PORTLAND, Ore. — Fans of award-winning actor David Duchovny had the chance to meet him in Oregon this week, but not because of a new movie. Duchovny promoted his new book at Powell's Books in Beaverton on June 8.
Duchovny is best known for playing FBI agent Fox Mulder, chasing monsters and aliens on the hit TV series The X Files.
The actor, producer, director, singer and writer released a new book, called "The Reservoir". The project initially started as a short story, but it developed into something longer.
Ahead of Wednesday's appearance at Powell's, Duchovny spoke with KGW Sunrise's Brenda Braxton via Zoom from his home in Los Angeles.
"And it kind of fell into this weird little length of novella, they call it," he said. "Or 'novelette' or 'novelsicle.' I should have put that on a cover: a 'novelsicle.' A 'novelini,'" he joked.
Duchovny's humor is woven throughout the book, but it's dark. The main character is named Ridley. He's a Wall Street veteran infected with COVID who devolves into madness while taking photos from his apartment window overlooking the reservoir in New York City's Central Park.
"He starts to recognize a pattern across the way on Fifth Avenue, like flashing lights. Like maybe there's a Rapunzel or damsel in distress, or somebody who's communicating to him across the divide of the park and the pandemic; the park being like a moat," he said.
Ridley tries to make contact with and imagines he is on a mythic quest to save a woman.
"Actually, what he's done is he's contracted COVID and he's descending into delirium," said Duchovny. That also keys into the delirium of all of us, at this point, and all the conspiracy theories and the reservoir being the symbol of like the unconscious underneath it."
Reviewers call "The Reservoir" a "twisted rom com" — a combination of the 1954 film "Rear Window" and "The Plague." It's Duchovny's fifth book.
Duchovny reflects on "The X Files"
Acting is one of Duchovny's first loves. He's been at it almost non-stop since "The X Files" put him on the map almost 30 years ago. He said the show's themes of government distrust and conspiracy theories essentially foreshadowed what's happening in society today.
"What I find interesting about the show at this point is the fact that like Mulder was this conspiracy geek and everybody laughed at him. Now we've kind of flipped into some other dimension. Fortunately, or not, Mulder happened to be right about his paranoid conspiracies. And I look around and I think, 'Oh, I hope these people don't think Mulder would be on their side,'" he said.
Duchovny said he thinks it's a testament to "The X Files" creator Chris Carter and his foresight of the direction of the world.
"We did this show starting in '93... And we were on this escalator to prosperity and there was going to be a global economy and people are going to stop fighting and Mulder was like, 'No, they're lying to you. It's all phony, all this stuff.' And Chris was there first. Chris, I guess, he saw the cracks."
Duchovny remembered the last time he was in Portland. In 2017 or 2018, he played gigs with his band in the Pacific Northwest and stopped in the Rose City.
"I've had the same band since the first album. There are three albums now and we're working on a fourth. Same guys: Colin Lee, Pat McCusker, Mitch Stewart, and Davis Rowan. They're the real musicians and I'm kind of the crappy songwriter singer," he said.
Duchovny said he'd like to perform more concerts in the Pacific Northwest in the future.