David Duchovny is hiding a secret life in The Joneses, as he and Demi Moore play a couple who flaunt their determination to have it all. He’s also set to return on Showtime’s Californication as Hank Moody, the novelist struggling with his attraction to sex, drugs and alcohol.
Duchovny unleashed his dry wit as he told Parade.com‘s Jeanne Wolf about his own take on materialism and how he’s coming to terms with tabloid scrutiny.
Trying not to get it all.
“I know what I want, but I’ve learned I can’t have everything when I want it. I would get upset with our kids when they were little and say to Tea [wife Tea Leoni], ‘I didn’t grow up with access to a lot of stuff, and now our kids want everything.’ And Tea said, ‘It’s a good thing to want. You actually want to encourage the wanting, just not necessarily the idea of getting it all.'”
His Tiger Woods moment…no, not that one.
“I’m a sh–ty golfer. On the golf course, Tea always wins. She’s a great golfer. For this movie, I just had to look good in a close-up. But there was one shot that was maybe my proudest moment as an actor. It was a freezing cold windy morning and they wanted me to try and hit a 40-yard chip shot from the edge of the green into the hole. I nailed it on the first take. People were like, ‘Do it again.’ And I’m like, ‘It will never happen.'”
His almost superhero moment.
“I was in Vancouver shooting X-Files and one night I went outside to walk my dog. I see a guy in a bathrobe, and as I got closer and I could tell he was apparently choking. So I grabbed him and did my best Heimlich maneuver, like I’m really yanking on his diaphragm. Finally, he calmed down and I waited with him until an ambulance came. About a year later, I was in a restaurant and he came up to me and goes, ‘Remember me. You gave me the Heimlich, but I was just having an anxiety attack.’ I’m thinking, ‘Thank God I didn’t kill him.’ Anyway, he bought me a drink.”
Coming up on Californication.
“We left Hank last year going to jail at the end of a season. We went about as far down as we could going for laughs since it’s a comedy not a drama. So after hitting the low point, I think this year’s gonna be about rising up for Hank, which is not to say there still won’t be plenty of laughs. I love it because I think people are finally getting used to the fact that I can be funny.”
As for being smart.
“Growing up, I wasn’t really the brain, I was more of an athlete. I wasn’t dumb, but my friend was the brain. I think we called him ‘Head,’ actually. Sports came much more easily. I wanted to be a professional basketball, baseball, or tennis player. The problem was that I didn’t focus and, anyway, I wasn’t good enough. But I never thought of myself as the brain at all. In fact, my brother told me that I was — well, he used that politically incorrect word that means mentally challenged.”
Why he’s willing to endure tabloid scrutiny.
“I think that the worst part of the whole celebrity thing is that there is too much attention paid to actors. There are other people that deserve attention that don’t get it. As for me, I’m not real happy about what they’re writing in the National Enquirer. But I’ll take a few hits if it means having freedom of press. I always have recourse in lawsuits, I can sue them if I want. But I think it’s much more important that anybody can print whatever they want. The fact that my feelings get hurt doesn’t factor into the equation.”
His advice to the young David.
“I’d probably say, ‘You’ve got to love acting because the odds are you won’t succeed. Don’t chase money and fame, chase the work because you love to do it. Then I’d say, ‘Get out of my way, you young handsome bastard. I’m not done yet.'”