Californication star David Duchovny talks nudity, fatherhood and The X Files…
What makes Californication different from other TV dramas?
“It’s an adult comedy, but not in the X-rated sense. I’ve never seen it as a show about sex. It’s a light-hearted look at a man with inner conflicts and self-esteem problems.”
What happens in the new series?
“Hank has run out of money and starts teaching literature at a university and, as you can imagine, that’s not the best place for Hank to be. He’s like a fox in a hen house.”
What’s the best thing about playing Hank?
“There’s something fun-loving about him. There is a certain playfulness in his character because he’s so uncensored in what he does. We all wish we were like Hank and could speak our mind.”
You get naked a lot on the show. Do you go to the gym more when you know you have revealing scenes?
“I always did swimming and basketball, but now I’m lifting a few weights. If I didn’t it would be disgusting.”
Do any of the actors get embarrassed by their sex scenes?
“Certainly Evan Handler, who plays Hank’s agent Charlie, has found himself in situations that he probably doesn’t want to tell his grandchildren about. But it’s all for fun.”
You were in The X Files for nine years. Would you stay in Californication for as long?
“It’s a pleasure to do Californication because it’s like a vacation, especially now that I’m living in New York. I get to come out to California, which I love, and shoot it for three months – unlike The X Files, which had a 10-month schedule. I think it’ll get cancelled before I get tired of it.”
What does Hank have in common with Fox Mulder?
“I guess that they both want to know the truth and they both speak the truth.”
What’s your favourite TV show?
“I’m a big fan of the original Star Trek, the one with Shatner.”
What’s the biggest extravagance in your life?
“Probably the white tigers I keep at my house [laughs]. No, I think my reality is very similar to anybody else’s. Maybe there are more clothes and nicer cars, but the life is the same and the problems are the same.”
What kind of father are you?
“I think I’m turning into a strict dad. I always thought I would be the fun dad, the friend dad, but my wife Tea is the less strict one, which was a surprise to me.”
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
“Well, I’m a New Yorker and I was a delivery boy for a meat market in Greenwich Village. I also used to bartend at Radio City Music Hall, but I got to see great acts like Marvin Gaye and Bette Midler for free, so that was a great job.”
*Californication screens on Fiver on Wednesday evenings