Gillian Anderson: X Symbol
Interview by Henry Arnaud
Thanks to the worldwide success of "The X-Files", Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully)-- who co-stars with David Duchovny (Fox Mulder) on the show-- is now more famous than Pamela Anderson. Even though her body isn't as sculpted [Translator's Note: the original word,plastique can also mean "artificial"] as Pammy's, her charm has an equally potent effect on men. She unveils herself in pictures and in print for MAX-- file it under X.
If you ever want to meet Gillian, you can either a) hang around the streets of Vancouver in the hopes of running into her whenever she goes shopping near her home, or b) attend a rare X-Files convention. The most recent one was held near L.A., in the Burbank Hilton. Wearing glasses and her suit all buttoned up, Gillian is trying hard not to look like a sex symbol-- but despite her best efforts, she still looks like one!
HENRY: What do you think of your looks?
GILLIAN: I feel comfortable with the way that I look, the way that I dress, the way that I am... at 27, I've had time to get used to my looks. I've been told that I'm an "unconventional beauty" and that doesn't displease me. At first I took it as an insult, or an attack, because it's an unusual way to give somebody a compliment. I know I'm not the kind of bombshell that network executives are so fond of. I think I'm attractive in my own way. It's gotta be my charm, yeah, that's it...
HENRY: What do you think of the fact that men fantasize about your character, Dana Scully?
GILLIAN: I don't quite understand how the viewers see Dana Scully in that way. Now I tell myself that someone can be very sexy without being an ideal beauty. I think that there's a kind of aura about Scully.
HENRY: Do you think that you're the "Anti-Pamela Anderson"?
GILLIAN: It's hard to believe that people see me that way. They call me the "Thinking man's crumpet". I guess I should take that as a compliment, too, but I still have my doubts about that! In any case, I'd rather be labeled that, than be called a bombshell like Pamela Anderson, who's only known for her body... if you can call it her body! I'd rather be known for something more than just the size of my breasts.
HENRY: Were you surprised that you were cast in The X-Files?
GILLIAN: I had no idea what the character was supposed to be like, nor did I know what the producers were looking for. At the time of the casting, I knew nothing of Dana. It wasn't until later that the producers told me that the FOX network execs had wanted a sexy blonde with long legs and looked like a supermodel. I had to persuade and convince the network to give me the role. It wasn't a given that I'd get it. I really didn't have the kind of body they were looking for...
HENRY: Were you ever scared that you'd be replaced by another actress, someone who better meets their standard of beauty?
GILLIAN: If that were the case, then that would've happened a long time ago. During the first few months of filming, I married Clyde Klotz who was an art director on the show. And then I got pregnant before the end of the first season. I know that certain execs had thought about replacing me with a bombshell-type then. But the on-screen chemistry between Scully and Mulder was too good to throw away. Fortunately the show became a hit--maybe that was what saved me.
HENRY: How's the filming of the show coming along?
GILLIAN: Everybody loves working on the show, even though it's no picnic. We work 16 hours a day, sometimes until 2 in the morning, sometimes through rain, sleet and snow. We film in Vancouver for financial reasons. It's cheaper to film in Canada than in Hollywood. I've made my life here, with Clyde and our one year-old daughter, Piper.
HENRY: We rarely see you at those Hollywood parties. Why is that?
GILLIAN: The show is shot on the West Coast up in Canada, so I don't have any reasons to go down to California. When I do go down there it's strictly business, and it's always related to the show-- the album release party, meeting with the press, private parties with the producers...
HENRY: At what age did you discover your passion for acting?
GILLIAN: I had a bit of a tough time during my teen years. At 13 I lost my virginity to a punk; it was a moronic, horrible experience that left me with bad memories. I got involved with a guy who was 10 years older than me. After that was over, I went soul-searching. I had a mohawk haircut that was purple one day, black the next. I had my nose pierced... my life changed the day I discovered that I could act. My grades went up, and I got my degree. I did some theatre in New York before moving to Los Angeles, where I spent a whole year going from one audition to another.
HENRY: How do you see your future?
GILLIAN: The X-Files won't go on forever. I'm hoping that the show will end before the public gets sick of watching us. Six or seven seasons, and that's it. Until then I hope to do movies when we're not doing the show. I don't want to be known as just a TV star. I'd like a small role in a good film. The script is the most important thing, in my opinion.
Transcript provided by Rhea Merana and appears courtesy of MAX.