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From The Sunday Times: The X Files star’s new movie The Joneses sees him as a man who has it all. Real-life however, is not so straightforward
David Duchovny, Hollywood star, husband and father of two, is in the throes of a new relationship — and, to tell the truth, which he usually does, it has left him with mixed feelings. On the one hand, his new setup makes perfect sense, especially given his occasionally nomadic lifestyle. And, of course, we all have to move on and can’t live in the past. But he is something of a traditionalist and doesn’t enjoy leaving loved ones behind. Yes, like many, Duchovny is facing up to one of mankind’s great questions: just how do we feel about the Kindle?
“I travel quite a bit, and being able to throw this little thing in my backpack so I can take my entire library with me is unbeliev able,” reflects the 49-year-old actor, pondering his handheld vehicle for digital books. And yet paper is a good technology, I suggest. “I know,” he sighs, “I don’t like the idea of reading a book on a screen. But I tend to be a reference reader, flicking back and forth, so it really is useful.”
For all the success of the now-iconic The X Files, the more recent Californication and a clutch of films, Duchovny maintains a sincerely deep level of interest in literature, kindled during his youth. He began his doctorate in comparative literature at Yale in the early 1980s (one of his tutors was the eminent critic Harold Bloom), but his thesis — on magic and technology in contemporary American fiction — remains uncompleted. “My career started, so I couldn’t afford the time to finish it, but I do retain an academic interest in literature.”
There are few actors in Hollywood who profess an academic interest in anything, never mind literature, but Duchovny is cut from a distinctive cloth. Many actors display a ready wit and intelligence, but few have his candour, or the likeable nonchalance that imbues so many of his performances and makes his characters men you’d genuinely like to hang out with. He seems pitched somewhere between his two television characters — more relaxed than The X Files’ Mulder, more together than Californication’s troubled novelist, Hank Moody. He likes to shoot the breeze — he can’t cook, for example, although he does make a good sandwich. “And breakfast,” he adds with a pause. “Sandwiches can also be good for breakfast.”
From Time Magazine: Even as he appears to be the most laid-back guy in the room, there’s a lot going on for David Duchovny, who is shooting a new season of cable hit Californication and starring alongside Demi Moore as the fake head of an artificial household in a movie about stealth marketing in The Joneses. Duchovny spoke with TIME about gadgets, his greatest golf shot ever and annoying X-Files pitches.
The Joneses is all about commercialism. You’ve made your share of commercials. Anything from the early-struggling-actor days?
They used to pay well. They could get you through the lean months. I did a couple of beer commercials. I did a vitamin commercial and a lottery commercial. When I started getting notoriety it was cheesy to appear in a commercial. Everyone was saying, “I have to get a commercial in Japan.” It was okay to appear on camera in Japan. But not in America. But that’s changing. Like with Luke Wilson and Catherine Zeta Jones. Seinfeld did the credit card one. It’s a sign of the changing times and I don’t think it’s an aberration. I think you’ll see more familiar people doing these.
So are you thinking about it? You do voice-overs for Pedigree dog food, but what what would you push onscreen if you had to push a product?
I’m not thinking about it. I’m not grabbing at the money. My kids are fine. We’re okay. It’s not something I think about. At one time there were voiceover artists, now there are celebrity voiceover artists. It’s unfortunate because these people need the money less than the voiceover artist. Commercials were traditionally a way for actors to support themselves to work on stage, movies or television.
You say in the film that whoever has the most toys when they die wins. Sounds good to me. Do you subscribe to that?
Not at all, I’m about three years behind the curve usually. I do have a Kindle, so maybe it’s only about six months behind the curve.
Do you have any tech obsessions?
No, I’m a luddite. I like my computer. But I don’t know how to use it as well as the 10-year-old daughter. I guess I like watches, but that’s kind of a 19th century obsession.
Really, how many watches?
I think I have two good ones.
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.’”
