From Playgirl Magazine
Making Contact with David Duchovny
by Jenny Higgons
A Close Encounter With the X-Files' August Agent
As unorthodox FBI agent Fox Mulder on *The X-Files*, David Duchovny probes
unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Paired up with partner Dana
Scully (Gillian Anderson), they investigate ghosts, UFOs, monsters and other
But Duchovny's resume isn't as mysterious. Raised in New York City, 34 and
single, he studied at Princeton and Yale before taking up acting. He delved
into movies (*Kalifornia, Julia Has Two Lovers, The Rapture*) and the small
screen (*Twin Peaks, Red Shoes*) before taking his current gig on TV's coolest
Phoning one Friday night from the show's Vancouver set- calling four times
in 90 minutes (twice while I was actually trying to *watch* the show) because
he kept having to do a scene- the easygoing Duchovny proves that his Wonder
Bread agent Mulder is, in real life, wry bred.
PG: Let's start off talking about your
Princeton days. You once said, "I was really a tight-assed king of student."
Did you spend all four years with your head buried in your books?
DD: Not completely, but I was a good
student and took it really seriously. Looking back on it, I wish I'd had
a little more fun. I didn't have those wild and crazy college years that
people seem to try to recapture the rest of their lives. In fact, it's kind
of *good* I had such a miserable time in college because I spent no time
trying to recapture it. I can just move on.
PG: Did you date a lot?
DD: I had a girlfriend I met in December
of my first year. I saw her the first day of school, and decided I *must*
get to know this girl. I joined a politics class just to because she was
in it, and I joined a special precept at, like, 8:30 a.m., which is really
early for me, just to be in there with her. She never showed up until December,
and then she asked me for my notes and I gladly gave them to her. She was
my girlfriend for four years and a year after we graduated. If I'd met her
a little later we'd probably have stayed together.
PG: She was your first true love?
DD: I think I was in love before that,
but she was my first really long-term relationship.
PG: What did you learn from it?
DD: Never to get into another one.
PG: You've had *some* since then, I'm
DD: Yeah. I don't know what I learned...I
learned not to lie, not to cheat.
PG: Did you learn that through lying
DD: That's the only way you *can* learn.
You never learn anything that people tell you or from books.
PG: What did you discover about women
when you played Denise, the transvestite detective on *Twin Peaks*?
DD: Bras with wires hurt.
PG: They put you in an *underwire* bra?
DD: Sure, they did. I had big tits. I
was a large woman and I had a big rack, you know? They were like a loaf of
bread...the kind that go straight across without any differentiation, kind
of like Mrs. Doubtfire.
PG: How did you like wearing all the
other stuff that goes with being a woman?
DD: I liked it more than I can say, and
it disturbs me still.
PG: Did you keep any clothes?
DD: I borrowed a lot of clip-on earrings
from a friend of mine and don't know if I ever returned them to her.
PG: I bet you look lovely in them.
DD: I look horrible. I was an unattractive
woman, but I had nice legs. My sister was jealous of my legs.
PG: Did you shave for the part?
DD: I "Nair-ed" them.
PG: That stuff is nasty.
DD: No kidding...It's like burning a
layer of skin off, and off comes the hair.
PG: Why didn't you just shave?
DD: Too much hair. A man has got hairy
legs, and a razor doesn't really cut it.
PG: How was playing a phone-sex Lothario
in *Julia Has Two Lovers*?
DD: It was a fun movie because there
was no structure. It was mostly improvised and we had a crew of almost zero.
PG: Did it tempt you to ever call a phone-sex
DD: No, phone-sex doesn't really interest
PG: Because it's too detached?
DD: Yeah, it is kind of detached and...I
don't know, I mean, if I *knew* the person...I'm more of a visual person.
If they had *television* phone-sex, I guess that would be exciting.
PG: How did you feel about being bare-assed
PG: Did you feel self-conscious knowing
that America would see you cheeks?
DD: My back was turned. I didn't know
they had the camera on.
PG: You're full of it.
DD: I am. I also was bare-assed in *The
Rapture*, so I'd been bare-assed before.
PG: Would you ever face the camera?
DD: I would have done that.
PG: And you wouldn't have qualms about
exposing your manhood?
DD: No. Why should I? It's just what
it is. It's just a penis, you know.
PG: There's this big horrible gasp when
men show their penises in movies.
DD: Yes, there is, and I think it's because
of two things: one, of men running Hollywood, for the most part, and, I'm
not sure if women are that interested in seeing men's soft penises.
DD: Well, you're not going to walk around
with a hard-on in a movie, either.
PG: I guess it depends on the situation.
DD: That would never be shown in an American
movie, and I guess that would be the real test-if you're willing to with
a hard-on in a movie. The other thing is, on the one hand, it means nothing,
why not show it? On the other hand, who needs to see it? Why do you need
to see a penis? Why do you need to see pubic hair? It's not a big deal for
me to either see it or show it. Pubic hair does not turn me on. Penises,
when they're soft, they're kind of ridiculous things, anyway, you know?
PG: Yes, especially if they're
uncircumcised-they look like turtles.
