On June 10, The X-Files star David Duchovny, 62, presents Bucky F*cking Dent, his first film as a director, writer and star since 2004’s House of D, at New York’s prestigious Tribeca Festival. It’s his adaptation of his own critically acclaimed novel of the same title. AARP asked him about his life, how The X-Files affected him and how he got the story he tells in his film.
Your film and book are about an Ivy grad (Logan Marshall-Green) who slings peanuts at Yankee Stadium to fund his novel-writing art. You play his estranged dad, Marty, a fan of the Yankees’ rival Red Sox who has terminal cancer. You’re a baseball fan, novelist and Princeton and Yale grad. Does the film sync with your life? What inspired it?
It came from an amalgamation of inspirations. It never comes to me fully formed. A glimmer of an idea I let hang around, and then it attaches to other ideas, almost like molecules, and then all of a sudden I start to see a story.
So it began as an idea about a parent and child and illness. How did it become an ode to father-son bonding, New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox rivalry and Yankee ballplayer Bucky Dent, whose historic, unlikely 1978 World Series home run beat the Red Sox, causing bitter Boston fans to dub him “Bucky f—ing Dent?”
One day on the roof in Massachusetts, I heard someone say “Bucky f---ing Dent!” These things started to cohere. I started to see father-son. Ideas start to attract one another, reach critical mass. I thought, “Oh, I can see an arc here of a full story.” Disparate ideas that join them together.
What impact did The X-Files have on you?
It was pivotal for my career. Personally and professionally, it was an explosion for me. I went from a guy bouncing around from movie to movie, guest star to guest star, to a weirdly global phenomenon, more than any other English language show at that point.