It's a great time to be David Duchovny. Having just brought his long-running Showtime series Californication to a close last year, he'll next be starring as a cop hunting infamous psychopath Charles Manson in NBC's new period crime drama Aquarius this summer. Of course, neither of those things is what the masses at large are talking about.
Proving that point, the once and future alien hunter recently sat down for an in-depth interview with The New York Times, which was originally set to concern Aquarius, but predictably mutated into an X-Files-centric conversation. First off, Duchovny surprisingly admitted to having no interest in horror or the paranormal personally.
In fact, Duchovny originally took the role for the most practical of reasons: making money:
"I was just trying to pay the rent. I’m really bad with that stuff – I’ve never been interested in paranormal stuff. When “The X-Files” came around, it was a well-written pilot and kind of a cool character, this irreverent F.B.I. agent. But who’s gonna wanna watch a show about aliens? Honestly, I was the wrong guy to ask that question. I had no idea."
While Duchovny clearly enjoyed the Fox Mulder character enough to come back to the role for the first time since 2008's The X-Files: I Want to Believe, the notoriously snarky actor really does wonder why the FBI would continue to employ such an unreliable person:
"The interesting thing about Mulder is: nominally, he is law enforcement but he never solved one case in nine years. So he’s the worst F.B.I. agent of all time."
Duchovny is clearly engaging in a bit of hyperbole here, as Mulder and Scully did conclusively solve a handful of cases during the show's long run, including a few instances where the culprit was killed or locked up. Still, it's a fair point.
The Cigarette-Smoking Man was established to be protecting Mulder for a portion of the series, and A.D. Skinner has done his fair share too, but Mulder's penchant for openly flouting the rules and regulations of America's top law enforcement agency would surely have earned him a pink slip at this point, if not a court martial. Even when he was found guilty of murder, he still managed to find his way back to the bureau in the end. Ah, the magic of fiction.
Finally, Duchovny is not shy about his belief that himself and Gillian Anderson are better equipped as actors for the roles of Mulder and Scully than they were back in 1993. In fact, he feels that their advanced ages and world weariness will be an asset to The X-Files going forward:
"I think we’ve both gotten better as we’ve gotten older, so how do we bring that to bear on these characters? If I were to look back at the first or second year of the show, I wouldn’t try to act like that guy. I’m capable of doing more. She’s capable of doing more. It’ll be interesting to see how we keep the characters the same but also the actors are better."
Some X-Philes are sure to argue with those points, but Duchovny's argument is sound. For example, how will Mulder and Scully hitting middle-age effect their methods of investigation, or their ability to physically deal with the countless threats they encounter on a weekly basis? Sure, Mulder and Scully weren't much younger in I Want to Believe, but their case in that film was about as far from your standard FBI-sanctioned X-File investigation as possible.
Perhaps even more interestingly, one has to wonder whether the dynamic between the characters of Mulder and Scully will change in this new X-Files iteration. For the first seven seasons, Mulder remained the consummate believer, and Scully the consummate skeptic, sometimes to the point of stretching believability.
After all, how many monsters and aliens did Scully have to encounter before she too became a full-on believer? This dynamic was flipped in the religion-heavy I Want to Believe, but with both agents back at the FBI, will Scully still doubt Mulder's "crazy" theories, or will we now have a team of two paranormal experts? Only time (and Chris Carter) will tell.
Can The X-Files really recapture the old magic? We'll find out next year.
The X-Files Season 10 is likely to premiere in early 2016.
Source: New York Times