For someone who once turned her nose up at television, Gillian Anderson is on the tube quite a lot. When the much-anticipated revival of the cult sci-fi program The X-Files—which made her famous and won her an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and two Screen Actors Guild awards more than a decade ago as the FBI agent Dana Scully—premieres as a six-part miniseries on Fox in January, the London-based actress will be on no less than three shows. There’s also NBC’s Hannibal, in which she plays Hannibal Lecter’s psychotherapist, and the BBC’s The Fall, where she stars as a detective tracking a serial killer. All three characters, by nature and by profession, seem to be coated with Teflon. “The challenge is to keep these women out of Scully,” Anderson says. “Especially when I’m having equally fearless conversations with other law enforcement officials.” She laughs and admits that reprising the meticulous Scully—whom she inhabited for nine seasons and two films—is a bit like riding a bike. “Somewhere before the first read, it’ll just click into gear.”
The truth is 201 days away.
Fox has released a new teaser for its upcoming X-Files event series, which premieres in January. According to the promo, if you so choose, you can create your own countdown and watch one episode of the original series per day beginning Tuesday – which will bring you right up to the Jan. 24 premiere of the six-episode event series.
The 40-second clip doesn’t include much new footage, save for a quick shot of FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) bursting into a dark room, guns drawn, right at the end.
Gillian Anderson is returning to the genre that made her a cultural icon – but it’s not on television. The newest project from the star of The X-Files is a book franchise called the EarthEnd Saga, a collaboration with co-writer Jeff Rovin, a prolific geek whose extensive bibliography includes works in the best-selling Tom Clancy’s Op-Center series. The first novel, entitled A Vision of Fire, will be published in October by Simon & Schuster through a new imprint devoted to literary and speculative fiction across all genres called Simon451, a nod to legendary author Ray Bradbury’s dystopian/sci-fi classic Fahrenheit 451.
“It’s been a fantastic experience,” Anderson tells EW, adding that she was inspired to give sci-fi world-building and storytelling a shot at the encouragement of Rovin, a friend of a friend. “I enjoy writing, but don’t usually allow myself the time, and I don’t think I’d ever think to write something in this genre without the prodding of someone like Jeff. But I realized I had ideas hidden within me for a series and a lead character, in this case, a heroine.” Referring to The X-Files, she says: “After nine years of living in a semi-science-fictional universe, I think I now have an ingrained knowledge and rhythm for it.”