Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram

David Duchovny Jokes He “Discovered” Angelina Jolie in 1997 During ‘Playing God’ Casting

Photo Credit: Jim Smeal / Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jim Smeal / Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images

The 1990s introduced Hollywood to stars like David Duchovny and Angelina Jolie, who would become icons in the industry. Their collaboration in the 1997 thriller Playing God highlighted their talents and served as an early step in Jolie’s rise to fame. Duchovny jokingly credits himself with having discovered her in the earlier days of her career.

David Duchovny and Playing God

David Duchovny looking at Angelina Jolie.
Duchovny joked that he “discovered” Jolie. (Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures / Beacon Pictures / Buena Vista Pictures Distribution / murraymomo / MovieStillsDB)

David Duchovny, best known for his iconic role as FBI Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files, took a daring step outside his television success by starring in the 1997 crime thriller Playing God. In this film, Duchovny plays Eugene Sands, a former surgeon who loses his medical license due to his addiction to drugs and becomes entangled in the criminal underworld. His character’s complex journey through redemption and danger showcases Duchovny’s range and depth as an actor.

In an appearance on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live, Duchovny reminisced about his time working on the film and specifically about meeting a young Angelina Jolie, who played Claire, one of the criminals’ girlfriends. “I feel like I discovered Angelina Jolie,” he joked, adding more seriously, “Yeah, because I was casting, I was part of the casting of, I didn’t discover her, but you know, she came in, and I just knew she was a movie star, and I told everybody we’ve gotta cast her.”

Angelina Jolie’s experience on set

Angelina Jolie and Timothy Hutton sitting on the floor.
Jolie felt the role allowed her to be womanly. (Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures / Beacon Pictures / Buena Vista Pictures Distribution / murraymomo / MovieStillsDB)

It seems Jolie enjoyed her time playing Claire, as in the June 1997 issue of Interview magazine, she shared her thoughts on working on the set. Reflecting on the film, she said, “[Playing God] was very rock-‘n’-roll and fun and loud and say-what-you-want-to-say, dress wild and love wild — you know that fantasy. I really allowed myself to get into that world. Being the age I am, I sometimes feel like a punk kid walking onto certain sets, but I didn’t this time. I felt very much a woman.”

Jolie was just 22 years old when the film was released. Despite her youth, she brought a maturity and intensity to her role that hinted at the impressive career that was to follow.

Angelina Jolie’s accomplishments

Headshot of Angelina Jolie.
Angelina Jolie on May 8, 2014, in London, England. (Photo Credit: Anthony Harvey / Getty Images)

Following her role in Playing God, Jolie’s career soared to new heights. In 1998, she earned a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television for her role in George Wallace. This recognition was just the beginning.

Two years later, Jolie’s portrayal of Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted (1999) earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. This role solidified her status as one of Hollywood’s most talented and sought-after actresses. Jolie continued to build an impressive filmography, taking on diverse and challenging roles that showcased her versatility and depth as an actress.

More from us: Gillian Anderson Almost Quit Acting After “Horrendous” Review

From her earliest days to her award-winning performances, Jolie has proven time and again that she is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. Her journey from a young actress finding her place on set to a celebrated and influential star is a testament to her talent and something Duchovny can boast he experienced firsthand in the earliest days of her career.

Join The Vintage Newsletter community today and unlock a treasure trove of weekly curated content, exploring nostalgia, history, and fascinating facts from the past.

June Steele

June Steele is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News