Sunday morning with Gillian Anderson. Grab a cup of coffee and A VISION OF FIRE.
ASK ME ANYTHING (AMA): October 12, 2014
HELLO EVERYBODY! HERE I IS!
Back again. My first novel is co-written with Jeff Rovin and is called A Vision of Fire and it's available now. I hope you'll like it. And I'll be at NYCC later today, Table Number 15. Waiting for you...
Victoria's helping me out today. AMA!
DornishWhine - I was so happy to hear you'll be taking on a bigger role in Hannibal this season. What's it like working opposite Mads Mikkelsen (who's just amazing in the part)?
Gillian Anderson - He's an extraordinary actor, and a great pleasure to work with. And a lovely person. And a great pleasure to play off of.
WRV3 - Hi Gillian! I know that you've also written an episode of The X-Files in addition to your new book. What advice can you give to someone who wants to write creatively?
Gillian Anderson - Just do it. And make time. It takes discipline.
seismicor - Hi, Gillian. In the recent past there have been talks of a third X-files movie. Has there been any progress recently?
Gillian Anderson - Uh....uh... uh... Sorta kinda. Keep your ears to the ground.
Pantlmn - You appeared in many brilliant TV shows, but the one I'm looking forward to the most is definitely The Fall. The show was mesmerising in it's first season and we waited for quite a long time, should I be afraid my expectations of season 2 are too high?
Gillian Anderson - Definitely not. Season 2 is better than season 1, even. I promise.
stellagibson - Will you ever do book signings outside US and UK, perhaps in Asia?
Gillian Anderson - Um...nothing planned so far, but not out of the question!
NotAsMe - Gillian!!! I just want you to know that you motivate and inspire me to be the best version of myself. I've been a fan since age 17, and now at 29 I respect you more than ever as a woman, as an artist, and as a human being. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and spreading your Kindness to all of us Strangers. My question is: for Streetcar, did you take vocal lessons or have you always been able to sing? Are you hiding any other talents?!
Gillian Anderson - I didn't know that I could sing! And I don't think I can sing. I can just sing as Blanche.
squirrel_parade - First of all I just want to say thank you for being such an amazing person. You are such an incredible role model both as the strong characters you play and in reality. I appreciate how down to earth you are as a celebrity and as a human in general and how aware and involved you seem to be in current issues of the world.
Anyway, my question: You were so successful as Scully and the role brought you so much fame. You were one of the major cultural icons of the 90s when you were very young. Now that you are involved in so many different roles (actress, screenwriter, director, author, etc) do you view right now as the peak of your career? Do you think the peak is still to come? What do you think about your career trajectory in the future? I think that anybody could have said while the X-Files was airing that that would be the peak of your career because how could you possibly go beyond Scully, but obviously now that'd be totally wrong. You are so talented and are really showing the true breadth of your creative abilities. I hope that you're as proud of yourself as your fans are, and I hope you realize what and inspiration you've been to so many people, myself included.
Gillian Anderson - Awwwww. That is so thoughtful and kind.
This period of time is definitely a highlight. Knowing that Fall 2 was in the can, and so many good scenes for the audience to enjoy, while working on Streetcar - those two things being a reality at the same time - and getting to share some of the ideas within the novel with an international audience - I couldn't have wished for a more rich and fulfilling outcome.
robinsky1 - Can you tell us about the challenges you faced when writing A Vision Of Fire?
Gillian Anderson - Jeff Rovin, my co-writer, made this book possible. He's written many number 1 bestsellers before, and knows structure and how to plot a story that I have no experience with. Having that framework is what has made this possible. I would not have been able to start from scratch.
Biggest challenge was my schedule. I was working on The Fall, Hannibal, and Crisis simultaneously, but the positive aspect of that was that I spent a lot of time on airplanes, which is where i got a chance to write.
shivan21 - What was it like to work with Ben Kingsley?
