New York Times: David Duchovny’s Truth Is Out There, Between Covers

New York Times: David Duchovny’s Truth Is Out There, Between Covers

New York Times interviews David Duchovny about the inspirations behind his new novel, Miss Subways.

By Maureen Dowd | April 28, 2018
I’m a sucker for a man who reads Yeats. So I’m bound to like a man who bases his novel on an obscure Yeats play.

“When I was at Yale in graduate school, a friend of mine brought me to see a play that the undergraduates were doing and it was ‘The Only Jealousy of Emer,’” David Duchovny recalls one rainy day over lattes at Tavern on the Green. “It’s a verse play, so it’s kind of unwatchable. But I got the gist of it, which was a very cool wager about love, and it stayed with me forever.”

Naturally, since this is Fox Mulder of “The X-Files,” there’s a supernatural element and a parallel universe. And since this is also Hank Moody of “Californication,” there’s some drinking and womanizing, too.

In the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, Emer and the warrior hero Cu Chulainn fall in love and marry after trading cryptic riddles.

The Yeats play conjures a moment when Cu Chulainn inadvertently kills his own son in battle and then, distraught, begins fighting “the deathless sea” and almost drowns. A demonic Irish fairy, called a Sidhe, appears and offers Emer a cruel bargain: If she gives up her fondest hope that the warrior will tire of his mistress — also at his sickbed — and grow old with her, the fairy will let Cu Chulainn live.

“He’ll never sit beside you at the hearth,” the Sidhe tells Emer, “Or make old bones, but die of wounds and toil, on some far shore or mountain, a strange woman beside his mattress.”

Read the full interview here

Rolling Stone: Watch David Duchovny Unravel FEMA Conspiracies on ‘Full Frontal’

Rolling Stone: Watch David Duchovny Unravel FEMA Conspiracies on ‘Full Frontal’

‘X-Files’ actor joins Samantha Bee for special episode on Puerto Rico hurricane recovery efforts

By Jon Blistein | May 29, 2018

Samantha Bee got David Duchovny to help her uncover the mystery behind FEMA’s atrocious response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, X-Files style.

The segment was part of Full Frontal‘s special episode, The Great American* Puerto Rico, about the island’s recovery efforts after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The clip opens with Bee’s Full Frontalstaff speaking with Puerto Ricans about the lack of aid and assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. While FEMA has frequently faced criticism for its lackluster disaster response, its efforts in Puerto Rico were especially weak, as Duchovny detailed with Mulder-esque suspicion.

Stringing a ball of yarn across a cork board, Duchovny noted how FEMA’s pre-hurricane aid packages only provided enough food and water for two days, while after the disaster, victims were told to apply for aid by phone or online – even though most of Puerto Rico was without power. FEMA even declared Puerto Rico had too much money to receive disaster loans, even though the country remains in the middle of a massive debt crisis.

With all the pieces falling in to place, Duchovny offered up the only clear explanation for FEMA’s horrendous response in Puerto Rico: “FEMA must be designed to stop us from rebelling against inter-dimensional overlords. Because if it’s just that they didn’t do they’re fucking homework? Well, that’s even more terrifying.”

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The Guardian: David Duchovny – ‘I can’t play Mulder the way I did. That would be obscene’

The Guardian: David Duchovny - ‘I can't play Mulder the way I did. That would be obscene’

By Dave Schilling | February 5, 2016

A small crowd has gathered in front of the Fox theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Carrying rolled-up copies of Variety magazine and holding up mobile phone cameras, they press their flesh as close to the metal barricade as possible. They are here to see David Duchovny, most famous for the newly resurrected science-fiction drama The X-Files, whose star is being unveiled on the Walk of Fame today. Duchovny’s closest confidantes are here, too – X-Files creator Chris Carter, Californication co-star Pamela Adlon, his manager Melanie Green, his brother – but they’re outnumbered by the strangers, the autograph seekers, and the tourists who will stop anywhere they see a fence and some security guards in LA.

Duchovny is a recovering sex addict and a famously private man. During the ceremony that follows, his friend, the comedian Garry Shandling, refers to him as a “sensitive, vulnerable guy”. A few hours later, at a nearby hotel, I ask Duchovny if this is true. In his slow, laconic drawl, he says it is. “You know, Garry can stand there and tell you I’m this or I’m that,” he says, “but that’s not really the narrative that’s out there, and that’s OK.”

Duchovny’s hotel room is an ornate, whimsical pastiche of styles and patterns. The entire building reeks of a pungent perfume, as though the staff were covering up an even more heinous smell. It is a fitting location in which to discuss one of the more artificial, touristy traditions of Hollywood, one about which Duchovny seems ambivalent.

