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David Duchovny: I'll never have another success like The X-Files

Published 22/11/2015

David Duchovny said the hit sci-fi TV show was his 'unicorn'
David Duchovny said the hit sci-fi TV show was his 'unicorn'

David Duchovny has said he will not have another television success like The X-Files.

The award-winning actor remains best-known for his role as FBI Agent Fox Mulder in the sci-fi/horror drama, alongside Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully.

"It's fantastic to be part of it," he said.

"At first it's a little frightening and feels like a strait-jacket. But as time goes on, you just learn to be grateful."

Duchovny used Adele's album 21 to explain his X-Files achievement .

"I was reading about Adele in the New York Times, and they were asking a producer about the pressure for her to come up with another 21, and he said, 'you find one unicorn in the forest, that's an amazing thing. To find two in the forest, that just doesn't happen'.

"I guess at some point, I came to grips with the fact that The X-Files is my unicorn and I'm not going to have another success like that - nor do I really want to. It's enough to have one phenomenon, I don't need two. One unicorn is fine."

The X-Files has so far spawned two feature films, a spin-off series and numerous items of merchandise sold around the world.

Originally broadcast from 1993 to 2002, the paranormal-themed US drama series returns for a limited run in January 2016.

In the opening episode of the revival, Mulder and Scully take on a case involving alien abduction.

"It appears to me that the general audience has splintered into so many different factions that I suppose you could get a vociferous and passionate fanbase for just about anything and try and clamour for a reboot.

"But The X-Files just seems to somehow maintain its presence even for however many years we didn't do it. I don't know why - I'm grateful for it. It's just something that is."

The two stars have enjoyed acclaim for work outside of The X-Files. Duchovny was asked if he had watched any of Anderson's recent projects.

"I've seen The Fall and I think it's great. I haven't really thought about doing British television because I live here (the US). But obviously I think British television, the quality, is quite staggering across the board."

Duchovny is also busy filming the second season of 1960s-set series Aquarius, in which he stars as homicide detective Sam Hodiak.

The investigations dovetail with the activities of real-life cult leader Charles Manson in the years before he masterminded the Tate-LaBianca murders.

Talking to the Press Association about the DVD release, Duchovny said: "Manson was the crime of my childhood so I was always aware of him.

"I liked the idea of revisiting the 1960s through the prism of Manson to re-tell the story of the 1960s."

Asked about the challenges a period drama presents, he said Aquarius is "very modern".

"It is a period in the drama, but it's still very modern. I'm not playing British royalty from the 17th century - that would be a bit more difficult for me."

As the star and producer, Duchovny teased elements of the forthcoming second season, due to be broadcast in the UK on Sky Atlantic.

"We're doing the assassination of Martin Luther King, so Hodiak's being baptised into a world that is rapidly changing. He's a good cop, but I won't say his methods are always good.

"What's hanging over the entire enterprise is the actual Manson murders, that's the McGuffin, that's the carrot on the stick that's been there from the beginning.

"If you're going to do a show about Manson and it starts in 1968, then you know what's going to happen."

Aquarius: The Complete First Season Director's Cut is available on DVD, Blu-ray and iTunes now from ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

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