cloth as Indiana Jones or James Bond, two other characters allowed to mature over time. "I like the way they've aged," he says.

Duchovny, of course, says he didn't set out to make Mulder iconic. "I try to make every role iconic," he says. "I just fail most of the time."

Bill Brioux is a freelance TV columnist based in Brampton, Ont. He was a guest of the Movie Network and Movie Central while on the set of "Californication" in Los Angeles.

Source: Canadian Press

The Advocate Interview: "Big Gay Following"

During one of the star’s classic guest appearances as himself on The Larry Sanders Show, Larry’s gay assistant estimates his friends’ opinion of David Duchovny: “A third think he’s gay, a third think he’s bi, and the rest don’t care -- they just want to kiss him anyways.” Is that a fair representation of his entire gay fan base? “On my best day, that would be nice,” admits Duchovny, now revisiting his Golden Globe–winning role as FBI agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files: I Want to Believe, the second film adaptation of the long-running sci-fi series. But how does the 47-year-old father of two and star of Showtime’s Californication really feel about gay rumors, male nudity and queer extraterrestrials? The truth is in here.
By Brandon Voss

A shorter version of this story appeared in The Advocate July 15, 2008.

Do you think there’s gay life out there in the universe? I want to believe.
Yeah, if there’s life, there’s gay life, right? Ten percent of it.

I hope they have more rights than Earth gays.
I agree. I heard the Martian Stonewall was a big event -- changed things forever.

Have you read any of the erotic gay fan fiction involving Fox Mulder and his X-Files nemesis Alex Krycek?
I never read it, but Nick Lea, who played Krycek, showed me this website with head-replacement pictures of him and me in various homosexual acts, looking at each other adoringly. We enjoyed that.

In Californication your womanizing novelist character, Hank, lives in Los Angeles and works in the entertainment industry, yet there are no gay characters -- just a smattering of frat-boy fantasy girl-on-girl action. What’s the deal?
That is quite unrealistic, and I hope to address that in the near future, and I apologize to my big gay following. It’s funny because when we were casting the pilot, and even when we shot the pilot -- though we never told the actor -- the idea was always that Evan Handler’s character, my agent, was gay. But that never came to pass. Actually, he became more of a player than my character.

That sure would’ve spiced up the threesome Hank had with his agent.
Yeah, that would’ve made the squirting more believable.

Hank says he used to live in New York’s West Village “amongst the gays,” so I’d be surprised if he’s never jumped the fence.
Well, Hank is a very passive sexual partner. He’s like a boy who can’t say no, so I could certainly see that. That was one of my favorite lines -- I love saying “amongst the gays.”

You’re currently shooting the second season, so I assume you’re in full “I’m constantly in just my underwear on-screen” workout mode.
Yes, I’m very much like a gay man right now. A friend of mine used to say that he could never be gay because he could never get into that kind of shape.

Are you going the Full Monty this season?
No. There’s just something about full frontal male nudity that always comes off as ridiculous and silly to me. It’s not really necessary.

There are, however, pictures circulating online of you wearing nothing but a teacup.
Those are old pictures. It was right when I was starting The X-Files, and I was doing a photo shoot at my manager’s house. I was just goofing around with the cups, and we took some pictures for ourselves as a joke. Then my quote-unquote publicist at the time started selling them three years later, so that was unfortunate.

You regret taking the shots?
No, I regret hiring him as a publicist.

What inspired the homosexual vibe you gave off on The Larry Sanders Show?
It was before this whole man-crush thing became played out -- the “bromance” and all that stuff. I had done one Larry Sanders and Larry and I had become friends, and we were thinking about what I could do next on the show. I said, “Why don’t I have a crush on you, but I’m not gay, and it’s funny because it doesn’t bother me -- I just say it.” And he said, “That is funny.” So we ran with it.

Do you have man crushes -- other than Depp or Clooney?
I don’t have a crush on either one of them. They’re usually not actors; they’re usually intellectual types, where I want to follow them, or I want them to teach me. I’ve got a student-teacher man crush.

Have you been hit on by guys?
I grew up in the East Village and lived amongst the gays, so that kind of shit happens, and it’s no big deal.

Have you ever been annoyed by gay rumors about yourself?
I didn’t know I had a gay rumor! It wouldn’t annoy me at all. I imagine if I were gay and wanted to hide it, it would annoy me. I find I only get annoyed at the things that are true, so that’s a telltale sign.

Responding to an assumption that he isn’t into girls, your transvestite Twin Peaks character, DEA agent Denise Bryson, says, “I may be wearing a dress, but I still pull my panties on one leg at a time.” How did you make sense of a “straight” character that dressed as a woman?
I really didn’t think about it in terms of sexuality because it didn’t seem like that was the point. I thought, What is it in a woman that a man would want to be? There’s a certain kind of expressiveness that’s allowed women in society, whereas men are traditionally closed off and shut down, so I thought, Well, that’s probably what it is -- he just wants to be expressive. That’s the only way I went at it.

In 2004’s Connie and Carla, does your character fall in love with Nia Vardalos’s Connie while he still thinks she’s a man in drag?
It’s a good question, and that’s a problem I had with the movie: I felt that that was an interesting relationship that wasn’t really developed, so anything we talk about isn’t really in the movie. But I think it’s really interesting, like in Some Like It Hot or in the Shakespeare plays, when men fall in love with women dressed as men. It’s a very emotionally intelligent way to address why it is that people fall in love, with gender or across gender.

Your character also has a lovely relationship with his drag queen brother. Have you ever dealt with a friend or loved one’s coming-out?
I had a friend come out in college, and I didn’t handle it great because I’d just always assumed he was gay. So when he came out, I guess I wasn’t surprised enough or didn’t think it was amazing enough. It was always obvious to me!

