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The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
Monday, December 16th, 1996

JAY: My first guest is an Emmy-nomintated actress who stars as the beautiful and highly intelligent Agent Scully in the very popular series X-Files. Please welcome Gillian Anderson!

(Crowd goes nuts. Gillian walks out, smiling broadly and waving with both hands [she seems to do that a lot.] She is wearing a black dress, long and long-sleeved, fairly tailored-looking, with a collar [though it's open far enough to show some cleavage] and belted at the waist. Black heels. Red lipstick and long red fingernails. Her hair is close to Scully's [down, no adornments] but much puffier. Throughout the interview she brushes back a piece that just won't stay where it belongs. She walks to the desk. Jay meets her halfway and kisses her cheek, then gestures toward the chair. She sits down. All through this the audience cheers wildly. As she sits down someone in the audience [female] yells something I can't make out. Gillian looks toward the audence and smiles again and says "Hi!" to everyone, then a long, drawn-out "Wow!" to Jay with a big smile.)

JAY: Hey, thanks for comin'.

GILLIAN: Thank you. Can I - can I just talk about my nails?

JAY: Your nails? Sure.

GILLIAN: My nails. I - nails like this are like not a part of my life, and never have been. (Jay chuckles) And I honestly - I did a photo shoot last night, and um - the makeup artist left without leaving anything for me to take them off, and - which is why I have them here today - and it's - I feel very grown-up, with them on - I don't know how many people actually have them - (looks at audience)

JAY: Really?

GILLIAN: - but you feel older in some way, you have...longer fingers, they're kinda spindly...

JAY: Can you do that - make that noise? (Jay drums his fingertips on desk. Gillian taps her fingernails on the desk too, and then the microphone. It makes a noise but not a loud one.)

GILLIAN: No, no, can't do that.

JAY: I always remember women making that noise when I was little.

GILLIAN: But - you do?

JAY: Yeah. That noise and this noise. When my mother would have women over and they didn't want us to - before they started talking they'd always do this with the cup - (he stirs whatever's in his mug with his pen - it clinks against the ice in the cup. Jay mugs for audience - like an "oooohhh" look - they laugh.)


JAY: That means - important stuff is gonna happen.

GILLIAN: That's - that's very annoying. That's very annoying.

JAY: Stuff guys shouldn't know.

GILLIAN: But - but like, how do women pull up nylons with these things on? I don't get it.

JAY: (with a slight leer) Now you got my mind going. (Audience laughs.)

GILLIAN: (laughing too) How would you do it, Jay?

JAY: How would I do it? I don't know...but I like them, I think they look very sexy (her nails).

GILLIAN: They are nice. (smiles) I like them too.

JAY: Are you gonna keep them for a while, do you like that -

GILLIAN: I can't, well - once I - I start work again tomorrow, um - it wouldn't be appropriate for autopsies, I don't think. (Audience laughs) I might - I might lose one, and, and uh, yeah. (makes ooky face at audience)

JAY: Now your show - obviously is huge - now you do the show in Canada - This is why it's hard to get you here, cause you're always *up* there. [OK, Jay, but you HAVE managed to get *David* three or four times...]

GILLIAN: That's right. (nods)

JAY: But -

GILLIAN: I mean, we have to take days off of shooting, to come down, and - and, uh - it messes everything up.

JAY: And they just write you out for that day, like, you were hit by a truck or something.

GILLIAN: Exactly. I get hit by a truck all the time on the show. And then I survive.

JAY: Now what was it - we were talking about, told me you were taking Italian lessons - what was - not really - (Gillian bends forward, laughing) What was that story? You know what I'm talking about?

GILLIAN: Yeah - no - I - I got a bit of an Italian lesson. I, um - I was at a restaurant in Vancouver, and, um - I was with a group of people, and we were all eating, and somebody got up to go to the bathroom and came back and had informed us that, in the bathroom, um, there was a tape playing, of Italian lessons. And I kinda -

JAY: ...*In* the bathroom?

GILLIAN: *In* the bathroom. Like while you're sitting on the john, you hear... (gestures with hand)

JAY: Oh, not how to go to the bathroom in Italian.