Gillian Anderson - Ben is a master of his universe. I have so much respect for him as an actor. And it was a great honor to watch him create and immerse himself in character. A real gift.
Ashley_KB - Last we heard, you were on a break from your BREAKING BAD binge until your daughter got back. Did you get to finish it yet??
Gillian Anderson - NO!!!!! It looks like end of November will be our next starting point. But season 5, I think ! I think we've gone through 4 seasons.
seismicor - Did you enjoy doing Johnny English? Would you come back if there was another sequel?
Gillian Anderson - I did enjoy it. I would come back. But they'd have to make Pamela funnier.
Pantlmn - How was it like shooting The Fall with Jamie Dornan? Did anything change after it was anounced he will take the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey? (I hope you teased him properly for that!)
Gillian Anderson - The only thing that changed was people's desire to talk about him. Whereas before it was "who"? afterwards it was "That guy! That guy in 50 shades!" Before he'd even shot it. Very funny.
2317-616 - Hi Gillian! I've been a huge fan of yours since The X-Files; I love your work! I just finished reading A Vision of Fire, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I want to thank you for providing the world with such a strong female protagonist. I am a single mom and very passionate about my career; I found it incredibly refreshing to be able to identify with a character so readily.
My questions for you are about A Vision of Fire. What was your collaborative process like with Jeff Rovin? What is your inspiration when writing? Thanks so much!
Gillian Anderson - I've already spoken a little bit about the collaborative process. My intention for this, as much as anything, was to create a character that was identifiable for women.
Not a superhero, or heroine, not a feminist, just a recognizable human being. I feel like we accomplished this, in the book, but it was also important for Jeff and I to include as many characters from different cultures as possible, to get a sense of challenges that many cultures face in this world today. And to see that we are all the same. We all contribute to the current events of our time.
seismicor - Do you watch Game of Thrones? Your opinion on the show?
Gillian Anderson - I do not watch it, but my daughter is obsessed and I have heard that it is great.
Starbuck_Scully - Hi Gillian!! Thank you so much for visiting New York this week! My husband and I came from NC to go to your book signing and see you at Comic Con and we had a great time! I think my favorite part was when you wrote the quote for my tattoo (I got it yesterday when we got home and it looks great!!). My question is; what has been your favorite part of this visit to NYC?
Gillian Anderson - Writing your tattoo! ;)
taraw1013 - Good morning, Gillian! I'm listening to A Vision of Fire on audio, and you did a great job of bringing the book to life. How the heck did you keep so many characters' voices and accents consistent over multiple recording sessions? What was the process like?
Gillian Anderson - ? I did? I haven't listened to it, but I hope so ! That was my intention, but I have no idea if it worked! Ha! I was in a booth by myself online and with a producer in New York, and literally YouTube-ing accents, and hoping for the best. Again, I really hope I didn't offend anybody.
bennywelch - Hi Gillian, personally what was your favourite episode of the x-files? And do you and David remain close after working together for so many years?
Gillian Anderson - BAD BLOOD!! HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY?
sakuramomo - Hi, do you think Scully & Mulder together could identify and catch Hannibal much quicker than Will Graham??!! :D I grow up watching "X-files", and I adore Agent Scully, who is smart, strong, and beautiful!!! Would love to see another X-files movie soon. Thanks for doing Q&A. And of course, on my way to get a copy of "A Vision of Fire".
Gillian Anderson - Good point! Will Graham has no excuse. He has better computers than Mulder and Scully ever did. AND the help of Jack Crawford! AND he has that crazy visualization-thing in his favor! What the hell, Will?!
juliathenightowl - Hi Gillian, Congratulations on the success of Streetcar! I came to see it and absolutely loved the whole experience. As someone who has adored you on the screen as Scully for twenty years, I was extremely impressed by not seeing even the slightest trace of her on stage. You were Blanche to me, from beginning to end. I consider that an incredible accomplishment!
