San Francisco Chronicle


Hugh Hart
Sunday, April 24, 2005

Blogger: David Duchovny is phoning it in for "House of D," but his commitment to the project is anything but perfunctory. Six weeks ago, Lions Gate set up the former "X-Files" star with a blog to promote his directorial debut. The Web site ( includes his cross- country journal entries, fan feedback and recordings of phone messages left by Duchovny whenever he feels the urge to call up the site's blogmeister.

"The X-Files" attracted a huge online following in the '90s, but Duchovny ignored the fan sites that obsessed on the show. "I didn't want to see my performance dissected, even if it was good," he says. "I didn't want to see it because it would just make me self-conscious."

But when it came time to figure out a low-cost marketing campaign for "House of D," Duchovny embraced the Internet as a low-key way to spread the word about his movie. "I wanted to generate some talk about the film, and in this marketplace, talk is generated by money and TV ads, which cost a fortune, " he says. "Since I knew I wasn't going to have a big budget for advertising, this blog was one way I could at least try to create buzz for myself. I knew I could reach a lot of people personally, kind of below the radar, or above the radar, or off the radar."

The film, which Duchovny also wrote, tells the story of Greenwich Village teenager Tommy (Anton Yelchin), who befriends an inmate at a New York City House of Detention (Erykah Badu) while coping with his mentally challenged best friend (Robin Williams), wooing his first girlfriend (Williams' daughter Zelda) and contending with his demanding single mom (Duchovny's wife, Tea Leoni). Duchovny plays the adult Tommy.

"I'm not using the blog to bull -- people about the movie because they're going to see it eventually," Duchovny says. "But I am going to tell them what I wanted to do as a filmmaker and the struggles I've had selling it and the happiness I'm having screening it. It's really stream of consciousness."

Duchovny admits he feels slightly worn out from all the traveling he's been doing on behalf of the film over the past few weeks. "I feel like a salesman, but at least I'm selling a product I believe in," he says. "Sometimes -- let's say often -- I get tired of listening to myself talk, but it's part of the job, which is why blogging is kind of cool for me. I can kind of free-associate. When the mood hits me and I feel like speaking to the blog, I just sit down and type it out, or I call the phone number they gave me and speak to the imaginary audience."