on Spiritual Cows, Circumcised
Pigs, but Not Cancer Man
David Duchovny, best-known for his portrayals on TV of Fox Mulder on The X-Files, and Hank Moody on Californication, is finally where he originally thought he would end up: as a writer. Holy Cow, his “charming fable about dignity and tolerance, com- plete with anthropomorphized animals, and replete with puns, double-entendres and sophisticated
humor,” (Kirkus Reviews, starred) came out in February from
Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Oh, and there’s a cow named Elsie
Duchovny, who will talk about and sign his book in the
Macmillan Meeting Room (3139) today at 2 p.m., took a few
minutes to speak with Beth Levine for Show Daily@BookCon.
Everyone mentions your Princeton and Yale background in English. Were you a writer before you
become an actor?
That was my original ambition, the story I told myself when
I was thinking about my life after school. The original concept
of going to graduate school was so I could teach and write. I
came to acting through writing, but it was very lonely sitting
in a room by myself. At the age of 22, I couldn’t quite face
that. I thought playwrights and screenwriters had more fun
because they get to collaborate. When I tried my hand at that,
I decided I should learn something about speaking words. I
came to acting as someone who was going to write for actors.
I can’t help thinking of the X-Files plot where it turned
out that the worldwide evil mastermind Cancer Man
was just a frustrated novelist who couldn’t get published. Do you feel his pain now?
Maybe. If I hadn’t been published, I might be now in a shadow
government in high levels with a Canadian accent. Thanks to
my publisher, FSG, you’ve all been saved.
What inspired you to write Holy Cow?
I had this idea that if I were a cow, wouldn’t I try to get to
India if I was trying to save myself from being eaten? It felt
like an animated feature. I pitched it to Disney and Pixar.
They passed. Seeing the book now, I realize that was probably
a smart move.
You seem to get a kick out of wordplay in Holy Cow.
Do you think, in that sense, writing and acting fulfill
the same need? The joy of language and expression?
Joy of expression, yes. But as I grow as an actor, as I feel I get
better, words are less and less important to me. What’s more
important is what is going on beneath the words.
I hear you’ve signed for a second novel. Can you give
us any sneak peeks at that?
It’s called Bucky F@&*ing Dent. It’s set in 1978, when the
Yankees overtook the Red Sox and the curse of the Babe continued.
Okay, and I have to ask or my husband will leave me:
X –Files reunion. Is that really happening?
We start shooting six episodes in June in Vancouver. I don’t
know when it will air or anything about Cancer Man.
Will Scully and Mulder finally get together?
They got together in the last movie.
Oh. Right. Will they stay together?
Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?
BY BETH LEVINE