The New York Times knows they got lucky. The paper had set up an interview with David Duchovny to discuss his new NBC series, Aquarius, and their timing fortuitously coincided with last week’s announcement that Fox had ordered up a six-episode X-Files miniseries — meaning, who really gives a fork about that Aquarius thing? Actually, that series sounds pretty damned good, too, but right now all eyes are on a Mulder/Scully reunion (and probably a renewed fandom fervor, clamoring over the possibility of an Anderson/Duchovny romance). As for Mulder himself, Duchovny sounds pretty excited about returning to the role that first set our hearts aflutter, even if he doesn’t think much of Mulder’s track record.
On whether he’s been in hiding since the big announcement:
“No I haven’t been hiding. All the good things are good. The good things are working with Chris and Gillian again, and getting to do this show again and see what we’ve got. I’m as curious as anybody else. I’m amazed that there’s still an appetite for it and I’m touched. I think the frame of the show is so expansive and so unique and so influential, that it should feel present.”
Is Duchovny nervous about the series’ return?
“I think I’ll be nervous on the day. When I’m in a scene with Gillian, I think we’ll both be like, this is so weird. And 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.”
Why he wasn’t the kind of guy who’d have known X-Files would be a hit:
“I was just trying to pay the rent. I’m really bad with that stuff - I’ve never been interested in paranormal stuff. I liked horror movies when I was a kid, but only when I was a kid. 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.”
The X-Files influence, our appetite for mythology in television, and whether new audiences will need to study up:
“Like The Twilight Zone, it ushered in a paranormal theme, and a scary theme and a horror-movie feel that was lacking, for whatever reason, not only on television but in movies as well. Now movies and television are dominated by this genre.
I don’t know. You look around at these cultural juggernauts, the ones that came after us. [Interviewer mentions Lost.]
It kind of introduced specialized knowledge, though you didn’t have to do homework to watch the show. They were always kind of juggling about what people needed to know, especially when we made the movies. ‘Can we get somebody in who’s never seen this?’ And I’m sure we’ll have to juggle that again with this iteration of it.
What Duchovny really thinks of Special Agent Fox Mulder:“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. As F.B.I. agents, I would say we were not by the book. Especially Mulder.”
[Q: “Are you going to solve a case this time?”]
DD: “I don’t know. I hope not. That would really change the show.”
And hey, what about The Smoking Man (William B. Davis) — will he be different?“Maybe he’ll have Nicorette gum. He’ll be the Gum-Chewing Man.”
Duchovny says he doesn’t yet know much about The X-Files miniseries, other than they’ll shoot in Vancouver again, and he thinks there’ll be a combination of serialized episodes and a “movie of the week.” The actor believes “…it’s gonna begin and end with the mythology. But I really don’t know.”
Read the full interview here.
As for his new NBC series, Duchovny will play another law enforcement officer — L.A.P.D. detective, Sam Hodiak — who’s working undercover to track Charles Manson and his followers leading up the the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. Aquarius premieres May 28th.