David Duchovny previews Californication’s fourth season
BY FRED TOPEL
David Duchovny is about to go to work on the next season of his Showtime series Californication. The sexual escapades of frustrated writer Hank Moody will continue to amuse audiences as Hank himself digs his way out of the hole he got into last year.
“Well, we left Hank last year going to jail,” Duchovny said at a press conference where he was promoting his new movie, The Joneses. “It’s kind of like last year was a descent. It’s a comedy too so we went about as far down as we could in terms of keeping this a comedic show. We’re not trying to be a drama so now I think this year is going to be about rising up and using that as the low point.”
The show will introduce several new characters, with A-list guest stars to play them. The guest stars have not yet been signed, but Duchovny revealed the roles they would play. “My lawyer is one,” he said. “And a famous actress, a famous Hollywood actress. Every season is always like a new milieu and a new set of guest stars, which is really refreshing for all of us. Last year we had Kathleen Turner and Peter Gallagher. This year, we’re going to have some new people as well.”
For the actress, the show would not ask a star to play themselves in a self-referential role. They’ve created the character of an actress who only exists in the world of Californication.
“Probably a fictional person, a fictional famous person. Well, we’re all pretty fictional but not a name that you’d recognize [in the real world.]”
Duchovny likes having strong characters for Hank to go up against. “For me, when approaching Hank, what I always like is for him to have a worthy adversary. He’s kind of a malcontent so he’s always arguing people. When he’s arguing with people that can’t argue back or aren’t strong adversaries, I see it as bullying and I don’t like it as much. When he has somebody like the self-help guru in the second year, things like that I like very much because he’s actually fighting for something rather than just destroying things.”
Hank’s sexual escapades have to get more and more outrageous every year. When the show starts with a woman punching him in the face mid-coitus, and Hank vomiting on an expensive painting, it’s hard for the writers to top themselves.
“It’s tough,” Duchovny said. “It’s hard. There’s only so much puke, you know.”
Californication enters its fourth season this year with no signs of slowing down. Duchovny was a regular on Fox’s The X-Files for nine years and still guest starred in the final two. He’s game to continue Californication as long as it takes.
“It’s such a pleasure to do because it’s almost like a vacation. Especially now that I’m living in New York, I get to come out here and shoot it for three months. Unlike an X-Files, it’s not a 10 ½ month schedule so I really like doing it. I think it’ll get cancelled before I get tired of it. Cable doesn’t have to go that long because the economics of it are different from free TV. I would hope six, six seasons, 12 each, 12 episodes per season.”
Maybe Hank could even take a trip to New York one year. “I would love that because then I could work out of home but it’s hard to imagine a show called Californication. Unfortunately, because of the logistics of shooting a 12 episode season, I think if you’re shooting 25, you could shoot four in New York and have a little thing in New York, like The Brady Bunch went to Hawaii. When you’re only 12, you pretty much have to stay put.”
Californication goes back into production April 19, with a season premiere anticipated for September on Showtime.
DAVID DUCHOVNY IN “CALIFORNICATION”