Best known as Special Agent Fox Mulder on cult classic The X-Files (1993-2002), David Duchovny wrote, directed and costars in House of D, with Robin Williams, wife Tea Leoni and Anton Yelchin in the lead role as Duchovny's character at 13.

"It's a coming-of-age film about what it is to grow up and how you have to leave certain things behind," says Duchovny, 44. He knows House of D is no blockbuster, but if he draws just a quarter of his X-Files audience, he says, "the movie would be a huge hit."

As for his Spanglish spouse's involvement, "Tea just kind of suggested herself for the part," he grins. "She was like, 'Do you think I could play the mom?' I said, 'Of course. You can play whoever you want. You can play Tommy if you want to.' But [working with me] was very nerve-racking for her because she was afraid she was going to screw up my movie. She was like, 'I'm just sitting here thinking I'm going to blow it, and you're never going to get another chance to direct.'"

Well, if that happened, there'd always be a home for Duchovny on TV. Would he ever return to the small screen? "Never say never," he offers. "I'd have to feel like there was a show as good as The X-Files, and I honestly don't think that's possible. The X-Files was all about more and more, and TV now is about downsizing and reality shows."

Still, Duchovny watches some reality. "I like The Contender. I box, so I'm a fan of the sport. And unlike other reality shows, it's not a subjective outcome. There's clearly a winner and a loser." He also likes The Apprentice and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Next stop: Duchovny costars in the romantic comedy Trust the Man, with Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup and Maggie Gyllenhaal. "I've been doing a lot of writing and developing, too. I have another script that I'm going to direct about a father and son coming to terms with one another before the father dies. It sounds like a downer, but it's actually a comedy called Bucky F---ing Dent. You'll never see that name in print." At least not fully spelled out.


House of D opens nationwide on Friday.