Gillian Anderson on Australian Midday


Gillian Anderson Interviewed on the Midday Show in Australia, by Kerri-Anne on Channel 9. Originally transcribed by Adam Lee (alee@bns.com.au). Date: 25/6/96. Interview Time: 12:10pm.

Kerri-Anne: Back to Midday, our special ski edition, snow edition today. When ... ah ... men lust, they really do, they just lust after, women admire her, she has in fact become one of those rare beings, an intelligent sex symbol, thanks to Dana Scully in The X-Files.

[Shows a clip from an X-Files episode]

Kerri-Anne: Ahh, there you go. Well, the star of The X-... [Knock on a door] Ahh, that must be her right now, star of television's X-Files, the very X-traordinary Gillian Anderson. [Crowd cheers, she enters with a glow of green lights, they both enter and look at a dog on set].

Gillian: Is this dog on here all the time?

Kerri-Anne: Well, sometimes ... she goes anywhere she sort of really feels like. Now, Gillian Anderson, a.k.a. Dana Scully, welcome to the program.

Gillian: Thank you!

Kerri-Anne: I know this probably doesn't look normal, and we look a bit out there, but it's not X-Files [laughter], this is Midday.

Gillian: Okay, well, I was actually amazed by all the snow, because it seems so ... it seems so warm here to me, and to see you pretending it's Christmas is very humorous.

Kerri-Anne: Well we, we just like to do silly things, don't we, folks? [Acknowledgment from crowd] We do, and this is about as close to winter as we really do get. Umm, obviously, Dana Scully, you've become hugely popular with The X-Files. Does Gillian Anderson actually believe in the paranormal?.

Gillian: I believe in certain aspects of the paranormal, more on the spiritual side than the paranormal side. I believe in ESP, and psychokinesis and stuff like that. That people actually have the ability to generate enough energy in themselves to move objects and stuff. I'm fascinated by that stuff, there are certain areas that I completely tune off on, that we reach in the show, you know, stuff that I just don't think is possible in any way shape or form.

Kerri-Anne: Ah, has anything weird, wonderful, oh, and of course this is our resident yeti. [Laughter] Mr. Yeti, just turn to the camera there ... yes, that's our yeti. And all known as Ewan occasionally. Thank you, oh, that's what we wanted [Kerri-Anne picks up the X-Files cube], because these are the new X-Files videos, because you're out here for those companies, and also they're on Foxtel at the moment, but I mean has anything really weird and wonderful ever happened to you? Slightly weird?

Gillian: Weird and wonderful?

Kerri-Anne: Well, weird! [They both laugh] Let's just start with weird, I know wonderful things have happened, but what's weird?

Gillian: Umm, nothing really weird has ever happened to me, I wish that they had so I could talk about them [she laughs].

Kerri-Anne: But you do believe in ESP?

Gillian: Ahh, yeah I do.

Kerri-Anne: Have you had premonitions?

Gillian: I haven't had premonitions, well, once in a while in my life I've had a dream, and then it's come true, but nothing so substantial that I could tell you about it right now, mostly little coincidences in life that happen, you know where you think ... oh ... I was just thinking about that person and then you run into them. You know, just mild boring stuff.

Kerri-Anne: Dana, with your life in the last couple of years...

Gillian: [leans over and interrupts] You know, you can call me Gillian.

Kerri-Anne: [Takes her hand and apologizes] Oh I'm sorry, Dana Scully, I'm talking... [Gillian laughs] I mean, I'm so addicted to The X-Files, Gillian, in the last couple of years, 93 is when The X-Files started, you've like had this fairy-tale rise, you were virtually unemployed, and went from waiting tables into a huge television show, your own show, did you realize how important it was when you started that?

Gillian: No, I don't think that I did. I think that if I had realized it, I wouldn't have been able to handle it, you know. I think that that's one thing is is that we're shooting in Vancouver, and so it's not in Los Angeles. It doesn't have the same degree of height all the time that it would if we were shooting down there, so we're separated enough that it was a gradual rise for us and also because it was a gradual rise for the show, period. You know, it was considered purely a cult success with very few viewers at the beginning, and then it built up and built up to a mainstream show, so we all had a very kind of, comfortable ride, forwards and upwards. It wasn't as crazy as it could have been.

Kerri-Anne: And after reading some research Gillian, I understand that you are a far more down-to-earth person because I get the impression that you are far more interested in your life, rather than in a movie-star television life, for instance, just really in the first year, you got married. In fact you met your husband on the set!

Gillian: I did. [Smiles]

Kerri-Anne: How did that happen?

Gillian: Well, he was working on the show, and I was working on the show, and I saw him walking around one day, and I asked somebody who he was and what he was about, and somehow we ended up going to dinner and getting married [laughter] and having a baby [more laughter].

Kerri-Anne: And it was pretty quick too.

Gillian: It was, it was very quick.

Kerri-Anne: What does he do on the show?

Gillian: He was one of the art directors on the show. And then, shortly after we got married, he quit. He felt like it was a conflict of interest for us to be both working on the same show, and so he moved on and has been designing films and MOWs [movies of the week]. Right now he's working for a company called Mainframe Entertainment which does a show called Reboot in the States, which is a completely computer animated children's show. And so he's been designing shows for them.

Kerri-Anne: And in the very first years of X-Files, you fell pregnant. And now there's a lot of...

Gillian: [Interrupts] Fell pregnant? Very interesting term. [Laughter in the audience]

Kerri-Anne: Well, you became pregnant...

Gillian: I was struck pregnant. [More laughter from audience]

Kerri-Anne: Well, it sort of really doesn't hit you, does it? Oh, maybe sometimes. Ahh, but I mean that's an interesting move, because your life was far more important than your career. Were you prepared to give up the television show if the producers had said, "Nope, we don't want a pregnant Dana Scully".

Gillian: Yeah, yeah, I was. When I discovered that I had fallen pregnant, [smiles] I really had to make a decision for myself, whether it was something that I wanted, and I was determined to make it work, because I couldn't see not going through with it for myself, and trust that whatever the producers decided was how it was going to be, and that was going to be okay.

Kerri-Anne: In fact, they relished the thought almost, didn't they?

Gillian: Well, no, [smiles] I don't think they relished the [laughs] thought at all.

Kerri-Anne: But they worked around you?

Gillian: They did, they tried very, very hard to make it work, and especially the crew at that time was incredibly supportive. I'd be standing up for a shot, and then they'd run over an apple box, which is a box that I'm normally standing on because of my height ... they'd run one over to me to sit on, and they were just wonderful. They brought over a cot in between scenes and I'd sleep on the cot.

Kerri-Anne: Who was the first person you told besides your husband? On the show?

Gillian: Umm, my mom. But the first person on the show that I told was David.

Kerri-Anne: And, of course, women around the world absolutely love and adore David Duchovny. How well do you two get along? Clearly it must be a fairly warm relationship if he was one of the first people you confided in.

Gillian: Well, I confided in him first mostly. I mean we are close, but I confided in him mostly because I knew that I had to go to the producers, and that was a terrifying concept to me, and so I wanted to experience somebody else's reaction who was close to the show, and his was ... I mean it's like his knees were knocked out from him, and he just kind of had to steady himself for a second. But we are close, we know each other very well now, because of the intensity of the work, and the fact that we work together 14 hours a day, almost every single day and so we're close in that respect, we don't hang out together on weekends, I spend time with my family and he does what he does.

Kerri-Anne: In terms of the show, you have done some weird and wonderful things, you ate a live cricket once?

Gillian: I didn't, I have to clarify that, I didn't swallow it. [laughter]

Kerri-Anne: [leans over] But you actually...put it in [moves hand towards her mouth]?

Gillian: I did put it in my mouth. Well, you see, you have to imagine the situation [laughs] if this is going to make it any better. Umm, they had spent like 1400 dollars to make these chocolate crickets for me, which were about that big, and the real crickets were about that big [makes size motions] and so we were on the set, and there was this guy called the Conundrum who not only has puzzle pieces tattooed over his entire body, but he is chomping on crickets, he pours like a huge jar full of crickets into his mouth, they're crawling up his head and down his back, and he offers me one, and like I'm not going to take one out, and put it in my mouth? [smiles] When he's eating hundreds of them in front of me? So it was, kind of a self-imposed challenge. But as soon as I turned my back from camera I [makes spitting motion] spit it out. [laughter]

Kerri-Anne: Well this is our little ski-show, here today, Gillian. And you know who we have , we've got Stephen Lee, who is an Australian champion, world champion, a legend in this country, and we have got a couple of ski-machines, do you ski?

Gillian: I have.

Kerri-Anne: You have skied?.

Gillian: I've never skied in heels though I might add [smiles].

Kerri-Anne: Oh, we can take the heels off, or we can find some snow shoes for you! [Gillian laughs] Would you stay and have a bit of fun on the ski machine? You know there's like ... time zone races?.

Gillian: I might, I'm not exactly sure how much time we have, so if I don't come back, it's because I haven't been able to stay, but we might be able to.

Kerri-Anne: Okay, well we can make time, can't we? [Looks to audience while they shout and agree]. These kids over here [motions to kids] ... we've got a bunch of kids sitting in front our orchestra, they have been literally hanging off the fences of our studio today, we couldn't get enough seats for everyone to sit in to see you. I actually thought it was me for a minute, and then I was really depressed to find out it was for you [laughter]. But enjoy the rest of your stay in Australia, and with a bit of luck you can stay and have a bit of fun on the machines with us. But don't forget you can see X-Files on Foxtel, and/or watch your own copies, these are the ones that our little yeti bought in, ahh, and there's a special X-Files collection edition that's there available now. Please thank our hero, Gillian Anderson [audience cheers].


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