DAVID Duchovny’s out in a new film which opens Friday. It’s called “The Joneses.” His wife is played by Demi Moore, their kids by Amber Heard and Ben Hollingsworth. He was on the set of his TV show and only had a few minutes and sort of hurriedly explained the plot. I, sort of in a muddled way, got the plot. And now I must try to sort of explain it to you while he’s already away sort of seducing someone on “Californication.”
“It’s about a hypothetical family put there to inspire conspicuous consumption,” he said. “They’re planted in the community to sell their lifestyle. They’re not really a family. Their bodies and homes are full of product placement — sneakers, jewelry, electronics, clothing, cosmetics.
“It’s basically an idea that I had,” he said. “These are like moles. Stealth moles. Like a cell. It’s a satire. We’re not talking science-fiction here. It’s a comedy.”
And at the end? It falls apart?
“Well, by then it satisfies a few different experiences.”
A disembodied voice came on saying David only had a minute more to chat with me.
He talked about his wife, Tea Leoni. “We had a tough year and a half. We split up for a bit. We’ve been together 13 years. But we’re back. And living in New York. In New York, you don’t exist in a car. Your whole life isn’t planned. You can walk the streets. People smile or nod. You can see life. People don’t bother you.
“My mother lives here. It’s funny. Twenty years I’ve been in the business and, as I’m walking along, someone will say ‘Hi,’ and I’m polite so I give him a ‘Hi’ back, and my mother will say, ‘Where do you know him from?’
“Right now I’m in LA because I’m taping my show. But I love New York. My kids go to an Episcopal private school.”
The disembodied voice came on again with a crisp: “You have to go now, David.”
To which he then said to me: “Y’know, I always wanted to be a Knick. And I don’t think it’s too late.”
Source: The New York Post
From USA Today: David Duchovny says he’s a changed man.
“I’m filled with humility and gratitude,” says the actor, who shot to fame on The X Files before being treated for sex addiction in 2008. “Before, I was focused on winning and deserving. I would say, ‘Oh, I deserve that.’ That’s not grateful. Grateful is, ‘Wow. I’m lucky. That’s fantastic.’ ”
Duchovny, who turns 50 in August, is sitting in a West Hollywood hotel suite discussing his new film, The Joneses (in theaters Friday). He plays Demi Moore’s fake husband in this romantic comedy/biting satire about stealth marketing.
As he discusses his character’s adolescent-like approach to life, Duchovny can’t help but reflect on his own final push toward maturity.
“I still feel like I haven’t grown up,” he says. “But I can judge from my work that I’m a lot more of a man than I was five years ago. Maybe I’m late. Maybe I’m on time. I’m happy it happened. It’s something you have to do. I paid attention. I didn’t coast. I asked some hard questions. I took some hard answers. I learned humility.”
From The Orlando Sentinel: I talked with David Duchovny about his new movie, The Joneses, and focused on his relationship to the film’s satiric warning about the dangers of marketing and a consumerist lifestyle for the print version of that story.
But that didn’t leave room for him talking about his zeitgeist-tackling cable series, Californication, or his future plans or what car one should drive to Be Like Dave. So that part of our talk is below.
“I am so (s%^$$&) at the zeitgeist,” Duchovny says. “I didn’t see The X-Files coming. I didn’t Californication catching on.
“I thought a couple of movies I’d done were going to be huge hits and they weren’t. I’m really bad at that. I consider myself a smart guy, and yet I have no clue if something I’m doing is going to catch on.
“I realized, at some point, that there is no repeating of that X-Files thing. It’s luck. It’s Avatar, the planets aligning. I’m not going to try and top that.
“When I got off the show, I was thinking, ‘How am I going to top it?’ Then I realized that wasn’t going to happen.I said ‘No more TV’ Fine. But cable started doing these great niche shows – Sex and the City, The Sopranos – that were giving you more creative freedom than you get on broadcast TV or the movies.
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