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NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Dec. 17, 1998

JAY: All right, my first guest, Emmy Award-winning actress, stars as Agent Scully on the popular series "The X-Files" also stars in a new film, "Playing by Heart," which opens in Los Angeles on December 30th and nationwide in January. Please welcome the lovely Gillian Anderson!

[Cheers and applause]

JAY: Congratulations on your Golden Globe nomination. Pretty cool, pretty neat.

GILLIAN: Thank you. Thank you very much.

JAY:That's very cool. What do you have there?

GILLIAN: Well, I brought this little thing (a small green lizard/chameleon toy with a long red tongue that protrudes when you squeeze its body) daughter got it today, as a kind of a pre-christmas gift, but I wanted to kiss you with it because it's really funny.

JAY: You want to kiss me with it?

GILLIAN: Well, look. It's meant to go up...can it go up your nose?

JAY: Oh, isn't that lovely?


GILLIAN: And in your ear. Isn't that funny?

JAY: Oh what a lovely thing that is. And you know, it's not at all annoying. That's what I like about it. [Gets the toy from Gillian] You have to really squeeze it, though.

GILLIAN: Yeah, you do have to squeeze it.

JAY: Oh, it's only that long. I thought it was going to be like a...(uses his hands to demonstrate how long he thought the tongue would be)


JAY: Well, that's a beautiful, beautiful thing. Well! Oh, you certainly spoil your daughter, eh? [ Laughter ] So many of the Hollywood stars, they go all out. What is that, 1500 bucks for that? That's a beautiful thing!

GILLIAN: (laughing) Isn't it sweet?

JAY: Now, are you ready for the holidays? Have you done your shopping?

GILLIAN: You know, I've done some of the shopping. I've done like a little of it. Not all of it. I am kinda behind.

JAY: That means you haven't done anything.

GILLIAN: No, I have. I've done some of it. But you know, sometimes you start shopping and then end up buying stuff for yourself.

JAY: Uh-huh, how unlike people in show business. Now, let me ask you. So you go out and you look for something for other people and you go, "I want that." Do you wind up keeping the item you wanted for someone else? You do!

GILLIAN: I don't want to talk about this. I am too embarrassed! It's not fair!

JAY: Now, I know your daughter is 4.

GILLIAN: She is.

JAY: And what a cutie.

GILLIAN: She is a cutie. She's backstage.

JAY: She is a cutie..backstage.

GILLIAN: Hi, Piper (waving at the camera)!

JAY: Now, do you do the thing for Santa? Do you put out the cookies and the --

GILLIAN: No, no, no, no. We don't have any ritual like that. I've never really gotten into putting out the cookies for the reindeers . I think the only ritual in my family at all was that, no matter how early I got up, - because I was an only child until I was about 13 - but no matter how early I got up, we had to wait for my dad to take a shower, make his coffee, get dressed and come downstairs around the tree. It was excruciating!

JAY: You had to do that?

GILLIAN: Oh, yeah.

JAY: You know, I can always remember being like asleep, you know? It's like, "I don't know where the hell the screwdriver is. I can't get this damn -- I'm gonna wake the boy."....and my father was trying to put the thing together. "Well, dammit, where is the screwdriver?" "Santa?" "Shut the hell up!" You know, "Is that you, santa?" "Get the hell back in bed!" So that wasn't bad. And would your dad deliberately stretch it out, like take an extra long time in the shower?

GILLIAN: Well, maybe. No, I don't think so. I just don't think he knew that, you know, it was excruciating to have to wait.

JAY: That's the fun part about being a dad, making the kids suffer. Oh, sure, you've got to make them wait. Now what does Piper want? Did she write a letter to Santa?

GILLIAN: She was not written a letter.

JAY: You have to write a letter.

GILLIAN: She hasn't written a letter. She's into the well,...what the...guns and the....

JAY: Is she into the furby thing? Does she want a furby?

GILLIAN: She does want a furby, but you know, they're hard to find.

JAY: They are hard to find.

GILLIAN: They are pretty hard to find.

JAY: Have you had trouble?

GILLIAN: Well, you know, Jay, I've had a little bit of help.

JAY: Really?

GILLIAN: Yeah. I'm lucky.

JAY: What kind of help have you had? Kind of an "X-Files" kind of thing?

GILLIAN: HEY! (Looks up as the lights turn blue and the "X-Files" theme begins to play)

[A furby is slowly lowered from the ceiling. Gillian unhooks it from the cable.]

JAY: Wow.

GILLIAN: (looking up again) Thank you.

JAY: Wow, that's very good.

GILLIAN: You have to have friends in the right places.

JAY: Boy, I'll say. And it's a beautiful thing, isn't it? Just beautiful.

GILLIAN: It's just beautiful. So beautiful! (makes a funny face and the audience laughs)

JAY: I think it's got ticks.

GILLIAN: (trying to figure out what to do with the furby) What do you do?

JAY: It has batteries in it?

GILLIAN: I don't know. Like I don't know.

