Gillian Anderson on Steve Wright's People Show (BBC1)

This is a transcript of the Gillian Anderson interview on Steve Wright's People Show on the BBC1 at 7:20pm on June 3rd, 1995 done by Andrew Hardisty ( with additions from another transcription done by Jackie MacPherson (

(Steve Wright used to be a BBC Radio 1 DJ and now hosts his own show which is in its second season.)

STEVE WRIGHT: Time now to welcome one of TV's coolest women.Take a look at this.

(Clip of Scully in action.)

SW: Oh, yeah! From TV's X-Files here's Gillian Anderson!

(Camera cuts to GA who is lying down on a couch/sofa type thing. She gets up, goes down the stairs, and holding onto the rails she jumps down the bottom couple of steps. She embraces Steve Wright, then shakes hands with Nigel Benn, a British middleweight boxer, and Richard E. Grant, an English actor, who are still sitting on the interviewee's sofa from earlier in the show. She is wearing a black pin-stripe suit and black boots and has her hair in a pony tail.)

SW: Have a seat.


SW: Now, tell us for anybody who -- insanely -- hasn't seen the X-Files, what are the X-Files, what's the show about?

GA: The X-Files are cases that have been unsolved by local law enforcement officials or the police. They call in the FBI.

SW: You play an FBI agent.

GA: I play an FBI agent who happens to have an undergraduate degree in physics and is a medical doctor.

SW: And you have a partner...

GA: And I have a partner he's called, uh, his name is David Duchovny, and he plays agent Mulder, and we go out and investigate what appear to be paranormal phenomena.

SW: It's a really good show ... I mean it's eerie all the way through.They kind of keep that suspense coming through. How did you get the part?

GA: How did I get the part? It seemed to be, at the time to be an audition just like any other audition, I went in and read for the casting director, and they just kept asking me to come back.

SW: OK, can I just say...

GA: You can interrupt me (laughs).

SW: Would that be OK?

GA: Yes, that's OK!

SW: Can I just say that at any time during the interview, you may hear a strange noise, and then we go into "60 Second Secrets Time". You might have seen it earlier on. Then we start asking the real heavy stuff.


SW: And you have to answer honestly

GA (unsure): OK. All right.

SW: Now, 15% of Americans say they have had a UFO experience. I was reading my notes about the show and we reckon that must be between about between 20 or 30 million people who have had UFO experiences. Have you?

GA: I have not. Have you?

SW: Yeah. I've seen a UFO.

GA: You have?

SW: Yeah, when I was a kid, about 8, in a local park in Essex I saw a UFO.

(GA turns to Nigel Benn, sitting next to her, with a "I-don't-think-so" look on her face. A bell rings in the background. "Sixty Second Secrets" flashes up onto the screen.)

GA: Uh-Oh.

SW: We've gone into hyper mode.

GA: Uh-Oh.

SW: We're into Sixty Second Secrets!

(Audience cheers. GA looks round smiling, but slightly worried.)

SW: OK, Gillian, do you like peas?

GA (slight pause): Yes!

SW: Have you ever stolen a towel from a hotel?

GA: Yes! (GA, Wright and audience laugh)

SW: Do you use moisturizer?

GA: Yes.

SW: Who is your most famous friend?

GA (long pause): David Duchovny.

SW: Have you ever thrown rubbish from a car window?

GA: Used to, yes, but not any more.

SW: Have you ever rung a chat line?

GA: Have I ever what?

SW: A one of those talk lines you phone up to meet people.

GA: No.

SW: Do you iron your underwear?

GA: No, what underwear?

(Audience goes "Oooh!" Bell rings again.)

[An English friend adds: "What you missed is the emphasis on the look on her face when she said she wore no underwear. Actress she may be, but she looked as if she *meant it* and Steve Wright just froze up. It was hysterical to see the look of horror on his face." -- MQ]

SW: Oh, that's it. She did very well, though, I thought!

(Audience applauds. GA smiles.)

SW: Just returning to the X-Files, they're presumably based on real life things.

GA: Presumably. The writers take a lot of real life accounts, and also some things they read in books and articles and stuff.

SW: Yeah.

GA: But in order to make it big, and viable enough for a television show you have to expand in certain directions, and change it a bit.

SW (turning to Grant and Benn): Do you guys watch the X-Files?


SW: You enjoy it?

REG: I love it.

SW: Is this something you can see yourself appearing in?

REG: Uh...

SW: 'Cause you're weird enough, aren't you?

(Grant turns to Benn, Benn laughs.)

REG (to GA): Do you think I'm wierd enough for the X-Files?

GA: Well I thought the "baby poo" thing [story told earlier by REG] was a little... (wiggles her hand).

SW: With all due respect, you do have that weird look about you.

(Grant turns to audience with a sad face. Audience goes "Aaahh!")

SW: That's it, I've lost the audience! Nigel, have you seen the X-Files?

NIGEL BENN (looking ashamed as well he might): No.

SW: What do you like to watch on TV, Nigel?

NB: I like to watch Chris Eubank [another UK boxer, NB dislikes him] fighting.

SW: You like to watch Chris Eubank?

NB: Yes, very much.

GA: Who's Chris Eubank?

(Everyone giggles.)

SW: He's a very famous bus driver.

(Anderson laughs.)

GA: And he fights, he fights the passengers?!

SW: Coincidentally, he fights. No. He's a boxer.

GA: Oh.

SW: Now I understand you were born in London?

GA: No, I was not actually born in London. I grew up here, spent about 9 years of my childhood here.

SW: Oh, really, in what part of London?

GA: In Crouchend.

SW: You're kidding me, the star of the X-Files spent 9 years in Crouchend? (laughs)

GA: And Harringay.

SW: Oh really? So I mean, would you not want to work in Britain? We've got the theatre, the TV and now there's the British film industry (laughs).

GA: Oh. I'd love to (turns to Benn). And boxing ... I'd love to box here.

SW: You'd like to do boxing?!

GA: Yes.

NB (puts his hand up): I'd be her first opponent! (Audience laughs)

SW: You'd wanna be her first teacher, I imagine! Well, thank you very much for coming in.

GA: Am I done?

SW (straight faced and serious): You're done, that's it. (GA laughs) We're gonna wrap you up because we lost interest, quite frankly.

(GA and all laugh.)

SW: Its just a joke -- honestly!

GA: Oh ho ho ho!

(Audience applauds and cheers.)


* The X-Files Corner.