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14.03.2014, 01:11   #1
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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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15.03.2014, 00:35   #2
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16.03.2014, 02:16   #3
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 Interview from New York Post

Being the NY Post, certain lines made me roll my eyes soooooo hard... But some nice bits as well. Looks like it was done a few weeks ago just before she started shooting "The Fall"


The only Crisis Gillian Anderson faces is her commute

By Mary Murphy

March 15, 2014 | 5:17pm
Modal Trigger
The only Crisis Gillian Anderson faces is her commute
Rachael Taylor (as FBI agent Susie Dunn) joins Gillian Anderson in "Crisis" Photo: Vivian Zink/NBC

Gillian Anderson is back on TV. And shes everywhere.

The TV icon, who starred as Dana Scully on The X-Files, is returning as a series regular for the first time in 12 years on NBCs drama Crisis.

But thats not Andersons only gig. She also plays a therapist on NBCs Hannibal and a wildly sexy London cop on the BBC critical darling The Fall.

On Crisis, shes Meg Fitch, a single mother and the CEO of a high-tech multinational conglomerate think like Hewlett-Packard whose only child has just been kidnapped.

Each show films in a different city: Crisis, in Chicago; The Fall, in Belfast; and Hannibal, in Toronto. Anderson has become somewhat of a multinational high flyer. This morning, shes in Chicago calling from her car phone while on the way to the airport.

Im flying to Belfast, says Anderson, 45. Then come back here next week to shoot the last episode.

Its sort of like having different lovers in different time zones.

Its kind of been manageable, she says, with a slightly exhausted laugh. Except when its not.

Crisis centers around the kidnapping of students from a very prestigious Washington, DC, high school think Sidwell Friends where the worlds most powerful parents, including the President of the United States, send their children.

As Meg Fitch, Andersons power is established almost immediately. She lands at the school in a private helicopter and joins the other frantic parents. The show shifts easily between scenes with the kidnapped kids, the kidnappers, the parents, and the team of FBI and Secret Service agents leading the investigation (played by Rachael Taylor and Lance Gross). In a clever twist, it turns out that the FBI agent in charge (Taylor) is Fitchs younger sister the black sheep of the family with whom she shares her most closely kept secret.

Anderson admits that shooting in America again has been an adjustment after living in England for 12 years.

It is less about shooting in America and more about shooting for an American network, which is much more of a machine than you experience in the UK, she says.

It turns out that network anxiety over viewer erosion is felt as far away as a location shoot in Chicago. Anderson may have a velvety voice, but she is a straight shooter, like many of her characters, as she explains the impact.

The networks are struggling and the formats are changing and everybody is trying really hard to find some stuff that is going to stick, and that people want to watch, because everybody wants to binge watch. It is a tricky time, she says. There is definitely a feeling in the air of insecurity and wanting things to work. You can feel that on the set.

NBC executives should be tense, since the other DC kidnap series CBSs Hostages was rejected by viewers.

What Crisis is not is Hostages-lite.

The canvas is bigger and more believable. The network may be selling the show as a thriller, but its also an exploration of high-powered parents relationship with powerlessness.

Gillians character is a master of the universe and a mother whose world collapses and explodes, says Rand Ravich, the Crisis creator. She wants to manage the situation but has to decide: Does she lead or does she follow?

To lure Anderson to a full-time gig, the producers had to promise her that she would not have to move to Chicago ironically, she was born there and both her sister and mother live nearby. So that is great, she says.

But I was adamant that I had to be able to travel, says Anderson, 45, the mother of three children, Piper, 19, Oscar, 7, and Felix, 5, who live and attend school in London, a routine she does not want to disrupt. Their dad, Mark Griffiths, she says, is totally active in their lives.

The cost of transcontinental airfare turns out to be well worth the price. Gillian was a great get, Ravich says. Honestly I never thought I could get an actress of this stature for the part. But when she came on board it raised the profile of the entire production.

Its hard to believe that Anderson was just 24 years old when she was cast as Scully on The X-Files. When it started shooting, no one seemed to pay much attention.

Fox was not even considered a network then, she says. And we felt disposable. They werent really behind us until we aired. Then The X-Files became appointment watching.

Her friendship with her co-star David Duchovny, who played Fox Mulder, is still strong.