JAY: I don't know.

GILLIAN: Oh good (places the furby on top of the green lizard).

JAY: It'll make a lovely pet for that thing. (Gillian starts pounding the green lizard with the furby) I wouldn't be teaching her (Piper) that kind of thing!

GILLIAN: No, she knows how to treat animals, actually.

JAY: You have a lot of animals, don't you?

GILLIAN: Well, no. I don't have a lot. We have a dog...a big neapolitan mastiff named Cleo.

JAY: A neapolitan? What's that? Strawberry, vanilla, chocolate?

GILLIAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, it has kind of a slate gray color. Kind of like on your desk. And I got her a hamster for her fourth birthday.

JAY: Hamsters are fun.

GILLIAN: Hamsters are really fun and she does this kind of stuff with the hamster (pounds the lizard with the furby again)..." I love him so much!" (says this in a high pitched voice, emulating Piper) We have these little wooden boxes on the coffee table and she likes to put him in there and then put the lid on top. (looks sheepish as she covers half of her face with her hand) The animal rights activists are gonna come knocking on my door.

JAY: Does she take care of it? Now, do you have to take care of it? Do you have to feed it?

GILLIAN: You see, that's the problem. I'm not really much better than she is. She was away for about two weeks, and after like the fifth day, I thought - HAMSTER! (her hands up in the air and a surprised look on her face)

JAY: You forgot to feed him?

GILLIAN: It was new! She had just gotten it, and...I know she's watching...I haven't told her this story...

JAY: You know, it is an awesome responsibility.

GILLIAN: That's true. It is an awesome responsibility, but I forgot. And I'm walking down the hall and I'm thinking, okay, okay, if the hamster's not alive, I'll find another one. And if I can't find the right color, I'll just convince her that they molt or they change colors...they're like chameleons. And fortunately, the hamster was fine.

JAY:> He was okay?

GILLIAN: It was fine.

JAY: He was just fasting?

GILLIAN: He was...well, no, because I think he got the sense that he wasn't being fed so he started to eat a lot. So he was actually really chubby when I found him. So I was very relieved.

JAY: (perplexed) Where did he get the food?

GILLIAN: No, there was food in the beginning before she went out of town, and I think the hamster...I actually don't know if it's a he or she. I know....I realized I....I know, I'm bad.

JAY: Well, tell me about "Playing By The Heart." Tell me about the movie.

GILLIAN: "Playing By Heart"

JAY: Yeah, I haven't seen... usually, I always see the movie beforehand, but...

GILLIAN: It's not to see. You can't see it. It's an ensemble piece. It's a reat, great group of actors. Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands....

JAY: Sean Connery? Oh, I love Sean Connery!

GILLIAN: And Angelina Jolie and Ellen Burstyn and Jon Stewart, who I actually work a lot with. And I think the clip that you have...

JAY: We have a clip? Okay! Is Sean...(starts to imitate the way Sean speaks) "I love Pussy Galore"... I love that movie!

GILLIAN: (laughing) I don't know what you're talking about.

JAY: Sean Connery! Pussy Galore...remember?

GILLIAN: Will you say that again?

JAY: "Hello, Pussy, how are you?"

GILLIAN: That is pretty good!

JAY: I mean, doesn't he have a sexy voice?

GILLIAN: He does have a sexy voice.

JAY: (still mimicking Sean) "Hello, Pussy. Let's take a look."

GILLIAN: Will you call me every once in a while and just say that into the phone?

JAY: I used to do phone sex to Sean Connery!

GILLIAN: Did you?

JAY: Here's the scene, "Playing By Hand."

GILLIAN: "Playing By Heart."

JAY: "Playing By Heart."

[Clip of the movie starts to play]

A huge bookcase falls on Meredith (GA's character) ---

Man Meredith?

Man wearing glasses (to Jon Stewart): Can you say lawsuit?

JS: (as he helps Meredith stand up) Are you okay?

Meredith: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I landed on a stack of George - plenty of padding.

Man wearing glasses (to Meredith): Meet the architect.

JS: Are you sure you're okay?

Meredith: Yeah. Yeah. I'm fine.

Man wearing glasses (to Meredith): If I can just find one theater....

JS: And dinner is on me!

Meredith: No, no, no. Not necessary, truly.

JS: You know, I'm not just asking you to dinner as a pre-emptive strike against litigation. I'm asking because...

Meredith: I'll have dinner with you.

JS: What changed your mind?

Meredith: Anyone who can say 'pre-emptive strike against litigation' with a straight face deserves a dinner partner.

[end of clip]

JAY: (still in Sean Connery's voice) The film opens December 30th.

GILLIAN: December 30th.

JAY: December 30th.

GILLIAN: And then reopens in January.

JAY: Listen, and Merry Christmas to you and Piper.

GILLIAN: Thank you very very much!

JAY: Gillian Anderson. Be right back with Billy Bob Thornton.....

Transcript provided by Mari Garcia and appears courtesy of NBC's Tonight Show.

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