Entertainers with Byron Allen - May 15, 2005
Byron Allen's Voice: David Duchovny wrote, directed and stars in the film, "House of D."
David Duchovny: It was really ...like th-the original germ of the movie came from the Women's House of Detention. Just the fact that this prison stood in the middle of Greenwich Village, in the middle of New York City, and women ...bad women ...would hang out the bars and accost people verbally. And I thought ...well, what if ...I mean, you can't do that anymore. There's no prison in the middle of any city that I know of, really. Y'know prisons are something that are somewhere else. And I thought, Well, that's such a great kind of a set-up for a relationship or a movie. Y'know what if ...y'know she has to stay up there and he's her news of the world and her soap opera and she's his teacher,' and I thought, 'Well, I-I-I'm starting to see things happen from that'.
BAV: And David had some interesting inspiration for Erykah Badu's character.
DD: I mean, I never had an experience. I grew up in that neighborhood, but I never ...I never ...I don't remember having an experience like that. I'm not sure that I didn't. But she wanted to be like ...both real and the lady in the tower. Y'know some trapped, fairy tale kind of princess up there. So, um ...I didn't ...when I wrote her I didn't right her black or white or anything. She was just up there. And I remember walking by uh ...the House of D, after I'd met Erykah, and was considering her for the role, and there's a T-shirt shop right across the street and Angela Davis had been held in the House of D, at some point. And there's a T-shirt of Angela Davis in the window and it looked exactly like Erykah Badu, and I was thinking, 'Wow ...that's a sign,' ya know? And uh ...that wasn't the only reason we gave her the part, but y'know, I was starting to zero in on my ...the feel and the look that I wanted.
BAV: And David has some insight into the character he portrays in the film.
DD: Y'know, because of what happens with uh ... his mom, you know ...wh-what he has to do, what he feels he has to do for his mom, uh ...he's kinda shut down, ya know, he's kind of unknown to his loved ones, and uh ...umm... he has to come clean, y'know in order to ...it's kind of the symmetrical journey. Like the boy, in order to become a man, at first has to rebel and isolate himself and say, 'I can't bring you all along, I can't bring you along, Mom. I can't bring you along, Pappass, I-I ... [gestures upward with one hand] you can't come along because you're in jail. I gotta go alone.' And uh ...kinda ...uh ...the part that I play is kind of the opposite thing, where he kinda has to rejoin, he says, 'I've been alone for thirty years, because of a secret that I have. Now, I gotta, I gotta be part of my family, I gotta be part of these people who know me,' and so I think ...like the definition of manhood changes as you get older, and I wanted to make a movie about that.