The Interview: Gillian Anderson
30 OCTOBER 1997 | WRITTEN BY GARTH PEARCE
Dana Scully never admits to a close encounter, but Gillian Anderson gets tingles that have more to do with love than an alien invasion.
The scene called for Gillian Anderson to show fear and revulsion. Handsome actor Rod Rowland stood over the X Files star ready to pierce her skin with a tattoo needle. But, somehow, fear and repulsion were not the feelings uppermost in Gillian’s mind.
“I would have like to play up the erotic possibilities. I wanted to look into his eyes and acto out the pain and sensuality of the situation,” she says, “but I’m afraid Scully’s life is about her work, not about relationships.”
These days the actress voted sexiest woman in the world can stare into Rowland’s eyes as often as she likes. Ever since they met, Gillian, 29, and Rowland, 32, have been inseparable. There have even been reports that he’s proposed to her and that they plan to sneak off to Las Vegas for a private wedding.
“It’s great to have someone like him around,” she admits. “It’s very early days in our relationship. We met only a few months ago, so it would be madness to declare that we were meant for each other. Let’s just see what happens. I am very reluctant to trust a man or let him into my life. I have the same attitude when it comes to looking to the future and saying: “This is the man for me.” I’ve been burned too many times in the past for that.
“I feel sometimes that, wherever I go, trouble follows me around. I know I haven’t had the best of luck, but, if I have a choice, I prefer to have a man in my life.”
The troubles Gillian refers to include her marriage break-up and a friendship with an alleged sex offender.
Much of the controversy is a legacy of working 16-hour days for the past four years on the set of The X Files in Vancouver.
Her marriage to Canadian Clyde Klotz broke up after just 30 months, and her friendship with bit-part actor Adrian Hughes from Yorkshire was thrown into confusion when he was charged in Vancouver with a series of alleged sex assaults, which he has denied committing.
While her love for Rowland deepens, Gillian’s three-year-old daughter Piper remains her top priority. “I’m in love with Piper,” she declares. “She’s the most important person in the world to me and everything is done to make her the centre of my life. I would pull out of the show tomorrow if it was making her unhappy or tearing us apart.
“I have a nanny and I insist that she brings Piper to the set every day. She plays in my trailer and I see her between scenes and at lunch. It’s the only way we can have a life together, otherwise days would go by without having proper contact.
“It’s no secret that I like men – my God, if it’s not now it never will be – but I never let them rule my life. Any man will have to understand that about me.
“I married for love and I can’t see anything wrong with that – even now.”
But the haste with which Gillian married X Files’ assistant art director Klotz did not meet with universal approval. They had only known each other three months when they flew off to Hawaii and married on the 17th hole of a golf course. “Quite a lot of people were unsure about that,” she reflects, obviously not including herself at the time. “I think they were pretty nervous that my private life might start intruding into my working time.
“I had never been in such a big project before and didn’t realise how it can eat into your life.”
A virtual unknown before she clinched the role of Scully, Gillian has a golden future and is an international star, earning $75,000 a week. She recently played a drink-swigging biker in the film “The Mighty”. Sharon Stone has a part in it, “but it’s not a Sharon Stone movie,” Gillian stresses.
Gillian’s superstar status has attracted a name-your-fee offer from Playboy for her to pose nude, starting at $1 million. The offer came as something of a surprise to Gillian, as she has never regarded herself as obvious pin-up material. Indeed, though happy himself with her being cast as Scully, Chris Carter, executive producer of The X Files, wondered whether Gillian had the kind of instant sex appeal the TV bosses wanted.
“What it came down to with the TV network, was would she look good in a bathing suit?” says Carter.
Gillian’s own view is typically blunt: “I wasn’t the normal kind of bimbo looker and I think they were looking for a big-breasted blonde. I must have come as something of a shock and I can’t honestly see myself in Playboy.
“I’ve never considered myself a sex symbol, even though it’s so flattering to be thought of as one. To tell you the truth, I get a much greater kick out of a single compliment.”