New pursuits on 'Californication'


In season three of Showtime's Los Angeles-set comedy " Californication," airing Sundays, the show's hero, New York expatriate and misbehaving novelist Hank Moody ( David Duchovny), is coping with ex-girlfriend Karen's (Natascha McElhone) move back to the Big Apple and with the enthusiastic embracing of teenage rebellion by Becca (Madeleine Martin), their Goth moppet of a daughter.

At the same time, his writing career having run up on the rocks, Hank has taken a job teaching nubile college coeds, which, while it probably won't do much to help him write the next great American novel, ensures that his always lively love life will be even less appropriate than ever.

"I don't think Hank changes," writes Duchovny in an e-mail interview. "I think the consequences change, and that, in turn, increases or decreases the stakes of his actions, and in turn affects the way I might play him from scene to scene or season to season.

"The show always surprises me in its ability to move from profane to sacred constantly, from crass to sentimental – and that just keeps deepening."

Of course, Hank and his family aren't the only characters in the show. There's also Hank's agent, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), whose career and marriage to Marcy (Pamela Adlon) fell apart at the same time. He's forced to still cohabit with Marcy – even though they're separated – and to take a new job (on commission) with a talent agency run by the sexually voracious Sue Collini ( Kathleen Turner).Meanwhile at home, his perhaps doomed marriage faces yet another challenge this week when one of Marcy's big music crushes arrives on the scene.

It's Rick Springfield, played by none other than Rick Springfield, doing a fictionalized version of himself.While Marcy fulfills her musical fantasies, Charlie is working hard trying to avoid fulfilling the fantasies of his new boss.

"Sue had a lovely line in the episode that we'll be starting tomorrow," Turner says, "where Charlie says that he's had enough sexual harassment, and she says, 'Well, one person's sexual harassment is another's three wonderful orgasms, OK?' "

While Sue makes Charlie nervous, in real life, it was Duchovny – in his directing capacity – who made Turner nervous.

"He directed the first episode," Turner says. "I found myself a little nervous working with him as a director. I wasn't sure why. It was funny to realize, 'Why am I feeling anxious?' and then go, 'Oh, f..., it's because he's directing.'

"In the scenes with him, I don't have any of that feeling."

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