“You know, we live in an ironic age,” he says. “To hear Garry go up there in this quite probably cheesy ceremony from another time – you know, campy, kitschy, in a crappy part of Hollywood – it could be just awful. If you pull back a certain way, you want to just run. Listening there, I don’t know what Garry is going to say, and I hear him try to say heartfelt, loving things as a friend, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, he’s really trying to communicate, and that’s beautiful and ballsy.’ Because people are out of that habit. It’s so hostile the way we communicate socially now, and so ironic and so meta and distant and multilayered. To hear a guy go out there and say, ‘I love Dave.’ I felt exposed.”

Read the full article here

NPR: From The Ivy League To ‘The X-Files’ David Duchovny’s Big Break

NPR: From The Ivy League To 'The X-Files' David Duchovny's Big Break

NPR looks back with David Duchovny of all varied and multiple creative successes he has had in his life.

By NPR All Things Considered | February 1, 2015

Here’s something you probably know about David Duchovny: He played one of the 1990s’ most iconic roles, FBI agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files.

Here’s something you probably don’t know about David Duchovny: Only six years before landing that role, he was a Ph.D. student studying literature at Yale University, planning to become a writer.

In fact, he’d originally planned to be a poet.

“It’s funny,” he says. “[As an undergraduate] at Princeton, Walter Kirn — who’s a terrific novelist — he was a year younger than me. And he was an actual poet. And I think when I read Walter’s stuff, I was like, ‘You know what? I’m not a poet.’ And that kinda woke me up.”

Then Duchovny thought he’d write fiction. But as a 20-something graduate student, he felt like he didn’t really have anything to write a novel about. He hadn’t really lived yet. So he turned to the theater, thinking he’d give one-act plays a shot.

But he struggled at that, too.

“I thought, ‘Well, if I’m gonna write things that are gonna be performed by actors, then it’s probably helpful for me to know something about what that’s like,’ ” he says. ” ‘What it’s like to say words might help me write words.’ “

He spent a summer in New York City, taking acting classes and auditioning for commercials — a friend had told him that a commercial would pay as much as a summer’s worth of bartending. Right at the end of summer, he landed a role in a Löwenbräu beer commercial, then headed back to New Haven to keep working on his Ph.D. He continued the acting classes, commuting between Yale and New York City twice a week.

“I would ride my bike to the train station,” he remembers, “I’d get on the Metro-North … and I’d take it to Grand Central. I’d ride over to Marcia Haufrecht’s class. Then I’d ride back to the station and be in New Haven later that night.”

He worked on acting on the other side of the country, too; short trips to Los Angeles turned into longer trips. After a year or two of fruitless auditions, Duchovny started to land a handful of small parts — a cop in the crime drama Ruby, a sleazy businessman in Beethoven (“the movie not about the composer, but about the dog,” he jokes).

Then came the three-episode arc on Twin Peaks, where Duchovny memorably played a trans woman named Denise Bryson.

(“Dennis?” says Agent Cooper, surprised at how different his old friend looks. Duchovny, wearing makeup and a wig, smiles. “It’s a long story, but actually I’d prefer Denise, if you don’t mind.”)

By 1992, he’d already starred in a feature film (The Rapture) and thought he was done with TV. But then his agent convinced him to audition for a pilot called The X-Files.

“I had no idea what it was gonna be, or what it was,” he says. “I knew that the pilot was good. But beyond that, I didn’t know.”

He got the part. Now, looking back at that first season can be a little painful for him.

“I hadn’t done a lot of acting,” he explains. “I’d done some classes. I’d done a few roles. My [total] time on set? Maybe two months, in my life. And then I had to do it every day for 12 to 14 hours a day, to act.

“And after about two or three years of having to do this thing, acting, every day … I started to actually get to the point where I could access the things that I thought I wanted to access from the very beginning.”

He says, of course, The X-Files is his big break.

“But not in the sense … that it was a huge success,” he says, “but in the way I had to go to work every day. To go from this idea of limitless potential that you have as a young person — ‘Oh, I can do anything! Just give me the chance!’ — and then realizing, well, maybe you can’t do anything.

“But then what do you do? What do you do after that happens? What do you do after you realize that? Do you give up? Or do you try and make your art out of your own limitations? I think that’s my biggest break.”

Twenty years later, he’s finally lived enough life to write a novel, he says. It’s called Holy Cow. And as for the doctorate —

“How did it end? The Ph.D.?” he says, laughing. “It never ended. My mother is still upset, but I never finished my Ph.D., no.”