During interviews for that film, you often expressed your hatred for musical theater. That’s no way to charm gay fans, David.
I understand that, but I just don’t want you to feel like I’m kissing ass. I want to always tell the truth to my big gay following. But I do like Jesus Christ Superstar -- that’s as far as I’ll go.

Do you compensate with other gay-friendly interests? I did spot you in the American Idol audience this past season.
[Laughs] Is that gay? I took my kids! That’s a better question for my wife. I’d love to know what she thinks I do that’s gay.

When presenting at October’s Outfest Legacy Awards, which you attended with your 8-year-old daughter, Madelaine, you made a comment about covering her eyes before a gay Showtime clip package that referred to as a “gay gaffe” yet others dismissed as a poorly delivered joke.
I wasn’t telling it as a joke; I was saying it very seriously. I brought my daughter to the event because I wanted her to meet people and be amongst the gays, but I didn’t want her to see the kind of hard-R sexuality that Showtime has in its clip package. So when I realized the clip package was going to play and I wasn’t sitting next to my daughter, I said, “Please cover her eyes.” I would’ve covered her eyes for gay sexuality, heterosexuality, and violence. I never deliver a joke badly; if I were making a joke, it would’ve landed!

Did you discuss the “gay birds and the bees” with her before the event?
I had a “gay birds and the bees” conversation with her when we watched Rent together. She saw the two girls that have the love affair, and I said to her, “See, what’s going on there is those two girls want to be married. They want to be like mom and dad. Some boys want to be with boys, and some girls want to be with girls. What do you think of that?” She said, “I don’t care.” I said, “I think that’s beautiful. I hope you always don’t care.”

What’s going on with the gay senior citizen film you’re developing with Chad Allen?
That’s been in the works for a long time. We have it over at a gay production company that doesn’t have a hell of a lot of money, and it’s a hard movie to make, but it’s a worthwhile idea.

Did you resent getting upstaged by copresenter Jennifer Lopez’s infamous bosom-baring green dress at the 2000 Grammys?
Never! I actually came in third because her bosom was first and her ass was second. It was a pleasure to be upstaged by J. Lo’s anatomy.


Emmy Magazine Interview: "Ten Out of Ten"

David Duchovy by Bob Makela
When Tom Kapinos was contemplating whom to cast as troubled writer Hank Moody in his new Showtime comedy, Californication, David Duchovny seemed like the ultimate longshot. The former X-Files star had made it known he wasn't interested in starring in another series. So Kapinos was thrilled to hear that the actor-writer-producer-director, whom he considered a kindred spirit, had not only read the pilot script but wanted to meet to discuss the project.

Their ensuing lunch was "both awesome and terrible," Kapinos says. "I came away realizing that [David] was a better Hank than I could have ever hoped for and how awful it would be if he walked away."

Duchovny didn't walk away. Instead, the erudite New York native warmed to the idea of a twelve-episode cable season, a crucial selling point for the married dad.

More than anything, though, Duchovny - a Malibu resident with his wife, actress, Tea Leoni, and their two kids - was intrigued by Moody.
As imagined by creator-executive producer Kapinos, he is an acerbic New Yorker who moves to LA after his gritty novel is turned into a sanitized blockbuster movie, kick-starting a debauched dance with writer's block, womanizing, drinking and recreational drugging. All the while, he alienates everyone who crosses his path, including the ex-girlfriend he still pines for and the daughter he adores.

Duchovny says he was drawn to the challenge of finding the moral core in a seemingly amoral lothario - despite Leoni's reservations. "Her hesitation wasn't so much [whether I was] going to be in close proximity of scantily clothed women," he recalls. "It was more like, 'How's this guy going to come across as somebody you want to root for?'

"And I said, 'Well, that's my job, and I think I have an idea.'

"She said, 'Well, if you think you can, then do it. I don't think I could."

Duchovny's intrinsic likeability and Kapinos' nuanced writing have more than pulled it off. The series - which Duchovny - likens to a ''70s-style adult-comedy" - has had to overcome initial perceptions that it was predominantly about a guy hooking up with a parade of willing, usually naked, women. But, for its star, the show is really about "its intelligence, its humor and its heart."

Duchovny himself has long been noted for his intelligence and humor. Growing up in Manhattan, he went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Princeton and a master's degree from Yale, where he began work on a PhD in English literature.

By his mid-twenties, he was hit with the acting bug. One of his earliest roles was in an "off-off-off-off-off-off-off Broadway" production of a Charles Bukowski short story, "The Copulating Mermaid of Venice, California," which Duchovny adapted into a one-act play.

Years later, Duchovny became a household name, thanks to The X-Files and memorable cameos on The Larry Sanders Show. But he followed up his nearly decade-long stint on the sci-fi classic with a number of movies - Evolution, The TV Set, Trust the Man - that failed to connect with audiences and critics. He wrote, directed and starred in the film House of D, which also failed to match his television acclaim.

Despite the kudos he's racked up recently for Californication, he feels no vindication or renewed confidence, copping instead to a healthy dose of self-doubt. "It's just my nature," he says. "You're an idiot if you're not riddled with self-doubt at all times - even when you're having success after success. I think self-doubt is healthy as long as it's not crippling."

Which works just fine for Kapinos. "I'm biased, of course," he says. "But David Duchovny is quietly giving the best performance on TV right now. He continues to blow my mind."

Source: Emmy Magazine

Thanks to Alfornos for the transcript!

David Duchovny and Tea Leoni at the beach with their kids

David Duchovny and Tea Leoni enjoyed a day at the beach with their kids in Malibu on june 21, 2008:

David Duchovny filming Californication in LA

David Duchovny filming Californication in LA on june 18, 2008: