David Duchovny Explains How One Bad Movie Review Fixed His ‘Delusion’ That an ‘F’ Equals ‘Death’ (Exclusive)

The actor tells PEOPLE what he learned from a negative review for his directorial debut, “House of D”

<p>Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage</p> David Duchovny in Beverly Hills, California in February 2024.

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

David Duchovny in Beverly Hills, California in February 2024.

When David Duchovny reflects on his movie writing and directorial debut, it’s with a sense of pride, despite one particular negative review.

The actor — who recently launched Fail Better, a Lemonada-produced podcast in which he and his guests reflect on their missteps — wrote, directed and starred in the 2004 dramedy House of D, which also featured his ex-wife Téa Leoni, Anton Yelchin, Erykah Badu, Frank Langella, Orlando Jones, Robin Williams and Williams’ daughter Zelda.

“The first movie I wrote and directed, House of D, got an F from a reviewer,” he tells PEOPLE. “I woke up the next day feeling very happy and liberated. I don’t know why. I was a good student, and I realized that my entire life I’d been afraid of an ‘F,’ like it would kill me. But I wasn’t dead, and the sun was shining, I was drinking my coffee, and everything was okay.”

Related: David Duchovny Plays a Dying Father at Odds with His Son in Reverse the Curse Trailer (Exclusive)

<p>Courtesy of Vertical</p> Logan Marshall-Green and David Duchovny in 'Reverse the Curse.'

Courtesy of Vertical

Logan Marshall-Green and David Duchovny in 'Reverse the Curse.'

“I was relieved of this delusion of an ‘F’ equaling death,” Duchovny continues. “It made me think, ‘Is there something for me to learn from this, or is there something teachable in that review?’ The movie ultimately didn’t make much at the box office, but I know what it is, and I know what I meant.”

Since House of D, Duchovny has found success across different entertainment, scoring his second Golden Globe Award in 2008 for his work in the Showtime drama Californication, which ran for seven seasons from 2007 to 2014. He has also recorded three studio albums and written five books, one of which Duchovny adapted for Reverse the Curse, his directorial follow-up to House of D that premieres June 14.

Revolving around a complex father-son relationship, Reverse the Curse has been warmly received from several outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, which praised Duchovny for the “hilariously ribald” dialogue and a performance that serves as an “excellent showcase” for “deadpan comedy.”

Indiewire also complimented Duchovny for his work on Reverse the Curse on and off-camera, declaring he “deftly incorporates baseball’s poetic nature and passionate pull to steady his characters.”

Moviegoers who catch Reverse the Curse, will recognize a familiar theme which has also found its way into Duchovny’s books and more recently, his podcast Fail Better.

Related: Meg Ryan and David Duchovny Discuss 'Magical' New Movie and Reveal Their Personal Favorite Rom-Coms

<p>Courtesy of Vertical</p> David Duchovny, Logan Marshall-Green and Stephanie Beatriz in 'Reverse the Curse.'

Courtesy of Vertical

David Duchovny, Logan Marshall-Green and Stephanie Beatriz in 'Reverse the Curse.'

“It’s kind of a theme in my writing … to embrace failure or to feel like a failure, as the human condition,” he says, although he’s quick to add that Fail Better isn’t about dwelling on failure but the “learning moment” that came from failure.

“It's more about the true hurt of it [failure] and the response after the hurt of it,” he explains. “And if there's shame, how do you release that? How do you go ahead in your life uninhibited? How do you go ahead in your life stronger?”

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Duchovny's podcast Fail Better, a Lemonada Media production, is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Read the original article on People.