House of D creator expects to be back next year to shoot X-Files feature
David Duchovny likes the rain. And he likes Vancouver even more.
So, not surprisingly, the actor who starred in the shot-in-Vancouver The X-Files, is excited to be returning to the city next year to shoot another feature-film version of the sci-fi TV series.
"Supposedly, we're going to do an X-Files movie up there in Vancouver next year, 'cause that's really the only place to shoot it," Duchovny says in a phone call from Montreal, where he's acting in the thriller The Secret.
Despite his warm feelings toward Vancouver, Duchovny, whose House of D (he directed, wrote, co-starred) just opened in theatres, left the city shrouded in negativity after an ironic TV skit was misconstrued as serious criticism.
"It was unfortunate," recalls Duchovny, who lived in Kitsilano during The X-Files stay in the 1990s. "Let me preface it by saying that I love Vancouver, I always loved being there and I think about Vancouver fondly. And I think about living there, often."
The negative image, though, began with a 1997 appearance on The Conan O'Brien Show at a time when The X-Files was about to relocate to Los Angeles, where much of the talent lived. (They were soon to learn Vancouver's grey look was essential to the show's success, a contributing factor to returning here for the new movie.)
"Conan wanted to do this skit where basically they go, 'You say something negative about Vancouver and then we'll cut to the audience and it'll be a Mountie, a bear and a hockey player crying,'" Duchovny says. "So, I get out there and he says, 'What have you got against Vancouver?' And I said, 'It just rains all the time, it's just rain, rain, rain.' Something like that. And then they cut to the Mountie and the bear and the hockey player, and they're crying . . . and everybody laughs."
It was just a joke. "And the next thing this dufus, one of your brethren over there [at The Province], he reported it as if I had held a press conference and said, 'The dirty secret about Vancouver is that it rains all the time and I can't stand it and nobody should come here ever again.' It was harmful . . . . But in the end, who cares? Because Vancouver's a beautiful city and you guys get to live there and that's good for you."
The public reaction changed Duchovny's life in Vancouver.
"I was always welcome there and was very happy being there and working there and living there and then, all of a sudden, you know, I was persona non grata. It was hurtful to me but, again, I have to say, who cares? It is a little thing in the scheme of the world and in the scheme of life."
Life, apparently, does go on. Before The X-Files, he starred in a couple of acclaimed indies, Kalifornia and The Rapture, and, since leaving the show, he has continued in films, with several projects (such as The Secret, Trust the Man) in the works.
While starring in The X-Files, Duchovny, who has a masters in English literature from Yale University, did some writing and directing but House of D is his first feature. Set in the 1970s Manhattan of Duchovny's adolescence, it's about a 12-year-old boy's relationship with his recently widowed mother and a mentally handicapped friend.
Duchovny hopes to direct another feature he's written, Bucky F*$!ing Dent. He's casting the father-son story that uses baseball as its backdrop. "Cast, then funding, that's the independent world. It's independent moviemaking. You reach critical mass when you reach it, then you've got to shoot, otherwise it just all goes away. So, it could be dead today, it could be alive tomorrow and dead the next day. It's kind of fun and frustrating at the same time."
As for B.C., the Malibu resident still contemplates buying a home here, noting that his The X-Files co-star, Vancouver actor Nick Lea ("A really close friend of mine," says Duchovny) recently purchased Gulf Island property after a long stay in L.A.
"I think about Nick out there and I get a warm feeling. It's like, you know, he's got a place on an island where there's maybe six houses. And I'm like, God, in that part of the world. It's just beautiful."
Duchovny returned in 2003 to co-star in Connie and Carla. "I've got really good friends up in Vancouver so it's always good for me to come back."
The nonsense about the Conan skit hasn't dimmed his fondness for the city, if his excited response to House of D playing Vancouver is an indication. "Oh great," he said. "Which theatre? All my friends, please, go see it."
As for those who insist on slagging Duchovny for his joke about rain?
"It was a very good lesson for me in public relations because once something gets out there it takes on a life of its own and you can't put the genie back in the bottle, so I'll always be associated with rain in Vancouver. It's very ironic to me in the end because I'm actually a human being that enjoys that type of weather more than I like the sunny weather of L.A."