January 18, 1999
Meredith: When your first television role makes you a larger than life celebrity, what do you do for an encore? Well if you're Gillian Anderson, the Emmy award-winning star of The X-Files, you take on the movies. In her latest film, "Playing By Heart," she plays a character not unlike Agent Scully. All work and no play. Take a look.
(brief clip is shown from Playing By Heart)
Meredith: Excellent acting and I love the name of her character. Please welcome Gillian Anderson.
(Applause as Gillian walks into the room and tries to figure out where exactly she is supposed to walk to and sit down)
Gillian: Wait a minute. I don't understand how it's supposed to work! (laughs) Am I supposed to come... (she gestures around a sofa)
Star: You're supposed to walk around there and come up.
Gillian: Okay. There we go.
Karen: Handspring, flop-over...
Meredith: Welcome. (gestures to Gillian's outfit, I *think*) I love that. Love it, love it, love it. I was reading this article about you in "Jane". Actually it was an interview with you. She's incredibly honest and open in this. You talk about going into therapy at age fourteen, a lot of mistakes your parents made in raising you... and I'm reading it thinking you are either incredibly honest or nuts to be so up front. It's interesting you were so revealing. You must be very comfortable where you are now in your life.
Gillian: Well, I think a lot of interviewers have actually had trouble with me, and there's reference to that in..
Meredith: She does mention that.
Gillian: Because there's a lot of stuff that I will not talk about. You know, I am not going to talk about my past relationships. I'm not going to talk about present relationships. There's areas of my life that I will not talk about. But just in terms of, I guess, the human aspect of living life day to day, I am very honest about that, and I think that's one of the things actually that I am proud of Clinton about is his attempt at honest and admission that he makes mistakes and in a sense, we all do. And it's okay and I think that it's time we -- that we give each other breaks, that we allow human foibles as part of-
Meredith: Human nature
Gillian: Human nature
Star: One of the things that you're honest about, I read, was when you were a young person, you were quite the Hell Raiser.
Star: You were a wild girl with the punk hair, mohawk, and a pierced nose.
Gillian: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. (she nods)
Star: I can't believe that. Pierced now and mohawk hairdo?
Gillian: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Star: Tell us what you, the young girl, was like back then.
Gillian: Well, I think that before- before that point, I felt incredibly lost. I had grown up in London and then we moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is a very small town. And I felt completely out of place. And I didn't feel like I fit in anywhere. And I think that- And also, there were a series of events that took place in my life, which- I had a lot of anger at that time. I was angry and I didn't feel that I had a place to-
Star: Were you acting out by taking on that kind of persona?
Gillian: I was in a way. It was my defense. It was my survival. You know, in the clothes- In the vintage clothes, in the thrift store clothes- And I was able to amass an identity from myself that I hadn't before and it made me feel, you know, I was making a choice to be this way. And I felt it made me feel powerful in a sense.
Joy: But you had a lot of therapy, correct?
Gillian:I started around that time. Just before that, I think.
Joy: Do you think- I know you have a child, a 4-year-old named Piper, which is very cute.
Gillian: Mmhmm, that's correct.
Joy: I've been in therapy a long time. I was- I'm out now. I'm totally cured. (laughs)
Karen: You can tell.
Joy: I always thought that being in therapy helped you to become a better parent.
Gillian: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Being a parent, I think, helps you to become a better parent, too. I have learned how to talk through things instead of reacting, you know, in my life. And I am able to pass it on to my daughter and I can- If something happens, if something breaks, if she does something, if she has a tantrum, we talk about it. And I have to regulate my reactions and my responses as much as I might expect her to, you know, which is difficult. You actually learn a lot about your immaturity as a parent through your child.
Karen: Gillian, I am so proud of you. Gillian and I did a commercial together like seven years ago.
Gillian: We did! I know.
Karen: And now American Online voted you the coolest female of 1998. And actually, I was in London, and I was reading a magazine, and actually, in the "Gagging for a Shagging" column, you're The Most Shaggable Woman of '98. (applause) So I thought you needed to know that!
Gillian:: Wait, wait a minute. What's- Gagging?
Karen: Gagging for a shagging.
Gillian: What's- what's gagging? What's-
Karen: Like, you know, a shag.. Did you ever see Austin Powers?
Gillian: I know what that is. I know what a shag is. But what's the gag part?
Karen: Okay, they're like so verklempt. They're like, ahhhh.. Gillian Anderson.. I'm gagging.. (she does some hand motions). So it's a good thing!
Gillian: Ahh, okay. So it's like bondage and shagging. (audience laughs)
Karen: So I'm very proud of you!
Gillian: Thank you.
Karen: Just wanted you to know that. In the film, your love interest is Jon Stewart, who, if I wasn't taken, I would be all over like moles on a grandma. He is so cute! What do you find attractive? What would you like in a mate?
Gillian: What would I like in a mate?
Karen: What blows your hair back about men?
Gillian: You know, what's interesting about Jon- And Jon is a very smart, very, very funny, very sweet person who is very much in love with his girlfriend and um-
Karen: Ah, you had to bring that up.
Gillian: (laughs) But he is. He has a wonderful relationship right now. But what I realize in spending time with him was how a sense- How important a sense of humor is. I mean, there's so many things that are important to me - honesty and kindness and compassion and altruism and a sense of humor and you know, mindfulness, spirituality. Stuff like that. There's lots of little things.
Karen: I'm just enormously proud of you.
Meredith: Because of all the children that are watching today, we will not be demonstrating shagging after the break.
Karen: Or gagging!
Meredith: Or either one. More Gillian Anderson and our Question of the Day. That we will have.
(commercial break, then a short XF clip is shown)
Star: We're back with Gillian Anderson. You have this cult-like following. I mean, look at all this stuff. We've collected all this stuff right out of the audience with your face all over the place! (she gestures to the various GA merchandise lying on the table in front of them) We have a checkbook cover right here. (she holds it up and Gillian takes it from her, anxious to take a closer look at it) We have the F.B.I. badge. We have the little action figurette type thing. There's the calendar. There's-
Gillian: There's something about that calendar- (she points to the calendar and shakes her head) That calendar has got to be illegal. I have not- (Joy grabs it and begins to open it) Don't! Don't, please don't open it up! I mean, I'm serious.
Joy: I won't show anyone (she takes a peak).
Gillian: No, no, no.
Star: You didn't get paid on that?
Gillian: I didn't get paid on any of this.
Star: You didn't get paid on any of this?
Karen: (?) Star is a lawyer.
Star: We need to spend some time together, okay? (Gillian, hosts, audience laughs) We're not going to show any of this. You didn't get paid? Get rid of this stuff. Put this crap down here. (Star and the other hosts push the merchandise off the table and onto the floor) Our girl didn't get paid? We don't want to talk about it. (Gillian laughs) Let's talk about the question of the day.
Gillian: Okay, let's talk about something else.
Star: When you're family, we will kick you right to the curb if you mess with our girlfriend.
Star: Today's question of the day is a fill in the blank. Here it is - "You know he's not Mr. Right when _______."
Gillian: That's interesting, because it's interesting that you discussed the topic you discussed earlier because my answer to that is when he makes a racial joke.
Star: Kicked to the curb right there.
Gillian: Anything, I'm serious. There's nothing that turns me off quicker than that.
Joy: How do you handle that? When someone says- You're in a party and someone makes a joke, anti-semitic or racial or whatever-
Gillian: Anything, homophobic or anything..
Joy: whatever, homophobic, what do you do?
Gillian: I say, "That's not funny."
Joy: But what if everybody's laughing and having fun? It's not that easy...
Gillian: You know what? Then I'll walk away. There's nothing that angers me more than that.
Joy: But that doesn't make the point if you walk away.
Gillian: I mean, I started to say that's not funny. I will say, "That's not funny and I don't think that's appropriate," and then I will walk away.
Star: Yeah. Put them on the spot. Then most people get quiet.
Gillian: It's just, there's no excuse for that.
Karen: See, that one you have the think about. With my- I was dating this guy, really a lot of fun but not the brightest bulb on the tree and a big booze hound.
Star: What's a booze hound?
Karen: Drinker. One time he is like, "Baby, I love you so much, let's get married!" I'm like, "Well, I love you too, Stinky (audience laughs), but how come you always tell me that you love me when you're drunk? Why don't you say it when you're normal?" He says, "Because normally you're not that cool!" My head flew off my neck and I was like, "Nnnaaaa I dunno."
Star: We didn't marry that one, did we?
Karen: What about you? I'll bet you've got a good one.
Star: (pulls out a huge list) I didn't have time to go through all of mine because I can go through them all day. Here is my favorite one: His teeth can be pawned. That definetely. His address includes an inmate number. He has to get off the phone because his mother needs to use it. That's means he's- no, no, no. He has a hint of mint, if you know what I mean.
Meredith: I don't know what that means.
Star: No, what's that? (Gillian laughs)
Meredith: What does that mean?
Star: He likes my white underwear and it's not because I wear them, if you know what I mean, okay?
Karen: He is kicking with the other foot?
Star: Definetely. He is on the other team.
Meredith: Why don't you speak English? Kickin' with the other foot?!
Star: He is GAY, Meredith!!!
Meredith: Well, some of us- I'm sorry. The hint of mint.
Star: What in the world?.. I guess the number one thing for me is he has no idea of the difference between Prada and Gucci. He is out if he has no idea...
Meredith: I'll take him!
Star: You've already got him.
Meredith: I do. Mine's got a hint of mint.
Star: He does not have a hint of mint. Now he's going to yell at you.
Karen: He's got a little red in his scarf?
Gillian: But so what? I mean, what would happen if he did?
Meredith: So what? I love him. It might change the relationship a little.
Star: Slightly! You'd become brother and sister kind of friends.
Joy: If he were gay? You mean, if he were gay?
Star: Oh, I don't even want to go there..
Gillian: Why not??
Joy: I always think my mother should have married a gay guy because she liked opera, he liked the horses. He was a gambler, she liked fine things. She would have been much better off with a gay husband, I thought.
Gillian: Well, the thing is, usually partners are happiest with what they're happiest with. If you are married to somebody who is gay, then they're not happy in the relationship but I don't necessarily think that it's appropriate to make fun of.
Star: No, but I sure don't wnat to marry somebody who is gay. I'm sorry. I'm putting that out there. That might hurt somebody's feelings.
Gillian: But wait a minute! Wait a minute. (she grabs Star's arm)
Star: I apologize to the gay ment of America but I don't want to marry you. Sorry.
Gillian: But wait a minute, wait a minute!
Karen: Hearts are breaking all over.
Gillian: What if you truly love this person, honestly? Okay?
Gillian: Now listen to me-
Gillian: What if you truly love this person and you found out they were gay, then how do you know you weren't meant to have the experience of going through that in your life in order to become a stronger person?
Star: I didn't wait 36 years to marry no gay man, girl. (she takes Gillian's hand off her arm and sets it back down on Gillian's knee) Thank you so much for coming here to be with us! We appreciate it. But I can tell you that ain't going to happen.
Gillian: All right, I hear ya.
Star: I know exactly what's going on. The movie is called "Playing By Heart." Guess whose heart won't be playing there? It opens January 22nd.
Transcript appears courtesy of ABC and The View.