DD: Well, I don't want to cast aspersions
on our Gentile brothers.
PG: Right...you're half Scottish and
DD: Yeah, so don't ask me for money.
PG: What kind of a child do a Scottish
mother and a Jewish father produce?
DD: You get kind of that Protestant work
ethic combined with Jewish guilt and introspection. So you get someone to
go out and do a lot of stuff and change the world, but he's too busy being
depressed and sitting and thinking about it.
PG: So far Scully and Mulder's relationship
has been strictly platonic. Does the show work better that way?
DD: Yes, just because it's so easy to
jump into bed. Who needs to see that? That happens on every show. What's
so hard about having sex? It's the same thing as nudity...big deal. It's
better to have two people who are actually interested in each other beyond
that. The easiest thing in the world is to be attracted to somebody. It's
harder to actually live with them and work with them. And that's a fact,
PG: Can you see Mulder and Scully get
DD: To me, that would be like the final
show, when the show is going off the air and everybody was giving up, and
they decided to let Mulder and Scully have sex with one another.
PG: But they do sometimes glance at each
other in a kind of sexual way.
DD: Yeah, I think that's more realistic.
PG: Do you know how bizarre it is to
be watching a TV show and have the star of the show call?
DD: It doesn't happen all the time? I
make about 100,000 random phones calls Friday nights at nine. I say, "Hi,
this is David Duchovny...Mulder on *The X-Files*. Are you watching the show?
Would you do me a favor? Will you turn it on now? Here's my number, give
me a call afterwards and let me know how I'm doin'," like Ed Koch used to
PG: What TV show do *you* like to watch?
DD: When I get home at night usually
the only thing on is the infomercial where you spraypaint people's heads
and reruns of *Star Trek*.
PG: Are you a Trekkie?
DD: Oh, yeah, for years. I loved the
first one. I've never watched *The Next Generation*.
PG: So you've been involved in
science-fiction stuff for a long time now.
DD: Well, yeah. I don't really think
of *The X-Files* as being anything like *Star Trek*, actually. Science fiction
is supposed to parallel the real world, and you're supposed to draw morals
from that world and apply them to this world. It's like an allegory. But
our show is supposedly based on the *real* world, so it's not like they're
not parallel worlds, it's more like where the two worlds intersect. So it's
a really different feel. I like to think that we're a little more realistic.
PG: Do you think there may be other forms
of life around?
DD: I think it's possible.
PG: But why don't these things ever land
in Times Square?
DD: I hate to do the thinking for the
aliens. I wouldn't want to get inside their heads, but I imagine, for whatever
reason, they like to do their work in secret.
PG: Does the infamous casting couch really
exist in Hollywood?
DD: It exists in every walk of life.
It just happens to be called a "casting couch" in Hollywood. People have
been sleeping with one another to get ahead since time began, since Paris
judged Helen of Troy. It's no big deal and it's not a shock. People should
just get over it.
PG: What do you think of the naked butts
on *NYPD Blue*?
DD: That's fine, why not? What's wrong
with an ass?
PG: You've shown yours.
DD: That's right. *I* don't want to show
my ass past a certain age because I don't want to look at it, and I certainly
wouldn't subject anybody *else* to it. So while it's still young and relatively
nice, I think I'll show it as much as I can.
PG: So now that we know you're going
to show your ass, it might open up some new roles for you.
DD: No, I think most people would show
their ass. But most of the roles I did before *The X-Files* were kind of
sexually oriented. In fact, one of the things I like about *The X-Files*
is that it's different for me in that I'm not really that interested in women
or in sex. It's a different muscle to flex.
PG: How do you like being famous?
DD: Sometimes it's nice that people
acknowledge your hard work, and sometimes it's a pain in the ass that you
can't just sit around and watch people, because all of a sudden you become
the person who's being watched. For the most part, it sucks. At first, you're
like, *Wow, people know who I am, that's interesting.* And then it's, *Wow,
people know who I am, let me go home and sit alone.* People are kind of picking
you apart and comparing you to their image of you. And when you become known
on a television show, they identify you with your character rather than if
you were a movie actor and had different characters. So I'm a little fed
up with people saying, "Oh, look, it's Mulder," or something like that. I'm
not fucking Mulder, you know?
PG: You want to scream, "My name's *David.*"
DD: Right. Or they say, "Are you anything
like Mulder? Do you believe?" And I'm like, "Look, what do you *think*? I'm
an *actor*? Think about it. Does it matter? Who cares? If I told you I did
believe, would it matter to you enjoyment of the show?"
PG: What's your favorite part of a woman?
DD: The part like right where the back
of the upper thigh turns into the rear end. It's soft. It's fragrant. It's
got everything you need. You could just build a house there and be happy.
PG: Well, I don't what to take up the
rest of your break time, but thanks so much for calling me back all those
DD: Ok, finish watching the episode.
At the end [of the article] write,"...and David was just wonderful in the
PG: That goes without saying. David was
also a wonderful interview subject.
DD: Well, yeah, you're lucky you got
me after my medication.
PG: A little Prozac never hurt, huh?