David Duchovny Believes He Maintains His Career By Constantly Shifting It: ‘The Trick Is to Keep Breaking Out of the Boxes’

David Duchovny may not be gracing television screens every week like he did in his “X-Files” heyday, but he’s still putting in the work. His second directorial feature film, “Reverse the Curse” — which he also adapted from his novel “Bucky F*cking Dent” — was released in select theaters this past Friday, and his podcast “Fail Better” received headlines for interviews with Bette Midler and Sarah Silverman when it debuted in May. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Duchovny expressed his desire to keep moving at this stage in his career and not get hung up on what people think of him or his work.

“I was once talking to an agent,” Duchovny said. “She’s no longer my agent — and not because of the story — but I was not getting the roles that I wanted. I felt stuck. She was like, ‘Well, do you want me to tell you the truth? They’re not seeing an edge to you.’ A year later, I do ‘Californication.’ Then I’m getting, ‘There’s too much edge!’ It’s all bullshit. Perception can change with any role, any project. People put you in a box. The trick is to keep breaking out of the boxes — if you have the energy for it.”

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While Duchovny understood “the visibility and the influence” of “The X-Files” was a great help to his career, after the show ended the first time around, he was desperate to break free from his identity as Agent Mulder, but the roles he took on didn’t seem to do the trick.

“I think I did really good work in movies that weren’t seen,” he said to The Hollywood Reporter. “And I did decent work in movies that were seen a lot. ‘Return to Me’ is a really good movie, but it wasn’t a huge hit. So, all of a sudden, I’m not going to be the next rom-com guy. ‘Evolution’ was a pretty good movie, and it did okay, but it wasn’t a huge blockbuster. So, I wasn’t going to be a huge blockbuster guy. It just never jibed in film to make that magical moment.”

Nowadays, Duchovny mostly operates based on what he’s most drawn to rather than trying to figure out what others want from him. At the same time, however, in the words of his most famous character, he “wants to believe” there’s more out there for him and maybe even “The X-Files.”

“I don’t wake up and wonder, ‘Where is the ‘X-Files’ stock today?’ said Duchovny. “But I love that show. I don’t know what my character would be like at my age. It’s an interesting question. That show can address the present as well as it addressed the ’90s. It just depends on Chris [Carter] or the other writers. I’m always like, ‘Hey, let’s see.’”

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