A shining day in the rain forest

Mike Roberts,
Staff Reporter
The Province

Agent Moulder [sic] (David Duchovny) meets Mist Vancouver, played by Norm Grohmann. Staff photo by Wayne Leidenfrost
This whole David-Duchovny-and- the-drizzle thing has mushroomed into a storm in a Tea-cup.

The latest twister is a public-relations spin job yesterday that spun out of control.

A week in the birdcage and Duchovny's diss would have been forgotten. But no, the X-Files star took part in a hokey damage-

control stunt yesterday orchestrated by Tourism Vancouver.

The event was planned for a U.S. TV audience to repair the damage done to the city's reputation after the actor made several classless comments about Vancouver's weather last week on Late Night With Conan O'Brien and the Late Show with David Letterman.

Decked out as the "Rainforest Princess" in a twigs-and-leaves outfit, retired BCTV weatherman Norm Grohmann presented Duchovny with a Vancouver Survival Kit.

The stunt was initially engineered for the exclusive enjoyment of Entertainment Tonight, a U.S. celebrity gossip show, but other media caught wind of the goofy gag going on off the set at the Travelodge Motel in North Vancouver.

After shooting a scene involving driving a car back and forth and hollering "Scully! Scully!" at a locked motel door, Duchovny strolled over to an adjacent parking lot to play "good sport" with Tourism Vancouver, ET and BCTV, which had worked out a coverage deal with The X-Files. The Province and some other media were forcibly barred from the $7,000 gimmick, the brainchild of Tourism

Vancouver's p.r. firm, Verus.

Duchovny, appearing awkward at times when questioned by Grohmann doing his talking-twig routine, was a good sport, accepting his survival kit and cracking wise about loving the rain.

"I've had a wonderful time in Vancouver over the last four years. I love this city. I don't know what's going on," said Duchovny as the cackling Rainforest Princess danced around him. "I'll stay here as long as you keep this man away from me.

"You know what a great city you have," Duchovny added. "You don't need me to tell you one way or another."

His handlers were less accommodating when the exclusive fluff fest threatened to turn into a media free-for-all.

"No, no," said Tracy Elofson, an executive assistant to X-Files producer Chris Carter, to a crew member trying to grant a Province reporter access. "Get him out."

The stunt was over in minutes and Duchovny was whisked away in a GMC Suburban, still wearing his FBI gun, facial bruises and flesh wound to the upper chest.

When asked why The Province was barred, Elofson said: "I've gotta make some phone calls, sorry."

Tourism Vancouver's Janna Ross talked to The Province and CBC TV after the fact.

"It does rain in Vancouver but the big thing is, rain is very romantic," said Ross, deflecting questions about unequal access. "And the more it rains, the more David misses his wife (actress Tea Leoni).

"We're just glad he even saw us for 10 seconds."

ET freelancer Marian Dodd said "ET has a really wonderful relationship with David Duchovny and The X-Files and we're always interested in anything he's doing." She said Verus pitched the idea directly to ET and she wasn't aware that other media would be attending.

Verus spokesman Ian Edwards admitted later: "It's not been one of our better days."


The Vancouver Survival Kit presented to X-Files actor David Duchovny:

  • B.C. apples (several).
  • Gas mask with a canister of fresh Vancouver air.
  • Can of fresh Vancouver water.
  • Scents of the rainforest (also canned).
  • Cleaned, uncooked salmon (which he passed on).
  • Rain hat (which he slipped into his back pocket).
  • Umbrella.
  • Some postcards of sunny Vancouver.
  • "Sun wand" (which he passed on).