Australian Reviews and Articles

Duchovny's Theory Of Evolution
David Duchovny has farewelled Fox Mulder but he is still battling the aliens. Film writer Stan James spoke to him in Sydney.

There are two obvious questions for David Duchovny as he relaxes in his Park Hyatt suite and observes Sydney's harbour, Opera House and replica of the Bounty.

"We shot The X-Files in Vancouver for five years and it's a weird feeling because I lookout the window and I think I'm there. The Vancouver bay is very, very like this," he reflects.

But X-Files are way behind him after eight years. This week, the "new" Duchovny is unveiled in the knockabout comedy Evolution, directed by Ivan Reitman- the man responsible for the broadly comic Stripes, The Ghostbusters double, Kindergarten Cops and Twins.

Duchovny co-stars with Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones and Seann William Scott as a group of scientists fighting alien life, which has landed, and evolving at the rate of Earth's five billion years crammed into a month. Obvious question is: why such a surprising change of pace after the deep, dark, dour FBI agent Fox Mulder of X-Files? He agrees on the surprise factor.
"Probably, if fans are just from X-Files, but there are huge, crazy fans of The X-files who know I try to bring a certain amount of humour to the show when I can," the 40-year-old actor says.

"I just like trying different things. I don't have a grand plan of creating an image or a style or anything like that. I did this movie to work in a different style. Even if the movie had been terrible- and I don't think it is, it's a kids' movie more or less- I would have known my reasons and known they were good."

Duchovny admits Evolution was not the type of film he'd rush out to see even if he liked it. His challenges as an actor differ from his challenges as a viewer.

"I did a small part in Beethoven, in 1990, which Ivan Reitman produced. He always thought I was funny from then. It was a small part but I did some improvising," he explains. "He's not a fan of The X-Files and didn't know my work on it and wasn't aware that I had become famous."

"He'd seen me on TV talk shows and though I was funny and hadn't been given the chance."

Duchovny's humour is much drier than anything Reitman has served up in his comedies and that's why Duchovny wanted to work with him.

"I know what I do. That's not the problem," he says. "It's not so interesting to me to do what I do. I appreciate what Ivan does. I thought if I'm in his movie, it's going to force me to do something I don't do and that was interesting to me. We are very, very different, but he respects what I do to his film. I wanted him to bring what he does to what I do.

"It was difficult because we were feeling each other out. In my case, sometimes going against instincts and trusting him."

Duchovny explains that's the fun part of acting, the fear of not knowing if it's right or not.

"What I liked was the fun quality of it. It was a really strong, central idea to hang a comedy on, the evolution of the species, really clever," he says. "It was originally a dramatic story. I thought of it on its own and that it would work.

"You're making a movie and you think ' Is this going to be a huge bomb? Am I not going to be able to make another movie?'

"TV to movies is the same as movie to movies, soap opera to movies, stage to movies, whatever. "You are constantly wondering 'Is it the right move?'"

To the obvious number two, why did he stay so long in X-Files, he says: "I like that question. Most people ask me why I left.

"There are many reasons.

"Part of it is loyalty. Part is love of the show, of the character. Part of it is financial.

"The fact is unless you go more than five years in a TV series in America, the huge money those shows generate doesn't trickle down to the actor.

"Obviously your salary is going to be good. But you're not going to make the big money that's going to make you secure as an actor until years six, seven and eight.

"Not many get that far.

"If you can make it to five and if you can make it to eight, it's twice the rate of pay. That's why Gillian Anderson is going back to X-Files."

Now Duchovny is contemplating writing a film.

"I've had a couple of ideas for 10 years that would make good movies and never given them the time and attention they deserve. I hope I can do that now," he says.

"One of the attractive things about acting in films is you can go in and three months later you're finished.

" If you're directing, it's two years' work you're looking at. If you're writing and directing and developing, it could be 10 years."

"One of the hardest things about leaving X-Files was, let's say I'm shooting today, in a month I'd see it on TV.

"It was like instant gratification. It was great to see your work so soon."

Dave's fave actors and films
"For me, Meryl Streep is the best actor I've ever seen but Marlon Brando is the best film actor I've seen,"' Duchovny say.

"He's been in a lot of terrible films but you can't stop looking at him, even the way he looks now. Last tango in Paris was such a great film.

"Raiders of the Lost Ark- I was crazy about when it first came out- and E.T. I loved Animal House when it came out when I was a kid and Cinema Paradiso I loved a few years ago. My Life As A Dog, a beautiful film- all different kinds of films."

The D-Files
Name: David Duchovny
Born: 7 August 1960
Birthplace: New York City
Lives: Los Angeles
Marital Status: Married to actress Tea Leoni
Education: BA, Princeton University; Masters in English Literature, Yale University.
Professional Debut: A Lowenbrau beer commercial in 1987
Major roles: Television- FBI special Agent Fox Mulder in television series The X-Files, Denise, Twin Peaks; Film-Julia has Two Lovers (1991), Ruby (1992), Kalifornia (1993), Playing God (1997), Return to Me (2000), Evolution (2001).
Interesting fact: His 1997 marriage to Tea Leoni was initially kept secret. Duchovny even wore a false moustache when he went to obtain the necessary papers from the New York marriage license bureau. It didn't work.
The Adelaide Advertiser July 12 2001
Transcribed by Lucy.

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