The X-Files
Australian Conne-X-ion
Australian Media
April 2000

Herald-Sun, April 28, 2000
FOX trots

DAVID Duchovny doesn't usually ask for favours, but for his upcoming movie, Return to Me, he's making an exception.

'Leave your cynicism at the door,' Duchovny requests. 'Let yourself feel something instead of thinking it to death.' After playing Fox Mulder on The X Files, a character Duchovny says 'never had a fleeting thought he didn't want to fully autopsy,' the actor says he was eager to play someone like Bob Rueland, the widowed architect of Return to Me, a 'jeans and T-shirt kind of guy with pretty traditional values. I mean Mulder's a good man, he just lives inside his head a little too much.'

By contrast, Return to Me is all about heart - literally. Though Bob has avoided becoming involved again after his wife's death, he surprises himself by falling in love with a waitress he meets in an Irish-Italian restaurant. The waitress, played by Minnie Driver, has a secret: The year before, she had heart transplant surgery. The donor, she has learned, was Bob's late wife.

Duchovny admits that had someone just described this story to him, he might not have jumped on it as the chance to establish himself in features after six seasons on The X Files.

But the script was written by an old friend, actress Bonnie Hunt, with whom he had appeared in the hit comedy Beethoven during what he calls 'my pre-Mulder existence'.

'I wasn't surprised at how good Bonnie's script was, but I was surprised I liked it so much,' says Duchovny. 'What I liked most about it was that it wasn't about people who were trying so hard to be hip. I mean people think it's so daring to be hip, to make something like Being John Malkovich. What I think is daring these days is having the courage not to be hip and ironic and post-modern. To be truthful and sincere and even sentimental. 'Sentimental always gets a bad rap. I'm sentimental, and I like to think of myself as romantic. My wife thinks I'm romantic.'

Duchovny is married to the actress Tea Leoni, and they have a year-old daughter, Madelaine West.

'So I'm not usually crazy about these so-called romantic comedies where people banter in insults, where one character says his line of smart-ass dialogue, and the other shoots back with her smarter line,' he says. 'In Return to Me, the characters actually listen to each other. It's not about being cute, it's about being real.'

Duchovny says making a romantic comedy was not so much a conscious effort to distance himself from the moody Mulder as a 'way to remind everybody that I had a career before The X Files, and that I'll be having one after. Sometimes I forget I had one before the show.'

Duchovny capped the announcement he would be leaving the series after his contract expires this year with a lawsuit against Fox TV, which he claims conspired with the show's creator, Chris Carter, to cheat him of his rightful share of syndication profits.

That appeared to preclude his ever returning to the show, but he now says that he might return in episodes he would write and direct were he asked. So far, no-one has, or even announced if the show will continue without him.

Duchovny has said he thinks it could be a bad idea to continue 'because we've already hit our creative peak'.

But co-star Gillian Anderson still has one year on her contract, and Duchovny says The X Files wouldn't be the first show to reinvigorate itself with a change of leads: 'Look at NYPD Blue and Law and Order. They've done all right.'

The X Files, 8.30pm Wednesday, Ten
Transcribed by Angie.

NW, April 28, 2000

David Duchovny says he's found the perfect training for fatherhood - parent pooches David Duchovny starts by giving it to us straight about his one-year-old daughter, Madelaine West."My little baby shits.farts and pisses wherever she wants. Obviously she's not uptight about it, so why should we be?" the X-Files star jokes. "I say to my wife (tea Leoni), I don't remember anything before the age six, so we can do what we want until then. She doesn't seem to agree."

David has slipped into the role effortlessly, thanks to a little help from the animal kingdom. "I've learnt a lot from having dogs," he says. "to men, dogs are like training wheels for having kids," he explains. "There are lots of embarrassing things you do. I sing to Madelaine although she winces when I do, and I'm careful not to do it in front of other adults. But seriously, I have that becoming a father has certainly made me a better driver. And not that I've bungee jumped before, but I wouldn't do it now. I think you take care of yourself a little better just because you don't want to not be around that little person."

With his final episode of The X Files nearing, David remains uncertain of the show's future. "I don't see any reason, aside from making money, for the show to go on," he says. "There's no creativity left. For me the only thing is the opportunity to write and direct some episodes. Actually, I'm doing one now that Tea and Garry Shandling are starring in."

His eyes roll. "Before you ask me, yes, Tea was difficult to direct,: he says, straight-faced, :But in all honesty, Tea is phenomenal," David continues. "She just wrapped a movie, Family Man, with Nicolas Cage. Tea is not performer that needs momentum. She could take 10 years off, and if she said, 'I'd like to do a movie', she'd get five offers that day. Unlike me or most people in the world. So she's unique. Tea basically do whatever she wants."

On the eve of his second-last episode of The X Files, David says, "I'll miss it, but I think I've done enough. Seven years is a long time. It'll be like graduating collage. There's a certain ease getting up every day and knowing the crew, the character - it's very easy. So, if I was lazy and interested in making tonnes of Monday and say,'Lets sign up for 10 years, and give me all the gold.' But it's not that interesting to me."

David's next movie, Return To Me, a romantic comedy co-starring Minnie Driver, is probably his best decision yet. "I made a mistake with (the bomb) Playing God, because I said yes before the script was done," says David. "I didn't know this game very well at the time. Choosing a movie is hit or miss. I got lucky this time."

Return to me is about a widower who falls in love with a heart transplant recipient, and finds that the heart of his new girlfriend was donated by his wife. "This movie is sentimental and magical. It was terrifying. Here I am in his hip TV show, and supposed to be this hip guy, and I'm acting a fairytale."

Hip or not, it seems David has soften since becoming a parent. "Fatherhood is heartbreaking. It's like being worked out by a really vicious trainer," he laughs. "It's like, 'Ow! Don't make me feel this much!'"

David says he's next looking forward to going to Europe to promote the film. "Once I'm there, maybe I'll lose my phone." he says. "Everything's great. I love having a wife. It's great to have someone to check in with," he smiles. Clearly besotted with Madelaine, a subject never far from his mind, he confesses, "I just got a tattoo on my ankle. It's 'a daughter thing'," he grins. "And I would like to have more kids. I don't know when, but I know how."

Story by Simon Rappoport

Transcribed by DX_GiRL.

The X-Files is © 20th Century Fox

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