Winner of the Variety Icon Award at CANNESERIES, Gillian Anderson has been an essential figure on the small screen since The X-Files. The actress has played other significant and iconic roles on which she returned during an interview.
She caused a sensation on the pink carpet of the Palais des Festivals and satisfied the most nostalgic like the new generation. Gillian Anderson, unforgettable Scully Mulder in X-Files, went to the CANNESERIES festival where she received the Variety Icon Award, which honors the career of a key figure in television.
Iconic roles for iconic actress
Since the shutdown of the fantastic detective series, the American actress has settled in the United Kingdom and has shown herself on British television in works less mainstream but praised by critics. Gillian Anderson returned to the forefront of popular series in the early 2010s and played a series of notable roles: Bedelia du Maurier in Hannibal, Stella Gibson in The Fall, Media (and a version by David Bowie) in American Gods, Jean Milburn in Sex Education and Margaret Thatcher in The Crown.
And the actress says she owes it all to her characters who made her such an iconic person: “I had the opportunity to play very iconic characters. That’s what gives meaning to the word icon. Without these characters, I probably wouldn’t have this label.”
Whenever Gillian Anderson is announced in the casting of a series, we know that the role will be tasty and the performance incredible. The proof with the Golden Globe she received for her incarnation of The Iron Lady in The Crown and her incisive acting as Joanna de Holstein-Gottorp in The Great. The actress will prove it once again in the next series The First Lady in which she will lend her features to Eleanor Roosevelt.
No return to the past
Despite all these landmark scores, Gillian Anderson remains, for many, Mulder’s partner in The X-Files. This role that sticks to her skin and earned her a role model for women was a burden for her who was very young at the time:
“With Scully, there were definitely times during the ’90s where I felt like I had a responsibility as an inspirational role model for women and it was almost like a burden because I didn’t I didn’t think I could measure up to that stare upon me. I became paranoid about being caught in moments of weakness by the paparazzi.
I feel much better now to take on this responsibility. I think maybe I was too young. And while it’s very flattering and it’s amazing that women, in particular, admired many aspects of Scully and that it had a positive impact on their life choices and what followed, I think I was too young to take it on at the time.”
And even if she went again to see if the truth was still elsewhere by returning for two more seasons of the series in 2016 and 2018, which did not convince, the actress is moving forward and does not intend to dive back in X-Files soon if reboot there is. And this, even if new screenwriters are hired, a condition that she had nevertheless hinted in a recent interview for variety. His answer today at the CANNESERIES festival is clear:
“I’ll never play The X-Files again. It’s a question that keeps coming up. But I don’t know why people keep asking me that because I feel like I’m in the same position as the bands that have been playing for 30 years and who are constantly being asked to play their hits of yesteryear when they want us to like their new compositions. I repeat, it will not happen.”
A deal with Netflix for future projects
Gillian Anderson has other specific projects in mind for the future since she has signed a first look deal with Netflix, which means that the American giant will have a right of first look on all the projects that the actress will develop, as had been announced variety. She explains this choice:
“I seem to have done enough projects with them to know what to expect and to have confidence. And in fact, the collaboration started with The Fall since they participated in the financing of the series from the second episode. And then there was The Crown, Sex Education and this little animated film Ruby fell from the nest.
I feel like I know them well from both sides of the United States and the United Kingdom also thanks to Peter Morgan, my partner. I had this feeling of belonging to a family. And so it was great when they came up to me and asked if I was interested in this deal.”
The actress already has ideas for projects, both American and British, centered on societal and political subjects that matter to her and which can have an impact on the public, in development and some will be presented to Netflix:
“Right now I’m just focusing on productions that I can play in as well. I think eventually I might be supervising more than I’m playing, but I’ll have an executive spot.
But for the moment, I’m thinking of myself and I have young children so I want to stay at home as much as possible and work with companies that have a human touch unlike some big studios. And there are some companies like Netflix that have that kind of mentality even though it’s a huge company now. That’s kind of why I said yes and why I liked working with them.”
Comments collected in Cannes on April 2, 2022 during a round table with other journalists.