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Duchovny, the ‘Goat’ Man

24 Aug, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

Actor plays an eccentric character in quirky Image comedy

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Being a New York City man, David Duchovny (“The X-Files,” “Californication”) admits he’s not much of a nature boy.

So taking on the role of a pot-smoking, goat-herding nature sage provided a new challenge for the veteran actor.

“That was a change for me,” he laughed, calling his latest character a “philosophical stoner, not Cheech and Chong.”

Duchovny is Goat Man in Image Entertainment’s Goats, a quirky tale about a 15-year-old (Graham Phillips of “The Good Wife”) who may be the most adult member of his bizarre family. The teen relies mostly on the hippie goat herder living in the guesthouse for life lessons (and pot).

“The kind of parenting Goat Man does isn’t the nuts and bolts,” Duchovny said. “He’s imparting a philosophy on the kid.”

The relationship between the two is center stage in the film (which is out Sept. 11 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc) and Goats is the kind of movie that relies mostly on heart to capture audiences, Duchovny said.

“Personally, when I go into a movie theater, I want to care about something, go on a journey, as cliché as that sounds,” he said. “Characters you really haven’t seen before. No explosions.”

For Phillips, he’s looking at Goats as his breakout role, and a major change from working on TV.

“The most important thing is the script and the story,” he said. “I find that when you’re working on a TV show, the pace is [different].”

First-time director Christopher Neil grew up on a goat farm, fell in love with the novel the film’s based on (Goats by Mark Jude Poirier) and worked on getting the film done for the better part of a decade.

“I could definitely relate to having to sometimes be a parent as a kid in your own house,” he said.

Neil added he was shocked at being able to land Duchovny, Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Up in the Air), Emmy winner Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”) and Golden Globe winner Keri Russell (“Felicity”) for his first film.

“We didn’t write for any specific actors, and I never thought I would get this amazing ensemble of actors,” he said.

Deleted scenes and a smattering of featurettes are included on the discs, though Neil is pointing people to the lengthy making-of bonus as the best item in the extras department.

“It’s moody, kind of hearty,” he said. “It’s a personal, inside look at the making of the movie.”

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