VANCOUVER — David Duchovny says the controversy over remarks he made about Vancouver was a “newspaper-generated false non-existent controversy” – and that the idea for criticizing the city on Late Night with Conan O'Brien came from the talk show, not him.
Mr. Duchovny addressed the controversy – now more than a decade old – at a news conference held in Vancouver Wednesday afternoon. It was called so producers of the coming X-Files movie could “express their gratitude” to the city, where production on the film is just wrapping, and where the series was shot for five years in the 1990s – before Mr. Duchovny famously lobbied to have the production moved to Los Angeles.
“It was really a tempest in a teapot,” Mr. Duchovny, dressed in a blue sweatshirt and ripped tan jeans, told reporters.
“I love this city. I love coming back here. I always loved this city. That was the unfortunate part; [it] was kind of a misrepresentation of my feelings about the city.”
Mr. Duchovny says in fact he considers Vancouver “a home away from home” – and that he has fantasized at times about what his life would have been like had he stayed here permanently.
“I've always thought it would be a great place to raise the kids.”
In 1997, Mr. Duchovny made headlines locally after going on Mr. O'Brien's show and criticizing Vancouver's weather.
"Vancouver is a very nice place if you like 400 inches of rainfall a day,” he said.
But Wednesday, Mr. Duchovny said Mr. O'Brien's producers approached him with the idea of poking fun at Canada. They suggested that after he made his comments about Vancouver, they would cut to the audience and show a Mountie, a hockey player and a bear dabbing at their eyes with handkerchiefs.
“To me, a bear crying is funny,” he said Wednesday.
Mr. Duchovny finished shooting the X-Files film Wednesday morning and stopped by the news conference on his way to the airport to return home. Co-star Gillian Anderson, who was supposed to be there, cancelled due to illness.
Producers have been trying to keep details of the second X-Files film (title TBA) hush-hush, using a false name for the production in an attempt to fool the paparazzi (it didn't always work) and referring to Agent Fox Mulder in the script and call sheets as “Larry” – the name of a producer's dog.
Still, some minor plot points were revealed Wednesday: the film will not centre around the alien conspiracy that the series (and the first movie) were focused on and instead will be more of a stand-alone story. The characters will be six years on from when the series ended (as in reality). And Pemberton, B.C., the city north of Whistler where the film shot for three weeks, will stand in for a city in the north-eastern U.S.
When asked about photos of the shoot circulating online that show Mulder and Scully kissing, Mr. Duchovny said the writers have always described the film – and the whole series – as a love story, whether chaste or sexual. “That's half the show.”
X-Files creator Chris Carter and screenplay co-writer Frank Spotnitz said they owe a lot to Vancouver - to the crews who grew up with the show, and to the city's physical beauty.
“Vancouver gave the show its original look, which I would call moody,” said Mr. Carter, who still maintains a home here. “I think that was one of the secrets to our success - not so secret, as it turns out.”