Gillian Anderson interview

Gillian Anderson on taking the X-Files onto the big screen in I Want To Believe, working with David Duchovny again and what it's like to be back in Scully's shoes

It seemed you wanted to do all these things in England and have a whole different career – and leave the X-Files behind. So why return to it?

"I did and I did. But I think I have always made it pretty clear that were we to come together in order to do a film, I would be happy and willing and hopefully able to participate. There were a few times there when it looked like it might not happen but I was always on board."

Could this movie could be the first of several?

"If we are able to do one that appeals to a mass audience perhaps we might do another one, but we'll have to see."

What is it like to return to the X-Files?

"I wasn't so much cocky, but I was really confident it was going to be easy on the first day. And I wasn't afraid at all. Usually I am terrified before I start something. Then for the first couple of days it sucked. It was horrible.

"I've spent such a long time trying not to do anything even remotely resembling Scully while working, so when I was inviting her back again my brain was going 'No, no, this isn't supposed to be happening'. Also, we happened to start on the worst possible scene we could have started with."

Which was?

"It was a confrontation scene. I hadn't even been 'normal Scully' before I had to be 'upset Scully'."

What is the biggest difference between Scully now, and the last time we saw her?

"I think she's more relaxed. She has made choices in her life that have allowed her to do what she wants to do, and that's mellowed her a little. She hasn't lost any of her determination... but she is mellowed a bit."

Why did you agree to make the movie? Was it that you didn't want to be the one who said no and then the whole thing might fall apart?

"Even at the times when I was very outspoken about the challenges of the show, it was still something I wouldn't have changed for the world. I was always aware it was something unique and valuable and precious... Coming back together again has been exciting."

What do you think people like about Scully?

"She was this feisty, fiery, intelligent, buster of everything who was strangely appealing to people. In the TV series she was just so different from what people had seen at the time."

Do you think she became a role model?

"Absolutely. And I think that was primarily due to Chris Carter (X-Files creator and director of the movie). He was determined to keep Scully that way. I remember crying once when I was holding a gun and I got this call from Chris to say, 'Scully wouldn't cry'. I had to be reminded just who this person is... I think her resilience and her strength, her intelligence and her determination were appealing to lots of young women."

Is the relationship the heart of the new movie?

"Like I'm going to answer that!"

How much easier is it working with David Duchovny again now you're not on top of each other 16 hours a day?

"It is great; it was great then, too. It's like a sibling relationship... and now we have grown up I think we are more appreciative of the relationship and the unique experience we have had together. We have always loved each other and are always going have the occasional battle."

How is life in London?

"It's really good, it is excellent. I like it very much."

Are you going to stay here?


What next?

"I've done a couple of comedies recently, which I have been wanting to do for a long time. For me it's about diversity, the quality of the work and also about schedule. It's not that I'm lazy, but my main objective is to continue a balance in terms of work."

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