Posted by Megan
/ On 18 March 2012
The “X-Files” actress, no stranger to period television, says she was originally approached to star on the hit British series.
Downton Abbey could have been a bit different.
The British series, which has been a stateside success on PBS, apparently wanted to cast Gillian Anderson in one of its lead roles
The 43-year-old X-Files actress, next appearing on PBS’ Masterpiece Classic update of Great Expectations, told TV Guide Magazine that she was originally approached to star on the Emmy-winning series.
Posted by Megan
/ On 17 March 2012
Latest role. Playing Miss Havisham in the PBS miniseries Great Expectations. I love getting paid to be a nut job.
On moving between America and Britain, where I live now. I was born in the United States, spent my formative years in the United Kingdom, then moved to Michigan when I was 11. Initially I was excited about the adventure. I didn’t take into account how much my Britishness would set me apart.
What’s British and what’s American about me. I was just in Los Angeles and the sun was shining and I was smiling a lot. I feel like I’m a nicer person when I’m in America. The British side of me is grumpier.
The difference between raising boys and girls. Night and day. With my sons [Oscar, 5, and Felix, 3], if there’s something to climb, it will be climbed; if there’s something to break, it will be broken; if there’s something on a surface, they will knock it off. When my daughter [Piper, 17] was young, all she wanted to do was color.
We caught up with Gillian Anderson during Climate Week who returns to her reputation for debunking myths by showing how electric vehicles are a viable driving alternative as she tries out the Nissan LEAF. Get involved at
For nearly a decade, as Scully in the ‘X-Files,’ she was one of TV’s hottest commodities. Now, she’s remade herself in a series of demanding stage roles and smart TV dramas, such as the upcoming adaptation of ‘Great Expectations.’
Photography by Roger Erickson
Gillian Anderson remembers being struck by a magazine article in which a woman in her late forties escapes the constraints of marriage and motherhood for a solo vacation — “to somewhere like Italy.” There, she finds herself at a dinner party among guests she does not know. “She decided that she wasn’t going to mention she had kids,” says Anderson in an accent that skitters pleasantly between British and American. “It was fascinating to read. It changes the energy of the conversation if people are talking about their kids — it puts you in the room as this wildcard, and people look at you like you don’t understand, and how would you know?”