Living up to its title, Californication might be the most rock & roll show on TV for the ways it utilizes music and how protagonist Hank Moody (David Duchovny) embodies the archetypical rock-star lifestyle. Yesterday the series proved its rock cred with a blowout at L.A.'s Greek Theater that featured appearances by Marilyn Manson, the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones and musician/comedian Tim Minchin.
The party doubled as a taping for the sixth season finale. All three musicians appear in multiple episodes of the upcoming season, which debuts next January: Minchin plays a rock star, Atticus Fetch, while Jones appears as his tour manager in four episodes. The guitarist welcomed the challenge of showing off some different chops.
"It’s a challenge," Jones told Rolling Stone of acting. "Playing guitar is pretty easy." While he's done other bits, including one on Portlandia last season, the four-episode arc is his longest acting gig to date. He was happy to stretch himself out: "It’s a good show. It’s something you want to be involved with."
Manson was also trying something new by appearing in two episodes as himself. "I was really nervous to watch it because I’m playing myself. That would seem easy, but it was strange," he said. "It’s hard to read a script of what you would say yourself."
He found a way around that by bringing in some of the lines himself, through conversations with series creator Tom Kapinos. "Tom and I text a lot when I’m on tour, and a lot of the things that I send him in text, he incorporates," Manson said.
The singer was scheduled to be on the show in season two but was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict. "I was really sad," he said, though he still left an imprint on the show. "I recorded my record Holy Wood in that season in the Houdini mansion. That American flag on the ceiling – it’s mine. I hung that. That room that Hank Moody accidentally goes down on that girl, I stayed in for almost a year."
So how does he feel finally getting to be part of the show? "This is a show that I’m really a big fan of, so it’s sort of like if you got invited to a gang bang with Santa Claus," he said.
Hearing those words retold a few minutes later, Duchovny winced, smiled and said, "It's just so wrong." The event was fun for all involved. In addition to the performances from Manson, Jones and Minchin for the fans, family and friends in attendance, Duchovny and actress Maggie Grace (who plays Faith this season) led the band in a singalong of the Band's "The Weight." Talking backstage with friends, Duchovny quipped, "We rocked some faces off."
For him, living out the rock star dream was as much fun as you'd expect. "I just started playing guitar six months ago," he said. "To be on stage, my kids are out there – it was fun."
Grace shared the enthusiasm. "I get to do a lot of amazing stuff with my job and I’m super grateful, but this was a new thing entirely," she said. "This is my favorite venue in Los Angeles, so to get to play in this playground is pretty awesome."