Alien abduction, government secrets, global conspiracies - maybe for Fox Mulder, but not DAVID DUCHOVNY. But
with X-Files: Fight The Future hitting the big screen, is that just disinformation?
Words: Anwar Brett
TRAPPED IN A PLUSH SUITE lN LONDON'S Dorchester Hotel by a legion of fans and the world's press, David Duchovny knows just what is ’out there’ - and it ain’t the truth. Thanks to the phenomenal success of The X- Files series and its new film spin off, the once struggling actor admits he feels increasingly trapped by the level of his fame, but is savvy enough to recognise the benefits of it too.
In the same way, he has been quoted as being keen to leave the show, and yet reveals genuine gratitude at the success it has brought him over the last five years. Which is why, when he criticises his FBI alien-chaser and arch conspiracy theorist character Fox Mulder, he is quick to qualify the statement.
’It's no reflection on the quality of the writing or the actors I work with,’ he explains. ’If I was doing repertory
Shakespeare with the RSC and they only let.
me do Hamlet for years I’d be saying that this guy sucks, and that Shakespeare can't write. It's just human nature.’
It is also human nature - or more specifically the way that TV networks in America operate - that unknowns cast in
125 I’ll! usr 20—27 Aug I998
’If you’re telling me that a group of people could keep the secret that they have an alien somewhere, I’d say it's not
possible.’ David Duchovny
series that become spectacular successes rarely get their just rewards. A more paranoid man than David Duchovny (his screen alter ego perhaps?) might put this down to dark forces at work.
’When I turned 30, I stopped assuming that people were always telling the truth,’ he smiles, ’so it wasn’t a shock that the people around me had their own best interests in mind, not mine. When you sign a television contract, you sign for five years before you even have the job. They have three or four people that they’re interested in for the role, and they have them all sign the contract they negotiate.
’The reason for this is that if they say, “I want you for the role", you can’t then ask for more money. Basically they get you on the worst deal they could possibly get you on,
then they start to make millions of dollars on the show if it’s successful. By the end of the second year, the actors can traditionally renegotiate their contracts, and actually share in the wealth and success that the show is creating.’
This, of course, is one reason why Duchovny is delighted that The X-Files has begun its transfer to the big screen. With two more seasons of the series confirmed, the film points to the future for the characters, and is a good primer for those not familiar with the antics of Mulder and his partner Dana Scully (played by Gillian Anderson).
It is the kind of film that will leave the impressionable looking over their shoulders, and ques- tioning conspiracies at every level of government, but it soon becomes clear that Duchovny is not one of them.
’To me, a conspiracy is a dramatic device,’ he states. ’I believe that people lie and people conspire, but if you're telling me that a group of people could keep the secret that they have an alien somewhere, and that the alien could digest and kill you, I'd say it’s not possible. Somebody on their deathbed would surely say, "There are aliens and they’re digesting us, and they have black oil coursing through them". That's nonsense. But dramatically it’s the only way to go. If you have a film that says evil is a diffuse thing in this world and visits us all in little bits from time to time, sometimes coagulating into larger forms, well, you’re not going to get $60 million to make that movie.’
General release from Fri 21 Aug. See review page 120.