I had read the play in advance, but only when I saw it on stage did it come alive and truly touch me emotionally. The way it depicts unhealthy relationships, both with others and with oneself, really struck a chord with me as I have somewhat recently ended and recovered from an emotionally unhealthy relationship myself. What do you consider the play's central message? What did you want the audience to take away from it, emotionally?
Also, it was lovely to meet you after the play, although it was also distinctly surreal to have someone I'd watched on screen for countless hours actually look back at me. In that exciting but slightly awkward moment I was struck by the absurdity of fandom, and yet, here I was, as your fan. :) You must be used to it by now, but are there still moments when being famous and having fans strikes you as surreal? Isn’t it exhausting and somewhat absurd to continuously have complete strangers approach you as if they knew you personally?
Thank you for being so sweet and cheerful and approachable. And thank you for continuing to share your talent with all of us. I look forward to reading A Vision of Fire.
Gillian Anderson - Tennessee Williams creates devastating characters. The trajectory of Streetcar is devastating. For everybody who lives in that world. I am extremely happy to hear that that our production translated and devastated the audience, in turn. One of the themes is the tragedy and the fragility of the human condition. And that theme is timeless. Thank you for saying that. But honestly, sometimes I'm grumpy.
novastella13 - Hi Gillian! How's your Sunday so far? It's Mulder's birthday tomorrow, what would Scully do to make it a happy one? ;)
Gillian Anderson - Bake him a cake in the shape of a Supersoldier, with a blackberry coulis as black oil. And invite the Lone Gunmen over for a surprise birthday party.
artsygoddess - hi Gillian! Good morning :) Did you have any specific writing ritual or routine in writing your book? Thanks!
Gillian Anderson - Jeff Rovin and I brainstormed for a few hours. Jeff came up with the outline with his research assistant Claire, and started chapter by chapter. And sent them to me, and then I would work on them on the plane.
ApieJapie - Coffee? Does it have to be coffee? Could you instead describe your perfect cup of tea?
Gillian Anderson - My perfect cup of tea?! Good! Strong enough, milk enough, sweet enough - one and a half sugars. Strong, but milky.
dnb_junkie - Gillian, I am a huge fan and sadly missed your last AMA. Congratulations on your new book, also! For my question: Apart from your own books ;), which book do you highly recommend people should read at least once during their lifetime?
Ps. A big hello from this little guy Imgur (link to a photo of a hedgehog)
Gillian Anderson - I love your albino hedgehog! I want a hedgehog! And an owl. But anyway: Pema Chodron. All books by Pema Chodron.
xtfania - Are you planning to release "A Vision of fire" in other languages? Spanish?
Gillian Anderson - Yes.
ohsplendid - What film has impressed you the most so far this year?
Gillian Anderson - I cried at the end of the Lego Movie. It has a really important message! It does!
caraoconnor - Hi there! First of all I just wanna start off by saying thank you for being such a kick ass feminist. The industry is in dire need of more people like you. Do you have any advice to offer your young feminist fans?
Gillian Anderson - I guess I would say: above anything else, stay true to yourself. Whether that means for you that you like to have blue hair, or you don't like to drink, or you are attracted to the same sex, or you want to remove yourself from Facebook, or you've got 3 different kids from 3 different dads but you know you're a really good mom, or you cry for a week because your turtle died. Whatever your truth is, stay true to yourself. But be a good person while you're at it.
EpoxElypse - Hello Gillian, I've just got to say that I truly believe you are one of the best actresses of all time, but my question is if you could change 1 thing about the character Dana Scully what would it be?
Gillian Anderson - Her clothes and her hair in the first 2 seasons.
hiddendatsun - Hi, Gillian. Massive fan here, and I just wanted to say I really enjoyed watching The Fall last year, you were just perfect for the role. Just two questions:
1) What's the most fun day you've ever had while on set (of any movie or series)?
2) Would you have liked to be in the recently all-female casting of Ghostbusters?
