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On the move: David Duchovny on cars and women

The X Files star tells Garth Pearce why men have trouble with monogamy

David Duchovny found fame with the TV series The X Files, which has now been made into a second film. He was born in New York and attended Yale and Princeton universities. He is married to Téa Leoni and they have two children, Madelaine, 9, and Kyd, 6

David Duchovny is not the only Hollywood star to drive an electric vehicle - in these eco-friendly days Los Angeles is clogged with Toyota Priuses - but he is one of the few to talk openly about their weaknesses.

“I’ve had my RAV4 EV [Toyota’s all electric 4x4] for the last four years,” Duchovny says. “It was supposed to be a prototype for the next generation of cars. But the problem is that the car needs charging every night and the most you can do in a day is 80 miles. It is like being tethered.”

He has become so fed up with it that since moving back to New York from Los Angeles he has bought a Vespa scooter.


Duchovny, who has returned to the big screen in a second film version of The X Files, the 1990s TV show that made him a household name as the brooding Agent Fox Mulder, will be the first to admit that cars are a form of transport, rather than objects of desire.

As a struggling actor in 1980s New York he used buses and the subway and it wasn’t until he moved to Los Angeles that he had to buy a car. “I never needed a car,” he says. “I could always get public transport. But there’s no public transport to speak of in Los Angeles and I needed to get myself around.”

After passing his driving test at t h e s e c o n d attempt, aged 27, he bought a s e c o n d - h a n d D o d g e D a r t . “ I could finally get to meetings and auditions for TV roles,” he says. “In New York, there was only one show being made, called The Equalizer. I must have auditioned 10 times for roles in that and didn’t get any of them.”

His first few years in Hollywood were hard work, and resulted in a couple of bit parts in TV series such as Twin Peaks and a beer advert. “I was broke, living in a rent-controlled apartment and looking for work,” he remembers. “It is a typical Hollywood story for any actor. It is best not to know too much about how Hollywood works, otherwise you might never try it in the first place.”

His big break came in 1993 when he was cast as Mulder alongs i d e G i l l i a n A n d e r s o n ’ s Agent Scully, charged with investigating para-normal activity. The show was a huge, unexpected hit and propelled Duchovny to stardom - something he wasn’t entirely comfortable with.

I recall meeting him in 1992, when he had a small role in Richard Attenborough’s biopic of Charlie Chap-lin. He was quiet, almost embarrassed - as if his education at Princeton University and Yale, where he gained a master’s degree in English, had got in the way of being an actor.

“I was an introvert,” he admits. “I was more solitary then than I am now, because I have a family. But I was not unusual among actors. Away from all this” - he gestures at the suite in the Dorchester, London, where we meet - “we are probably more quiet and sensitive than people realise.”

Duchovny says marriage helped him come to terms with fame: he wed Téa Leoni, an actress, in 1997 and they have two children.

Even so, he displays a striking similarity to his other on-screen character when he talks about the problems of fidelity and marriage. In Californication he plays Hank Moody, a man who cannot keep his hands or his mind off girls. His ex-wife Karen (played by Natascha McElhone), to whom he still professes love, is resigned to the weakness of his flesh. “I think every man feels that, don’t they?” he asks. “But dare he admit it? This is no shock for Téa. She knows my thoughts. She’s probably thought the same thing.”

And to us blokes who may have silently wondered but never expressed such questions, Duchovny offers the consolation that they are far from alone. “Is there a single married man who has not had second thoughts, at some point, thinking: ‘What if . . ?’ You would be asleep not to wonder.

“For me, getting married was saying, ‘I think this has a shot’,” he says. “This was the person I wanted to be with for a long, long time. I don’t think that any man or woman can plan every eventuality. You certainly know if you are profoundly interested in somebody else. It is what you do about it that matters.”

One advantage of a long-term relationship, he admits, is that it increases the size of the car pool. As well as owning a classic Mercedes, Téa also has a BMW that they use for those journeys his electric RAV can’t handle. “It’s an old BMW 540, which Téa bought just before our wedding,” he says. “We joke about it, because every time I get in there are various warning bells going off: check brake lights, check fluid, check oil. But it’s a great car.”

MY STUFF...

ON MY CD CHANGER British invasion bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and 1970s punk bands such as the Clash
ON MY DVD PLAYER Classy films such as Crimes and Misdemeanors, one of Woody Allen’s best, and Jaws
IN MY GARAGE A 2004 RAV4 electric car
I WOULD NEVER THROW AWAY My travel alarm clocks, which are my only fetish. A Swiss Army one sits by my bed at the moment

DAVID DUCHOVNY: MY LIFE IN CARS

PUBLIC TRANSPORT In New York as a struggling actor he couldn’t afford a car
1972 DODGE DART In 1987 he bought his first car after passing his driving test at the second attempt
BMW 540 The car his wife Téa bought just before their wedding in 1997
TOYOTA RAV4 EV His all-electric 4x4 is green but impractical
VESPA He has bought a scooter to cope with the congestion in New York

Source: Timesonline.co.uk

30 coments:

Anonymous said...

sounds like hes confirming everyones speculations with his cheating

drahtseilakt said...

He only admits that it`s normal for most men (and women) to _think about it. He doesn`t admit having done it.

Anonymous said...

Good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

as if hes going to admit it
I just hope Tea leaves him if its true
if she hasnt already and thats why they havn't been seen much together lately

Anonymous said...

We can only pray.

