Your Ad Here

David Duchovny still smoulders in X-Files' return

Peta Hellard
July 24, 2008

FIFTEEN years after finding fame playing FBI agent Fox Mulder in TV hit The X-Files, David Duchovny is returning to the role that made him a household name.

Duchovny, who walked away from the series in 2002 after playing the iconic investigator of the paranormal for nine years, says he was surprised how challenging it was returning to the career-making role.

"I thought I would fall back into Mulder very naturally, but at first playing the character felt a little odd," he says.

"I didn't want to make any drastic changes in the way I played Mulder because the character is so well-known, but of course I'm older now – and so is Mulder – so some things had to change.

"I think it would have been depressing if I had to try to play him the same way I did 15 years ago when I started.

"Thank goodness we weren't trying to do that – we were acknowledging that 15 years had passed since then and six years since the show ended so what became interesting was trying to figure out how this guy had changed in the six years since we've seen him."

In The X-Files: I Want To Believe, Mulder is a recluse after becoming disillusioned with the FBI but he is drawn back to the agency to help with a case, where a supposedly psychic pedophile priest (played by Billy Connolly) is assisting a taskforce as they hunt for a missing female agent.

In the movie, which comes a decade after the series' first big screen spin-off, Duchovny is reunited with X-Files creator Chris Carter and co-star Gillian Anderson, who played FBI physician Dana Scully.

Some questions are finally answered about the characters' complicated and possibly romantic relationship, which kept fans guessing for the duration of the series.

Duchovny admits that initially he struggled with the idea of finally ending the speculation by bringing the pair together with a fleshed out romance.

"It's always been a chaste kind of relationship – it's an old-fashioned romance where all the physical intimacy is achieved through looks, or by holding hands, or by kisses on the forehead," he says. "Chris said to me 'It's the Mulder-Scully thing that's the heart of it (the movie) – it's a love story'. And I said 'I don't really see that'.

"I didn't see it in the script or enough of it in the script but when I saw the movie, I realised he was right. There was just enough of it and it was a judicious execution of that love story. So I was wrong."

However those hoping to see Mulder and Scully in a passionate clinch shouldn't get their hopes up, Duchovny says with a smile.

"I think the relationship has been pushed so much further in this movie that I think we had to hold something back," he says.

"If we do another one, perhaps. But it's almost like watching a brother and a sister in a way. Maybe next time."

That's not to say there will certainly be a next time, with a scene after the credits showing the pair heading into their happily ever after – waving goodbye as they bob away on a rowboat, with the usually demurely-clad Scully in a bikini.

"It was a way that if this was going to be the last time we did it, it was Chris's way of how he wanted to leave the characters – that they were alone in a rowboat adrift and they were again reliant on each other and together," Duchovny says.

"If we get to do another, forget that – it was a vacation or a moment in time.

"Or if we don't – which is always a possibility – I found that moving and wonderful that that would be the last time we see them and we turn and wave goodbye and that could be our last goodbye – or the characters' last goodbye.

"I always felt that The X-Files as a movie franchise had real life in it."

The tall, lanky actor hardly looks to be a man approaching the mid-century mark (he turns 48 on August 7), with only a slight sprinkling of silver in the stubble on his chiselled face revealing his advancing years.

Duchovny – who sports a sanskrit wedding band tattoo on his finger from his marriage to actor Tea Leoni – still possesses the rakishly handsome good looks that made him a regular in magazines' annual sexiest people lists during his run as one of the most famous men on television.

Dressed in jeans and a black polo top that shows off tanned, muscular arms, Duchovny looks like he has less in common style-wise with Mulder than with his latest television incarnation as lady-loving Los Angeles writer Hank Moody in Californication, which earned him a Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy series.

Duchovny, who reveals he is worn out after spending the previous night at the wrap party for the show's second series, says he has enjoyed the arc of his new character.

"It's funny – season two is very interesting because the character has been surrounded by people who are more screwed up than he is and he's actually become the voice of reason."

"It was a fun thing to play when Hank Moody is the voice of reason."

Despite trading in The X-Files for a quieter life away from the spotlight and a break from the long hours on the set of the sci-fi hit, Duchovny, who has two children with Leoni, says he had no trepidation about signing on to star in another series.

"No, because it's not like a network show where you work 10 months of the year and shoot 25 episodes," he says.

"I work 12 weeks out of the year and shoot 12 of them so it's actually like signing on to do one movie for the next four years or so. I can really have all my energies for those 12 weeks.

"I find it harder to leave my family.

"That's like what's in this movie – which is about a guy making a decision between work and love in a way, and when you bring kids into it it's even more complicated."

The desire to give daughter Madelaine, 9, and son Kyd, 6, a relatively normal upbringing away from the glare of Hollywood is behind the couple's decision to quit Los Angeles, with the family moving to New York in September.

"It's driven by wanting to give the kids a different experience," he says.

"They may not thrive there but if they don't we can always move back or move somewhere else but we're going to see."

For Duchovny, Moody and Mulder Mark Two are somewhat of a career comeback – after his his time on The X-Files he took on some forgettable film roles and a one-episode guest spot as Carrie Bradshaw's long lost former boyfriend on Sex and the City.

He says the time away was a relief.

"I needed a break – when you think of the millions of people that watch a successful show, it's even more than a successful movie when it comes to eyes on you," he says.

Duchovny was a driving force in getting the film made and says it could not have come at a more perfect time regarding the US political landscape.

A brief – and amusing – scene when Mulder and Scully make their return to the FBI offices and gaze knowingly at a portrait of President George W. Bush highlights the dramatic bureaucratic change since the series' heyday in the mid to late 1990s when Bill Clinton reigned.

"It's interesting because during the show, pretty much it was all Clinton. Bush came in in the last two years," he says.

"And we were describing a government that was cloaked in secrecy and full of conspiracies and that was kind of a luxury and a fantasy because the Clinton Administration – whatever the truth was – appeared to be open and airy.

"Certainly compared to the diseased secrecy of this (Bush) Administration, (it was) not anything like that.

"So what was a luxury and a fantasy of conspiracy is now a reality.

"It was probably more fun to think about it when it was an indulgence, not something you were desperately sick of."


0 coments: