Gillian Anderson in The Fall
By Martina Fowler
TV Choice: 07 May, 2013
As everyone knows, Gillian Anderson shot to fame when, aged only 24, she was cast as Agent Dana Scully in the cult sci-fi series The X-Files. But since then she's largely appeared as part of an ensemble cast, such as Wallis Simpson in Any Human Heart and Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Now she makes a welcome return to a leading lady role in the gripping psychological thriller The Fall, playing DS Stella Gibson, who is drafted in on loan from the Met to help the Belfast police track down a serial killer. TV Choice met her...
You've lived in the UK for the past decade, and in the past you said you felt that in America you're a character actress. Would you like to return to the States, and do you hope this perception of you will have change based on the work you've done here in the UK?
I don't know. Whenever I go back to the States there might be people who've seen me in Great Expectations, but I do get a lot of people asking what I've been up to, because I forget I'm not seen on screen much over there. I recently filmed Hannibal [as Hannibal Lector's analyst] and they sold that as my return to television after 10 years away, and a lot of people believe that 'Oh, Gillian's back!' But this particular role is definitely the biggest I've taken in a while.
How did you balance spending so much time filming in Belfast with family life back in London?
Schedule is everything. I'm very picky about dates, and the kids are the most important thing in the schedule, and so, very often, if there's something that I really want to do but it will take too much time away, I'll decide not to do it. Or I'll say, 'I can do this if it's here, here and here.'
Stella is amazingly confident, and sexually confident -
I really like that about her, but I also like the fact there are consequences to that - which you see over the course of the series. If she finds someone attractive she'll let them know, which I think is actually really cool in a woman.
Were there any funny moments in the sex scenes?
There are always funny points in sex scenes, just because of the tension of, you know, bits falling off, and not covering you properly. Sex scenes actually get very serious because it's all very technical and both parties are a little bit nervous. In The Fall, there's a scene when I’m straddling my lover and they had to change the shot because he was so well built it looked as if I was straddling a gladiator!