The Official Gillian Anderson Website
Gillian Anderson  
NewsAboutArchiveCharitiesInteractiveContact Us
Photo Gallery
Video Clips
The Late Show with David Letterman
May 15, 2000

Dave: Our first guest is Agent Scully on the popular television program "The X-Files," which has its big season finale May 21st. Here's the lovely Gillian Anderson.

(cheers and applause)

Dave: Well, you look good. You look great. You just look terrific, by the way. Did you see yourself in the picture box there?

Gillian: No, don't... can you take it away?

Dave: How you doing?

Gillian: I'm good. Do you have new glasses?

Dave: I've had these for a while.

Gillian: You have?

Dave: You know, you look... You look healthy and alive and radiant to me.

Gillian: Really?

Dave: Really. (laughter) Not that there was anything wrong with how you looked previous, but you just... There's something different about the way you look. Like you're getting more blood to your body or something.

Gillian: Really?

Dave: Like your circulation has improved.

Gillian: Really? (laughs) Gosh, um, maybe that's because I stopped smoking.

Dave: See, I'll bet that's exactly what it is. (applause)

Gillian: Everybody... I know. It's terrible! It's terrible, it's a horrible thing!

Dave: Now, how long did you smoke? Did you start when you were in high school?

Gillian: I started... Actually, yeah, I think I took my first drag when I was eight years old.

Dave: Eight years old? Wow.

Gillian: Behind the train tracks.

Dave: Did your folks smoke?

Gillian: No. Or for a while they did, but then they quit. But then I think I started when I was 14.

Dave: Peer pressure.

Gillian: But no, I just liked it. I'm a good smoker.

Dave: It's fun, isn't it?

Gillian: I like smoking. Smoking's a good thing, I have to say. (laughter) Not... I mean, not for little kids. I mean, most of the time I've tried to hide it. (laughter) I mean, or even teenagers or some big kids, but for me, it was just fine.

Dave: Not everybody can handle it. You could handle it.

Gillian: I'm a good smoker. And you know what, what's happened since I've stopped?

Dave: Well, you look much healthier.

Gillian: Well, I may be healthy, but I've gotten really stupid.

Dave: No.

Gillian: I swear to God! It's like all those years that I was smoking and taking in all the information-- the history and the geography and the biology-- and now that the toxins are going out, it's like it's all going away! (motions with hands)

Dave: Really?

Gillian: It's like all the... Any signs of intelligence I had beneath my skin is gone.

Dave: It was stored in the residue of the nicotine and other chemicals in your brain receptors?

Gillian: I think that's absolutely right. (laughter)

Dave: And now it's washed out of your system.

Gillian: It sounds very good with those glasses. Can you say that again?

Dave: Oh, thank you. No, I couldn't remember what I was saying. So do you do anything, do you drink?

Gillian: I don't drink. Do you drink?

Dave: No, I don't.

Gillian: Do you have vices? Well, I know you had that big thing with your heart and everything...

Dave: I had a massive heart attack three months ago, ladies and gentlemen, and I'm back!

Gillian: Did you have to give up anything?

Dave: Well, you know, during the surgery, they don't want you drinking coffee.

Gillian: Right. (laughter)

Dave: But that was it. And then I quit cigars.

Gillian: You quit, like, completely quit?

Dave: Yeah, but I've always, you know, I quit and then I smoke, and then I quit. But now I'm off the cigars for good.

Gillian: You still smoke coffee? I mean... (laughter) See? I've got smoking on the brain!

Dave: I've smoked a little coffee, sure. Smoked a little tea.

Gillian: Do you drink a lot of coffee?

Dave: No, I used to drink a lot... You know, if it weren't for the caffeine, I'd have virtually no personality whatsoever.

Gillian: I hear ya. I'm right there with ya!

Dave: So now i'm on the decaf, and I'm addicted to the decaf. You know, I drink so much decaf, I sleep for days. But I tell ya... They say the cigarettes, we've now proven, those cigarette people were putting horrible toxic chemicals in the cigarettes. Now, I don't think they were...

Gillian: To make you addicted to it.

Dave: To make you addicted to them, that's right. To make them harmful.

Gillian: You must've seen the movie "The Insider."

Dave: Well, yeah, I think a lot of that's probably true, but, you know, I don't really know what they're talking about, but what do I care? Because quitting cigarettes is uncommonly hard. They say it's one of the most difficult addictions to break ever.

Gillian: Ever.

Dave: Ever. And you know, you're looking at a guy who's tried everything.

Gillian: Worse than heroin.

Dave: Exactly.

Gillian: Exactly.