I just saw him when I was in Los Angeles, she says. We have a very unique friendship. It is different from any other relationship I have, in its intensity. I have spent more hours with him than with any member of my family.

Ultimately, the fame of X-Files proved too much for her, so when the show was over she moved to London, where she had lived with her parents until she was 11, and where her parents still had a flat.

I moved there because I wanted to do plays, she says. With two marriages and another long-term relationship behind her, Anderson is single again, but her career dreams have certainly come true. She has appeared on the London stage. She also starred in the BBC productions of Bleak House and Great Expectations. This summer, shell return to the London stage as Blanche DuBois in a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.

But for now Anderson is Belfast bound via a stop in London to see her children to the set of The Fall. She hints there will be some sex scenes ahead, maybe even one with co-star Jamie Dornan, who plays a serial rapist and killer (and has the lead in the film version of 50 Shades of Grey). *Highlight to see secret text, either The Fall spoiler or NY Post nonsense, take your pick and proceed at your own risk.

He is the sweetest guy, she says, But I never read 50 Shades, so I dont understand the hype.

Stella, like Meg, is a cool customers People hire me to play those roles because they think I am cool like cool temperature, not like a cool dude, she says, with a laugh.

But I like to sit on the floor with my kids and play with Legos, she says. I am goofy and silly and warm. I am not someone conscious about my looks, which is probably why I live in London. I havent started putting needles in my face. And if I have a period of time I do yoga and meditate. When Im home I do nothing.

And who can blame her?

My life works great right now, she says as she hangs up. And there doesnt seem to be any area that is in crisis.
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16.03.2014, 12:46   #4
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29.03.2014, 15:51   #5
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People magazine blurb


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06.04.2014, 23:58   #6
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The Sunday Conversation: Gillian Anderson, who had a memorable turn in 'The X-Files,' has recently juggled roles in three series: NBC's 'Crisis' and 'Hannibal' and BBC Two's 'The Fall.' 'It just all fell into place,' she says.

Gillian Anderson at the London Hotel in Manhattan, NY. (Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times / March 12, 2014)

By Greg Braxton
April 5, 2014, 12:00 p.m.

Gillian Anderson did the unthinkable when she achieved pop culture fame as skeptical FBI agent Dana Scully in the landmark "The X-Files." When the series ended in 2002 after nine seasons, she walked away from American television, moved to London and began taking on a variety of smaller-scale theater and film projects. Now, a year after the 20th anniversary of the start of "The X-Files," Anderson is more visible than ever in three TV series. She stars in BBC Two's "The Fall" as a senior police detective investigating serial murders, and NBC's "Crisis," in which she plays the chief executive of an international IT conglomerate whose daughter is kidnapped. She also appears in a recurring role as serial killer Hannibal Lecter's psychiatrist in NBC's "Hannibal."

All of a sudden, you seem to be everywhere at the same time.

Yes, it's a little crazy, but it seems to be OK. I don't know how it's managing to work out. But I'm not dead yet.

Was it a conscious decision to leap back in and do a lot of things at the same time?
It all started with a decision to do "The Fall." That was something I didn't feel inclined to turn down the quality of the writing and the character were so intriguing. It really felt like it was a gift in many respects. Around the same time, I started conversations with NBC about a development deal. Shortly after that, I got offered a short arc in "Hannibal." That was very difficult to turn down. Then the script for what would become "Crisis" came along. The pilot was impossible to put down. I gave it to my 19-year-old and she said, "MOM!" That was a good indication.

BEST TV OF 2013 Lloyd | McNamara

But they all seem to have collided at once.

There were conversations between the writers and the networks, and everyone was adamant that they would be able to work it out, and I'd be able to go back and forth. It just all fell into place.

What was so intriguing about "Crisis"?

The idea as a whole was compelling. The character I play is very complicated, and I love playing complicated women. It was something I felt I hadn't done before. There were elements to Meg Fitch that were new to me, and I always find that compelling.

Having done so many projects overseas and then returning to America, do you see a big difference in the two TV worlds?

Yes, there's a big difference in the making of them, the marketing, how it's run. It's very much two different worlds.

Was it a bit like riding a bicycle, getting back onto the whole entertainment machinery?

