David Duchovny may have found television success again on Showtime’s Californication, but he will always be Fox Mulder to sci-fi fans. For movie goers, he hasn’t played his trademark role in a decade, but anticipation continues to build for X-Files: I Want to Believe, which hits theaters on July 25th, 2008. As more and more information about the movie has leaked out and fans start checking off already-released flicks like Iron Man and Indy 4, you can expect the X-Files buzz to become deafening. Duchovny sat down for a press conference recently to talk about his decision to come back, what we can expect from the movie, and even address the controversial final seasons of the show and, yes, the potential for yet another film. As the brilliantly simple tagline for X-Files 2says, “Believe again.”
David Duchovny on his decision to come back as Agent Fox Mulder:
Coming back had always been my desire. I wanted to play this guy in a movie. I thought it would be natural to take this to cinema and turn it into a movie franchise. I would have done it sooner, maybe two years after the TV-show ended.
Duchovny on the last time he was in a real fight:
You mean a fist fight? Well, I box, but that’s a controlled fight. I haven’t been in an uncontrolled fight for a long time. I’ve been punched by my mom, but that doesn’t really count, does it?
On what we can expect from The X-Files movie:
Well, it’s very dark and frightening. It’s very much like how our TV show was in the beginning; very scary.
On whether the TV series lost its direction towards the end:
We forgot as we grew older and the show became so big that the show got so popular because it was that scary. This movie goes back to the original impetus of The X-Files, which is to scare the pants off people.
David Duchovny on playing Mulder differently this time:
Yeah, it was a little different. I had this fear that I looked different. Older Mulder was the term that was used on the set (laughs). But I wanted him to look more matured, psychically as well as physically. I mean, come on, this guy lost every battle. He is beaten down by life. That leaves some scars. I wanted to make sure we bring that across in this film. He’s the same guy, but he is “older Mulder”.
Duchovny on what he likes about Mulder:
I like that he doesn’t give up. His heroism is that he believes he will uncover the truth, and he is going to unmask the lies. I like that about him. I will share a little secret about this movie with you: Mulder’s quest is to rediscover the energy from the beginning. By the end of this movie he’s more like the original Mulder that started out in 1993.
On why The X-Files was so tremendously popular:
It probably has to do with this Holy Grail quest. It’s the idea that Mulder can actually bring the evidence in; that he can prove we are not alone, that paranormal activity does exist, that life after death does exist. It’s not just solving the murder mystery. In our show, you have the chance to solve one of the eternal questions in life.
On life after death:
I don’t think much about life after death so much. But I do have suspicions that we are not alone out there. It just makes more sense that there is more forms of life than just us. That makes intuitive sense to me.
David Duchovny on working with Gillian Anderson again:
I didn’t understand what she said. She has an English accent now. No, I’m just kidding. It was a highlight for me to work with her again. The first scene was just great. We immediately felt that there was still a connection.
On the rumors of Scully and Mulder finally hooking up in this film:
It’s an interesting thought, but again, the movie is dark and scary, and I don’t know if that hook up would add to that mood or destroy it. That’s for you to decide.
On whether he would’ve been disappointed if this movie didn’t happen:
This answer might surprise you. No, I wouldn’t have been disappointed. I am perfectly happy with the amount of work we’ve done with The X-Files. I couldn’t be happier with this show. However, I would love to continue to do this. I am hoping this movie will do some business, so I can continue as Agent Mulder.
David Duchovny on whether he ever considers working with his wife, Tea Leoni:
Probably not. We are trying to keep that separate. Acting, there is a certain lack of inhibition that you need when you act, and that’s hard to do with people you are involved with. You want to be real with them, but acting is not being real. And as a fan, I don’t really like to see real couples acting together in movies. I always ask myself why don’t they do that at home?
On still being as driven today as he was in the beginning of his career:
Yes, always, as a writer, director, and as an actor. It’s like the Beckett line: “Fail again, fail better.” I always try to fail better. Let’s face it, it’s all a failure. Even if it’s a great success, you know how you failed. There is no perfection. There is only certain degrees of failure in acting. And I am saying this as an optimist.
Duchovny on working with Chris Carter again:
I enjoyed being part of his debut as a first time movie director. I was happy to be there for him, to be the lead actor he can lean on.
On whether he is loyal:
I’d like to think so. My relationship to Chris Carter has grown over the years from being an employee to being a friend and a collaborator. I like to be able to help, to be reliable and responsible in a new endeavor he took on.