Australian Reviews and Articles

Evolutionary Duchovny
david duchovnySince leaving the role of FBI Agent Mulder on the cult television and film phenomenon, The X-Files, David Duchovny’s acting career has really evolved. And uncannily enough, his latest film release is a science fiction comedy called Evolution.

“I have no real interest in sci-fi at all, which is kind of sci-fi in itself because I obviously am in it, but I have no particular affinity for that genre.” This, from David Duchovny, the actor better known as Agent Mulder from The X-Files - you have got to be joking, right? Actually it’s true. Despite being consumed for eight years by a television series that examined everything from the extra-terrestrial, supernatural and the down right unnatural, the real life David Duchovny has no interest whatsoever in the unexplainable or things that defy explanation - including alien life forms.

Hard to believe until you contemplate actors and the filmmaking industry. If an actor’s passion lies in performing and the key to being a successful actor lies in being able to make an audience ‘believe,’ then the ultimate success for an actor would be to star in a television series centred around a genre that they have no real interest in and establish that series as one of the biggest cult series phenomenons of all time. So the fact that Duchovny isn’t a fan of science fiction simply just means that the Yale University graduate is pretty damn good at what he does. “When I took The X-Files - it was just a job that I happened to get. I never knew that it would go eight years and be a kind of world wide phenomenon. Nobody could forecast that - so that was just luck or chance or fate,” Duchovny said.

And luck, chance or fate, or perhaps a mixture of the three, has brought Duchovny back to his extra-terrestrial roots for his latest role in Evolution. Directed by Ivan Reitman of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, Evolution is a science fiction comedy which details the chaos in the aftermath of a meteor crashing to earth. Of course, this meteor is carrying alien life forms who want to take over the world - and it is up to a core group of humans, Duchovny, Orlando Jones, Seann William Scott and Julianne Moore - to put an end to the alien invasion.

“It was fun. We all got along personally, except for Seann because he’s a big wuss,” Duchovny joked. “Julianne and I felt extra tense about doing this film because I’d never attempted this kind of a comedy before and neither had she, so we kind of bonded on that. Some days we’d show up on the set and say ‘What the f*** are we doing here? We don’t know how to do this. We’re bad at it. We stink.’

“We bonded over our status of not knowing what we were doing, whereas the others had worked like this before. So Julianne and I kind of had a good time that way, just feeling horrible all the time about our performance,“ Duchovny said.

Yet despite his own initial hesitations, Duchovny’s performance as Ira in Evolution is hilarious - especially the scene in which he bares his butt, a scene which he admits was a “spur of the moment thing - it wasn’t in the script, it was just something that I did. On a set like that you just feel free enough to just do an impulsive thing and that was, I guess, my definition of a pretty impulsive thing to do.”

And as for concerns about being forever typecast - or destined - to work in the science fiction genre after his television and film roles in The X-Files and now in Evolution, Duchovnvy seemed coolly nonchalent.

“The reason I did Evolution was because I wanted to do a comedy that was broader than the kind of performance that I’d tried to give in the past,” Duchovny said.

“The fact that it was a science fiction comedy was ironic. I’d decided to work with Ivan before I’d read the script, even though I could have backed if I’d wanted. I was very disheartened when I discovered on page 11 that the aliens had landed! But still, it was really the style of the film that I wanted to do, rather than the subject matter. The kind of performance that I’m going to give is really what draws me to a script and not the subject matter. I don’t rule out science fiction but those aren’t the kind of movies that I would run out to see.

“That’s not to say that I don’t think Evolution is a good film, I think it’s successful for what it is. If you don’t ask it to be a life changing experience, if you sit down with it from start to finish there’s a feel good quality to it that Ivan’s able to bring to a lot of his movies.”

Evolution is on screen from 12 July.
From free magazine, 9 to 5, July 2001

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