I've always been a bit kicking and screaming when it comes to that. But working on the projects is like working with family. It's stepping back into something that's family.

You really seem to enjoy playing Stella on "The Fall." And it's a pretty provocative role, very sexual. But it appears you have a connection with her.

I enjoy being in her skin so much. She's a cool chick, and she's very comfortable with herself and her sexuality. I feel like I have expanded and matured and grown as a woman as a result of playing her.

What do your young kids think of their mom flying all over, doing all this TV?

My kids don't know what I do. I was in Belfast [in Northern Ireland] for "The Fall," Skyping for the first time from my trailer and my 7-year-old said, "Where are you?" I could be a traveling salesperson for all they know. But I still have to have good chunks of time at home.

Of course, I have to ask you the inevitable and unavoidable question is there going to be more of "The X-Files"? Are you amazed it's still a phenomenon that people are interested in?

I'm very aware of it. I did a year's worth of Comic-Cons for the 20th anniversary when I could fit it into my schedule. There are still all the die-hard fans, and there's a new generation that's watching the show for the first time. They're obsessed. That's wonderful

So what do you think?

It all depends on the script. But we've all said if it happens, we'll be there.
But in the meantime, your dance card seems full.
I feel very lucky to have all these characters at the same time. Everyone has been working very hard on the ground, trying to make this happen. So far it's fine.

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10.04.2014, 16:21   #7
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Scully is Sold on Sophia

Gillian Anderson tells t2 about going from being agent scully in the X-Files to sophia in Sold, the holly film that was shot in Calcutta

Tell us about your role in Sold and why you took it on?

I play Sophia a humanitarian photographer who travels to India to document the business of trafficking humans.

What kind of homework went into preparing for the role?

I familiarised myself with the trafficking issue for the first time and with the work of humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine.

Were you aware of the issue of human trafficking and did the experience of visiting India and shooting this film change your perspective in any way?

I was not aware that the issue was as extreme as it actually is. The film and my experience in India and in the homes for rescued children where we met survivors, did indeed change my perspective. There we saw beautiful young lives that have been forever marked by this terrible situation they were not protected against and yet they persevere. But it is complicated. The shelters need funding and the girls (mostly) and boys need encouragement. It is hard for them to be motivated to turn up for school or to see much point in doing anything when they have been betrayed so badly in the past. They need to have people around them they can fully trust who can motivate them to make something of their lives and one of those vital avenues is through education.

Was this your first visit to India?

No, I have been to India many times before as a tourist and loved it.

That apart, what was your experience of living and shooting in Calcutta? Did you get to shop and eat at any interesting places during your free time?

I fell in love with Calcutta and very much want to go again. I ate a lot of sweets! Which Calcutta is famous for.

We see in one of the photographs from the film that youve slipped into the blue and white sari that defines Mother Teresa. How did it feel?


From supporting children with tumours to being an active member of PETA to advocating for the LGBT community, what has made you sign up for so many different humanitarian causes over the years?

I always feel like I could be more involved. And I think that as time goes on my focus will strengthen in the area of trafficking issues. It is the largest growing black-market industry and that is just a horrendous fact. Governments must do more to make it harder for humans to be trafficked and enslaved.

Who do you look up to for inspiration?

Usually women who are making a difference in the world. Malala Yousafzai is a great force for good and at such a young age. Lisa Kristine, who my character is based on, puts her own life in danger on a regular basis to document and bear witness to the unfair treatment of others.

Do you remember auditioning for The X-Files?

Yes, very clearly. It was a very stressful situation at the time with all the actors waiting in the same hallway together before going into the very small room to audition in front of a whole lot of producers.

How much of a life-changer has that series been for you?

Well, when I first got the job I had completely run out of money and was sleeping on someones couch so moving up to Vancouver Canada to shoot the series and have my first proper paycheck was a very big deal and completely changed my life around.

Is there another The X-Files movie in the offing?

There will be something but we are not sure when.

What else do we get to see you in next?

The second season of The Fall, a US series called Crisis, and a movie called Robot Overlords (a science fiction film starring Ben Kingsley).

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24.04.2014, 17:20   #8
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 The Belfast Sunday Life

The Belfast Sunday Life interview

By Kim Kelly 24 April 2014

"I think she is maybe getting a little bit closer to him," says Gillian Anderson with a laugh as she teases what we can expect in the next series of The Fall.

