GIL­LIAN ANDERSON

The X-Files star on why she loves play­ing FBI Agent Dana Scully (even af­ter 25 years)

Chattanooga Times Free Press - Parade - - TABLE - By Ali­son Abbey

Even af­ter a suc­cess­ful run as Stella Gib­son on the BBC’s

The Fall, Gil­lian Anderson is still best known as the skep­ti­cal Agent Dana Scully, a role she re­turns to again and again, most re­cently in an X-Files au­dio se­ries (the sec­ond in­stall­ment,

Stolen Lives, is avail­able Oct. 3; $25, au­di­ble.com). The U.K.based ac­tress, au­thor and mom of three, 49, talked to Pa­rade from the set of the show’s 11th sea­son, de­but­ing in 2018.

When you were mak­ing the orig­i­nal se­ries, did you think it would have this kind of legacy?

We knew we were in­volved in some­thing that was per­ceived as iconic, and that it would last in that sense. Ev­ery time we come back to­gether again, we look at each other a lit­tle bit side­ways. “Oh my God, here we go again. Can you be­lieve it?” And won­der­ing at what point are peo­ple just go­ing to say, “Come on, guys, give us a break. You’re too old.” But when it’s in Au­di­ble form, we are per­pet­u­ally in our late 30s.

The fan base must be a wide age range.

When some­one says they’re a huge fan, my first ques­tion is of­ten, “How old were you when you dis­cov­ered this?” Some of them say, “I dis­cov­ered it on Net­flix or Ama­zon.” Some were in­tro­duced by their par­ents when the re­boot came out [last year].

Has Dana Scully be­come a part of you?

When we started shoot­ing, I was 24, and I had to re­ally pull my­self up by my boot­straps and just show up with in­tegrity and not be self­pi­ty­ing about the hours and the in­ten­sity of the things that were asked of me. I de­vel­oped a very strong work ethic. And that [role] in­flu­enced the type of fe­male that I was in­ter­ested in em­body­ing from that point on.

What in­spired you to write We: A Man­i­festo for Women Ev­ery­where?

I had this thought that I’m sure at some point we all have, which was, why are we strug­gling so much with the same is­sues, the same lev­els of low self-es­teem? And why is it that we’re not work­ing to­gether to sup­port and en­cour­age each other? I pitched this vague idea of what a book might look like that could start that con­ver­sa­tion to my friend [co-au­thor] Jen­nifer Nadel, who was hav­ing the same thoughts.That’s how it be­gan.

How do you bal­ance ca­reer, fam­ily and friends?

I’ve got two young boys and an older daugh­ter. The boys’ fa­ther, even though we’re not to­gether, is in­cred­i­bly present. I can go away, and I can 100 per­cent trust that ev­ery­thing is OK. I’m gone be­tween 10 days and three weeks max be­fore com­ing back and hav­ing time with them. In terms of friends, I started game nights to get more peo­ple in the room at the same time. If I’m able to sched­ule one ev­ery cou­ple months, or a din­ner with mothers from the boys’ school, I can stay in touch with the part of my life that is meant to be ground­ing.The peo­ple in my life are what de­fine it, so it’s up to me to keep up those con­nec­tions.

What did you do on Sun­days grow­ing up?

Grow­ing up in the U.K., my par­ents had a friend who was a painter. We would go to his house [ev­ery week­end] and sit for him.Then we’d take breaks, have tea and he’d teach me how to draw, and there was some­thing very mag­i­cal about those sit­tings. I have the paint­ing. My dad has flare jeans and my mom has a red velour top. It’s very ’70s wacky psy­che­delic.

What do you like to do on Sun­days now?

I have two ver­sions of Sun­days.There’s the Sun­day where I have the kids, which means we wake up with enough time to be able to have break­fast be­fore ei­ther park­our [ur­ban ob­sta­cle course train­ing], which is on one side of town, or gym­nas­tics, which is on the other. My other Sun­day is one where I sleep in, do ab­so­lutely noth­ing, maybe put­ter around, med­i­tate and spend time with my boyfriend.

The X-Files sea­son 11: Mul­der (David Du­chovny) and Scully (Anderson) to­gether again

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