DAVID DUCHOVNY and GILLIAN ANDERSON
THE RETROCRUSH INTERVIEW
Every so often an interview opportunity comes our way
that really blows me away. Not only did I get a chance to see
Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Chris Carter, and Frank Spotnitz
present an X-Files 2 trailer and answer questions to a bunch of
rabid/crazy fans, but be a part of a swell sit down interview with
them afterward. This was a panel interview complete with writers
from Starlog, The Sci-Fi Channel, and UK's Tripwire magazine. I have
the transcript of all questions below, with ours attributed
accordingly. In a day, I'll have a companion interview published
with Carter and Spotnitz, as well.
Before the interview, the talent gave a great and
funny Q&A session with the crowd. We saw trailer for the film (which
opens in June) which wasn't too revealing but exciting nonetheless.
50 or so FBI agents were walking in a horizontal line tapping poles
into the snow. Billy Connolly is leading them to a spot where there
appears to be some sort of woman frozen beneath the ice. Then he
starts crying blood. Mysterious for sure.
Though no plot or cast details were discussed (other
than what you can already see on IMDB) Carter confirmed that it will
be a standalone film that is akin to the so called "Monster of the
Week" episodes of the series.
Aint It Cool News
has a hyper-detailed recap of that presentation that's far better
than anything I'm going to bother duplicating. Needless to say the
sense of humor and chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson was still
Anderson mentioned she sucked during the first 48
hours of filming, which Duchovny turned into a dirty joke. She got
him back by expressing her desire for his character Mulder to die
from autoerotic asphyxiation in the third installment.
The two of them look great and were a blast to talk
to. Sitting just across the table from Anderson I was amazed at how
gorgeous she looks. Hell, it's no exaggeration to say she looks
better than ever. Must be some alien voodoo cream she saved from the
So without further adieu, here's the transcript.
Talk about getting back into the heads of these
characters after so long and re-familiarizing yourself with who
these people were.
It's an interesting challenge as an actor. It's not like being in a
play where you're recreating the character every night, but it's
closer than making a film that's a one off. There's a certain kind
of honoring of the past work that you've done. You don't want to
explode the character because you don't remember, or you're bored.
Then you also want to honor the fact that the person has had five
years of life. It's tricky, that makes it interesting.
ANDERSON: Yeah, it's kind of weird. It's an
interesting conundrum to deal with. Doing it for a film is different
than doing it for a television series. We've only done one other
film and there's a difference in lifting it to the big screen. To
wrap one's brain around that when you're used to doing the TV one
more. It's kind of odd.
said you "sucked for the first 48 hours", what did you mean exactly?
DUCHOVNY: I think you just feel that way.
ANDERSON: Yeah, I just felt...
DUCHOVNY: I think normally you just suck for the
first 48 hours of any film, at least. Coppola has said he'd like to
shoot the first 2 weeks over...if you have that luxury, I agree. I
would love to shoot the first 2 weeks over of anything I've done.
So... it's always hellish to start anything.
What was your chemistry like after so
DUCHOVNY: It was
(Duchovny and Anderson
Did you keep in touch.
DUCHOVNY: Not so much. Some emails every now and
ANDERSON: Yeah, we do. It's good.
DUCHOVNY: It was never something we really worked on.
How does it feel to be part of a show that's become
so iconic? You guys are out there (the convention appearance) and
everyone is screaming. How does that feel?
DUCHOVNY: It's been a long enough
time now. We don't expect it. It's certainly not surprising.
ANDERSON: It's not surprising, and I
think there is a new level of appreciation for it. At least for me.
Just realizing how big it was. I get that now. At the time I
couldn't fathom it.
DUCHOVNY: We were so insulated when
we were working on it, you know? It was kind of all consuming in
terms of our own personal schedules. We didn't get out amongst
the people that enjoyed the show so much.
We're told that this is a standalone
story. Everybody's being very secretive about it. But what can you
tell us about the film that gives us an idea of what it's about?
DUCHOVNY: (looks to Gillian) Should
we just tell him the whole plot? (laughs) It's about time we told
the truth! There's horror, there's thriller, there's comedic,
there's alien oriented, there's mythology oriented...and I think
this is more of the classic, as Chris was saying, more towards the
beginnings of the show. This is more a return to the horror thriller
genre that The X-Files started out as.
retroCRUSH: Will we have an
opportunity to see some comedy in the film? That was certainly one
of the more fun parts of the show.
DUCHOVNY: We try to. You know, it's
an ongoing...I wouldn't call it a battle, with Chris. It's more of
a...Chris and I have a different...opinion? A consciousness of how
comedy exists within The X-Files. We've always had it. That's always
kind of been a back and forth. He will win the battle because he'll
be in the editing room.
DUCHONVY: But I always try to infuse
certain moments with humanity and humor. Or humanity through humor.
Chris tends to feel like that lets the air out of the bag a little
bit. That it takes the tension out of the scene. I disagree, but I
could be wrong. I don't know. But we make sure that it's around.
That you can reach for it if you need it. So the options, I believe,
are there. Whether or not they're used, I don't know. But that's how
we did the show. Because Chris wasn't around, he was back in LA, so
we'd just fuck around with it while he was gone.
So it sounds like you have some
DUCHOVNY and ANDERSON: We have no
ANDERSON: You do the best that you
can but it's their decision what ends up on the cutting room floor.
Does it ever become frustrating to be
so identified by the public with these two characters?
DUCHOVNY: I don't feel that way. So
I'm not frustrated by it.
