The X-Files
Australian Conne-X-ion
Australian Media
June 1999

Sunday Mail TV Scene, June 20 1999

Mystery Man or just a sly Fox?

He is one of television's most enigmatic characters, but one of the most scrutinised men on the planet.

We at once know everything about him- and nothing. David Duchovny prefers it that way.

Ask what we like and he'll happily answer it, but he's not necessarily giving anything away. That wouldn't be in character for this clever and very private man, better known to millions as the X-files brooding hero, Fox Mulder.

On the vast soundstage in Los Angeles which is now home to the show since its relocation from Vancouver, Canada, last year, Duchovny is directing an episode about aliens, which he also wrote (the episode, called The Unnatural, screens on Ten on Wednesday night).

He's a man with a million things on his mind, but he speaks with an unexpected clarity of thought. The native New Yorker has lost nothing of his Princeton education.

And when it comes to The X-Files, the popular mythological blend of government paranoia and alien conspiracy, Duchovny, like Mulder, has all the answers.

"We have such a fragmented world with so many cultures, " he says.
"In ancient Greece they only had one Homer who spoke The Odyssey, and that was their journey, which they understood.

"It's pretentious to think we're as talented as Homer, but we have to try to fulfil the same function-provide a mythical quest and journey for viewers."

But Homer didn't have the Internet to contend with-millions of fans the world over, dissecting every step in that journey.

"In the end, I'm very proud to be associated with the show and the character. And I'm very proud of the creation of the character."

One certainty is that the series is an international hit. Since it's debut five years ago, the investigations of Special Agents Mulder and Scully (co-star Gillian Anderson, who has her own immense Internet following) have captivated the world market in a manner nor seen since the merchandise explosions of Star wars and Star Trek.

Action figures and videos line the shelves, and countless books have been written, dissecting the most exciting popular culture since the USS Enterprise.

Duchovny acknowledges he has been "virtually immersed" in The X-Files mythology for the past two-and-a-half years. Between two seasons of the show, he filmed The X-Files feature film and has been travelling the world extolling its virtues.

And he acknowledges he is tired: "A lot of the time when I wasn't doing that (shooting the series), I was talking about being Mulder or preparing to be Mulder, so you can see, it really is human to get tired of it."

The solution, he agrees, is the film franchise which 20th Century Fox is keen to develop when the series concludes next year.

"I would love to do that," he says.

"Then it would be something I could come back to have fun with. I'd get to do other work and try other things."

Back in Los Angeles, Duchovny is now a father. He and wife Tea Leoni brought their first daughter into the world two months ago. And fatherhood, he agrees, is going to be a delight.

The groundswell of interest in his family, however, is not.

But it's nor like he's a stranger to public scrutiny. Since he became an overnight hit on TV, Duchovny has been dogged by the spotlight, not to mention the legion of Internet fans known as The David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade.

"When people are yacking about you, it's horrible. Okay, I have the advantages, so I have to deal with the disadvantages. But probably the most selfish thing a person can do to a child, born or unborn, is to get your stupid self famous."

When the series was launched, it was tipped to last only 12 episodes.

Both Anderson and Duchovny have been quoted saying they did the pilot because the script piqued their interest, but though it too cerebral to work in a commercial environment.

Five years later, they have lived to eat their words.

By Michael Idato
Transcribed by Lucy.

The X-Files is © 20th Century Fox

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