See David Duchovny wear his iconic X-Files Speedo again in The Chair
Of the many iconic images to come out of The X-Files, few are as enduring — or as memorable — as Fox Mulder's red Speedo. David Duchovny's FBI investigator spent most of 11 seasons buttoned up in government suits, with rare exception. But in the now-infamous season 2 episode "Duane Barry," Mulder takes a dip, swimming laps and ultimately emerging from the pool in a tiny crimson swimsuit. It's a brief scene that quickly became a fan favorite — and maybe even served as the inspiration for a Simpsons joke.
Now, more than two decades later, Duchovny is revisiting that familiar red suit.
EW has an exclusive first look at the actor's guest appearance on The Chair, where Duchovny plays a fictionalized version of himself. The show stars Sandra Oh as university English department chair Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, and at one point, she goes to meet with the actor. (In real life, Duchovny is no stranger to academia: He has English degrees from Princeton and Yale and has published four books).
It was showrunner Amanda Peet who came up with the idea to set Duchovny and Oh's first meeting poolside, with Duchovny emerging from the water in his old Speedo.
"I loved the idea that he replays his iconic moments at home by himself," she tells EW. "Like a crazy Hollywood schmuck."
Fortunately, when she called to pitch him the idea, Duchovny was game.
"I knew from The Larry Sanders Show — and also from knowing David personally for many years — that he's able to take the piss out of himself on a fairly massive scale," Peet adds. "He has these serious academic credentials, but he's willing to come off as a jackass. I was like, 'You understand you're playing a version of yourself... You don't have the protection of hiding behind a character.' And he was like, 'Where are we doing this? Pittsburgh?!'"
"I think I shy away from trading on certain iconic things in my career," Duchovny adds. "I feel lame doing it, plus I think nobody remembers this s--- from so long ago. But Sandra is fantastic and funny, and Amanda is brilliant and funny and a good person, and she's written this great, smart show that's she's running. I'm so proud to be with her on it. If she says, 'David, jump,' I say, 'How high do you want me to jump in a red Speedo?'"
The Chair also stars Jay Duplass and Holland Taylor and will debut on Netflix on Aug. 20.