'X Files' back with a bang as Gillian Anderson invades Fan Expo Canada
By Bill Harris
Toronto Sun: 31 August 2015
Fan Expo events can be a real tossed salad and scrambled eggs for Gillian Anderson.
Heading into her appearance at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto (Sept. 3-6), I asked Anderson if fans inquire about anything other than The X-Files when she attends such things.
"Every once in a while somebody comes up and says that Playing by Heart is their favourite film, or that they saw Bleak House, or Great Expectations," Anderson said. "It's always surprising to me that people actually have seen those things."
But Anderson has such a vast acting resume, it would get funnier the more obscure it got, right? Like, if someone came up to her and said they had never heard of The X-Files, but they loved that time she voiced a character who called in to the radio show on Frasier.
"Actually, I forgot about the call-in on Frasier," said Anderson, laughing very hard.
"You know what I love is when the Miyazaki fans come up," she added, referring to her voice work on animated Japanese films called Princess Mononoke and From Up on Poppy Hill.
Joking aside, with Fox bringing back The X-Files as a limited series (six episodes, debuting on Jan. 24, 2016), Anderson is sure to cause quite a stir at Fan Expo Canada. Anderson, of course, plays Dana Scully, alongside David Duchovny's Fox Mulder.
So why previously was it never the right time to revive The X-Files - which aired originally from 1993 to 2002 - but now it is?
"We were so focused on the idea that we would do a film, and also, until recently, doing a TV drama meant you were committing to between 20 and 24 episodes," Anderson explained. "That was just not going to happen, for either David or I.
"Only in the last few years has it become acceptable for networks to do short stack (short seasons). That was our in. It took some convincing for me, but it was the right time for all of us, I think."
Anderson said it didn't take long for the subtle chemistry - my term, not hers - between herself and Duchovny to re-emerge.
"Chris Carter was very clever in casting us, in that there's energy that exists just when David and I are standing in a room together," Anderson said. "What was interesting, I guess, is the writers completely (capitalized) on that, and drew out that reality as long as they possibly could.
"It was to the point where the tiniest touch of the hand in season five would make people freak out. So I don't know how subtle that is, given that it was so manipulated."
But that's the perfect combination, isn't it? It was manipulated, but it felt subtle to viewers.
As for Anderson's other recent TV work, she played Dr. Bedelia du Maurier on Hannibal, which wrapped up just last week.
"(Hannibal) really belongs on cable, it was a miracle that NBC allowed it to last as long as it did," Anderson said. "And it's a shame that nobody has picked it up. I think everybody understands why (it was cancelled), but it had a pretty decent and very, very loyal, slightly obsessed following.
"It's a shame. I guess it had its life. I think one of the execs on it tweeted (within the past week) that it's not necessarily the end. So I don't know what that means. But if you saw (the finale), there's a big question mark for Bedelia."
There aren't many question marks about how busy Anderson is these days, be it on stage, on film or on TV. There's another season of The Fall coming up, she has a part in the mini-series War and Peace, and she'll be starring in a stage version of A Streetcar Named Desire in New York early next year.
"I'm about to go to India for something else, and I'm just sort of realizing that maybe I need a bit of a break," she said, laughing again, as if she hadn't realized how full her schedule is until I started listing her projects.
"Yeah, who's doing all that stuff?" she asked. "Is that me?"
Hey, Gillian Anderson, if you're ever feeling overwhelmed, you always can get some advice from Dr. Frasier Crane. He's listening.