Actor David Duchovny hasn't wasted any time getting back to work.
After spending seven seasons as self-destructive Hank Moody on the Showtime series "Californication," Duchovny stepped into some familiar shoes in a role not unlike Fox Mulder. This time around he's playing a detective in the new NBC series "Aquarius," premiering tonight at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC.
After playing Moody for so long, it was important to do something very different, said Duchovny.
"I try not to be too heady about my choices because I feel you can kind of screw yourself over thinking it," he adds. "It didn't hurt that this guy was a straight arrow, had a flattop, and would have taken great pleasure in busting Hank Moody and punching him in the face."
Set in the late 1960s, "Aquarius" follows the fictionalized story of Detective Sam Hodiak and his undercover partner Brian Shafe (Gray Davis), who are both assigned to investigate the disappearance of a young woman believed to be kidnapped by a petty criminal named Charles Manson. And we all know how that ends up.
Although the initial 13 episodes of the series explore the early days of the infamous Manson Family, Duchovny hopes there will be further exploration. "We are trying to make you want it so badly that you keep us on the air until we get there," he shares.
Until then, the busy actor will be reprising his role as Mulder and co-starring with Gillian Anderson as Scully for Fox's upcoming six-episode "X-Files" reboot.
Duchovny won't say no to some man-scaping for a reprisal of his role as transgender cop Denise for the proposed "Twin Peaks" reboot. "I love that character and would love to shave my legs again," he joked.
The only pair of shoes Duchovny hasn't filled is a pair of dancing shoes. The self-admitted "Dancing With The Stars" fan enjoys watching the hit dance competition reality show, but when it comes to participating, he tells HNGN, "No. I'm really impressed by those people. And I don't feel any guilt at all watching it. But I hope I never find myself in that position. I think that dancing would be half the battle."
HNGN caught up with the busy actor to find out more about "Aquarius," "The X-Files" and his burgeoning music career.
HNGN: Was doing only 13 episodes of 'Aquarius' a big draw?
DD: Yeah, but I was attached to the show before it was set up. They went out to set the show up with me attached, and I assumed it would be set up at a cable outfit and probably not Showtime because I just come off there. I was thinking maybe HBO or FX, then when NBC stepped forward saying they wanted to do it I was shocked. When I thought about it I thought it was ballsy and great because networks talk about wanting to compete with cable, and this is a cable show that we don't have to compromise a lot to put on a network. It's an interesting experiment. I think you can attract the talent you want by having shorter seasons and tell more interesting stories if you only have to do 12 or 13 hours rather than 24.
You're known for working in duos, so how was working with Gray Davis on this - any similarities between him and Scully?
Well, Gray is attractive as well and is a good deal taller than Gillian. I like Gray and really enjoyed working with all of these guys. We have an interesting... I don't want to say father/son relationship, because I would feel bad saying that, more an older brother younger brother kind of thing. He's very charming in a very vulnerable way. There are a lot of actors on the show so we could go wrong, but I don't think we made any mistakes. The biggest mistake that could have been made and would have killed the whole show is the Manson character. Gethin (Anthony) to me is phenomenal.
Have you thought about Charlie watching this from prison?
He's got to be, what else do you have to do in jail? It's not like, "Oh, I'm busy."
Are you looking forward to going back and playing Mulder again?
I am looking forward to it, the movie was eight years ago, so a lot's gone on. We always wanted to keep it going. We envisaged a movie franchise and did two. The second one did well, but I guess not well enough to do a third. We were all disappointed it didn't happen that way. Television's started to change in that now there are limited runs, and I'm going to do six [episodes].
If it does well would you want to do more?
I don't know, six episodes to me sound very doable. It's not a great hardship in terms of time, so I hope it'll be successful and we could continue, but right now we're just looking at it as the six and then we'll see what happens.
It's rumored that Skinner and Smoking Man are back. Anything else you can reveal?
I don't even know that for sure, I don't know if they've been signed up yet.
Scully is back, I assume they will have as many people as we can back, the show is the show.
Do you and Gillian keep in touch?
Yeah, we live together (laughs).
What do you think of all the TV revivals?
I don't know how I feel about the trend, but "The X-Files" never really went away. It was always like people kept on talking about it. I think while were still energetic enough and have our minds about us enough, why not? I feel so many shows have come out of "The X-Files," not only on TV, but also in film. There's been a turn toward science fiction and superheroes. To me, "Twilight" came out of "The X-Files," all of that stuff, so I figure why not us.
Did you figure a quarter century later people would still care?
Well, we'll see, won't we?
Can you talk about your album?
It's something that came about in the last few years when I started playing guitar and singing and writing songs, then I got someone foolish enough to allow me to make an album (laughs). And there it is. I hope that you like it. It was so much fun, really because of all the things I've done in my life as a creative person, it really is "most me" and the most unadulterated in coming from a sincere place. I was just talking to a couple of friends who are like, "Are you nervous if people will like it or not?" Honestly, I want people to like it and would be lying if I said I didn't care, I care, but I can't say I would have done anything differently. Usually when you do something, even like "Aquarius," which I'm really proud of, if you say I didn't like this or that or I might have done that a little differently, I can't think of anything with this album that's exactly what I wanted it to be. It's exactly coming from me.
What kind of music is it?
Whenever I'm asked to do that it sounds like I'm bragging, I'm not going to tell you if it's horrible. But you know, like the Beatles (laughs). I've been told, and this is more in the production than my own music, but R.E.M. or Wilco and even Lou Reed or Tom Petty. But again, please don't make it sound like I'm standing here saying that, put it as modestly as possible and make sure it you mentioned that you asked the question. I didn't offer it.