Thanks for doing this AMA!
Gillian Anderson - 1) Hmph...I think probably the set of The Fall. It's a small crew, and a quiet crew. The show is handled with care and respect, and that comes from the top all the way down. Also playing: I really enjoy living in Stella's shoes.
2) OH MY GOD, I just looked it up online. Paul Feig, cast me now! Start a Twitter petition! I'm free!!!!! I'm free I'm free and I'm funny, goddamnit!
ada_lso - awwwwwwwwwwww I just envisioned you in Ghostbusters & that would be awesome, people we need to make this happen =)
Gillian Anderson - nods; MAKE IT HAPPEN!!
ElenaRu - Hi Gillian! What an interesting celtic sign on A Vision of Fire! Who is the author of cover design?
Gillian Anderson - I think it was a group effort at Simon & Schuster!
CatFragapane - What's your favourite colour?
Gillian Anderson - There's a particular shade of blue in the sky at night-time, when it's really deep but there's a brightness behind it - you know that blue? My nickname is Gigi, and my friend calls it "Gigi blue." So that's my favorite color, that's Gigi blue.
neutronpenguin - What's your favorite type of cake?
Gillian Anderson - Chocolate!!! with chocolate frosting!
mariaroig - Stella, Blanche, Bedelia & Scully. All of them very strong women. Do you think they could be friends?
Gillian Anderson - No... No... No! They're all on their own planet.
renunga - According to SaYes - is there anything more (beside the donation), what can fans do to help? The charity has really good visions and it's worth for support.
Gillian Anderson - Unless you live in South Africa and can volunteer time as a mentor, the best help you can give is donation. Money enables us to extend our services by hiring, by taking on more youth and more mentors and expanding the program. Every little helps. Thank you so much!
xfilesgeekery - Thank you for the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer recommendation. I love it! Any new favorite skin/face products?
Gillian Anderson - Yes. Clinique has this pot, it's a pink pot, it's just basically a cream but a gel that you can put on your face any time of day, and it refreshes your skin so you don't need to re-apply base afterwards - it just adds fresh moisture to your face. It's brilliant. Moisturesurge!
Exeunter - You walk into a Starbucks and say, "The usual, please." What's your drink?
Gillian Anderson - Lately, Americano. With cold, whole milk. The thing is - often, when I do interviews in a restaurant, I'll order a coffee. And I'll ask for that. But because, no matter how clearly I say "cold, whole, milk" or even "cold, FULL FAT milk" depending on what country I'm in, it always comes back as semi-skimmed, steamed milk. So I try and say it really carefully, and there are probably 50 interviews where they address the fact that I am adamant about my choice of milk. But actually, I'm just looking for clarity! I just want it to come ONCE! As I intended.
SerIlyn - Are you aware of Kumail Nanjiani's podcast "The X-Files Files"? Have they tried to get you to do an episode?
Gillian Anderson - I wanna do it! I just heard about this yesterday and it sounds awesome.
etasetamix - Hi Gillian! Whats your favorite sandwich?
Gillian Anderson - I love a reuben. But I haven't had one in about 5 years.
gadhaboy - NYCC? North yorkshire county council?
Gillian Anderson - New York City Comic-Con.
digiSal - Watching X Files at this moment. Have you ever had a real life X file moment? Or thought you did? Thanks!
Gillian Anderson - I've definitely felt other spirits. I'm quite sensitive to it. And yes. But it's not something you can really talk about with too many people, especially not me.
feuerfisch - Hi Gillian, please describe your daily routine of a nomal free day. What do you normally do with your time?
Gillian Anderson - Free day? Well... Sunday mornings, my boys and I usually go to the park, local park, at 8, 8:30 AM, with their scooters. Then grab a coffee and a snack, then play legos for a couple hours, then have lunch in the loft, we have a loft and it's a treat for them, it feels like a picnic up there. Then we might go to another park in the afternoon, usually watch a movie in the evening, then read books, go to bed. Then I might stay up with my daughter who's no longer a teenager, hang out and talk, maybe watch another movie, and then go to bed.
