Inside the mind of Gillian Anderson
By Annie S. Alejo
Manila Bulletin: June 1, 2013
After all these years, Gillian Anderson still elicits that fanboy/fangirl reaction from loyal followers of her long-defunct TV show "The X Files" where she played FBI agent Dana Scully opposite David Duchovny's Fox Mulder. However, Anderson recently found out that fan devotion doesn't stop there - they do know she's in a new show and they love it.
"I'm not sure whether I told anybody about it," she laughs as she talks to Bulletin Entertainment about her five-episode recurring role in the hot, new series "Hannibal." The show is the London-based actress' comeback to US television. She adds, "They're fans of 'Hannibal,' and then all of a sudden (they're) going, 'Oh my god, there's Gillian!'"
Her interaction with fans, she says, comes from "doing Comic-Cons this year for the anniversary of 'The X-Files.' There's been a lot of people who would come up to the table and talk about how much they like the show ('Hannibal') and how proud they are that I'm a part of the show that they really like."
Already a critically acclaimed series, "Hannibal" stars Mads Mikkelsen ("Casino Royale") in the titular role of the brilliant forensic psychiatrist, who is also culinarian, serial killer and a cannibal rolled into one. His nemesis is the gifted criminal profiler and serial killer hunter, Special Agent Will Graham, played by Hugh Dancy. Anderson plays Hannibal's own psychotherapist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, who's already made her screen debut in the first season's seventh episode, aired locally on AXN last May 20.
"I haven't really been interested in doing network television for a while," she says, "But I think that, you know, what you said - the idea (or the) opportunity to play Hannibal's psychiatrist is cool! And I think that was as much a draw for me doing it as it was working with (show creator) Bryan (Fuller) and working with fantastic actors that they have up there (in Toronto, where the show is being shot)."
Curiously, Anderson is also cast in the British crime-drama TV series "The Fall" where she plays a detective tracking down a serial killer in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Aside from having two serial killers on her plate, so to speak, she relates that choosing and accepting the roles she plays is more about "trying to expand one's experience and to have an opportunity to jump into (the psyche of) as many different people as possible."
If it were simply carbon copies of each other, she notes that she "probably wouldn't have agreed to do it. Because it was clearly a very different character, it kind of expands one's experience… expands the repertoire, and that in itself is a challenge - a good challenge. And I welcome challenge. So I think anytime I do something else it's a potential growth."
As for the series lead, Mikkelsen, Anderson declares, "I think that from now on people are going to think of Hannibal as Mads' character (perhaps) more so than Anthony Hopkins' character. (The treatment here is) very contemporary, it's very, very detailed and disturbing. And he does it so well that when I think of Hannibal now, I actually think of Mads more."
The reports that a second season has already been ordered for "Hannibal," even as season one is still enjoying its well-received airing this side of the world, fans are hoping to see more of Anderson in the show. "I know that they are interested in the character coming back," she says.
Although when asked what she thinks Bedelia's fate in the show would eventually be, she laughs, "You know what, I have no idea. I mean it would be much more interesting and dramatic if they ended up with, uhm, her being eaten by him."
After a brief pause, she says, "But you know, Bryan Fuller's imagination is so much more twisted than any of us," she notes. "I’m sure that however her relationship ends with Hannibal, it will be interesting and disturbing, whatever it is."