Q&A: Gillian Anderson
March 5, 2011
By Rosanna Greenstreet
Gillian Anderson, 42, was born in Chicago but spent most of her childhood in London. She attended the Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago and, at 24, was cast as Agent Scully in the television series The X-Files. Her films include A Cock And Bull Story and The Last King Of Scotland. In 2006 she won a Bafta for her role as Lady Dedlock in the BBC's adaptation of Bleak House, and last year she was nominated for an Olivier Award for the role of Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House at the Donmar. She stars in the BBC's new mini series, The Crimson Petal & The White.
When were you happiest?
In the womb.
What is your greatest fear?
What is your earliest memory?
One year old in Puerto Rico, my feet in the sand, wearing only a nappy, and cradling eggs in the crook of my arm.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Obama, because against all odds, he's getting the job done with grace and integrity.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Thinking I was doing Victoria Beckham a favour by putting her shirt collar down. It never occurred to me she might want it that way. Needless to say my charitable act did not go down too well.
What is your most treasured possession?
My children - Piper, Oscar and Felix. Obviously I do not possess them, but saying anything else would seem plain wrong.
What makes you unhappy?
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
Who would play you in the film of your life?
What is your most unappealing habit?
Cat or dog?
Dog: I'm allergic to the fact that cats know more about me than I know about myself.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
My high school geography teacher, for putting gum on her chair and ruining her favourite skirt.
Have you ever said "I love you" and not meant it?
Which living person do you most despise?
Toss up between Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
What is the worst job you've done?
Pilot of The X-Files.
How do you relax?
Beating myself into submission.
What is the closest you've come to death?
A bull elephant in Kenya moving towards our car as we tried to do a three-point turn in a dead end.
What keeps you awake at night?
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That I'm not in charge.
Tell us a joke
What did the zero say to the eight?