Him' of course is none other than the hottest property in Hollywood, Co Down actor Jamie Dornan, who stars alongside Gillian in what became the highest rated drama on BBC2 last year.

But, true to her enigmatic character Detective Stella Gibson, Gillian is giving nothing away about whether or not she will ever catch up with everyone's favourite serial killer Paul Spector.

It's the question everyone wants answered, but Gillian, 45, says she isn't being deliberately mysterious.

"I actually don't know," she admits. "We haven't been given the script for the last episode. The writer Allan Cubbitt is so clever -- so who knows what might happen? What I do know is that I want to come back for many more series."


One thing she can reveal is that if she is coming back, Mr soon-to-be-Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey will be back too. Rumours that perhaps Jamie is a 'little too Hollywood' now he's hit the big time as a movie star are, she says, wide of the mark.

"Jamie is just the sweetest, nicest guy you could ever meet and no he hasn't changed at all. Of course he will be back if we are all back. You know if he says he is leaving us, I'll give him a good slap and change his mind!" she says with a laugh.

Despite once being voted the sexiest woman in the world and gracing red carpets across the globe, it's clear that Gillian, who shot to fame in her early twenties as Dana Scully in cult TV show The X Files, values the friendships she has made while filming in Belfast.

The Fall, she says, is a team effort and the cast and crew are great friends with no boundaries between the on-screen stars and backstage team.

In fact, in spite of her A-list status, we're conducting our interview at the back of a hairdressing salon in Lisburn. While the salon, owned by Deborah McCarthy, sister of well known local actor Gerard, is lovely and a wonderful achievement for the talented 27-year-old hairstylist -- what is Gillian Anderson from The X Files doing on Lisburn's Railway Street on a Monday evening?


"I wouldn't have missed this for the world," insists Gillian. "I wanted to be here to support my friend Deborah at the opening of her first salon. I didn't have to be asked. I am so proud of her. She is such a talent and she deserves every success."

Tiny at just 5ft 3in, but with none of the frostiness of Dana Scully or Stella Gibson, Gillian's once trademark red locks are now blonde and swishy after being carefully tended to by Deborah for the evening. Dressed casually in black trousers and a long sleeved t-shirt, Gillian says she isn't good at "doing glam."

"I'm kind of low maintenance. I can't do my own hair, that's why I need Deborah so much!" she laughs.

Gillian and Deborah have become great friends since the young hairdresser was handpicked to tend to her famous locks. Deborah was living in Australia when she got the call to come home to work on The Fall. She jumped on a plane and 48 hours later was on set.

It's Deborah, Gillian says, who gets her into character to play Stella. They have worked closely together to create 'the Stella look' that Gillian channels when she steps onto set.


"At the minute I am also playing two other blonde-haired roles in different productions so I needed Stella to be individual," she explains. "Deborah helps me become Stella and we created a look that is smart but is not a just-stepped-out-of-a-salon look because that wouldn't work for her. I don't think people realise how important hair is to create a character -- once we have that nailed, it makes it easier to get into character."

As the pair enjoy a catch up and a giggle, Gillian admits that hanging out with her Northern Irish friend causes her a slight problem at times and she tends to adopt a local accent when she spends too much time with her friends here.

Today she is speaking in her American accent although having spent her childhood in London, switching between accents comes easy to her.

"I pick up accents easily and I have to be really careful I don't start doing that up and down thing you all do when you talk," she says. "I don't even notice myself slipping into it.

"I have picked up a few local words but mainly 'wee'. Everything is wee!"

Although home for the Chicago-born actress is London where she lives with her two 'wee ones' Oscar and Felix -- her eldest daughter Piper is enjoying a gap year in Thailand and she has just returned from visiting her -- Gillian has spent a great deal of time in Northern Ireland over the years.

She starred in the Mighty Celt in 2005 and recently she finished filming Our Robot Overlords with Ben Kingsley which was shot in locations including Carrickfergus Castle.

And filming the sci-fi move -- "It's about robots in case you didn't guess," she laughs -- gave Gillian her first opportunity to see the Northern Ireland countryside.

