AFTER seven years of playing an alcoholic womaniser on Californication, you might think David Duchovny has had his fill of performing in sex scenes. However, now on the TV drama Aquarius, in which he plays a detective in search of a missing teenage girl, it seems that scenarios of a sexual nature are synonymous with the 54-year old actor.
“I find sex scenes to be a little embarrassing and they’re usually a little awkward, “he admits. “Although when they make sense, they’re great. I’ve always said that there are many scenes in life, most of them you have your clothes on, but some you don’t. But if the scene is just for the purpose of getting your clothes off, then let’s not do it. It has to mean something. If it’s just to show tits or body parts I’m not interested — not as a viewer, not as a writer, nor as an actor.”
In his personal life Duchovny famously suffered from sex addiction (for which he spent two months in rehab in 2011) which allegedly contributed to the demise of his 17-year marriage to Tea Leoni. (Leoni, who stars in Madam Secretary, is currently in a relationship with her onscreen love interest, Tim Daly, while Duchovny is reportedly single).
The estranged couple, who finalised their divorce last year, has an unusually amicable relationship and successfully co-parent their children: daughter, West, 16, and son, Kyd, 13.
“My kids are great.” Duchovny smiles. “My daughter just finished her sophomore year in high school, but my son’s a problem,” he jokes. “No. They are both really good, and Tea and I are very lucky. We can take some credit but not a lot; they are just really good kids, so far.”
Now that he’ll be turning 55, on August 7, how does he feel at this point in his life?
“I feel good about the place I’m at. The past year was really fulfilling in that I have an album out (Hell or High Water) a novel coming out (Bucky F**king Dent) and I’m expressing myself in different ways.” He smiles. “I don’t feel like I have anything to prove.”
And how will he celebrate the big day?
“Shooting the X-Files,” he chuckles.
He and co-star Gillian Anderson are reprising their iconic roles as former FBI special agents Fox and Scully, and are currently shooting the six-episode reboot in Vancouver. “It’ll be a familiar birthday for me because we were always shooting around that time (the original series aired from 1993 to 2002). Gillian’s birthday is the 9th August so we always celebrated our birthdays right after the other.”
More than twenty years on, what has changed in the world of sci-fi horror and conspiracy theories? “I think I’ve changed and Gillian has changed; I’m a better actor and Gillian is a better actor and we get to bring those changes and abilities to the roles as they were established and written.”
Though he doesn’t give much away in terms of plot points, he says, “Being on the set, it feels more creative. It’s interesting; it’s not going to be the same,” he says. “It can’t be. But working with Gillian feels very familiar. We worked together for so long and we have that connection to fall back on.”
Speaking of their ‘connection,’ a video of Duchovny and Anderson performing songs from his album at New York club, The Cutting Room, went viral, sending X-File fans into a frenzy after they kissed on stage in what seemed to be a good PR opportunity for the lead-up to the show. He jokes. “Well, you know, rock ‘n roll guys get all the girls.”
Now in the gritty crime series Aquarius, based on real events in the 60s, Duchovny plays a cop who investigates burgeoning cult leader Charles Manson, before the infamous serial killer’s atrocities were realised.
“I like the fact that Aquarius is about telling this story that hadn’t been told. I was also attracted to my character. I often get asked to play articulate and verbal guys who talk a lot. I like this guy, Sam Hodiak, because he doesn’t speak so well. He speaks with his hands and he isn’t that articulate; he’s more of a feeling person. He’s a cop from the tradition of LA Confidential of the 50s and 60s and I haven’t done anything like that before.
“I think it’s also interesting to go back to that time before Manson did what he did. He looked like a hippie, but he wasn’t a hippie. He was a guy who was going to kill you.”
As for the X-Files reboot, the six part series will be released on January 24, 2016. All we can say is BRING IT ON.