David Duchovny's revelation that he is seeking treatment for a sex addiction seems like something straight out of Californication. Reading about it yesterday brought me back to a visit to the set earlier this summer, where I was part of a passel (gaggle?) of foreign journalists peppering Duchovny and other cast members with questions.
The former X-Files star seemed relaxed and laid back throughout the press conference, which took place on the show's non-descript sound stage hidden far from the usual L.A. studios. He got downright playful when asked about all the nude scenes in the series, suggesting being naked in front of the cameras embarrassed him and that "sex is ridiculous looking behaviour," or, at least, "when I do it, it's funny looking."
Apparently that didn't prevent him from doing it.
When Duchovny was asked this past July at press tour if he considered his marriage to Tea Leoni to be some kind of role model for Hollywood unions (the two have been married 11 years, which is around 40 in human years) he seemed to wince. He basically waved off the suggestion, saying he wasn't an expert in that area.
He also pointed out that what he liked about his Californication character, Hank Moody, was that, despite all the bed hopping, he was really monogamous. The guy was loyal to his ex-Karen, when he was with Karen.
I honestly remember thinking at the time that Duchovny was probably downplaying any suggestion that he was an ideal husband because, sooner or later, some scandal or affair would surely emerge and he didn't want to look like a hypocrite. He's David Duchovny, for Pete's sake--what chick doesn't want to sleep with Mulder.
That he couldn't always resist temptation makes him as big and ugly as the rest of us. That he is secure enough to go public with his addiction now takes guts. (Think of the "Californication Star Can't Stop Fornicating" headlines that will surround every cash register in North America by Monday).
Hopefully the treatment will be effective and he can repair the relationships that matter the most to him. His buddy Gary Shandling has probably already called to ask for Duchovny's little black book now that he won't be needing it anymore. Hopefully he came up with something funnier.
Duchovny probably can use the laughs right now. Seeking treatment could cost him. One editor at a family friendly magazine I write for just emailed today to tell me they had to yank my Duchovny piece out of their October issue.
The 48-year-old actor talks of how he admires Hank Moody's ability to not care about what other people think, to be a "bowling ball that knocks things down." In the weeks to come, he'll need a little of that moxie.