"I'd only ever really been in Belfast or the studio. When I'm here I'm working and then I go back home to London at the weekend so I don't get much time to explore. When I was filming Robot Overlords, we visited so many amazing places -- don't ask me where please! I saw so much amazing scenery. I was like: 'This is what Ireland is meant to look like!' It's really exquisite."

And Gillian is determined that she will remain a permanent fixture in her adopted home for the foreseeable future. She wants to continue playing Stella for as long as she can.

"I've never played a character like Stella -- roles like this just don't come along very often.She is so enigmatic. She's hard to read. This season is much more intense than last, I think the scripts are better and you can expect the unexpected. It's an amazing season. Very dark and unpredictable.

"I truly don't know what is going to happen with her. One thing I will tell you is that she will get closer to the truth."

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24.05.2014, 19:52   #9
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 Chicago Sun Time/Splash

Gillian Anderson: Drama Queen

As an actress, much of Gillian Andersons most memorable work has occurred in the darkness her TV characters have stared down everything from alien conspiracies to serial killers to kidnappers. But the unaffected Anderson remains anything but gloomy off-screen. Im a complete goofball most of the time, she says. I learned a long time ago to leave stuff at the door. If theres anything that I take home with me, its exhaustion after a day.

Its a lesson Anderson picked up during her nine-year tenure as Dr. Dana Scully on The X-Files, but one that continues to serve her these days as she acts in three separate TV shows: On NBCs Crisis (which films in Chicago and concludes June 29), Anderson stars as Meg Fitch, a mother who has to sacrifice nearly everything in an attempt to rescue her kidnapped daughter; on BBCs The Fall, shes Stella Gibson, a stoic detective charged with unmasking a serial killer who targets young women; and on another NBC vehicle, Hannibal, shes Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, the titular characters psychiatrist.

But no amount of murderous psychopaths can bring Anderson down in fact, the only time she uses the word bleak in our interview is to describe the state of TV roles for women pre-Scully. There was a big question mark as to whether the world was ready for strong, independent women, recalls Anderson of The X-Filess 1993 debut. And lo and behold, the world was ready, and has been ever since.

Shes not overstating Scullys impact since the shows 2002 finale, TV has steadily surpassed film in terms of embracing and promoting its female stars; according to recent research from USCs Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, while women make up roughly 30 percent of movie characters, they make up nearly 40 percent of characters on prime-time. People wanted to emulate [The X-Files], posits Anderson. There are more female-led dramas on TV right now than ever before. And most of the women are intelligent, high-powered, independent. Its more than appropriate, then, that Anderson is now taking on three intelligent, independent characters herself, reaping the benefits of what she sowed so many years ago.

Anderson, 45, has always been just as autonomous and whip-smart as the women she portrays. Though she was born in Chicago, her family moved to London soon after, where they stayed until moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan, when Anderson was 11 (all of which explains Andersons delightfully inscrutable accent, a collision of precise English consonants and flowing Midwestern vowels). Shes previously spoken at length about her punk phase in high school, when she was voted Most Bizarre and Most Likely to Be Arrested. That outsider status followed Anderson to DePaul University, where she studied theater and waitressed to support herself while sporting big, maroon-colored hair and pointy black boots. I had a few friends, but at the same time, I was a bit of a recluse, says Anderson, who recalls rotating through 14 different roommates over four years in her Bucktown apartment (where she lived long before it became, as she puts it, fancy shmancy).

After graduating, Anderson moved to New York, starred in a series of plays, then headed to LA, where she landed her first TV role as a guest-star on Foxs Class of 96. Thats when The X-Files producers took notice of the young actress and sent her a script. Anderson, then 24, immediately identified with the shrewd, stubborn Scully and was pleasantly surprised to see a woman like that represented on the page. Just in terms of character structure, how she was defined was so different than what was then normal on TV, she says.

Though The X-Filess impact on television drama is incalculable, its impact on its audience is fairly easy to quantify. Anderson says shes still approached by die-hard fans of the nine-season series not to mention courted via the US Postal Service. If Id kept everything people have sent me over the years, Id have to have a second home, she laughs. Last year, when Anderson and co-star David Duchovny reunited for a Reddit Ask Me Anything interview, they ignited an Internet firestorm, bantering about the dating rumors that have plagued the pair for years thanks to their overabundance of chemistry. While she only recently admitted that the two never got together, she does claim that theyre much closer on the whole, more appreciative and understanding since [filming The X-Files]. We dont talk, she adds. But every once in a while, well email, every once in a while, well have a meal together. We reminisce. Hell remember something funny that happened on the show and email me about it.

When The X-Files ended in 2002, Anderson moved back to London, in part to escape the attention she was garnering in the US due to the series and parts shed taken in films like 2000s The House of Mirth. Until recently, things were relatively quiet for the actress she starred in a few movies, including How to Lose Friends & Alienate People in 2008, took the stage in several West End productions and portrayed Miss Havisham in a BBC version of Great Expectations in 2011.

Staying relatively off the radar was a choice; Anderson says she didnt feel pressure to follow up her X-Files success. Instead, she had bigger priorities, focusing on raising her three children: Piper, now 19, who she had with her first husband Clyde Klotz; Oscar, 7; and Felix, 5; both fathered by ex-boyfriend Mark Griffiths. The only pressure I feel is to be a good mom, she says. Im very particular about the work that I do. It has to be, in my mind, good enough to take me away from my children.

Her newly ramped-up workload is evidence that all three of her current projects fit that criteria. Crisis in particular drew Andersons attention because of its tight script, full of hairpin twists. I just couldnt put it down, she says. She says she also signed on because she believed both Crisis and Hannibal were attempting to subvert network TV stereotypes much like the The X-Files once did. I think [both shows] are shaking it up for NBC, which is trying to fall away from its old, more typical shows.

As she takes on this series of unconventional female roles, Anderson challenges herself to make sure each character retains her individuality. Im simultaneously playing three strong blond women to me, theyre completely different. But the jurys out on whether they actually are, she says, laughing. I might be delusional. But she does see the common thread between the three and how its a direct result of her body of work. I have a tendency to be offered very strong women [roles], she says. Im usually cast as everybodys boss, because I think that regardless of my own real level of power and intelligence it looks like I know what Im talking about, even if I dont know the first thing about it.

And though her white-hot career proves that women on TV have come a long way, Anderson still thinks theres room for improvement: The actress has yet to play a woman as multifaceted as herself. Im very willful and very independent, she says. I dont usually play women who have both that and [silliness] in their character. I dont know why, but Ive never really seen that before to the degree that Ive manifested it in my own life.

The good news? Given the way Andersons changed the course of TV history before, its only a matter of time before fictional women measure up to her real-world complexity.


We tested Andersons X-Files recall by reading her three real episode synopses and two that we completely made up. (She cautioned us up front: People will tell me about episodes I shot and I literally have no memory.) Heres how she fared:

Splash: Bizarre murders in a hospitals plastic surgery unit lead Mulder and Scully to suspect a supernatural force may be responsible.

Gillian Anderson: Yes, I think we did an episode about that.

S: Do you remember anything?

GA: No. [Laughs] Well, very, very vaguely.

S: Mulder and Scully get stranded at sea while investigating a possible sea monster sighting, and discover that the boat captain theyve entrusted with their lives may be involved in the government cover-up of the creature.

GA: Yes? Real?

S: No, we made that up.

GA: [Laughs loudly] All right, well its plausible. Very plausible.

S: A little girl is kidnapped and imprisoned by a mentally unstable photographer. Mulder discovers a psychic connection between the recently kidnapped victim and another girl kidnapped by the same man years ago.

GA: No?

S: No, thats real.

GA: What was that called?

S: Oubliette, season three.

G: Ohhhhh I remember the title.

S: Scully pursues a cult that worship a slug-like organism and believe it to be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but in her efforts to save an injured stranger, she discovers she is in over her head.

GA: Yes, yes we did that one. Is that the one where I was like, Amish, and strapped to a bed?

S: Maybe? Last one: After Mulder is witness to a spontaneous human combustion, he shares with Scully that he fears extraterrestrials may be behind the phenomenon. His suspicions are confirmed when he begins to have dreams of being abducted and slow-roasted over a votive candle on a nightly basis.

GA: [Laughs] Just based on ratio, Im gonna say no. But it is possible.

S: Yep, we made that one up.

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27.05.2014, 07:37   #10
: 30.09.2011
: 151

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