The New York Times
November 24, 2010

An East Village Guy, Up in Lights
By Irina Aleksander

A few minutes before the premiere of "The Break of Noon," the Neil LaBute play that opened Monday night at the Lucille Lortel Theater in the West Village, the actress Téa Leoni scooted up to Gillian Anderson. The star of the play is David Duchovny, Ms. Leoni's husband and Ms. Anderson's former co-star on "The X-Files."

"You are so beautiful," Ms. Leoni was overheard saying. "Every time I see you, you get younger. You're aging backwards."

Ms. Anderson smiled shyly and asked Ms. Leoni if she was nervous about her husband's debut. "Oh, no, I've seen it already," Ms. Leoni replied.

The play tells the story of John Smith, an executive who, after a gruesome office shooting, believes he has seen the face of God. For Mr. Duchovny, who has been starring in "Californication" on Showtime in recent years, this was his first time on a New York stage.

Did his inexperience show? "Not at all," said Ben Stiller, who was accompanied by his wife, Christine Taylor, at the after-party at 49 Grove, a nearby bar. "He was such a natural." Mr. Stiller joked that he especially enjoyed a scene in which Mr. Duchovny is on stage wearing nothing but an undergarment. "I really just couldn't get past his abs."

Amanda Peet, Mr. Duchovny's co-star in the play, was circling the party in a lilac Marc Jacobs dress with a crystal bow, holding hands with the actress Sarah Paulson. "I worship him," Ms. Peet said of Mr. Duchovny. "He goes on and on about how he was going to get his Ph.D, Princeton and Yale, but really he's just a big theater geek. He loves it."

Indeed, he must. Mr. Duchovny is on stage for the entire hour and 35 minutes, minus stage shifts that last seconds. "It's like a boxing match: you can’t give up," Mr. Duchovny said. He was standing in the center of the room, dressed in a black button-down shirt, untucked, with a gym bag slung over his shoulder, giving easy access to admirers. "David, this is my boyfriend, Chris," said one young woman. "Hi, boyfriend!" Mr. Duchovny said cheerfully.

Nearby, Ms. Leoni had approached the actor Eric Bogosian. "Hi. I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm David's wife, Téa," she said. "I know who you are," Mr. Bogosian replied, extending his hand.

Ms. Leoni and Mr. Duchovny seemed to revel in their New York moment. There was a brief explosion of camera flashes as they kissed in the middle of the room.

The couple relocated to New York two years ago, around the time Mr. Duchovny entered rehab for sex addiction.

"In between shows I like to walk around the West Village, which is not my old neighborhood — I grew up in the East Village — but it's nice," Mr. Duchovny said. "The West Village doesn't change much."

Asked whether the couple will have to return to Los Angeles after the play finishes its run, Ms. Leoni said: "As far as I’m concerned, never. But David might beg to differ."

He did not. "I live here now," Mr. Duchovny said.