January 26, 1997
By Ian Hyland
Sheís known to some of her fans as IDDG: Intellectually Drop Dead Gorgeous. Otherís prefer to use the more traditional 'thinking manís crumpet'. Whatever you call her, one thingís for sure; right now 29-year-old Gillian Anderson is the worldís sexiest woman. And thatís official.
Sheís topped more magazine polls, graced more glossy covers and been downloaded from the Internet more often than anyone else over the last year. And all because she plays a sour-faced FBI agent who chases around America in search of aliens. You can hardly call her character, Dana Scully, glamorous - at times sheís almost frumpy.
In fact, if US network bosses had got their way we might never have seen Gillian in the role; they had more of a Baywatch beauty in mind. "They wanted a big breasted blonde," she says, "but I knew the character wasnít a bimbo. I told them, ĎThis is me - take it or leave ití." Luckily for them - and for her - they saw things her way and an unlikely sex symbol was born. And no one is more amazed than Gillian herself. "Being voted the 1996 Sexiest Woman in the World was so embarrassing," she says. "Isnít it weird? I thought that someone like Cameron Diaz would have won. I still think somebody is pulling a joke. Itís a huge form of flattery but it doesnít mean I have to agree with it."
Gillian never set out to be a Hollywood sex bomb and she says that how she looks is not the most important thing in her life. She recently turned down a multi-million dollar fee to pose for Playboy. "I honestly donít look in the mirror that much," she says. "I get up in the morning and most of the time I get to work and have my hair and make-up before I realise I should have checked if I had sleep in my eyes."
One of the reasons why Gillianís face makes it on so many bedroom walls is the intrigue of her on-screen relationship with co-star David Duchovny as Agent Fox Mulder. Like Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd in the early days of Moonlighting the pair never quite manage to get it on, although the attraction is obvious. "There is a huge amount of sexual tension between Mulder and Scully", she says, "but itís never consummated. I think whatís sexy is the respect they have for each other." Gillian doesnít think the pair will end up in bed because, as was proved when the Moonlighting duo became lovers, it would ruin the show. If it does happen, she hopes it will be saved for the final episode. "If itís the end, weíre allowed to," she says.
In real life, gossips claim she and Duchovny donít get on; that he earns more, does less publicity and has a hand in scriptwriting. "Iím more than adequately compensated," is Gillianís tart reply. After all, when The X-Files came along she was an unemployed actress who had been before the cameras only once before. Gillian turned to acting following a wild child existence in London and Chicago. She dyed her hair pink, wore a stud in her nose and a safety pin in her cheek, and had an affair with a 24-year-old punk singer when she was just 14. She first had sex at 13, but describes the experience as "awkward".
All this, she admits, is a far cry from the sensible and smart-suited Scully we see on the screen. "Stories of my early days are not exaggerated," she smiles. "Nowadays I often stop to think how the show has changed my life." These changes include a two-year marriage to former X-Files designer Clyde Klotz. They were married on New Yearís day and have a daughter called Piper. Gillian prefers the quiet life these days, living away from the clamour of Hollywood in Vancouver, where Clyde has been busy hand-carving a lavish four-poster bed. "I am not into Hollywood parties," she says. "I avoid the showbiz thing." Asked if the demanding schedule of The X-Files places added pressure on her marriage, she honestly admits: "Thereís no reason why it should, but it does. Anyone in the situation Iím in right now would be a difficult partner. I am strong-willed and I have things I want to accomplish."
Gillian has remained very level-headed for someone who has had worldwide fame thrust upon her almost overnight. She says she would be happier without some of the negative aspects of celebrity ...such as the unwanted attentions of the paparazzi. But she is determined that this wonít stop her achieving her goals. "This is my lifeís work. I know how to do it, and I care about it as much as anything else in my life. So Iím not going to give it up because I canít handle the attention."
And if The X-Files should suddenly lose its popularity and plunge her back into the world of the unknown Gillian is equally sure of herself. "Itís not about the fame," she argues, "Itís about following oneís heart and oneís dream." Scully would be proud of her.
Transcript provided by Darren Smith and appears courtesy of Personal.