NEW YORK – David Duchovny is best known for starring in the classic ’90s TV series “The X-Files.” But he also enjoys a reputation as someone who is not afraid to be off-color on-screen.
Indeed, his risque appearances on “Sex and the City” and especially “The Larry Sanders Show” (where he played himself as a comic, primping sexual predator) raised some eyebrows. He notes that he gets those roles because “I can play them. Other actors are uncomfortable playing that kind of truth.”
Still, he acknowledges that the sexy scenes he shares with co-star Julianne Moore in the new film “Trust the Man” were a little awkward – not least because they were written and directed by Moore’s husband, Bart Freundlich.
“It’s weird to be doing a kissy thing with Julianne while Bart is shooting it,” he says. “But we’re pros and we want it to look right. We talk about how much tongue. Nothing will take you out of a movie more quickly than a husband and wife kissing chaste. But nothing will turn you off more than too much saliva.”
Duchovny, who picks his projects on the basis of “instinctual gut reaction,” says he was drawn to “Trust the Man” by the opportunity to work with Freundlich and Moore, both of whom are friends. Duchovny co-starred once before with Moore in an independent picture called “Evolution,” playing a conspiracy theorist.
In “Trust the Man” he plays Tom, the comically beleaguered househusband of working actress Rebecca (Moore), who is sexually unavailable to him. Set in New York City, “Trust the Man” explores the evolving relationships between Tom, Rebecca, Rebecca’s brother Tobey (Billy Crudup), and Tobey’s girlfriend Elaine (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who wants to get married and have a baby. It’s all very contemporary.
Freundlich says he had Duchovny in mind when he wrote the script, explaining that “David’s dry, ironic quality and wit” made him just right for Tom.
Duchovny in turn suggests that the movie is successful because there is “reality in the relationships” beneath the edgy, at times gross comedy. Indeed, he feels Tom is a rather sad character. That said, “Trust the Man” has all the elements of a traditional romantic comedy.
Duchovny has tried his hand at comic writing and he’d like to hone it more fully in the future. The best of the genre, he points out, has “a hard surface and a whimsical old-fashioned feeling, like Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall.’ ”
He’d also like to do more directing – he helmed two episodes of “The X-Files” and the feature film “House of D,” starring Robin Williams. But Duchovny has no plans to star in any film he directs.
Would he consider co-starring in a film with his wife, actress Tea Leoni? Not likely. Duchovny says neither he nor Leoni think it’s a good idea. “She said, ‘I never want to look at you and know that you’re lying,’ ” he says. “Our relationship comes first. Having said that, if we came across a script that had terrific parts for both of us, we’d probably do it.”
Does he think of acting as lying? “It’s truthful lying,” Duchovny responds. “It’s not lying about what is but about what isn’t. It’s creating fiction, and I feel good about that.”
When the conversation turns to what makes for a good relationship, Duchovny insists “it’s having the balls to say what you want, owning up to your needs, and giving the other person the chance to say yes or no, rather than suffering in silence.” Pause. “I’ve never articulated that before. I’m not sure it makes sense. Or if I believe it.”
The 46-year-old, New York City-born Duchovny, who was educated at Princeton and Yale, has rolled up an impressive array of awards and nominations. He’s received a Golden Globe award for best actor and has been nominated for an Emmy, three Golden Globes, three Screen Actor Guild awards, and a TV Critics’ award.
Before his “X-Files” gig as agent Fox Mulder, Duchovny played Dennis/Denise Bryson, the transvestite detective in David Lynch’s quirky series, “Twin Peaks,” a role for which he is still remembered. He also spent four seasons as the narrator of “The Red Shoes Diaries.”
Aside from his “X-Files” stints, including “The X-Files Movie,” Duchovny gravitates towards independent features. Among these: “Kalifornia,” starring Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis; “The Rapture,” starring Mimi Rogers; “Chaplin,” starring Robert Downey Jr.; “Playing God,” with Timothy Hutton and Angelina Jolie; and “Full Frontal,” with Julia Roberts, Blair Underwood and David Hyde Pierce.
Two new flicks are in the hopper – “The TV Set” and “The Secret” – and Duchovny is about to start shooting “Things We Lost in the Fire,” co-starring Halle Berry. “It’s a recovery movie,” Duchovny says. “Halle Berry and I are married and we have two kids. My best friend from childhood is a junkie. Halfway through the movie I get killed and he has to help my wife. It’s a melodrama but very well written.”
Is there another “X-Files” movie out there?
“Always,” Duchovny says with a grin. “There’s an idea but not a script. There are legal issues involved. But both Gillian Anderson and I are interested.Source: Entertianment News Wire