AlibiBreakfast - Who is the last famous person you got a text message from?
Gillian Anderson - Eddie Izzard!
edimoranguinho - Hi!! I'm glad you're here with us! :D Okay random question, what is your favorite singer?? :D
Gillian Anderson - Oh - Hannah Reid and Paolo Nutini.
nancyalligood - Do you have plans for any more tattoos?
Gillian Anderson - Yes.
wheres-the-waffles - Waffles or pancakes?
Gillian Anderson - OOOOH. Crepes.
Anasyx - Are you sure Bad Blood is your favourite episode or it's the only you remember the name? Name another X-Files episode ;)
Gillian Anderson - HAHAHHA. Touche. BUT it actually is.
ataturk1993 - you're beautiful! what are your upcoming projects?
Gillian Anderson - Robot Overlords is about to come out, I start shooting Hannibal, The Fall season 2 is about to air in the UK and early 2015 on Netflix, and then I'm going to shoot Ghostbusters in the spring of 2015. :)
Maddiesays - You and Double D are both authors now. Would you have ever thought 20 yrs later you'd still be friends and both writing books??
Gillian Anderson - Can I tell you David's book is hilarious? It's kind of genius.
It had to get better than where it was - I wouldn't have guessed authors, but it follows that we're good friends.
quonoeye - Are there any tv shows you watch that you would like to have a guest role in?
Gillian Anderson - I would love to see a GIRLS for 40-somethings.
MuldersStarbuck - Gill, have you ever heard David Duchovny sing? We're eagerly waiting for his album!
Gillian Anderson - Yes I have. He didn't invite me to do a duet.
greenapplelanenyc - What's the next theatre role you'd like to do?
Gillian Anderson - Blanche in New York.
Joyce - Hi Gillian, What is one random fact most people don't know about you?.
Gillian Anderson - I'm slightly agoraphobic.
Hope_Burns_Bright - Hi, Gillian. Huge fan of your work in Hannibal and, of course, the X-Files. With superhero/comic shows (Arrow, Flash, Gotham) becoming more and more prevalent, do you think that that's something you'd want to be a part of? Also, I know you did voice acting work for Princess Mononoke a while back. How do you feel about voice acting as opposed to traditional acting?
Gillian Anderson - Yes... I am definitely open to it. It's harder (yeah, believe it or not, it really is harder). Yes but it's so much harder!
battierpeeler - how many chicken nuggets can you eat in one sitting? apologies if vegetarian or vegan.
Gillian Anderson - puzzled face - I don't eat chicken nuggets. But were I to eat chicken nuggets, I bet I could eat you under the table.
happyaccount55 - Oh god for once as an Australian I'm awake when a good ama happens and I have no question. Shit shit shit. Gillian what's your favourite soup?
Gillian Anderson - Oh, I like soup. A good pea and ham. A good minestrone.
Flamo_the_Idiot_Boy - Good morning Gillian, love your work. I'm in Australia where it is currently 1:10am, Monday morning. My newborn daughter is cradled in my arms as she just woke up screaming her head off! Got any tips to get her back to sleep? Cheers and keep up the great job.
Gillian Anderson - Vibration is always good. And fresh air. So a walk in the stroller outside or sitting on top of the washing machine that's going.
Starbuck_Scully - Hi Gillian! The book is SO good I can’t put it down!! Not to rush you or anything, but is there a planned/estimated release date for the second and third books? Also, will you be recording the audio books for those as well?
Gillian Anderson - Next year for Book number 2. And Yes, I will be recording the audiobooks as well.
Thank you every last one of you from every corner of the world, including the guy in Australia with the new baby. Thank you for joining me on this sunny New York morning. I'll see some of you later today at Comic-Con...and the rest of youuuuuuuu in my dreams.