Having spent the better part of a decade as UFO-chasing FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files, David Duchovny was hesitant about playing another alien-buster in the big-screen comedy Evolution (opening today).

The actor says he jumped at the chance to re-team with director Ivan Reitman (with whom he made his first comedic foray in Beethoven). But his heart sank when he realized the script centered on aliens — a subject he felt he'd already covered more than thoroughly. "It was such a weird coincidence, because Ivan doesn't watch The X-Files and doesn't even know what it's about," chuckles Duchovny. "The fact that there are aliens in this movie is just a pain in the ass."

After mulling over the dilemma with his wife, actress T&#233a Leoni, Duchovny concluded that the benefits of working with Reitman outweighed the drawbacks of another close encounter with extraterrestrials. And actually, he says his former X-Files alter ego never even entered his mind while working on Evolution. "I never thought to myself, 'Does this sound too much like Mulder?'" he insists. "I'm glad I didn't, because it would have been hell."