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David Duchovny auditioned for every lead role on Full House before landing The X-Files

The actor was apparently "wrong" for all of the leading parts on the ABC sitcom

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David Duchovny
David Duchovny
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

The trajectory of two iconic television shows could have been altered forever if David Duchovny’s early career turned out differently. In a recent interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Duchovny, known for his role as Fox Mulder on The X-Files, says he had previously auditioned for every leading role on the sitcom Full House.

“It was my first time out in L.A., and they brought me out for different shows,” he recalls on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I ended up with the Full House stuff, and they just kept on trying to plug me into different characters. And clearly, I was wrong for every single one.”

It turns out Duchovny did not have the chops necessary for any of the leading roles—not the fatherly Danny Tanner, the goofy Uncle Joey, or the cool as a cucumber Jesse Katsopolis.

These roles, of course, ended up in the hands of Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, and John Stamos, respectively. On Ellen, Duchovny joked he that even auditioned for the role of the young Tanner twins, played famously by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Full House premiered in 1987, with its first run lasting for eight seasons.


It’s kind of haunting to imagine Duchovny playing a character like Uncle Jesse, and some random actor potentially nabbing the role of Mulder in 1992—it could have altered our entire timeline.

Shortly after his failed Full House audition, Duchovny started booking roles, first as Denise Bryson on David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. After a couple of small film roles, Duchovny finally landed the leading role in The X-Files.

The rest is history, as he became one of the most recognizable faces in sci-fi television over the show’s 11 seasons and film. Both of the shows have since been rebooted, with Duchovny and Gillian Anderson returning as Mulder and Scully for another two seasons in 2016.


Duchovny recently appeared in Netflix’s The Chair. His upcoming projects include Judd Apatow’s pandemic comedy The Bubble, alongside Karen Gillan, Maria Bakalova, Iris Apatow, Fred Armisen, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann, and Pedro Pascal.