Name: Gillian Anderson
Birth Name: Gillian Leigh Anderson
Date of Birth: 9 August 1968, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Height: 5' 2" (1.57 m)
Gillian Anderson started her career as a member of an amateur actor group while at high school. In 1987, her love of the theatre took her to the National Theatre of Great Britain Summer Acting Programme held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. For several weeks she studied under such NT greats as Peter Chelsom, Bardy Thomas, and Michael Joyce. Afterwards, Anderson returned to the Goodman Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois where she finished her education. Her big break came with "The X-Files" (1993) (with David Duchovny) as Dana Scully. There, she met her future husband (Clyde Klotz), marrying on January 1st 1994. One month later, Gillian was pregnant. Her daughter, Piper Anderson, was born on the 25th September 1994. Her film career started with the movie The Turning (1992) in 1997 and, the following year, she starred in Playing by Heart (1998) with Sean Connery, Ellen Burstyn, Angelina Jolie and Dennis Quaid.
[About her role as Agent Scully in "The X-Files" (1993)] I am more spontaneous than my character . . .
[Interview in "Movie line" magazine, Dec. 1998] Fame is complicated and definitely overrated. There are perks to it that are unfathomable. But the other aspect is there's little to no privacy at all - being anywhere at any time and knowing that somebody you cannot see is probably taking a picture of you, which has happened hundreds of times. I look around and cannot see anyone and a couple of weeks later I see a photo of me looking around.
When I think of normal, I think of mediocrity . . . and mediocrity scares the f*ck out of me!
It's easier to be myself here. I can go out wearing whatever the hell I want, no matter how ridiculous it looks. If I do that in America, people look at me like I'm insane. There are aspects of the British press which are incredibly intrusive, but then you'll go to a premiere and someone will ask permission to take a photo, and when you say, "That's enough", they'll back off. In the States, you go to a restaurant and there are people lined up outside with 8x10s of you. Or they just follow you with a video camera. I had someone deliberately rear-end my car a few years ago in L.A., and there was a video camera: they were videoing my reaction. Luckily, I was in a good mood.
I know people who are embarrassed to be American. They don't like showing their passports. It's becoming a scary place. It takes someone very brave not to be quiet, someone who doesn't mind death threats, their life being turned upside down, news cameras outside their door. There is no freedom of speech in America anymore. They are not living up to the constitution. There's so much fear in America and control.
My tendency is towards the opposite of health and taking care of myself. My natural tendency is destructive. In order not to act on that, I have to be careful. The minute I don't feel like that, if I let down my guard, I'm in trouble.
I often showed up ungroomed. It didn't occur to me. Then I'd end up at a premiere and I'd think, what are you doing? I remember being at a restaurant with a famous British actress. I knew there were paparazzi outside. My intention was to make a beeline for the car. But then, as we were walking outside, she applied lipstick. I thought, what is she doing? But her public image is very glamorous. It's a different mindset.
I don't show my face [in L.A.] very much, and so that makes it a bit more complicated for me in terms of work. They [producers] need to see you in the press, and in their face, in meetings, auditions, whatever. And as far as they're concerned, I haven't provided enough of an example of the kind of things that I can do, as an actor, for them to justify hiring me without me sitting down in front of them or having me dance around.
I don't usually like seeing things I'm in. I get really depressed afterward.
I walked in thinking; it's going to be like riding a bicycle. It wasn't. It was like riding a unicycle. I'd been trying so hard to stretch myself in other roles, and to catch myself when I did anything that remotely resembles Scully, that when I was put back in the ring with her, my brain started misfiring. [quoted in The New York Times, July 13, 2008, on how unexpectedly hard it was for her to get back in character as Scully for the movie The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008) five years after the end of the television series.]