"Me, You, Gillian"
By Johanna Papageorgiou
She welcomed us cozy sitting on her huge chair. Tiny, but unimaginable beautiful, she almost whispers as she speaks and she avoids saying too much. She lets the chat rolls and when I become too personal she changes the “I” to “You” or “Them” and she moves on with a disarming honesty. The word star doesn’t suit her. Only the word Human being describes her perfectly, although those deep unimaginable beautiful blue eyes moves you in Heaven…
The beginning is the kiss...
JOHANNA: So did you leave any part of the hallway scene cut on the floor of director’s cut room? Maybe you really kissed and the director decided not to sow it in the movie?
GILLIAN: No! We never kissed, but what we did is to shoot our own side of the scene. Which is really funny. Actually I attack Mulder in a sexual abusive way! I think that only Chris has this copy and I am pretty damn sure that no one will ever see it. (laughs) Mostly in the Internet, I am pretty sure that no one will ever see it, so don’t hope.
JOHANNA: In a recent interview you said that you didn’t like the fact that Mulder keep saving Scully. You also said that if you could choose it would be the other way round.
GILLIAN: I guess that I could save him a bit, yeah…
JOHANNA: Which you constantly been doing in the fifth season?
GILLIAN: Well I saved the day more often in the last episodes, yeah. But it would be better if there was a balance. I think that in a way we stuck in the old fashion thing that the guy has got to save the girl. From the other hand Scully, and Chris, whom he created her broke lots of taboos. It’s not something that I complain about but, you know, I think that there are some aspects on her character that could be balanced and evolve.
JOHANNA: Do you think that thanks to Scully you became such a role model?
GILLIAN: Well I can’t tell you that “Yeah I really feel that” or “sure, certain”, I just know from the people that some girls and women responds well towards her character. It gives through her positive behavior more positive messages.
JOHANNA: Are you afraid that in the future you would have always something like “hey, that’s Scully’. Something that it will follow you always?
GILLIAN: No! Most of the scripts that I’ve seen and the roles that I’ve been offered are way to far from Scully. And of course the roles that I have chosen are far from Scully. In ‘The Mighty’ I play Meat Loafs alcoholic chick and there is nothing on me to remind you of Scully. Besides that, I am not typecast and people could tell the difference between her and me, now. Although I have some doubts - hope not - about a specific audience that it would be hard for them to see beyond Scully.
JOHANNA: How can you shoot for nine months a year the show, and then in the little time that remains to play in a movie? Do you ever wish for the phenomenon to stop?
GILLIAN: I don’t wish for the X Files phenomenon to stop, ever. I wish for the show to stop and if it’s possible the phenomenon to moves on and remains. (laughs) It would be nice if this was our last year and concentrate in making X Files movies every four - five years.
JOHANNA: So are you a little bit tired from the show?
GILLIAN: It’s not that I am tired from the show. It’s that I am tired. I just want some sharp and short or easy projects. And unfortunately the show is getting a little bit tiring. I am not tired to Scully or the people I work with, neither The X Files in general. Just it's that the time that I have to afford is too much and that the way creating that time is really demanding.
JOHANNA: Could you compare something, anything, between the show and the movie?
GILLIAN: Oh, but the movie it’s so like the TV show. It’s like a big, expensive episode of the show. One of Chris (Carter’s) and Frank (Spotnitz) goals it was to create a film that it could be enjoyable not only for the fans but also for an audience that wasn’t familiar with the show. And I think they managed to do that.
JOHANNA: But was there a difference in the way that you presented the role?
GILLIAN: Not really. Okay we had the luxury of time so we had the chance to give more bases to scenes that didn’t have dialogue but more acting. Basically though we understood soon enough that what we had to do was what we already knew from the show.
JOHANNA: From what I have read you always bring your daughter, Piper, on the set of the show. Did you do the same in the movie, and if yes, why is so important to share all the time you have with Piper?
GILLIAN: Because I am her mother, cause I love her and cause I think that it is important for the parents to share their life with their children and especially at the age that Piper is. And since I could afford to have a baby sitter to take care of her while we were shooting the show why not to spend my time with my daughter whenever she needs me and at any time I can?
JOHANNA: When it became known that the X Files moves after five years from Vancouver to LA, Tea said that she is happy to have David there. Do you have anyone waiting at home?
GILLIAN: If you mean someone else besides Piper and Cleo (her dog), no, no one else.
JOHANNA: Do you leave anyone behind, in Vancouver maybe?
GILLIAN: If you are talking about a guy, no, I am not.
JOHANNA: It is difficult for all of us to keep a relationship for a long time. For you that you’re always on the road while the same time you’re in the spotlight I assume that it would be harder.
GILLIAN: (Smiles) This job it could influence your relationships because you could end up in different places all over the world promoting a movie, and be so far from the people you love. Plus the ‘spotlight’ divorces that is a big disadvantage in our job. But even in the less important relationships the press has it’s way of making it big and obligating you to take place. You can… for example go on a date with someone to get to know him better and out of a sudden you’re dating him. If a couple has difficulties the press becomes the third person, it’s really awful. One way or another the media affects our personal lives.
JOHANNA: Do you believe that as a celebrity - woman - it is hard to get along with a guy who he wouldn’t be able to accept the fact that you are rich and more famous than him?
GILLIAN: Yeah, I think it’s hard. That was my experience so far. I think that is in a man nature to think that he is the one who will bring the food and the money. And that he would feel irritated if the woman earns more. They feel coward, week and insecure. I would wish to meet a guy who he wouldn’t feel threatened by my fame or by my money.
JOHANNA: Last year the press focused on the issue that you have been paid less than David. But you won Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award. Now that the movie is out the critic’s talk about you, about what you put through, etc. Do you feel that this is coming like a reward?
GILLIAN: I have fought over this issue for a long time to get it straight. I had said that if I don’t get the same with David I wouldn’t do the movie. It’s a matter of justice and not of reward. Cause although the awards, FOX decided not to increase my salary. After lots of screaming…(laughs), no really after lots of talks they new I was talking for real and that I wasn’t kidding.
JOHANNA: Now, you are Scully, you have been Dana for the past five ½ years. Which elements of her character do you admire and respect?
GILLIAN: I love that she is straight towards people, her intelligence, her inner strength, her lack of fear and her compassion. I love her respect towards Mulder and I respect her values…
JOHANNA: What about your relationship with…David?
GILLIAN: We are friends. Second, we work together. Third we spend lots of time together. Some times there is fun, some others just a surviving day over the hard shooting schedule. I have talked for this issue over and over again. You know just because we don’t socialize and hang out together this doesn’t mean that I hate him or that he hates me. I can’t honestly imagine how could it be possible after 16 hours a day that we are together, to hang out and on the weekends. There isn’t enough time. I can hardly see my friends and family on the weekends. My relationship with David is strictly professional, but there are however some accurateness and misunderstandings about it … out there.
JOHANNA: I am sure that you have been asked dozen of times but, did you ever had any unexplained experiences in your life?
GILLIAN: No, nothing worth to mention.
JOHANNA: Yeah, but I’ve read somewhere that in your new house you were feeling weird and you called someone to … send the bad spirits away?
GILLIAN: Okay, about this case, the truth is that with my ex husband we had moved to a new place. We lived there for few months and I had this crazy feeling that someone was in the house. I talked about this to some friends and one of them told me to call a Native American Indian to send the bad spirits away. I did that and then the house was clean and bright. I guess it had an affect.
JOHANNA: Do you believe in government conspiracies?
GILLIAN: I think that there is a justify percent of insanity according to government conspiracies just because of the lies that the American government has been saying and the scandals that have taken place from the 50’s and so. And I am speaking especially for the American government, although I know that in other countries it’s worst, in what concerns the people and the things that they are hiding. We learn every day that, suppose for our own sake, there are top secret government information’s about wars that have started long time before the people are informed about the situation…
JOHANNA: Have they ever tried to stop the show? Where you ever close enough to the truth?
