A beloved actor wakes up one day and he's a best-selling novelist and a recording star.
|2017 - source: tumblr|
The only difference is, this is actually happening to David Duchovny, who has gotten in touch with his inner-Hank Moody (at least, the writing part) and has followed his muse to publish his second novel, "Bucky (Expletive) Dent" and release his debut LP record, "Hell or High Water," which he sings his own lyrics and has been on the road to promote.
Last year alone, the 56-year-old New York native had a triumphant return as FBI Agent Fox "Spooky" Mulder on "The X-Files" (the show that made him an international stars) and starred as a gritty, bare-knuckled police detective Sam Hodiak on the trail of a soon-to-be "Helter Skelter"-ing Charles Manson on NBC's "Aquarius."
The Golden Globe-winning actor also played the aforementioned Hank Moody, a once successful novelist wrestling with writer's block and his wicked evil ways, on Showtime's "Californication," which ended its seven year run in 2014.
Minutes before his sound-check for a recent gig at The Wilbur in Boston, Duchovny — who has a bachelor's in English Literature from Princeton University and Masters in English literature from Yale University — said he finally found the time to pursue his literary and musical aspirations after freeing himself from the stranglehold of a long-running network show and working on a limited-run series on cable, instead.
"The X-Files, the first run, we did 24 episodes a year. It took like 10 to 10-and-a-half months. Cable TV is a cinch. To me, it feels like part-time work," Duchovny said. "So once we started doing "Californication," even "Aquarius," we were doing 13 episodes a year. It's only three or four months of the year of work. So I can get all this other (expletive) done. But with the "X-Files," I couldn't do anything else."
When asked what comes more natural to him, acting, singing or writing, without hesitation, Duchovny said writing. However, when it comes to which is the most rewarding for him, the question wasn't as easy.
"Which is the most rewarding?" Duchovny pondered. "It just depends at the end of the day what it came out to be. It also just kind of where I thought it would be and what it turned into. A lot of these things are very collaborative, the television show or the movie. I can be really pleasantly surprised by the outcome, being very different than what I thought it would be, either better or worse."
However, Duchovny said the collaborative effort doesn't exist when you're a solitary scribe writing a novel and it's somewhere in the middle when it comes to making music.
"With a novel, pretty much, I'm the one who did it all. So I have myself to blame or take credit," Duchovny said. "And, I would say music is kind of in the middle, as in terms of collaboration because I am a pretty much a beginner musician and I have a lot of people collaborating with me upstairs. As I collaborate the music to my ears, it only gets better from the way it started, sitting around and strumming on a guitar by myself."
As for his strengths as a singer, Duchovny said, if he had any, it would be that he's honest and believable.
"I know what I'm singing about and that comes across. In terms of like, range or tone or all that (expletive), I don't know what to say about that," Duchovny said. "I didn't come out of the womb singing. It wasn't like that."
As for great lyrical influences, Duchovny cites Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and Bay State hero Aimee Mann (who, he said, he would love to sing a duet with).
Rocking out on the road is something different for Duchovny and it took him some getting used to.
"My songs aren't necessarily celebrations but that's rock 'n' roll. So it's a celebration," Duchovny said. "So it's an odd balance for me to strike as the singer, to sing songs that are mostly about loss, heartbreak, whatever, except we're having a party. But that's rock 'n' roll."
Scruffy and rough-around the edges, Duchovny is an eager-to-please stage performer, committed to the material and, more importantly, to the spirit and sanctity of rock 'n' roll. His friendly, familiar voice and his conversational, confessional and sometimes confrontational lyrics sound better live than on the record. Then again, it didn't hurt matters any that he was backed up by a piping-hot band of young, Berklee-trained whippersnappers with bright futures ahead.
Extremely humble, onstage and off, Duchovny didn't make it about him. He made it about it about the audience and everybody enjoying the music. And from the response of the packed crowd (made up of mostly females) at The Wilbur, Duchovny connected.
Besides music, Duchovny has finished a screenplay treatment of his second novel, "Bucky (Expletive) Dent" that he hopes will soon be made into a major motion-picture.
As for the future of "The X-Files," Duchovny said there is a "strong maybe" that Mulder and Scully will return and, yes, Duchovny will reprise his role as transvestite DEA Agent Denise (Dennis) Bryson on Showtime's reboot of David Lynch's groundbreaking, gothic soap-opera, "Twin Peaks" later this year.
Unlike his first venture into the fantastical world of "Twin Peaks," Duchovny said he didn't have to shave his legs for the part.
"I didn't," Duchovny insisted. "I wore a long skirt but I shaved my legs anyways ... No I didn't".
While he's mum on the plot, Duchovny said time hasn't been kind to his "Twin Peaks" alter-ego.
"She didn't age well," Duchovny said. "I looked in the mirror and I wasn't happy. It was a little bit of a shock."