Movie Reviews


David DuchovnyBluntly Speaking | David Duchovny
an emily blunt interview





Okay, here's one for the inspirational affirmation book; David Duchovny. This a guy that basically got a part on a B Sci-fi TV show, 'The X-Files.' A show so out there it easily could have headed into one-season bonus-question-in-the-trivia-round history...

Instead, he (and the rest of the X Gang) parlayed that into the hottest, smartest multi-genre television series - possibly in TV's history ('Star Trek' was big, but not as - let's face it - intelligent). David managed to survive the insta-stardom, did the Hollywood marriage thingy by marrying the beautiful Tea Leone. And after a self-prescribed respite from the glare of the limelights, David returns (<- insert X-File theme music here for audio stuimulation) to us with, The House of D.

HoD is a film he got to write, direct and have a supporting role in. Not bad for a kid who grew up in a tiny New York apartment…

Or was that just his character, Tommy (Anton Yelchin) in this new, and delightfully touching film, House of D (The D, not being for Duchovny - though the film is semi-autobiographical…it's for Detention, as in Women's Detention).

David pops into the swanky hotel room and you see why Tea's always got a big broad smile; this guy is stealthily handsome - and comes, I shall find, with a dry sarcastic sense of humor amid all that manly viscously handsome guy-next-door over-six foot ruggedness.

X-File fans? Yep-I asked Go here for the 411 on the films (You thought I would what? Forget? Tsk tsk tsk)

EMILY: Was it hard to be both actor and director, not to mention to your own words?

DAVID: As an actor I found it interesting as a director, it was kind of interesting, the lack of self-consciousness my mind was thinking about other things. It only really "got in the way" when I would be in a two shot with Robin Williams or another actor- if I thought the scene was really going well, I would kind of get excited! And I couldn't stop smiling. I'd think I got to stay in the scene. But enjoy acting so much - the joy of being in the movie, as well as being outside the movie. Believe me it if was my first film? I don't think I would have done it. Here, I thought it was natural

EMILY: How close to your original vision is D?

DAVID: Well you know its miles away from the real vision- which was a wild day dream running through your head. What is the same is the film's feeling. I think I executed the feeling that I wanted - I wanted to make a movie that was both very specific and universal. I wanted to make a film that appeared personal and small but at a foundation underneath that had power and fable I wanted to make a realistic movie that was also a fable, that would make you laugh and cry like a classic movie. People go to movies to do that exactly- and that I believe I executed.

EMILY: What is the last couple of years like for you- has it been a conscious decision on your part to not be around?

DAVID: No. I've been working. A lot has been house of d, I and I've written a couple of other scripts, I acted in a film called Trust the Man - an Urban comedy. I just doing the stuff that's interesting to me - I've had that luxury. I also have a family, that would like me around- not as much as I would like them to want me around [laughter]. It's a less structured life then working on a TV show- but it's kind of fallen to me to make my own way now.

EMILY: Tea said she really had a lot of anxiety over doing this film - she didn't want to be the one who screwed up your film. Can you talk about what it was like working w/the wife?

DAVID: You know I order her around the house - so it's pretty much the same [smirk] NO. It's the reverse actually…in this she was only there a week. She only had six days of shooting-the fist six days. It was very comforting to have her on set. I could go to her and say, "Is this shit. " or, "is this working?" It was the first time I was hearing the words. I had had these guys in my head and now they were speaking. You know? Were they funny? Were they sad, were they real? Did it flow? These questions jump up at you hen you first start shooting- and it was nice to have her there. That was never in my mind 'cause she's so god- and it was over in a week. I think it would be different if we were producing together and together three months job everyday- that might be different - but this was a wonderful start and I would like to work with her again if she would have me

EMILY: Do you ever refer to the House of Duchovny as the House of D?

DAVID: [laughter] No, I often wished there was another word for Detention that they used. Any other letter but D - and they call it, "The House of D."

EMILY: Why is this even and indie film? With your name why couldn't you go for a big studio?

DAVID: 'Cause it wasn't a big studio film. It appears to be a small film. As I said before, I think there are small ideas with big movie going experiences. We don't have any explosions but we have emotions and we have and humor and I think that makes it a "big" movie - however, it's mostly a small film because it's a movie for adults starring a boy. Nobody wants to get involved in that! Name me a movie that works - that made money- starring a kid? Okay you can name one- but after that…okay, and Stand By Me, and that was a bunch of boys.

EMILY: [laughter] The film is very personal- can you talk about any particular autobiographical scenes?

DAVID: There's a lot that is absolutely from my childhood. I don't know how to say it… not so much scenes but environment. I knew what a stick ball game should look like; I know what driving that delivery bike around feels like. I know what it's like to live in an apartment where the bathroom's so small and there's only the one so, while you're taking a shower your mother comes in to pee - I love that reaction in the audience when they see that scene- it's always half gasps becaus3 they've been watching Oprah, and have laughs because the others know it's living in a small apartment - it's not child abuse. Living in Manhattan - that kind of stuff feels real to me. What actually happened? It's funny to say, the thing with the small chest and small balls - that actually happened. I thought I had to leave school. The whole thing was indicative of the raised stakes of being 12 yrs old! Oh my god my life is over these girls don't like me, and they choose to attack me in that way.

EMILY: Can you talk about casting Anton Yelchin and Robin Williams?

DAVID: I just basically I didn't care how the kid looked- I knew he had to be Caucasian. Eye color? It didn't matter- you see that all the time, and for a second you're like "wait a minute" but then you just go with it. I just wanted the best actor. It's a hard role. He has to be emotionally available, he has to be funny beside Robin Williams, and he has to have integrity. He has to seem like an artist. He's got to be strong It's hard to find a fourteen year old who can do that! It hard to find an 18 yr old…it's hard to find a 40 yr old who can do that! I was just lucky late in the process, a name that's known in kid actors came in and after that there was never a question. And in terms of Robin? I knew I had to get a bankable star. To get financier - that's how these movies are made a lot. They call it Independent, but they actually very dependent. I had a kid lead, and that was bad - there's no kid's that drive films. So, I had supporting roles that I had t get my financing on which id scary - and could have doomed this film to never be made. I was lucky to get Robin early on. He was loyal - he stayed on. That was really the linchpin of getting the film made. And I wanted Robin; 'cause I always considered Papas a character as a man boy- and Robin has that - and that great physicality. He hurt me a few times just shaking my hand - and I'm not tiny ya know. There's something about…I wanted that strength- I wanted him to be a little scary if he snapped around the kids. And Robin, as you know, has a real access to that real child like quality. He's very in touch with that and it was obviously very important to the role.

EMILY: The House of D is all about beleiving in yourself; growing - even when you seem to be at an uncrossable intersection - an X if you will - in the road. What inspired you to believe in yourself?

DAVID: [laughter] Well, at that age (14)? nothing jumps out at me. The story that does jump out at me is when a had 17 accident at school I was in the hospital - I had a Latin teacher. Latin was my hardest - probably because hard work isn't enough with Latin - which is how I got by with the other subjects. He was the only guy that came to visit me, and I thought he didn't like me. He said, "Don't hurry back. No rush." I was on all the athletics - all that was in my mind was getting back. I remember being confused by what he said. Many years later - I was maybe 27, 28 - I realized he knew that I was over achieving - I was doing for the man- not for myself. I wanted to thank him- but he had died a few years before of AIDS. And that was one of the inspirations of this story. That phenomenon of getting advise when your too young and when you finally do "get it" how to you thank these people - since this is a movie- he gets to go back and thank people.



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