Gillian Anderson is the mane attraction as The Fall star opens pal's new Lisburn hair salon
By Maureen Coleman
Belfast Telegraph: April 15, 2014
She has graced the covers of countless fashion magazines, topped the world's sexiest woman polls and is a critically-acclaimed star of stage and screen.
But last night actress Gillian Anderson took time out from her hectic filming schedule to support a friend's new business venture in Lisburn.
The star of BBC2 crime drama The Fall - currently filming in Belfast - brought a touch of Hollywood glamour to the official opening of Deborah McCarthy Hairdressing on Railway Street.
The former X Files FBI agent, who now keeps PSNI officers in check as DSI Stella Gibson, was dressed head to toe in black. The petite blonde was accompanied by co-stars Emmett Scanlan, Bronagh Waugh and Gerard McCarthy - whose 26-year-old sister Deborah works as the resident hairstylist on set and runs the new salon.
Gillian said: "I must admit, when I first met Deborah I thought she was very young and wasn't sure, until she did my hair - and she was amazing.
"So I was only too happy to come along and help her out here tonight."
The 45-year-old actress said that while she could not reveal any of the plot lines of series two of The Fall, she promised viewers would be gripped. "All I can say is that this series is going to be a lot more explosive and intense," she teased. "You wouldn't want to miss it."
Deborah, who befriended the Chicago-born actress when they met during the debut series of The Fall, said she was thrilled Gillian had taken the time to support her new salon.
And she said she had no regrets about cutting short a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia to come home to work on the set of The Fall.
She had been there for more than five months when Gerard told her how hair and make-up designer Pamela Smyth was looking for a stylist for The Fall and needed someone as soon as possible.
Pamela interviewed Deborah on Skype on a Friday, and the next day she was winging her way back to Northern Ireland - starting work on Monday morning.
"Since then I've gone on to work on television shows Game Of Thrones, Vikings and Line Of Duty," said the stylist.
"So, coming home was the best choice for me."
A beauty without a beauty regime
AS DSI Stella Gibson in crime thriller The Fall, Gillian Anderson is the picture of reserved sexiness and sophistication, with perfectly applied make-up and coiffed hair.
But away from the cameras the Chicago-born actress revealed she was low maintenance.
As she helped open Deborah McCarthy Hairdressing, the star said she had been picking up tips from her steely character and was trying to improve her beauty routine.
"My character Stella Gibson is obviously very done, when it comes to her hair," she said. "It's really important to her that her hair looks good, but effortless.
"But in real life I'm nothing like that. When I started filming series two earlier this year I'd just come back from a two-week holiday in Thailand and it took Deborah about 10 minutes to even brush my tangles out.
"I'd like to say I'm learning from Stella, though. I have started taking better care of my skin because I'm playing someone who does that. But normally I'm very low key about these things. I only ever get my hair done if I'm going to a red carpet event."
Deborah, who coloured and styled Gillian's blonde hair for the opening of her new salon, said the actress was a joy to work with.
"It always has to be the same style for continuity purposes. Gillian's very easy to work with. She's just a really nice person and so down-to-earth."
Gillian also revealed how she kept messing up a scene that required her to brush out her hair and blow dry it at the same time.
"Because I'd never done it myself, I just couldn't get to grips with it and we had to keep filming over and over again. I really don't do much with my hair. Then when Deborah gets her hands on my hair, she transforms me."