In 'The Joneses,' David Duchovny plays Steve, a father and a husband living the good life in the suburbs. Everything in his life is perfect ... except for the fact that it's all a lie.

Steve is part of a made-up family, given every possible luxury product, and sent in to become role models for the rest of the town. The goal? To make everyone envy them enough to go out and buy those products. (It's such a diabolically brilliant marketing scheme that you have to wonder why it hasn't been tried yet.)

We spoke to Duchovny at the press day for 'The Joneses,' where he talked about the film, consumerism, and his TV work on crowd favorites like 'Californication' and 'Twin Peaks.' And in case you were wondering about the possibility of another 'X-Files' movie, we got his feelings on that, too. In 'The Joneses,' David Duchovny plays Steve, a father and a husband living the good life in the suburbs. Everything in his life is perfect ... except for the fact that it's all a lie.

Steve is part of a made-up family, given every possible luxury product, and sent in to become role models for the rest of the town. The goal? To make everyone envy them enough to go out and buy those products. (It's such a diabolically brilliant marketing scheme that you have to wonder why it hasn't been tried yet.)

We spoke to Duchovny at the press day for 'The Joneses,' where he talked about the film, consumerism, and his TV work on crowd favorites like 'Californication' and 'Twin Peaks.' And in case you were wondering about the possibility of another 'X-Files' movie, we got his feelings on that, too.

'The Jonses' is an interesting story that touches on a really relevant subject matter. Can you talk about the idea of the film?
The premise of the film is that there exists this stealth marketing idea that companies or marketing consortiums put together families or cast families like you put together a movie. Husband and wife, and kids. In this case, me, [Demi Moore], [Ben Hollingsworth] and [Amber Heard] who aren't really related but were cast as a family to be plopped down in some suburb somewhere with all the best cars, the best bicycle, the best lawnmower, the best golf clubs, the best nail polish. And just by being the perfect family, we inspire other families in the neighborhood to try and consume and want to have what we have. So they buy the same brands they see us wearing. So we are the Joneses of the 'Keeping up with the Joneses' cliche.

One of the surprising things about watching the film is that you laugh like crazy through the beginning, and all of a sudden, it takes a really dark turn.
Yeah, the major trick of the film, and this is Derrick Borte, the director and writer's skill in handling this ... it is a comedy. It is a romance to some extent. It is a high school film to some extent. It is a satire to a great extent. And usually when you have a film that's trying to satisfy all those genres, it's a mess. And you come out going, 'I just saw five films and none of them were any good.' And somehow Derrick has been able to interweave all those strands, especially the satire with the romantic comedy, and somehow come up with a movie that feels like a satisfying whole.



Derrick is a first-time director who has been working in the commercial arena. How was that experience?
Well, the experience is in the product. I think he did a great job. I look at the film and I admire the job that he did. The experience that we had on set was very pleasant and collaborative. Derrick as a person and as a director, I think, recognizes that both Demi and I ... it wasn't our first rodeo. So we might have had some experience to lend him. And he was very open to whatever ideas that we had. And open to all ideas. I'm not saying he was wishy-washy, but he did inspire, he did accept ideas from the producers and the writers, and then he would filter them. I think he chose the best ones, and threw away the bad ones.

Did you do any sort of retail research? I'm not sure if this sort of thing is actually happening anywhere, but it does seem like something companies would do.
Yeah. Derrick says no. It doesn't really happen. I didn't research it, if only because my character is new to it. He's the green one coming into this cell, as it's called. This 'selling cell.' So I felt, OK I'd make all this new to me. To this character. And for me the key to the character was that he has really never had any sympathy or empathy for others. A minor salesman. Not so successful, doesn't have any family. He just seems to have been adrift for most of his life. And all of a sudden, he gets to live the lifestyle he always wanted. He has the cars, he has the toys. They're not his but he gets to use them. And lo and behold, he finds himself having feelings for these young adults who are playing his children. He starts to have fatherly feelings towards them, and he starts to have romantic feelings towards Demi. But not only romantic. Also sympathetic. To want to know why a person would take a job like that. He knows why he took it, but why did this woman who seems to be so capable and smart and pretty ... why would she take a job like this? So he starts to open up.

Some of the products were hysterical, like the Tokyo toilet.

Well, that's a real product. [Laughs] I have one of those.

Do you really?
Yeah, [Duchovny's wife Téa Leoni] loves that toilet. For me, it's a little busy. I like a simple toilet. [Laughs] Somewhere between a hole in the ground and a Tokyo toilet, that's my toilet.

I heard you were a bit of a prankster on set.
Oh... not really. It makes me sound like I'm not serious about my job. I am, you know? Demi and I both, I think we have a similar approach in that we come to get the job done. We don't come to fool around. We come to work. But in addition to that, we're not in an operating theater either. We're trying to be creative and play and have a playful approach to all this. Because that's creative. Sometimes, for my own needs, I need to loosen up or I need to laugh, I'll break into something. In this particular case, one of the grips had one of those fart cups. One of those little putty in a cup ... I just thought it was really funny. So I'd do it over Demi's lines a lot. When she was talking, I would make it go. And she got me back because she had a app for her iPhone. I think it's called, 'iFart'? [Laughs] I didn't know it existed. And she started to do that to me in the middle of scenes. [Laughs] She went nuclear on me.

What can you tell us about the new season of '
Californication'?
Like this movie, 'Californication' is a comedy. And the end of last year ... not a comedy. The end of last year was dark and sad and in jail. So the beginning of this year is there. And if last year was kind of this roller coaster down into the pit, this year ... got to come back up, because it is a comedy. And it's all about the ups and downs. This year there's going to be some legal maneuvering and there's going to be some Hollywood stuff. There is going to be some movie-making.

We're at the 20th anniversary of
'Twin Peaks' -- and when we mentioned this interview on Twitter, there were a ton of requests to tell you how much they loved you on the show.
[laughs] That's sweet. I played a transvestite on 'Twin Peaks.' It was one of my first roles and [laughs] I'm really happy I did it.

Of course, there is no way I can talk to you without asking you about the possibility of another
'X-Files' movie.
I'm always game. It always rides on Fox. [Chris Carter] is game. I know [Gillian Anderson] is game. We all, at this point, love the show. We all, at this point, would love to work with one another again. We're all good friends and miss one another, and miss working together. We worked together so hard for so long, so closely. We had some ups and downs personally, sure. But in the end, they are really like family to me. We're all like this little 'X-Files' family and I, for one, would love to continue. And I think there's a lot left in the show. You know? And I think we can continue to make good movies. It's just a matter of spending enough on a movie that can compete in the summertime. We made a movie and released it in the summer, but it wasn't really a blockbuster movie. And it got kind of overshadowed by the bigger ones. So, we're saying, make us big. We'll fight with the big boys.

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