An Interview With Gillian on CBC's RealTime

This interview on the CBC's RealTime with Gillian Anderson in late November of 1994 ran about 21 minutes. The following is a transcription I did while listening back to it which was posted to the Usenet newsgroup The quotes are not always word-for-word. -- Mike Quigley ([email protected])

Host Leora Kornfeld started asking about GA's new baby, 8 weeks old tomorrow (GA first says "8 months"), born in Vancouver, and therefore half Canadian, half American. When asked why she went back to work so fast, GA says "because I was written into the next script", and the producers didn't give her much choice in the matter.

First phone guest is the president of an X-File Club at University of Western Ontario who gives GA an honorary membership in the club. She asks GA about her university experience, and which role she thought was most influential to her acting. GA says she went to DePaul Theatre school at DePaul University in Chicago, where the whole curriculum was based around theatre studies. The play that affected her the most was a comedy called A Flea In Her Ear, a farce, where she played a small role, a French maid. "It was good for me to explore the comedic side of acting."

When asked if she looks at Internet groups, GA says: "I am aware of them. I've only taken a look once or twice, with people that I log on with. I'm not a regular participant."

LK: "Does it scare you? It must be terrible to have your life scrutinized"
GA: "That's one reason I don't participate, because it's very personal stuff and in terms of the character I don't want to be influenced too much by people's opinions. I have to stick very closely as to how I feel how the character needs to be portrayed from episode to episode."

LK: "How do people treat you when they run into you in Vancouver?"
GA: "Very calmly ... I haven't been accosted by anyone. Everyone has been very polite. I haven't felt uncomfortable at any given time."

When asked to compare Vancouver to LA (where she is from), she says "It's been so long since I've been in LA!" She says she doesn't get out much recently, because they shoot the show 5 days a week, and weekends is "family time".

Walter via e-mail asks if Mulder and Scully should be romantically involved.

GA: "A lot of people have commented on that, but the show's not really about that. It's about the cases we are investigating and our professional relationship and it's occurred to the writers that if it was to go into any other direction it would distract from the main theme of the show. If we establish a romantic relationship, it would kind of go downhill."

LK: Was such a relationship a possibility earlier on in the show?
GA: "I don't think so ... they've been pretty concerned about keeping us platonic".

Someone told GA there was a debate on the Internet as to whether there was any sexual tension between the two characters. She comments that in the recent episodes, it's as strong as it was before she was "out of the picture".

Miranda on the phone in Vancouver says she's glad to see GA's character getting stronger in the most recent episode (Firewalker) and asks how does being a mom affect her work. Does it make her work seem less important?

GA: "It's not less important, in terms of time I have to spend on the script, it has decreased, it's frustrating ... I don't take it as seriously as I have taken it in the past. I'm not as obsessed as I was with it before. I'm still putting as much energy as I can into the show."

Evan from Manitoba asks if the "Feds" have ever shown up to stop the show.

GA: "We visited the FBI at the beginning of this year, and they were very supportive. They let us know very clearly there were no such things as X-Files. They were pretty determined that we note that. We have a lot of fans in the FBI. We've never been warned".

LK: "Are you a sex symbol among FBI agents? Did you find your picture on a lot of fridges when you went to the FBI headquarters?"
GA: "No, I didn't see a single fridge."

Neil in Victoria (11 years old) asks if GA & David Duchovny are good friends off the screen?

GA: "It's a lot of work to work with someone as intensely as we do on a daily basis. Our relationship shifts and changes, and on the weekends we don't hang out because we're sick of seeing each other all week!"

There is discussion about DD being single, with a girl friend (who was in the vampire episode). LK comments that "a lot of hearts are broken".

Nicole in London, Ont. (member of Western X-Files Club) asks if any of the shows actually come from documented cases.

GA: "A lot of the shows are based loosely on factual information. The writers read about scientific information and take bits and pieces and kind of formulate them into stories. Some information is factual, but in order to make an episode and make it playable on television it's pulled and tugged here and there to make it entertaining. There may be bits and pieces of factual information in each episode. Most of the stories are constructed for viewing audiences."

When asked how interested she was in the kind of materials portrayed on the X-Files:

GA: "I've always been interested in it, it's been something that's been part of my mind and belief systems. I haven't read a lot of books or subscribed to a lot of magazines."

LK: "Did that help you get the part?"
GA: "I don't think so. They didn't sit me down and ask me if I believe in this stuff before I got the audition."

Lynn in Calgary (4th year bio student) says she's interested in the scientific discussion on the X-Files. "How do you deal with the jargon?"

GA: "Sometimes it's very hard to say this stuff and make it sound like I know what I'm talking about, because I don't. There's always a level at which I'm lost. It's fascinating, I can't tell you how much I hold in my brain after the scene ... I probably forget everything that I supposedly learned. But I have a great deal of respect for someone who has to keep that stuff in their brain to use on a daily basis." GA adds: "At one point I was very interested in biology. Before I got interested in acting I was interested in marine biology a lot."

Doug in Calgary asks if the show is going to elaborate on Scully's abduction now that she is back.

GA: "I was wondering that myself. I really don't know. It would certainly be an opportunity to do that."

LK asks if it was hard to be in a coma on the show.

GA: "I was still blue from the Caesarean section. They didn't have to use much makeup. During some of it I slept. It was only a few days after I got out of the hospital and it was an opportunity to get some rest."

LK comments that the show's producers really crack the whip.

GA: "The show is doing very well. There was a lot of interest in Scully's disappearance and they wanted to keep the duo working together. I wasn't expecting that I would go back that early. But I'm very glad to be back at work."

LK: " Were the producers less than thrilled to find out you were pregnant?"
GA: "I would say that. There was a lot of shooting from the neck up ... a lot of very high-angles and a lot of trench coats. There was a joke about the cameraman putting on a wide angle lens."

LK: "Have you got people coming up to you on the street and telling you their paranormal experiences and wild dreams?"
GA: "I haven't and I don't know if David has either. Why would anyone walk up to a skeptic? I think David perhaps has gotten more mail about people's individual experiences for that reason. In real life, David and I ... our opinions on the subject matter are opposite from our characters."

LK: "So if you meet David on the street, should you treat him like the skeptic he is?"
GA: " Yes."

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