ANDERSON: There's certain times when
my focus has been on different things. Like at a charity event on
another continent. And that's all they want to talk about, they
don't want to talk about the charity event. Yeah, that gets
frustrating. Or when I'm trying to promote something else and 75% of
the interview wants to go back to the series. It's frustrating, but
it is what it is. I wouldn't have the choices to do the things I
want to do today if it weren't for the series.
In terms of the lives of the
characters, did you discuss with Chris what they've been up to. Does
the film address it?
DUCHOVNY: We didn't discuss it with
Chris beforehand. The script came to both of us as a "done script".
But it does (the film deals with it).
Frank told us there's a lot of Mulder
and Scully in this film. That the character development is the heart
of the film. Is that how you see it?
DUCHOVNY: That's how I saw the show.
The fact was that on any particular show you didn't have to go for
it because it was written that way. This probably has more self
conscious relationship stuff in it than most of the shows.
Why did it take so long for us to get
to X-Files 2?
DUCHONVY: I don't think it's so long,
is it? The show...Gillian, it just ended in 2002?
DUCHOVNY: She probably had to take a
year off just to sleep.
DUCHOVNY: That brings you to 2003,
maybe she wants to do a couple other movies. That takes her to 2007.
DUCHOVNY: I'm sure Chris was
exhausted. We all wanted to try our hand at other things. There was
an idea in the back of my head that we could continue on. It was
just a matter of when.
I read a book where you said you
didn't want to do a network series anymore, and that (Mulder) would
live on in movies. Is there any difference between what you're doing
now with Californication and what you did on The X-Files.
DUCHOVNY: Oh yeah. I'm only filming
that 12 weeks a year. 12 episodes in 12 weeks. 12 weeks on The
X-Files would have got me through...
ANDERSON: 3 episodes?
DUCHOVNY: Doing Californication is
like doing a film. You're in and you're out. I wouldn't have done
another television show if I had to...I don't think we could. I told
Gillian the other day when we were shooting, "We should do this
every fucking day!" (laughs) I don't want to say I'm old, but
I don't think I'm up to it. I honestly don't know if I could do that
ANDERSON: Yeah... I don't.
retroCRUSH: Gillian, are you going to
continue working with Masterpiece Theater?
ANDERSON: I don't know. What I did
for them was a one off thing. It was an afternoon of recording
intros. As far as I know it's a one off thing.
So this is your first comic book
convention experience, together, right?
ANDERSON: At all, I haven't done one
Coming here and seeing the fans,
sharing the clip, and being able to discuss the film, what's that
experience been like.
ANDERSON: It's a wonderful feeling to
know that there's people out there who are going to show up and
actually see this film when it comes out. Their enthusiasm and their
desire to see it. I think that is rewarding, and a bit of a relief.
It seems like the audience is going
to react to it well.
DUCHOVNY: It was always my hope that
we would get to do one of these every 5 or 6 years. When I was
getting off the television show I wasn't like "Screw the show, screw
these characters, screw you!" I would love to keep doing it, if I
could come back every now and then. I love working with Gillian, I
love Chris. I love the characters. If we can pull that off, that'd
be great. And if not? I'm perfectly happy with the amount of work
we've done as Mulder and Scully, you know? (laughs) We've done a
lot. So in a way, I felt that this was "win/win". If it continues
on, then it's fantastic. If it goes away...well, then we did a lot.
How much sleep have you guys had in
the last 24 hours if you were on the set, then came right out here?
DUCHOVNY: Gillian was working later
than I was.
ANDERSON: But overall I think you've
had less than I have.
DUCHOVNY: It's been a harsh year
because we've been turning around a lot from days to nights. It
wreaks havoc with your processes. But it's a sprint. It's not that
bad. It's like I said to Gillian, we couldn't do this every day.
Because we were doing this every day for 10 months. That's what I
ANDERSON: And not only that but we
were in year 2 of 6 that we signed on to. (laughs) It was like a
So is is safe to say that after
another 5-6 years of sleep we might get X-Files 3?
DUCHOVNY: Oh yeah, it all depends on
the reception, reallly. It's not us standing in the way.
We're happy to do it. It's whether or not it's business for Fox.
Why is the show still relevant? Why
are the characters still relevant? At the time it seemed like it was
very turn of the century, millennial narrative.
ANDERSON: It'd be interesting to
know, if we had started the series in 2008 what would have been
happening. When they started it there was something very timely
about it. Whether it would take in this day and age, I have no idea.
I think that all the elements that made it what it was contribute to
why it was successful, and why people are interested in seeing more
DUCHOVNY: I never think that anything
was a success because of when it came out. Unless it sucks. But I
don't think we suck. I just think we were good and it would have
been a success at any point.
ANDERSON: Do you think it would have
been as good if we started it in 2009?
DUCHOVNY: I don't know. So the shows
that ripped us off would have already happened, so it'd be like we
were ripping them of now?
It doesn't seem like there's a very
big audience for sci-fi (laughs)
DUCHOVNY: Well with the gaming, it
just gets bigger and bigger.
When you guys started you sort of
captured the zeitgeist in a way. There was a lot of paranoia.
ANDERSON: Paranoia's been around a
DUCHOVNY: Paranoia's a human trait.
People like to say that things changed after 9/11. Human nature
doesn't change. This is a story about 2 questing heroes. There's
always going to be something in the human heart that wants to see
that. If you're telling good stories, there'll always be a place for
that. It's got nothing to do whether robots are doing our laundry or
not. (laughs) What the hell am I talking about? Robots doing
And that was all. Join us soon for
our interview with Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz.