Gillian Anderson interview

Earlier this year we were able to go on set for the filming of the new X-Files sequel in Vancouver. Some of the interview material is available to read in the latest edition of SFX magazine (SFX 171 featured quotes from Frank Spotnitz and Chris Carter; SFX 172 is on sale from Wednesday 2 July 2008 with profiles of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) but we thought you might like to read bonus answers from Gillian "Scully" Anderson here on the SFX website...

Has Scully changed a lot in this film?
Gillian Anderson:
"I think what's important is to not have her change a lot. It's been finding who she is again; it's important to show somebody who's recognisable to the audience that's used to her. Obviously there's a maturity that's taken place naturally, and I use that fact to inform how she might be in the present day."

Do you think the character was always a role-model for people?
Gillian Anderson:
"We all grew up together. I think her resilience, strength, intelligence and determination were fortunately appealing for lots of young women. There's a whole new group of people discovering the show for the first time through the re-runs - and that's awesome! When fan letters come through to me it's from everyone from grandmothers to four year olds."

How did you feel about presenting Masterpiece Theater ?
Gillian Anderson:
"Working and living in Britain - there's such a vast access to quality, and to the classics, and to a genre and intensity of film-making for television. With people like Judy Dench - it's just so part of their world. Actors in England go from theatre to television to movies seamlessly. They go back and forth - you see Charles Dance and Helen Mirren, and they're in your living room on TV, then they're on the stage: that's just part of life. And to help in some small way to bring that world to the American public, and try and make it more a part of their daily lives, felt like a good thing to do."

When you're living in London do you start talking with a British accent?
Gillian Anderson:
"I grew up in London so when I'm there I can't help myself; my partner's British and the majority of my friends over there are British. It was the first language that was in my ear and I can't help it! But once in a while an American will be at the table with me and they'll say something and I'll answer in an American accent... but I've just been talking in a British accent! It's actually a bit embarrassing to be honest. When I'm doing an interview and I'm supposed to be talking American but the interviewer is British, I might have to find somebody who's American so I can hear it so I can answer the question [laughs]!"

Having survived The X-Files, would you ever do another TV series?
Gillian Anderson:
"I'll never say never because things change so much over time - but it would have to be something pretty extraordinary to take that kind of time (and to move me back to LA which is where it's likely to be shot). I hope to still be working when I'm 60, so maybe as a 60-year-old I'll come and do a comedy for NBC or something!"

Do you hope you're not just confined to the role of "Scully"?
Gillian Anderson:
"In some ways I still am. I think when producers see my work, sometimes they go, 'Oh! She can act!' There's nothing much I can do about that, except continue to challenge myself and continue to try to challenge the minds of people who want to put me in a box."

Would you like to do more TV mini-series like BBC's Bleak House?
Gillian Anderson:
"I'm up for anything really. If something else were to come up like Bleak House, I would completely be up for that. For me it's about diversity, but it's also about the quality of the work and the writing. And also about scheduling too - I just don't want to be stressed out; I stress myself out enough with all the things I put on my plate. My main objective is to try and lighten up - hopefully I'll be able to continue a decent balance."

So what are you doing next?
Gillian Anderson:
"I'm in a film in South Africa called The Smell of Apples. It takes place in the 1970s during apartheid - it's a lovely film based on a novel."

SFX: Thank you Gillian Anderson!

The X-Files: I Want To Believe opens at cinemas in the UK on Friday 1 August 2008. Find out more about Gillian Anderson at her official website . Remember, you can read more from this interview (as well as an interview with co-star David "Mulder" Duchovny) in issue 172 of SFX magazine, on sale from Wednesday 2 July. Click here to subscribe to SFX and receive future editions at a bargain price - and get a free gift while stocks last too!