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14.03.2014, 01:11   #1
Absorbed in Magician...
: 10.10.2008
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Indiewire interview

Why Gillian Anderson Is TV's Reigning Queen, Balancing Three Series

The prevailing feeling one gets after watching the first two hours of NBCs new series "Crisis," which premieres this Sunday, March 16 at 10pm, is that its incredibly tense. Starring Gillian Anderson, Dermot Mulroney and Rachael Taylor, the show feels like it could easily be another crisis-of-the-week episodic thriller, but once you realize that "Crisis" is a serialized drama with a longer endgame, it begins to reveal its true potential and feels much more in line with the network's recent slate of dramas that include the critically acclaimed "Hannibal" (on which Anderson also appears as a recurring character). Indiewire sat down star Gillian Anderson to talk about the series premiere, working on three shows ("Crisis," "Hannibal" and the British "The Fall") nearly simultaneously, and the future of "The X-Files."

When you get such critical acclaim for consecutive shows, is there ever a worry about ruining the streak or the next one not being quite as good?

My dip into "Hannibal" was initially meant to be a three-episode arc and in agreeing to go into the second season it was as much as I could do in terms of my schedule. In the end it'll end up being three or four episodes. Out of their run, and considering how few scenes I have, its not actually that much. So that hasnt had much of an impact on the rest of my life as agreeing to do "Crisis." It doesnt feel like Im doing two American series necessarily.

Definitely the pilot episode, before it was called "Crisis" or any of the rest of the cast had been chosen, the script itself stood very strongly. It was just one of those things that I was compelled to read. My daughter, who is a teenager, couldnt put it down, and thats always a good sign. If that script had come across my plate a year prior, I might not have said yes to it.

How is your character Meg Fitch different from some of the other characters youve played before, and how is she similar?

I dont think Ive ever played an American businesswoman. Certainly nobody as powerful as Meg is. And she values her role as a parent so strongly. Stella [from "The Fall"] doesnt have kids and, for all we know, Bedelia [from "Hannibal"] doesnt. Thats not a part of their identity, whereas I would say that Meg would say that her choice to be a mother is a part of her. All those choices that we make inform us and who we are as people in the world. They also have different sensibilities and I hope different personalities as a result.

Theyre all kind of looking for answers in a different way, even going back to Scully in "The X-Files."

Im looking for answers! [laughs] Gillian is looking for answers. At least, Im looking for answers and trying to find them in the females that I play.

How do you feel like you have changed, as a person and an actress, since you rose to stardom on "The X-Files"?

On the outside, anyway, I feel like I grew up in front of the camera on "The X-Files." It was formative and transformative years for me, and a very public way to grow up. Im not sure whether I would necessarily choose that for me again, or choose that for anybody, but thats what it was and I feel like Scully informed who I became and the kind of woman that I was turning into.

I also feel very strongly that the same thing is happening with Stella. In "The Fall," I feel like Im a better woman when Im working as Stella, when Im filming. I feel like shes had a really positive impact on myself and my femininity and my sense of myself as a woman. There is a transference there. I do believe that. Where Meg is concerned, Im not quite sure yet. I dont know what kind of personal impact shes had, except that she identifies as a mother and exudes that and exudes professionalism. Shes like an alpha woman and thats interesting to play. I dont feel like I project that in my life. Other people may tell you differently, I dont know. [laughs] I feel like Ive taken as much as Ive given as well.

Shes a very strong female.

Yeah, and its very uncomfortable when shes not the one running the show. Youll find that shell do everything in her power to be the one running the show.

Is it different for you, as an actor, working on a network show than it is working on something like The Fall which exists outside of that system?

Its completely different, and I understand the difference -- the bottom line and the amount that the machine that the networks are and have had to become over here in the States. Theres so much stuff that theyre pumping out and theres so much money thats going into it with so much at stake. Everybody is trying to save their networks and I get that. I get why theres so much input. With "The Fall," theres no input. The producers, the writer, and the executive producer are all off doing their own thing. Obviously thats going to have a different impact on everybody.

Is that freeing or does that feel like more responsibility?

To be honest, it feels like its the way that it should be. But you have to earn those stripes, and certainly when a show becomes more successful theres less input, from what Ive heard. It happened with "The X-Files," but after they realized that what everyone was doing was working and they had a formula that was effective, they were involved less in it. Its a necessary part of the process.

It certainly seems like things are shifting in that way with shows like "House of Cards" on Netflix.

Yeah, I think so. I think its a necessary shift, but theres still some stuff that needs to be worked out in the process. Its new. It would be a completely different way of doing things.

Have you had any interesting run-ins with any of the Fannibals (as the "Hannibal" fandom calls itself) yet?

I did Comic Con in 2013 for the twentieth anniversary of "The X-Files," so thats where I ran into the Fannibals. Its all good. Its people showering love onto something and thats a good thing.

What is it about doing television that you love?

I wouldnt necessarily say that. Its what has presented itself to me. Ive got two young kids and a teenager, so if a great script had come my way that was a film and I felt like I could still simultaneously be an active parent, then I would have done that. But what has come my way that would fit into my life in a way that I see my life and my presence in it was in the form of television. It wasnt a conscious decision. Its just what has transpired, and its been good to me. Its felt like exactly the kind of balance that I would like to have in my life. Ive very grateful for that.

There have been talks of another "X-Files" movie or some type of revival of the show for years now. Is there a chance thats ever going to happen?

I think there is a good chance, actually. I think that there are enough people in the right places that are interested enough in it to make it manifest. When that transpires is the question mark, but I think it will.

But youd be open to being involved in something like that?

Yeah, and Ive always said that. Ive never said anything other than that, and so has David [Duchovny] and so has Chris [Carter].

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