Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson

Throughout the nineties The X-Files was oneof the most popular sci-fi series on the television making house hold names of lead actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

But after a six year hiatus, series nine finished in May 2002, new film X-Files: I Want to Believe reunites Duchovny and Anderson in their roles as Mulder and Scully. Anderson talks about her return to the popular character.

We thought you wanted to go off and do all these things in England and have this whole different career and want to leave the X-Files behind so why come back?

I did and I did. But I think that I have always made it pretty clear no matter what has been rumored at various times in the press, that were we to come together in order to do a film, that I would be happy and willing and hopefully able to participate, and so I just assumed, that it would just be a matter of time. There were a few times there when it looked like it might not happen but I was always on board.

Do you agree with David Duchovny that this movie could be the first of several, that X-Files can go on now as a movie series?

I think that is something that has been discussed for a long time and that’s something that we have all been interested in and if we are able to do one that appeals to a mass audience that perhaps we might even do another one after this but we will have to see.

What is it like to come back to the X-Files? Is it familiar or does it seem strange?

You know I wasn’t so much cocky about it but I was really confident that it was going to be really easy on the first day, and I wasn’t afraid at all. Usually I am terrified before I start something. And then for the first couple of days it sucked. It was horrible.

I’ve spent such a long time trying not to do anything that even remotely resembled Scully whilst working, so when I was inviting her back again my brain was going 'No, no, this isn’t supposed to be happening.' And also we happened to start on the worst possible scene we could have started with.

Which was?

It was probably one of my most difficult days. It was a confrontation scene, I hadn’t even been ‘normal Scully’ before I had to be ‘upset Scully.’

Do you see Scully differently now - has she changed a lot?

I don’t think she has changed I think what’s been important is to not have her change a lot. I think it’s important to show somebody that’s recognizable to the audience who is used to her. Obviously there has been a maturity that has taken place naturally.

Is there some references to what happened to Scully in the last five years?

Not really, I think that it becomes a given.

What is behind your willingness to come back to this? Was it that you didn’t want to be the one who said no and then the whole thing might fall apart?

It was a formidable experience for all of us. Even at the times when I was very outspoken about the challenges of the show, it was still something that I wouldn’t have changed for the world.

I was always aware that this was something unique and valuable and precious and something that doesn’t happen very often and that we were all incredibly lucky. Coming back together again has been exciting.

So much has changed in the world and for everybody since the X-Files was first on the air and since the film, has time passed the X-Files by, or is there still something the X-Files can say about where we are at?

I think that the issues that are addressed are even bigger issues than current events.

What do you love about the character and what do you think other people love about her?

It’s almost like Scully has always been this ‘little engine’-- she was this feisty, fiery, intelligent, buster of everything that was strangely appealing to people.

In the TV series she was just so different from what people had seen at the time. The show was appealing to so many different kinds of people on so many different levels.

Do you think that Scully was a role model?

Absolutely, and I think that was primarily Chris Carter, he was determined in the beginning to keep Scully that way.

I remember crying once when I was holding a gun and I got this phone call from Chris to say 'Scully wouldn’t cry,' I had to be molded and reminded just who this person is and eventually I got it and she developed and we all grew together.

I think that her resilience and her strength, her intelligence and her determination was appealing for lots of young women. And apparently there is a whole new group of people out there who are discovering the show in reruns for the first time, which is awesome.

Is the relationship the heart of the new movie?

Like I’m going to answer that!

How much easier is it working with David Duchovny again now you are not on top of each other sixteen hours a day?

It is great, it was great then too it’s like a sibling relationship. It is just a natural relationship and now that we have grown up I think we are more appreciative of the relationship period and the unique experience that we have had together - and that we have an opportunity to continue and foster it. We have always loved each other and we are always going have the occasional battle.

How comfortable are you owning this role that has become such a cultural icon?

I feel very fortunate. I started when I was 24, I told them I was 27 to get hired, but I was only 24. I think I had to surround myself with so many survival mechanisms in order to survive at that age when I had only done a little bit of theater, it was intense.