Dave: Um... cigars, on the other hand, you can quit easily.

Gillian: Well, you don't inhale them. Any time that I've tried a cigar, I can't not inhale... I'm a good inhaler, I like getting it in my lungs.

Dave: Right.

Gillian: And any time I smoke a cigar, I'd inhale, and then I'm flat on the ground! Which is a good thing, too.

Dave: That's kind of the point, yeah. It's too bad, because... It's just too bad that it's bad for you. It really is too bad that it's bad for you. But see, I think cigars... And then you get people arguing, "Well, you get all other kind of things smoking the cigars."

Gillian: Like what?

Dave: Well, you know, things that go in your mouth as opposed to in your lungs. You get, like, sores in your mouth, as opposed to...

Gillian: Do you have sores in your mouth?

Dave: I have no sores in my mouth! What have you heard? But see, you can't have this conversation, because you're not supposed to be smoking, period, at all, anyway.

Gillian: You look different. (laughter) I mean, different than the... Different, it's not just the glasses... See, I'm dumb! It's not just the glasses, but you look different.

Dave: Can you qualify that for me, because you just...

Gillian: Did your hair used to be curly before your surgery? (laughter) Didn't it? Didn't it used to have little curly stuff in it?

Dave: I had a bypass and my hair straightened.

Gillian: It looks that way. It did used to be kind of kinky, didn't it?

Dave: If it grows out, it gets a little wacky. I mean, not that it ain't wacky now, but it's a little shorter.

Gillian: Okay. All right.

Dave: But you... you look...

Gillian: You look very healthy. (laughter)

Dave: So anyway, are you doing anything else now that you've... How long have you been off the butts, by the way?

Gillian: The butts, two weeks.

Dave: Oh, forget it. Well, then you really haven't quit at all, have you?

Gillian: Oh, no! Yeah, I have. I have. I did a cleanse at the same time.

Dave: What's that?

Gillian: A cleanse is where you, for a period of days, you eat very well and no meat and no sugar and no wheat, no dairy. And just a lot of greens, and you try to flush everything out, and you do a liver flush.

Dave: I'm sorry? (laughter) What kind of equipment do you need for a liver flush?

Gillian: Have you ever had a colonic?

Dave: (groans)

Gillian: I have to ask you because I know that you're sensitive about, like, bodily movements and stuff that comes out.

Dave: No, I'm not sensitive about bodily movements.

Gillian: I heard that you were. You don't like talking about urine and stuff like that. Puss...

Dave: Oh, only a stick in the mud. Urine, puss, no, I don't... No, I've never had a colonic.

Gillian: You haven't?

Dave: No.

Gillian: It might be good for you.

Dave: Well, maybe it would be.

Gillian: Are you a happy person?

Dave: Oh, i'm extremely happy. Are you kidding me?

Gillian: Are you?

Dave: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Gillian: Are you happier before your heart... Your big heart thing or after the big heart thing?

Dave: Oh, now, what do you think?

Gillian: Well, it depends on your perspective.

Dave: Well, the perspective... You've got a guy taps you on the shoulder and says, "Mr. Letterman, you see this little thing right here? If that moves a millimeter, you're dead."

Gillian: But it doesn't necessarily mean happiness. It's just your perception about things. So do you think that you've changed your perception about life since you had the surgery?

Dave: I'm happier because, I'll tell you... Boy, did you ask the wrong question. This'll be you back in the hotel: "Well, I didn't get much time. Letterman wouldn't stop talking! What happened?"

Gillian: I've got nothing to say. I'm dumb. I just quit smoking. Yeah.

Dave: So anyway, since people in my family dropped dead because of the big heart explosion...

Gillian: Really?

Dave: So I kind of, in the back of my mind, I was waiting to get that call.

Gillian: Right.

Dave: So now that the guy fixed it up and brand-new plumbing, I've got like eight feet of p.v.c. in there, honey.

Gillian: Really?

Dave: So now I feel like it was an incredible stroke of luck that I have this extension of my life, because, you know, it was a time bomb.

Gillian: So do you wake up with a smile on your face? And you're nice to people?

Dave: Oh, no, no.

Gillian: You're not nice to people?

Dave: Well, sure, I'm nice to people. For heaven's sakes.

Gillian: For heaven's sake.

Dave: The right kind of people.

Gillian: Okay, I gotcha.

Dave: You all right?

Gillian: Yeah, I'm fine. I'm healthy.

Dave: So how did this liver pump thing go?

Gillian: It wasn't a liver pump. It was a liver flush.

Dave: Oh, liver flush.

Gillian: A liver flush. It's a shake that you drink.