GILLIAN: I don’t know. But look with what we are dealing in the show. (laughs) I think that even if we are close to something, the government could easily cover it or just face it as something ridiculous due to the nature of the show. That of the paranormal and the unexplained.
JOHANNA: Is there any role that you would die for?
GILLIAN: Some scripts have reached my hands but I didn’t have the time. I wish I could fight for Sliding Doors but I couldn’t. In time I would like to be Blans De Bua, Kate, or to play in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. I have been offered to play in Shakespeare’s plays that they would be transferred to the big screen and I am really thinking about it. Eventually some time in the future.
JOHANNA: There would be a sequel in Fight the Future?
GILLIAN: In time yes, but not while the show is on. If the show continues for two or three years the next movie will take place after the end of those years. It is scheduled to be the conclusion of the show.
JOHANNA: How do you deal with your reputation? All those people that recognize you where ever you go?
GILLIAN: You know… it’s strange, when you are in a third world country and they recognize you. (sad) I honestly don’t know.
JOHANNA: Do you recall any disturbing incident with some one who recognized you?
GILLIAN: Well there was a fan in the airport who wanted to get a picture of me and I went over the edge. But you know it sucks when you walk by a company with kids and someone yells “Have you seen a UFO round here?” Or if they stop you and ask for an autograph and they become hysterical when they can find a pen or paper.
JOHANNA: What’s your opinion about your pictures in the Internet?
GILLIAN: Ah! Yes whatever… Look if there were real pictures of me in the naked, I would be pissed. But if you have your head in a woman body and that woman has got a really nice body then I wont be complained.
JOHANNA: In the Internet pictures it’s not you. In the scene where Mulder gets Scully out of the cryo pod naked is it really you?
GILLIAN: Basically, yes. But there a couple of shots which we used a doll, but in all the others it was me.
JOHANNA: I think that in the specific scene you had some problems with your eyes?
GILLIAN: Yeah. When my daughter was 10 months she accidentally scratched with her nails the protective membrane that covers my eye. Since that it closes and opens now and then. In the scene with the pod it opened and it was kind of… ouch cause they had pour milk in the water so it could look blur.
JOHANNA: How did you decided to give this special name to your daughter?
GILLIAN: My husband and I were choosing hundreds of names but sooner or later were dull. So we searched over one of his schoolbooks and we find something that fits the personality that was growing with in me.
JOHANNA: What exactly Piper Maru means?
GILLIAN: Maru it’s Polynesian and it’s something calm, peaceful and gentle… Piper is the most important person in my life.
JOHANNA: Any great expectations of what see will be when she’ll grow up?
GILLIAN: Expectation? No, none. When the time comes I will stand by her. Even if she wants to become an account manager, a reporter, even if she wants to pick up garbage. But okay, hold on she just had her fourth birthday… (laughs)
JOHANNA: In a short time you became famous, got married, had a daughter… Do you feel a different person from what you were in your twenty’s?
GILLIAN: I feel the same cause I still have things from the age of sixteen, seventeen. But it is funny, cause when you live the life that I live you can’t understood the time that all this is happening… Someone told me that what happens to others in a lifetime it happened to me in three years. I asked him what he meant and he said: You got the role in the X Files, you got married, you got pregnant, you took a divorce…” It was the first time that I realized it and said: “Oh my God”. I honestly need other people in my life in order to understand what’s going on and to respect it, because I got carried away in the moment and I don’t see things from a specific distance.
JOHANNA: Finally what role do you think the wild Gillian Anderson years played in the decision to become an actress?
GILLIAN:I don’t know. I believe that all are connected together. Those all have been part of the map that led me her. It was necessary for me as for every human being to experience some moments in his or her life, which makes him stronger, so that he could continue to manage the things he needs to manage and to learn what he needs to learn in his life. I feel that without those experiences I wouldn’t be able to survive.
Transcript provided by Jim Plavoukos and appears courtesy of SINEMA Magazine.