Interviewed by Mike Hammond
MIKE: Gillian Anderson has been pushed to international stardom in a series that investigates unsolved cases, many of which include alien abductions and involvement of the paranormal. Now Gillian is currently in Australia to talk about the X-Files, and she joins us now, live from the studio. (turns to Gillian) Welcome to Fox Entertainment News and welcome to Australia.
GILLIAN: Thank you.
MIKE: Now I donít know where to start with you. Perhaps youíd like to suggest a question that you havenít been asked, that youíd like to start off with. (GA laughs) I mean, it must be hard. Is it? Going from place to place.
GILLIAN: Well, itís hard answering the same questions over and over again as if Iím hearing them for the first time. And making them interesting, or changing them a little bit, but remaining within the realm of truth. So that Iím not saying the same thing over and over again.
MIKE: So at what point can you be Gillian and at what point do you have to start acting and become Dana, and sort of act out the role when youíre being interviewed?
GILLIAN: I donít really act out the role of Dana, but I think that I have a tendency to be short and clippy with my answers. (laughs) .. If I donít see them going anywhere.
MIKE: Am I being warned? Am I being warned? (laughs)
MIKE: Thereís one thing I wanted to ask was about the nose ring. And excuse me for staring, but I canít see what side it was in.
GILLIAN: No, there is no hole. There -It was on my left side.
MIKE: So that answers a big question. Because Iíve sort of thought about if you get your ear pierced or your nose pierced or you know?
GILLIAN: It does heal up. It actually had gotten a little bit, um, not infect Do you want me to tell you the story?
MIKE: Sure. Absolutely!
GILLIAN: Well when I went, um, I got it done in London and I had to leave before they actually could change the stud to a hoop. And so they did it anyway. And so-
MIKE: Yeah And they also probably used cheap metal, too. Itís not the purity of the gold or whatever-
GILLIAN: Yeah. And so- When he pierced my nose he actually like pressed it in just with his finger. He didnít use a gun. He just like pressed it in. It was that easy. And it didnít actually hurt.
MIKE: I was going to ask if it hurt.
GILLIAN: No, it didnít. I got a little dizzy, but-
MIKE: You were a bit of a punk, is that right?
GILLIAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
MIKE: What, were you into the punk scene, or the music, or
GILLIAN: No, no, no. Iíve just heard so much about this, that, you know.. itís just-
MIKE: Well, Iíve heard about it too. Thatís why Iím asking you directly to see what itís all about.
GILLIAN: I know! (laughs) It was just a stage that I went through, like everybody goes through a stage.
MIKE: So the X-Files came along. How did it come along?
GILLIAN: To me in terms of the script? Well, I was out of work in Los Angeles for almost a year and-
MIKE: Thatís part of being an actor.
GILLIAN: I know, I know. And this script came along, and I wasnít actually in the habit of auditioning for television shows. I wasnít a big fan of television at the time and itís grown tremendously since that point. And I think, in general, thereís a lot more respect for TV now, especially in the states. I mean, not especially Iím sure thereís more respect for Australian TV. (laughs) But you know what I mean.
MIKE: I know what you mean. Itís like film and theatre versus TV.
GILLIAN: Yeah, exactly. So I was quite snobbish about it, I think, for a long time. And then this script came along for a series and I had no idea really what that meant. In terms of doing a series, or how often series were actually picked up to go or not.
MIKE: Yeah, is it going to be five shows, or do I get two weeks of work out of this.. yeah.
GILLIAN: Yeah, I had no clue. And I certainly had no clue that I would be signing away what may be seven years of my life.
MIKE: Does it feel like youíve signed away seven years of your life?
GILLIAN: In a way, it does. Yeah. But in a good way. I mean, Iím very happy to be in the situation that Iím in and to be working with the people and the character that Iím working with. But it does, it takes out a huge chunk. And depending on which perspective you look at it, itís either a good seven years of work or itís seven wasted years (laughs) you know, where you could have been doing something else.
MIKE: Thereís that actorís dilemma again. Itís like, do I take this gig and Iím guaranteed an income and a job.. or.. you know?
GILLIAN: Right. Exactly.
MIKE: I suppose when youíre starting out. ĎCause this was a big role for you, wasnít it? Going on to The X-Files.. Was that sort of a consideration? Was it like, ĎWell, you know, Iím sort of a new person on the block, you know, Iíll go and give it everything Iíve got and see how it works outí?
GILLIAN: Basically yes. But at the same time, my perspective wasnít that giving everything that I have would end up being that long. I mean, Chris is -Chris Carter, heís our executive producer -and his perspective is that itís a very short amount of years in a lifetime. You know, but then when I think about the fact that I started when I was twenty-four and I may end up finishing when Iím thirty-two
MIKE: You look at the percentage of what your life is, how old you are at the time
GILLIAN: Yeah, I know! Itís very ..
MIKE: Well youíre about half way through-
GILLIAN: Yeah, about half way through-
MIKE: So Iím sure that the character has changed a lot, as you have, but letís have a look a little bit here at your alter ego in action.
GILLIAN: Oooh boy..
MIKE: Dana Scully.
(a clip is shown from Beyond the Sea, and after the clip is shown we return to the interview to see Gillian staring down at the ground, away from the television screen)
MIKE: Pretty serious stuff there. (looks over at Gillian) Whatís the matter? Youíre looking away from the monitor. (Gillian laughs) Why is that? Do you not like looking at yourself act?
GILLIAN: (covers her face with her hands and starts laughing) I canít watch previous episodes. (peeks through her hands and then removes them from her face) Iím sorry, Iím turning red. Nooo.. itís just-
MIKE: There are a lot of people who donít like hearing their voice back when itís recorded and a lot of actors donít like watching themselves-
GILLIAN: I donít either. I donít like hearing my voice.
MIKE: So you donít watch it when itís on air?
GILLIAN: I donít mind watching a new one when itís on air Ďcause Iím excited to see what weíve done and how itís turned out and to learn from mistakes and to learn from good performances or whatever. But I cannot watch previous episodes.
MIKE: Well, that was from right at the very start. That was like, I think, from series one, .. or series two?
GILLIAN:> Yeah, it was series one.
MIKE: So how has the character developed then? Because I notice in the current series thereís a lot more sexual tension between your character and Fox Mulder. I think thereís a little bit of anger there in some of the episodes, too.
GILLIAN: Yeah, yeah there is. I think in the third season, which I donít think youíve seen yet in Australia, everything kind of comes together. I think we In the third, as you call, series everyoneís just much sharper and the scripts are better and itís all kind of come together in the third series.
MIKE: So I take it you feel a lot more comfortable and confident both with your acting and with the character as the shows progressing.
MIKE: So itís a good thing!
GILLIAN: And I think that sheís gotten stronger too. Sheís not as green as she used to be, which is a good thing.
MIKE: So youíre signed for the seven years, so I guess weíre guaranteed for seeing you-
GILLIAN: For a good, you know, three/four more years-
MIKE: as it stands for the moment, for until the contract runs through.
MIKE: Well thanks for being with us Gillian.
GILLIAN: Thank you. It was a pleasure to be here.
MIKE: Itís been a real pleasure meeting you. I was going to show you some of the stuff Iíve got on you on the internet-
GILLIAN: I think Iíll-
MIKE: but weíll save that for another time.
GILLIAN: Yeah, I think Iíll (laughs) pass on that.
MIKE: All right. Thanks a lot.
GILLIAN: Thank you.
Transcript appears courtesy of Fox Entertainment News.