Dave: Liver shake is a...

Gillian: Uh-huh.

Dave: Liver flush is a shake.

Gillian: It's a shake that you make, and it's got specific ingredients in it that help to suck all the toxins out of your liver.

Dave: But does that actually work?

Gillian: It's hard to tell, Dave. (laughter) How would one know?

Dave: Well, I guess we could... Like a liver scan, would that tell us?

Gillian: You could probably do... You could probably do, like, a sonar thing, like an ultrasound on your liver and... Yup. (laughter)

Dave: Well, you know, I got the stuff up in the office.

Gillian: I bet you do. I bet you've got the stuff right inside you, right there.

Dave: I've got everything. Well, I hope you have a lot of success with that quitting the smoking thing.

Gillian: Well, thank you very much.

Dave: You know, it's going to be hard getting through the 4th of July.

Dave: Well, the picnic, you know, the beers, the fireworks. You know, you're outdoors... Tell me about the show. Is this the big season finale, the cliffhanger?

Gillian: You know, honestly, I wish I knew. I know, I do.

Dave: How do you not know?

Gillian: Well, we called Chris Carter beforehand because they're working out their deals and spiels and stuff.

Dave: Is the show going to be on next year?

Gillian: We don't know. He said that he was an eyelash closer to making his deal.

Dave: What does that mean?

Gillian: That's a very good question.

Dave: You want to come back. Do you want to come back?

Gillian: Yeah, under the right circumstances, I think we'd all like to make it work.

Dave: So are you trying to hold these people up?

Gillian: Am I trying to hold them up?

Dave: Yeah, I mean, you know, generally, the cast.

Gillian: What are you talking about? Am I trying to hold the cast up?

Dave: Are you... No, no, no. I'll tell you what i'm thinking of. You know, the cast of "Friends," they pitched a little whine and hissy fit, and they got themselves...

Gillian: How much do you make a year?

Dave: I'm comfortable. (laughter)

Gillian: It was an innocent question.

Dave: But I'm telling you, it's not that prime-time money you're looking at. It's not that prime-time money.

Gillian: Ooooh, I don't know about that... (laughter)

Dave: I have no idea what we're talking about now.

Gillian: No, I don't either.

Dave: All right, so what's the cliffhanger in this show? You don't know?

Gillian: Well, we shot it. We shot two versions. It's just a little addition at the end of something that I say that changes things drastically.

Dave: Oh, so it could go one way or the other.

Gillian: One way or the other. Like, we'll either do the show or we won't do the show.

Dave: I'd like to see you back on the smokes. (laughter)

Gillian: Thank you. I'll blame it on you.

Dave: No, no.

Gillian: I will.

Dave: Hey, listen to this. Any time you have the urge for a cigarette, call me. I'll talk you through it. All right?

Gillian: All right. Can I just mention one thing that...

Dave: A shout out?

Gillian: Yeah. Please, can I? I just want to mention, very important, that there's a disease that I do a lot of support for and volunteer work for called Neurofibromatosis, and through the month of May, we are holding an auction on the Gillian Anderson Web Site (laughs) which is And it's a whole bunch of paraphernalia and memorabilia and X-Files stuff that's signed by a lot of people and worth a lot of money, and to be worth a lot more money in the future, and a great cause to support. So if you're interested in... (pauses and stares blankly) (laughter)

Dave: Well, don't oversell it.

Gillian: I know. I just go blank!

Dave: That's all right.

Gillian: My mind just stops. I swear I stop mid-sentence...

Dave: You know what it is? It's a withdrawal. It's a shock to the system. All of this stuff is leaving you that had been there and coexisted with you.

Gillian: I know. I've been saying some really stupid... I mean, you've heard it enough tonight. But other than that, like, really stupid things to people. I mean, just flying out of my mouth!

Dave: It'll be fine. It'll be fine. You're going through a bit of a withdrawal and a bit of a shock to the system.

Gillian: Okay. Are we done? (laughter) Is that what this is about?

Dave: We were done about ten minutes ago, actually. Oh, boy. How's your daughter? Is she good?

Gillian: She's great.

Dave: For no other reason, for your little daughter, to give up cigarettes, that's all the motivation you need.

Gillian: Absolutely. I took her to your favorite place.

Dave: Disneyworld.

Gillian: Disneyland.

Dave: Disneyland, sure. How'd that go?

Gillian: We're done, we're finished, it was great, thank you, bye!!

Dave: You know, it was almost like having you here! We'll be right back with tonight's top ten list.

Transcript appears courtesy of The Late Show.

The Official Gillian Anderson Website
AboutTerms of UseContact Us