Interviewed by Mike Hammond
MIKE: Gillian Anderson has been pushed to international stardom in a series that investigates unsolved cases, many of which include alien abductions and involvement of the paranormal. Now Gillian is currently in Australia to talk about the X-Files, and she joins us now, live from the studio. (turns to Gillian) Welcome to Fox Entertainment News and welcome to Australia.
GILLIAN: Thank you.
MIKE: Now I don�t know where to start with you. Perhaps you�d like to suggest a question that you haven�t been asked, that you�d like to start off with. (GA laughs) I mean, it must be hard. Is it? Going from place to place.
GILLIAN: Well, it�s hard answering the same questions over and over again as if I�m hearing them for the first time. And making them interesting, or changing them a little bit, but remaining within the realm of truth. So that I�m not saying the same thing over and over again.
MIKE: So at what point can you be Gillian and at what point do you have to start acting and become Dana, and sort of act out the role when you�re being interviewed?
GILLIAN: I don�t really act out the role of Dana, but I think that I have a tendency to be short and clippy with my answers. (laughs) .. If I don�t see them going anywhere.
MIKE: Am I being warned? Am I being warned? (laughs)
MIKE: There�s one thing I wanted to ask was about the nose ring. And excuse me for staring, but I can�t see what side it was in.
GILLIAN: No, there is no hole. There -It was on my left side.
MIKE: So that answers a big question. Because I�ve sort of thought about if you get your ear pierced or your nose pierced or you know?
GILLIAN: It does heal up. It actually had gotten a little bit, um, not infect Do you want me to tell you the story?
MIKE: Sure. Absolutely!
GILLIAN: Well when I went, um, I got it done in London and I had to leave before they actually could change the stud to a hoop. And so they did it anyway. And so-
MIKE: Yeah And they also probably used cheap metal, too. It�s not the purity of the gold or whatever-
GILLIAN: Yeah. And so- When he pierced my nose he actually like pressed it in just with his finger. He didn�t use a gun. He just like pressed it in. It was that easy. And it didn�t actually hurt.
MIKE: I was going to ask if it hurt.
GILLIAN: No, it didn�t. I got a little dizzy, but-
MIKE: You were a bit of a punk, is that right?
GILLIAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
MIKE: What, were you into the punk scene, or the music, or
GILLIAN: No, no, no. I�ve just heard so much about this, that, you know.. it�s just-
MIKE: Well, I�ve heard about it too. That�s why I�m asking you directly to see what it�s all about.
GILLIAN: I know! (laughs) It was just a stage that I went through, like everybody goes through a stage.
MIKE: So the X-Files came along. How did it come along?
GILLIAN: To me in terms of the script? Well, I was out of work in Los Angeles for almost a year and-
MIKE: That�s part of being an actor.
GILLIAN: I know, I know. And this script came along, and I wasn�t actually in the habit of auditioning for television shows. I wasn�t a big fan of television at the time and it�s grown tremendously since that point. And I think, in general, there�s a lot more respect for TV now, especially in the states. I mean, not especially I�m sure there�s more respect for Australian TV. (laughs) But you know what I mean.
MIKE: I know what you mean. It�s like film and theatre versus TV.
GILLIAN: Yeah, exactly. So I was quite snobbish about it, I think, for a long time. And then this script came along for a series and I had no idea really what that meant. In terms of doing a series, or how often series were actually picked up to go or not.
MIKE: Yeah, is it going to be five shows, or do I get two weeks of work out of this.. yeah.
GILLIAN: Yeah, I had no clue. And I certainly had no clue that I would be signing away what may be seven years of my life.
MIKE: Does it feel like you�ve signed away seven years of your life?
GILLIAN: In a way, it does. Yeah. But in a good way. I mean, I�m very happy to be in the situation that I�m in and to be working with the people and the character that I�m working with. But it does, it takes out a huge chunk. And depending on which perspective you look at it, it�s either a good seven years of work or it�s seven wasted years (laughs) you know, where you could have been doing something else.
MIKE: There�s that actor�s dilemma again. It�s like, do I take this gig and I�m guaranteed an income and a job.. or.. you know?
GILLIAN: Right. Exactly.
MIKE: I suppose when you�re starting out. �Cause this was a big role for you, wasn�t it? Going on to The X-Files.. Was that sort of a consideration? Was it like, �Well, you know, I�m sort of a new person on the block, you know, I�ll go and give it everything I�ve got and see how it works out�?
GILLIAN: Basically yes. But at the same time, my perspective wasn�t that giving everything that I have would end up being that long. I mean, Chris is -Chris Carter, he�s our executive producer -and his perspective is that it�s a very short amount of years in a lifetime. You know, but then when I think about the fact that I started when I was twenty-four and I may end up finishing when I�m thirty-two
MIKE: You look at the percentage of what your life is, how old you are at the time
GILLIAN: Yeah, I know! It�s very ..
MIKE: Well you�re about half way through-
GILLIAN: Yeah, about half way through-
MIKE: So I�m sure that the character has changed a lot, as you have, but let�s have a look a little bit here at your alter ego in action.
GILLIAN: Oooh boy..
MIKE: Dana Scully.
(a clip is shown from Beyond the Sea, and after the clip is shown we return to the interview to see Gillian staring down at the ground, away from the television screen)
MIKE: Pretty serious stuff there. (looks over at Gillian) What�s the matter? You�re looking away from the monitor. (Gillian laughs) Why is that? Do you not like looking at yourself act?
GILLIAN: (covers her face with her hands and starts laughing) I can�t watch previous episodes. (peeks through her hands and then removes them from her face) I�m sorry, I�m turning red. Nooo.. it�s just-
MIKE: There are a lot of people who don�t like hearing their voice back when it�s recorded and a lot of actors don�t like watching themselves-
GILLIAN: I don�t either. I don�t like hearing my voice.
MIKE: So you don�t watch it when it�s on air?
GILLIAN: I don�t mind watching a new one when it�s on air �cause I�m excited to see what we�ve done and how it�s turned out and to learn from mistakes and to learn from good performances or whatever. But I cannot watch previous episodes.
MIKE: Well, that was from right at the very start. That was like, I think, from series one, .. or series two?
GILLIAN:> Yeah, it was series one.
MIKE: So how has the character developed then? Because I notice in the current series there�s a lot more sexual tension between your character and Fox Mulder. I think there�s a little bit of anger there in some of the episodes, too.
GILLIAN: Yeah, yeah there is. I think in the third season, which I don�t think you�ve seen yet in Australia, everything kind of comes together. I think we In the third, as you call, series everyone�s just much sharper and the scripts are better and it�s all kind of come together in the third series.
MIKE: So I take it you feel a lot more comfortable and confident both with your acting and with the character as the shows progressing.
MIKE: So it�s a good thing!
GILLIAN: And I think that she�s gotten stronger too. She�s not as green as she used to be, which is a good thing.
MIKE: So you�re signed for the seven years, so I guess we�re guaranteed for seeing you-
GILLIAN: For a good, you know, three/four more years-
MIKE: as it stands for the moment, for until the contract runs through.
MIKE: Well thanks for being with us Gillian.
GILLIAN: Thank you. It was a pleasure to be here.
MIKE: It�s been a real pleasure meeting you. I was going to show you some of the stuff I�ve got on you on the internet-
GILLIAN: I think I�ll-
MIKE: but we�ll save that for another time.
GILLIAN: Yeah, I think I�ll (laughs) pass on that.
MIKE: All right. Thanks a lot.
GILLIAN: Thank you.
Transcript appears courtesy of Fox Entertainment News.