Monday, March 28, 2011

David Duchovny vs. Gillian Anderson: 2011 Edition

About 4 years ago I did a blog post simply titled: David Duchovny vs. Gillian Anderson.

In this post from early 2007 I outlined how in my assessment the clashing X-Files duo how it seemed like Gillian Anderson would have the strongest post-X-files career citing in addition to her praised TV-miniseries role in Bleak House also her role in the film The Last King of Scotland (2006).

At that time, Duchovny's credits worth mentioning were relatively limited. Yet in the past 4 years the tide has changed and where Anderson's been a sleeper, with stage performances and hardly any film credit worth mentioning, David Duchovny had a breakout cable TV series, Californication, that was just renewed for it's 5th season set to begin shortly.

While the Showtime drama has a more limited viewership than Fox's X-Files, the praise and award attention Duchovny has received has kept his name on the covers of magazines, appearances (and wins) at award shows, and buzz that undeniably exceeds Anderson.

Anderson will be in the movie theater again in 2011, although not a glamorous role, she will be in the 2011 film Johnny English Reborn. Hardly the direction I think Anderson seems interested in going professionally, but it will get views and remind people of her previous X-Files days in her role as a MI7 Agent.

More artistic, Gillian Anderson also is still apparently involved in the film The Smell of Apples a film that she apparently signed on to in late 2007 based on The Smell of Apples: A Novel by Mark Behr yet, this film is one I haven't really heard much about and at this film seems like a quiet film that's out of any sort of limelight. Of course all could change.

So despite my early 2007 impression, 4 years later in the Anderson vs. Duchovny race, Duchovny has surprised me with his reinvention, while Anderson has left me surprised that she hasn't followed through with expectations of her reinvention and transition to the big screen. We'll see what happens.


Lorna said...

Duchovny's best role was in Zoolander. Have you noticed I'm Z-obsessed?

Anonymous said...

Can you compare apples and oranges? I think not. Comparing careers like you do here is both futile and impossible. If they competed for the same roles I could maybe agree with you. And btw, why is it important?
David has done beautiflly with Californication and Gillian seem to be doing OK to with smaller parts in British TV production( The Crimson Petal and the White, Any Human Heart) and anothe role in a new TV version of Moby Dick as well. And she did theatre again after your firtst blog. She played Nora in Ibsen's " A Doll's House" to great acclaim and earned a prestigous nomination; the Olivier Award. And she has other film projects coming up as well; "The Child from above", "Shadow Dancer" and "Past Imperfect". Of course it's still uncertain whether "Past Imperfect" has been green lighted yet but the other two projects have been confirmed.
I think both are doing great because both are doing what they want to; picking projects with care.

Anonymous said...

Gillian Anderson' career is WAY better than Duchovny's one. She is a real star and actress.

Anonymous said...

Gillian is a better actress. That's all. I do like DD, but G is way more versatile and intense.


Aubigne Spratling said...

I have to agree regarding Anderson's versatility and preference to keep her options open. These days, if you're anyone who's doing anything, you want your actors to have a stage presence. (At least, I know I do, and so do my colleagues out here in Hollyweird.)

While it doesn't substitute screen-time, I'm giving props to her for tracking down the lesser known roles that could be right up her alley. After all, who was Scully before Anderson stepped into the professional pumps of the good doctor? My husband's still floored that the role went to her, despite hindsight proving that she made the character. And, rumour mills of yesteryear claim she herself was stunned they didn't put 'a leggier' actress in the role. But Anderson's got chops. Period.

But what about Duchovny? I think he certainly does, too -- even if it's basically playing himself. Sure, we love his branching out, but it always seemed a bit odd. Mulder or Hank. That's what I like to see. And he's ridiculously entertaining as 'himself' anyway, so where's the harm?

I'm proud of them both post-XF, though it seems Duchovny was the one panicking to cut the Mulder cord. Anderson was fine rebuilding a presence in theatre - and that will help support her 'return' to the screen - big and small. (In performance technique terms, it's always easier to 'narrow' your scope rather than 'be big', as stage forces and actor to learn, given the breadth of theatrical performance. The fact that she's got this down and can simply return her attention to 'smaller scale' projects (NOT in terms of reach - simply performance) is going to prove invaluable to her, I feel.