Discussing the many talents of David Duchovny
David Duchovny is best known for his Golden Globe winning acting roles as Fox Mulder in the “The X-Files” and Hank Moody in “Californication,” but he is also a successful writer with four novels under his belt and an accomplished musician who just released his third album, Gestureland on August 20.
Steve Cooper recently sat down with Duchovny for his podcast “CooperTalk,” and they talked about Duchovny’s path into music and some of his career highlights.
You can hear the complete interview at coopertalk.net.
Q: When did you start playing music?
A: I started playing guitar about 10 years ago after being a music fan. Pop music fan my whole life. And then after playing for a little while, I was teaching myself basically by looking up chord progressions on the internet/songs that I liked and just kind of moving away in the trailer, whatever at home. And after a while, I just started playing chords on my own or just chord progressions that I liked, and I was surprised that I would hear melodies come to me. And then I started to put words to those melodies and start writing songs.
Q: What’s the parallel between you writing books and songwriting?
A: One is a marathon and the other’s a sprint. Like a song is really like a—it can be sparked by a chord progression like I said or a melody or even just a lyric line that I like. And then I’ll chase it down and try to turn it into a song. A book takes forever. You have to sit in that chair day after day for six months to a year and keep writing, keep trying to get it.
Q: What made you get into acting?
A: I thought well I’ll try my hand in playwriting because that seems like fun, at least you’re collaborating. You’re not sitting in a room all alone all day long. I was 23, 24 years old so I didn’t want to sit alone all day long, so I thought if I’m going to write plays, I should learn about acting. I should at least try to act. If I’m going to write words for actors to speak, then I should see what that’s like at least. It seems like that’d be the smart thing for a writer to know.
Q: How did you getting cast in “The X-Files” come about?
A: When I started acting, movies were king and television was kind of like the “B Team,” and I wanted to play on the “A Team,” so I thought I’d go movie to movie, but also make a living and that pilot came my way for “The X-Files.” My manager at the time thought I should do it, and I was like, “Yeah but I don’t really want to get on a TV show forever because I wanted to go movie to movie.”
And she said, “I think you should try to get it,” so I did and I got it and I thought, like her we both thought, “Well you know this will be a paycheck but there’s no way it’ll go on because it’s about aliens and how many people are interested in that?” Very wrong obviously.
Q: Tell me about how you ended up being in “Californication”?
A: “Californication” the script was another one that just came to me, and I was wanting to do a comedy because I was kind of pushing off of “X-Files.” It’s a dark drama. I wanted to stretch a little bit in another direction. I would’ve preferred to do it in movies, but those weren’t coming my way the ones that I wanted. It wasn’t the style of comedy that I necessarily was going to score in that was happening at the time 2005, 2006.
Q: Did it surprise you how long that show lasted?
A: It didn’t surprise me how long it went on because I knew we were making people laugh, and it wasn’t a plot dependent show. It was a character dependent show. I knew that once people if they dug the characters, they were going to be in for as long as we could make them laugh. Make them cry too because it was that kind of show where you could be absurd and also be sentimental.
Q: Was it planned that your role in “The Larry Sanders Show” would be recurring?
A: I did “SNL” and then they got me on “Sanders” and I did a show where Bill Cosby of all people goes on too long and I get bumped... And we had fun and Garry [Shandling] said, “Do you play basketball?” And I said, “Yeah,” and I started playing at his house and we became great friends.
And it was after that episode the next year I said I should come back on and have a crush on you. It’s not sexual. It’s weird. It’s like—you know how we talk about man crushes? But then we didn’t really. It was kind of like the prototype of the man crush. But he’s very confused at my intentions so we kind of improv that idea. We became great friends and I miss him. It’s almost I think five or six years now just the other day and he’s dead. Hes stays with me.
Follow David Duchovny on Twitter and Instagram @davidduchovny and Facebook @DavidDuchovnyOfficial.
Listen to his new album Gestureland on Spotify and visit his website at davidduchovny.com.
Steve Cooper is on Twitter @coopertalk and Instagram @coopertalk1. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit coopertalk.net for the full interview.