Friday, October 23

CBR Interview: David Duchovny Still Believe in ‘The X-Files’ - October 2015

It sounded like you drove this project, like you called Chris [Carter] and said, “I want to do this.” Tell us about this.
David Duchovny: That’s not true, though. He’s joking. He’s very deadpan. How did it happen? We’ve always talked about it. The three of us [himself, Carter and Anderson] talked occasionally about doing more. We did the movie in 2008, I think it was. And then there didn’t seem to be any appetite from Fox for another movie. I assumed it was dead. People talked about doing more on television, and I’d say of course not, because I thought of television as 22 episodes, 25 episodes. I’ll never do that again. I’ll never do that again. So, I assumed it was dead. And then with the ascendance of cable and the new model of the cable season and the limited season run, and networks catching on to that idea…it became obvious to Chris and I that maybe we can do it on television. Maybe this is actually a really good format for telling a 10-hour story, an eight-hour story, a six-hour story.

Do you think having a more limited amount of time makes for a more impactful story?
Who knows what the right about of time is. I just know that I see the kind of storytelling that you can do over multiple hours. … There’s a happy medium, where 25 is too many for a human being to create high-quality drama entertainment in a year. Maybe Aaron Sorkin can do it, I don’t know. But if we can do six, if we can do eight, if we can do 13 — even 13 seems to me like a lot.

How is doing “The X-Files” different in 2015 with conspiracy theories having new life in the wake of Edward Snowden? How does that inform the show?
I don’t think about any of that kind of stuff when I’m working. I just kind of have to be in a cone of silence. I don’t listen to what the fans want, and I don’t say that because I don’t appreciate the fans. I do. I just say it because I think our job is to make the show. The best show that we make is when we focus on making our show, and doing our jobs the best that we can, and not paying attention to if people want to see Mulder and Scully kiss and stuff like that. So in terms of the conspiracy stuff, I think that’s more a question for Chris because he wrote the show. I didn’t write any of this so I didn’t put my head into that kind of thought process.

Have you thought about where Mulder’s been between where the series left off and where the miniseries picks up?
No. I do my work, which is private and secretive. It’s my prerogative to keep it private and secretive. I haven’t come up with any story of what [he’s been up to]. I mean, the broad strokes is what you know. You see that his marriage has not worked out. You see that he’s living alone in some house in the middle of nowhere. You see he’s not shaving. You see he’s not going to work. You can fill in the blanks what’s been going on.

You, Mitch and Gillian have worked together for so many years. What did you miss most about working together?
I think the amount of time that Gillian and I put in together allowed us to create the kind of working relationship that was very intuitive and instinctive. We kind of intuitively knew how to make scenes that were dry or about exposition also relationship scenes between a man and a woman or two people or whatever. I think that’s one of the great things about the show is that we were able to spend that much time together and figure out how to do that…I think the great thing about the shows is that … it’s not “Grey’s Anatomy.” I don’t want to see Mulder and Scully on the couch at the therapist’s office. But if we do our jobs well, there’s going to be an aura of a relationship working or not working, even when we talk about aliens and the crap we talk about. So I feel like that’s magical, and that’s a function of doing it for so long.

In the panel, Chris mentioned how you wanted to “punch (fans) in the face” with the first episode.
I don’t remember saying that either.

That’s a good line.
That one I’ll take. The first one I was like, “What the fuck are you talking about?”

But talk about that, because the first episode makes it seem like a bigger show, really impactful and very of the moment.
I think there’s two different answers, because one is as an actor playing that character the danger for me would be to run out and want to punch you in the mouth with difference. Like, “We’re doing it different. This is a whole new thing.” In fact, the stronger move is to be the same guy. It has to be the same guy. It’s the same character. Maybe he’s got a little stubble, maybe he’s fallen on hard times, but it’s still the same guy. The other stuff — the punching in the mouth stuff — is really the money on the screen. What I thought Chris did really well in tweaking the mythology was to put everything that “X-Files” fans believe and turning it slightly. I think that’s very smart. I think the show looks great. I wasn’t even present for most of the spaceship stuff [for the first episode]. So, I thought it looked great.

Joel McHale’s role is so big that it rivals those of you and Gillian in the first episode. Where you at all involved in the casting of that part? And can you talk about what Joel brought to the series?
I was slightly involved in the casting of that, but peripherally. I enjoyed working with Joel. I thought he brought a really good new kind of energy to that kind of Glenn Beck-ish character. It’s a tough character to play, and I like what he did. I thought he did a great job.

Was part of your desire to come back to “The X-Files” a desire for resolution?
No, that wouldn’t be my desire. I’m fine with things being unresolved. Resolution is an illusion anyway, isn’t it? Closure? No, it doesn’t exist.

Did it feel good to hear all those cheers [as the episode screened]?
It feels like the pencils [in Mulder’s old office] got the biggest cheer of the night. That made me feel a little weird. It is. It’s gratifying that people like the show so much. I just don’t want to trade just on that. We didn’t come back to just throw six in-joke episodes winking at your faves. I didn’t want that. Chris didn’t want that. Gillian didn’t want that. So as much as welove the fact that people respond to what they know, we’re also very interested in making it new. Otherwise, why bother?

“The X-Files” returns Jan. 24 on Fox.


Post a Comment