People would say to me in interviews, 'What a whirlwind life you have had.' I didn’t even have enough of a perspective to stand back and go (sounds amazed), 'Yeah man.' My response was like (sounds matter of fact), 'Yeah.'

We heard this film is very focused on relationships so how does the supernatural elements and the relationship stuff work hand in hand in this film?

I do think they have done a really really good job of touching on all the elements that need to be important for this film to make sense to people and to stand alone.

What is the biggest difference between Scully now, and the last time we saw her?

I think she is more relaxed. I think she has made some choices in her life that have allowed her to do what she most wants to do, and that has mellowed her a little bit.

She hasn’t lost any of her determination and passion about things by any stretch but she is mellowed a bit.

How is life in London?

It’s really good, it is excellent, I like it very much.

Are you going to stay in London?

Yes I am, I love that city.

What next

I have done a couple of comedies recently, which I have been wanting to do for a long time. For me it is about diversity, the quality of the work and also about schedule. It’s not that I am lazy but my main objective is to continue a decent balance in terms of work.

X-Files: I Want to Believe is released 1st August

Throughout the nineties The X-Files was oneof the most popular sci-fi series on the television making house hold names of lead actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

But after a six year hiatus, series nine finished in May 2002, new film X-Files: I Want to Believe reunites Duchovny and Anderson in their roles as Mulder and Scully. Anderson talks about her return to the popular character.

We thought you wanted to go off and do all these things in England and have this whole different career and want to leave the X-Files behind so why come back?

I did and I did. But I think that I have always made it pretty clear no matter what has been rumored at various times in the press, that were we to come together in order to do a film, that I would be happy and willing and hopefully able to participate, and so I just assumed, that it would just be a matter of time. There were a few times there when it looked like it might not happen but I was always on board.

Do you agree with David Duchovny that this movie could be the first of several, that X-Files can go on now as a movie series?

I think that is something that has been discussed for a long time and that’s something that we have all been interested in and if we are able to do one that appeals to a mass audience that perhaps we might even do another one after this but we will have to see.

What is it like to come back to the X-Files? Is it familiar or does it seem strange?

You know I wasn’t so much cocky about it but I was really confident that it was going to be really easy on the first day, and I wasn’t afraid at all. Usually I am terrified before I start something. And then for the first couple of days it sucked. It was horrible.

I’ve spent such a long time trying not to do anything that even remotely resembled Scully whilst working, so when I was inviting her back again my brain was going 'No, no, this isn’t supposed to be happening.' And also we happened to start on the worst possible scene we could have started with.

Which was?

It was probably one of my most difficult days. It was a confrontation scene, I hadn’t even been ‘normal Scully’ before I had to be ‘upset Scully.’

Do you see Scully differently now - has she changed a lot?

I don’t think she has changed I think what’s been important is to not have her change a lot. I think it’s important to show somebody that’s recognizable to the audience who is used to her. Obviously there has been a maturity that has taken place naturally.

Is there some references to what happened to Scully in the last five years?

Not really, I think that it becomes a given.

What is behind your willingness to come back to this? Was it that you didn’t want to be the one who said no and then the whole thing might fall apart?

It was a formidable experience for all of us. Even at the times when I was very outspoken about the challenges of the show, it was still something that I wouldn’t have changed for the world.

I was always aware that this was something unique and valuable and precious and something that doesn’t happen very often and that we were all incredibly lucky. Coming back together again has been exciting.

So much has changed in the world and for everybody since the X-Files was first on the air and since the film, has time passed the X-Files by, or is there still something the X-Files can say about where we are at?

I think that the issues that are addressed are even bigger issues than current events.

What do you love about the character and what do you think other people love about her?

It’s almost like Scully has always been this ‘little engine’-- she was this feisty, fiery, intelligent, buster of everything that was strangely appealing to people.

In the TV series she was just so different from what people had seen at the time. The show was appealing to so many different kinds of people on so many different levels.

Do you think that Scully was a role model?

Absolutely, and I think that was primarily Chris Carter, he was determined in the beginning to keep Scully that way.

I remember crying once when I was holding a gun and I got this phone call from Chris to say 'Scully wouldn’t cry,' I had to be molded and reminded just who this person is and eventually I got it and she developed and we all grew together.


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