Anonymous said...

pray for what?

LindaPoemel said...

To Anonymous. What is your problem? Trying to get all kinds of rumours around? What nut are you?

LindaPoemel said...

Hey anonymous, why not using your real name? Or are you such a coward? Btw, read the newest post on the David and Téa site and see that they're still happy. They're even going to do a project together. Something they wouldn't do when they're having problems, won't they?

Linda61

JaYNiQuE said...

Linda, just because Anon disagrees with you does not give you the right to say that person is immature and spreading rumors. No one but David and Tea knows what goes on in their marriage! Just like they don't know, YOU don't either!

Anonymous said...

ITA Jay!

Tru said...

It Doesn't matter anyway!

JaYNiQuE said...

..............

JaYNiQuE said...

.............

LindaPoemel said...

To Jaynique. I rather accuse anonymous and others of spreading rumors, because that's why you guys are doing. Same bunch as on XFU I suppose? No, I don't know what is going in their marriage, but as you know DD and Téa are going to start a new project, they wouldn't do that if their marriage is in trouble. You guys come up with the most idiotic reasons why Téa wasn't with David, that's a lot worse than me accusing anonymous. She (i'm sure she is) can do a lot of harm with that. Just accusing someone of cheating is not done. It has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing. It's spreading rumors.

LindaPoemel said...

Oh and anonymous. All those 'speculations' you're talking about? They're ONLY on XFU and that's where all the rumors started. So the 'speculations' you're talking about are the one you spread yourself.

Anonymous said...

hi linda
i never saw those rumours on xfu i saw them in various places from more than one source

LindaPoemel said...

Read the new article Anonymous and know that the rumors are wrong. And know that rumors are just rumors. Don't spread them.

Anonymous said...

Talk about stupid...anonymous is more than one poster.

JaYNiQuE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JaYNiQuE said...

LOL! Linda, for real what is your problem? Let me get this straight.. your are good friends with DD and his wife. You live with them. You know exactly what goes on behind closed doors? Right, I mean you have to? Because if you didn't you wouldn't be talking bad about other posters for voicing their opinions. Thats what it all is. This is AMERICA and people CAN voice their opinions. Just because one person's opinion is different than yours DOES NOT mean they are wrong.

Oh and FYI: I'm never on XFU so I don't know if there are rumors on it or not!

Besides, if DD and Tea are no longer together who cares? I mean really, is this affecting your life? No it's not! What David does with his wife or what Tea does wit David or Billy Bob or anyone?

Its NOT your business, or anyone else. If David is Happy great, I'm glad for him. IF he's not then I wouldn't want him to stay in an unhappy marriage. Oh yeah and I know many people who have been married for more than 25 years and break up! Breaking up isn't anything new. People do it all the time. So what? As long as he's there for his kids then great!

Anonymous said...

I love you jaynique!

Anonymous said...

the thing is: people've been talking like this for the last 11 years. oh thei're divorcing, oh thei're unhappy, oh thei're cheating on each other etc etc etc. what is the point of THIS??? i can't help but think that some of these guys actually WANT them to have problems for whatever reasons, and this is really sad. and this has nothing to do with not being allowed to state an opinion. people come up with these things NO MATTER what dd and tl do or say or don't do and say.

JaYNiQuE said...

IF that is the case then why is everyone fussing over whats true and whats not? If this isn't new, then people should care about what other people are saying. It should go in one ear and out the other.

I'm trying to get everyone to think logically about this. And stop going after one another, calling each other names.

LindaPoemel said...

Voicing an opinion is totally different from spreading a rumor, but you seem to have problems seeing that. Oh well, your problem. And no, I don't know them, that's why I don't bring rumours about them in this world. And living in a free country doesn't mean you can just gossip about things you don't know anything of. Get it?

JaYNiQuE said...

*I* never said he cheated nor did I say he didn't. WHY? Because I don't know and personally I don't care either way. Why are you making such a big deal out of people saying what they think? Do you know the definition of a rumor? Do you know the definition of an opinion? Because it's obvious you don't. You are acting like it's affecting you. IF David and Tea are still together and Happy then it's obvious they don't care what people say about them. IF it's not true then why should you or anyone else get mad of someone says otherwise?

IF David is happily married then what five or so people say out of the millions of people who are fans should not matter. JMO!

Anonymous said...

I finally saw DD's tat on his ring finger .and I don't like it at all... It's not cute, he should have gotten a diff design....

LindaPoemel said...

The letters on their fingers mean a lot to them, and that's more important than what others like or not.

Anonymous said...

@Linda...OKay? I never said it didn't mean alot to them? I glad D&T have their own cheerlearder. People can't even have an opinion w/o you catching an attitude w/ them

JaYNiQuE said...

Saying David is cheating on his wife or Tea on him is like the idiot that said that David admitted to having a five year affair with Gillian Anderson. When asked to see proof, he said that David admitted to it subliminally through his hit TV Show Californication. That the character of Meredith is really Gillian, and that she was having an affair with a married man...And who that married man might be? David himself. People will say anything but that does not mean it is true. Rumors go hand in hand with being a celebrity. It's not right, but that’s just the way it is.

David loves his wife. I highly doubt he would ever leave her. Regardless of if he cheated or NOT, he won't leave her. He wouldn't put his kids through that. His wife and kids will always come first with him!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what those letters mean in their tattoos? I heard Tea blabbed about it in some interview.
Hey I'm sure Linda knows- she seems to know all about them.