Claim to fame Star of Fox's X-Files miniseries (premieres Jan. 24) and NBC's Aquarius
Base New York
Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning?
David Duchovny: I get The New York Times on my iPad, so I go through that. I get physically ill if the television's on in the morning. It's actually hard for me to watch television unless it's dark out. It's an old-school habit. My mother probably instilled in me the idea that you'd better be sick if you're watching television during the day.
What social media platforms do you use?
I'm on Twitter, and I guess I'm on Instagram, too.
What do you use Twitter for? Work? News?
Oh God, I don't get news from Twitter, no. I use it a little bit for work stuff, but I'm also trying to figure out the best way to communicate with either fans or people who are interested in what I'm doing. I'd like to see what that community is like—I use the word "community" with some anxiety—and what the dialogue can be like when it's not just one-sided. But I don't really know how to do that because it seems like the level of dialogue always descends into fandom, which I don't really want.
Have you been doing many Twitter Q&As to promote the new X-Files?
Yeah. I did some with Aquarius, too, but that was more like live tweeting, which I didn't really understand because I thought that people were supposed to be watching the show that you're talking about, not tweeting about it. But I suppose I'll be strong-armed into doing more for the X-Files. I kind of just follow along in this world, kicking and screaming.
What's on your reading list?
I read The New York Times Book Review every Sunday. I usually end up buying a few of those books just by having my interest piqued. I recently read Pacific by Simon Winchester, which is a very eccentric, idiosyncratic, historical view of the largest body of water on the planet, and I found it to be fascinating.
How about TV shows?
I don't watch a lot of TV when I'm working, for the same reason that I don't read a lot when I'm writing—because I tend to imitate whatever it is that I'm looking at, and that can be dangerous. There's really no TV show right now that I watch, but there are ones that I want to catch up with. Believe it or not, I'm still waiting to watch The Wire [laughs]. I hear good things.
What's the last thing you binge-watched?
I've never binge-watched anything! Again, I think it's a generational thing. We grew up being told that television was bad for you, almost physically damaging [laughs], so if I watch more than one or two hours in a row, I feel like I'm destroying myself. If we binge-watched as kids back then, it would have been a sign of the apocalypse.
When you were getting ready to shoot the X-Files reboot, did you go back and watch any of the original episodes?
No, I didn't watch any of the old shows. It's like a tune that you know. I know it pretty well, and I'm going to go back and play it, and maybe I won't get all the notes right, but it's going to be the same tune. Anyway, I shouldn't get all the notes right because it's something new.
This story first appeared in the Jan. 4 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.