|EMMY AWARD WINNER |
(Actress - The X-Files; The Last King of Scotland; Princess Mononoke)
*Appearing SATURDAY & SUNDAY
|Gillian Leigh Anderson (born August 9, 1968) is an English American actress. After beginning her career in theatre, Anderson achieved international recognition for her role as Special Agent Dana Scully on the American television series The X-Files. Her film work includes The House of Mirth (2000), The Mighty Celt (2005), The Last King of Scotland (2006), and two X-Files films, The X-Files (1998) and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).|
Anderson is of English and Irish descent, and was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Rosemary Anderson (née Lane), a computer analyst, and Edward Anderson, who owned a film post-production company. Soon after her birth, her family moved to Puerto Rico for 15 months; she then lived for five years in Roseberry Gardens, London N4, and finally for 15 months in Albany Road, London N4, so that her father could attend the London Film School. When Anderson was 11 years old, her family moved again, this time to Grand Rapids, Michigan. She attended Fountain Elementary and then City High-Middle School, a program for gifted students with a strong emphasis on the humanities; she graduated in 1986.
With her English accent and background, Anderson was mocked and felt out of place in the American Midwest and soon adopted a Midwest accent. To this day, her accent depends on her location — for instance, in an interview with Jay Leno she spoke in an American accent, but shifted it for an interview with Michael Parkinson. She had her nose pierced in the early 1980s and dyed her hair various colors. Her high school classmates voted her as “Most Bizarre,” “Class Clown”, “Most Likely to go Bald” and “Most Likely to be Arrested.” Fulfilling the last of these predictions, she was caught trying to jam the high school doors by filling their locks with glue on the eve of her graduation, for which she was arrested.
Anderson was interested in marine biology, but began acting her freshman year in high school productions, and later in community theater, and served as a student intern at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre & School of Theatre Arts. She attended The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago (formerly the Goodman School of Drama), where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1990. She also participated in the National Theatre of Great Britain’s summer program at Cornell University.
Anderson’s brother died aged 30 of a brain tumour in 2011.
Anderson moved to New York when she was 22 years old. To support herself when she started her career, Anderson worked as a waitress. She began her career in Alan Ayckbourn’s play, Absent Friends at the Manhattan Theatre Club alongside Brenda Blethyn; she won the 1990–91 Theatre World “Newcomer” Award for her role. Her next theatrical role was in Christopher Hampton’s The Philanthropist at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.
Anderson moved to Los Angeles in 1992, spending a year auditioning. Although she had once vowed she would never do TV, being out of work for a year changed her mind. Anderson did Home Fires Burning for a cable station, as well as the audio book version of Exit to Eden. She broke into mainstream television in 1993, with a guest appearance on the collegiate drama, Class of ‘96, on the fledgling Fox Network.
As a result of her guest appearance in Class of 96, Anderson was sent the script for The X Files at the age of 24. She decided to audition because “for the first time in a long time, the script involved a strong, independent, intelligent woman as a lead character.” Producer Chris Carter wanted to employ her, but Fox wanted someone with previous TV exposure and greater sex appeal. Fox sent in more actresses, but Carter stood by Anderson, and she was eventually cast as Special Agent Dana Scully. Anderson got the part assuming it would run for 13 episodes, the standard minimum order for American TV networks. Filmed for the first five seasons in Vancouver before moving to Los Angeles, the series would run for nine seasons, and included two films, released in 1998 and 2008. During her time on The X Files, Anderson won several awards for her portrayal of Special Agent Scully, including an Emmy Award, Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for “Best Actress in a Drama Series.” While filming, Anderson met assistant art director Clyde Klotz, whom she would eventually marry.
In 1997 work on the independent film Cab Chicago in 1998 starred in the film Playing by Heart with Sean Connery, Angelina Jolie, Ellen Burstyn and Anthony Edwards also worked in the film The Mighty with Sharon Stone.
In 1999, Anderson had a supporting role in the English-language release of Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, where she voiced the character of Moro. Anderson is a fan of Miyazaki’s work. She also took part in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.
Again in 2000 starred in the film The House of Mirth with Eric Stoltz, an adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel of the same name, where she won such awards as the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress, also British Independent Film Award for Best Actress and Village Voice Film Poll Best Lead Performance.
When The X-Files ended, Anderson performed in several stage productions and worked on various film projects. She has participated in narrative work for documentaries on scientific topics. In 2005, she appeared as Lady Dedlock in the BBC television adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel Bleak House, had a starring role in the Irish film The Mighty Celt (for which she won an IFTA award for Best International Actress) and performed in A Cock and Bull Story, a film version of the novel Tristram Shandy.
In 2006, Anderson was nominated for a British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) for Best Actress and won the Broadcasting Press Guild Television and Radio Award for Best Actress for her role in Bleak House. Anderson also received an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie” for her performance as Lady Dedlock. She was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Bleak House and came in second place in the Best Actress category of the 2005 BBC Drama website poll for her performance as Lady Dedlock (Billie Piper came in first and Anna Maxwell Martin came in third).
During 2006 and 2007, Anderson appeared in two British films: The Last King of Scotland with James McAvoy (2006) and Straightheads with Danny Dyer (2007).
Anderson hosted Masterpiece Theatre during the Jane Austen series.
From December 2007 to March 11, 2008, Anderson filmed The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
Anderson portrayed Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House at the Donmar Warehouse in London’s West End during a limited engagement which ran from May 14, 2009 until July 18, 2009.
Anderson had a nomination for Best Actress in the Lawrence Olivier Awards 2010, for productions which opened in the 2009 calendar year for her portrayal of Nora. In April 2011 she starred in the BBC adaptation The Crimson Petal and the White as Mrs. Castaway.
Anderson appears as the head of MI7 Pamela Thornton in Johnny English Reborn, which opened internationally in Australia on September 15, 2011, and to some acclaim as Miss Havisham in a three-part BBC adaptation of Great Expectations that aired in late December 2011. On February 3, 2012, TVWise reported that Gillian Anderson had been cast in the lead role for a new drama series for BBC Two titled The Fall.