David Duchovny Interviewed (Page 1)
David Duchovny, who was Agent Mulder for almost a decade, plays Detective Sam Hodiak in the new period crime drama, Aquarius. Based on the infamous Charles Manson and “The Manson Family“, the entire first season of Aquarius is now available on iflix.
Thanks to iflix, we have the ITV Studios transcript of their interview with David Duchovny on his role in Aquarius. Take a look!
David Duchovny On Aquarius
What was your first reaction when you were approached with this? What were your thoughts on it?
Well, it’s funny. I guess I’ve done four series, if you count Red Shoe Diaries, but at that point I would have taken any job that I was offered, so I don’t count that as a decision. It was like, ‘Oh, I’ll be able to eat.’
But from The X-Files to Californication to Aquarius, going in, usually what I say is, ‘Oh, this is really good but there’s no way that they are ever going to go for a series. So I won’t have to do it.’
So with X-Files I thought, ‘Oh, aliens. May be interesting for a day or two, but what’s going to happen? Are they going to show the aliens? And if they don’t, will people feel frustrated? So, this is pretty safe. I’ll be able to do this cool pilot and then it will all disappear.’ But that didn’t work out!
And then with Californication I thought, ‘Well here’s finally an adult male, who is not acting like a child, doing comedy. Not like a Jim Carrey movie, for example, a Dumb and Dumber, but more of an adult comedic performance that Warren Beatty might have done in the 70s in something like Shampoo.’ And then I thought. ‘There’s no way anybody is going to watch this because that time has passed.’ So I get to do this great character for half an hour and move on. And that didn’t work out.
And then with Aquarius I thought, ‘Oh my God. Manson. Hmm… There’s just no way. I mean, people know the ending. Why are they going to watch if they know the ending?’ And, hopefully, I will be wrong again.
This has been set in 1967, two years before the Tate-LaBianca murders, and John McNamara, who wrote it, has hopes and plans to do more series of Aquarius covering a six year period. It’s a long range plan and it’s an epic vision for the show.
So, for the first time that I have ever done a series, I would feel really sad if we didn’t get to do all the things that we wanted to do. Because there are plans to go forward in time, there are plans to look backward in time. There’s a lot of storytelling.
This can be symbolised by Woodstock sliding into Altamont where there was a killing while the Stones were performing. Or you can just rely on Charlie Manson as this hippy-seeming, peace and love music playing individual who slides into anarchic and senseless violence and murder.
And then after that there is a real contraction, not just in America but worldwide, that leads straight to Reagan and Thatcher and whatever you want, and to Bush. And I think that a lot of it can be traced to that moment where the media took hold of this petty conman in Charles Manson, who was a frustrated rock and roller and said, ‘This is what’s gonna happen if the kids continue to take drugs and have sex and grow their hair long.’ And I find that fascinating because that’s not true. But there you have it. That’s history. And that’s the world that we are opening up to and delving into.
But did you have any reservations about the material sounding too dark, because Manson is a real guy?
No, I don’t share that because I feel like it’s part of the narrative of our human life. We’re not glorifying Manson. We’re not trying to rehabilitate him or make him into a hero of any kind. I think, on the other hand, it’s irresponsible for people to say things like, ‘He is the devil.’ Or ‘He is evil,’ because there are explanations for his conduct.
It is a person who was born in innocence, who was treated in a certain way, raised in a certain way. He is not the devil. He is not evil incarnate. That glorifies people rather than treating them like the human beings they are. It’s not treating them with kid gloves or saying that he’s misunderstood or he’s really a good guy or anything like that. But to say that somebody is evil is irresponsible and lazy.
Do you know if Manson has any idea that this series is taking place? Have you had any feedback at all?
Well, if he follows me on Twitter, he does. He seems to be someone who is very happy to be talked about; happy to be in the limelight. To be honest with you I don’t really think of the man. I think of him for how he was interpreted and what he came to mean to the country and the world in the 60s after he did what he did. The man, to me, is much less interesting. So, I don’t know. I’ve never had any contact with him.