Over the course of David Duchovny’s acting career his characters have gone to some unusual places, from the alien environs of “The X-Files” to many a Los Angeles bedroom on “Californication.”
But there is one place Mr. Duchovny has never been: on the stage in a professional capacity. (“Not professional,” he said in a telephone interview. “Very unprofessional.”)
That’s about to change. On Wednesday, MCC Theater said Mr. Duchovny would make his proper stage debut in its coming production of “The Break of Noon,” a new play by Neil LaBute.
Mr. Duchovny, who is in Los Angeles wrapping up a new season of “Californication,” said he has previously acted “Off, off, off, off — as many off’s as you can put in front of Broadway.” He added: “I’ve never done anything close to this scale.”
When he first began acting in New York, Mr. Duchovny said, he could occasionally be found in theaters, taking part in a familiar rite of passage.
“In L.A., they’re called showcases,” he said. “In New York, nobody comes to see them so you can’t really call them showcases.”
He has since appeared more often in film and television roles, but he said he had been won over by Mr. LaBute’s script for “The Break of Noon,” which Mr. Duchovny called “fascinating and moving and original, and intimidating in many ways.”
The play, which will be directed by Jo Bonney, is to begin performances at the Lucille Lortel Theater on Oct. 28. It is a co-production with the Geffen Playhouse, which will present it in Los Angeles next year.
“The Break of Noon” is described in a news release as centering on a character called John Smith (played by Mr. Duchovny) who “amidst the chaos and horror of the worst office shooting in American history, sees the face of God,” setting off a “maelstrom of disbelief among everyone he knows.”
“The setup is grim, of course,” Mr. Duchovny said, “but there’s certainly some darker, absurd, humorous moments. It tends towards the spiritual and the human. It’s a very surprising play, with a very surprising stance on tragedy.”
Also, having recently resumed living in New York, Mr. Duchovny said: “I just thought, well, I can stay home and work if I do the theater. That would be a really nice schedule to try. I remember reading this article about Matthew Broderick riding his bike to the theater and it just sounded very romantic to me.”
Asked if he could survive the New York stage, which has been known to make mincemeat of cable-television stars, Mr. Duchovny said: “Who knows? I don’t think of myself as a TV actor. I think of myself as a film, television and Off-Off-Off-Off Broadway actor.”
“Certainly,” he added, “I wouldn’t succeed at musical theater.”