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.”