GILLIAN: Not *how* to go to the bathroom - but close. Cause - I kinda put that information inside my head, and then after - after dinner I went to the bathroom and I open up the door, and I hear - (faces audience, speaks in deep, resounding voice) I HAVE DIARRHEA. (Audience laughs - Gillian laughs too) Il con diarrerre - And I thought - (holds out hands, irked expression) Who's talking to me? Are you talking to me? Like - like - I don't *need* that information, thank you very much. (Jay laughs) But then it was - you know - where's the telephone. Dove il telefono. It was uh - it was very funny.

JAY: Was it a male voice or a female voice?

GILLIAN: It was a male voice.

JAY: See that's even worse.

GILLIAN: It was. It was -

JAY: You're sitting on the john and you hear (deep voice) I HAVE DIARRHEA. Hey! Hey! (Audience laughs)

GILLIAN: It sounded very graphic.

JAY: Well, yeah...

GILLIAN: It did indeed.

JAY: Well let me ask you about - now you are on more magazine covers - and these wonderful sort of - half-naked magazine covers - (Gillian puts her head in her hand in mock embarrassment. Jay holds up three magazines - the British Esquire from this month with Gillian standing up, no shirt on, wearing long black gloves, her arms crossed over her chest and forming an "X" [did they do that on purpose? Cool]; the Rolling Stone with David and Gillian in bed, covered by the sheets from the waist down and naked from the waist up - Gillian is turned over so you can't see her breasts [as if anyone doesn't know what this picture looks like :) ]; and one more that I can't see. He puts them all back behind the desk quickly except for the Rolling Stone.) And this Rolling Stone - Now let me ask you about this picture - because I got this issue - uh - uh - (holds up the RS - close-up on it - audience "whoo"s)

GILLIAN: See I'm doing - I'm doing this thing with my nails (the tapping thing) when you were doing that...That's what they're for.

JAY: Now are you g - now - what is going on below - the sheet part here? (points to cover of RS)

GILLIAN: (smiling) Uh -

JAY: Are you guys dressed for this part or -

GILLIAN: Yeah, we are - I - I had um - I - we both had underwear on...we both had...briefs on.

JAY: Briefs?

GILLIAN: Well - you know - like I had those little - what are they called, those um -

JAY: Oh, describe them as *best* you can.

GILLIAN: Those - yeah. (laughs, so does audience) Those little - you know, those silk women's under - what are they *called*? (looks at audience) What - N - Yeah, they're like silk boxers for women -

JAY: (to audience) No - Don't make it any easier for her! Please. (Gillian laughs)

GILLIAN: And - and he had some silk boxers on, and it was...It was fun, it was a fun shoot, it was, uh - you know because everybody's always asking are we ever gonna be in bed together, and - and we're not, ever on the show, I don't think, but it was kind of like a - a tease, for the audience, in a way.

JAY: Well it's a great show, you know, it's - it's - I was saying, it is better written than most movies I've seen lately. Cause the - the stories really are exciting.

GILLIAN: Yeah...

JAY: And - and they they really - you know they, boom boom, snap along (snaps fingers)

GILLIAN: We - we - we have a - an amazing group of writers on the show. We're very f -

JAY: But about these pictures again...

GILLIAN: Fortun...yeah? (Grins, looking mischievous as if she is going to be in trouble. Audience laughs) Are you gonna sh -

JAY: Now you come from, I would guess - Midwest, sort of - conservative background - Like when Grandma looks through these things - (Reaching for the RS again he suddenly, inadvertently triggers the thing to make the TV screen come up behind them. On it is a still picture of David and Gillian, the beginning of the clip they will show later. Gillian jumps and makes a startled noise.)

JAY: Ooh, what'd I hit, what'd I hit, did I hit something - (Screen goes back down)

GILLIAN: (having seen the picture on the screen) Oh, *God*! (bends forward, laughing, hand over her mouth. Audience laughs too. Jay looks around at the audience like a guilty little boy. Gillian, still laughing, leans back in the chair, her hand over her heart. Audience applauds and cheers.)

JAY: Wait a minute Wait a minute - wait - we just - Wait, that was like - (Gillian is still laughing. Jay waits until the audience is quiet, then speaks in "surfer dude" voice) OK that was like a X-File experience OK? (Audience laughs)

GILLIAN: I knew you were gonna say that. (Looks down at where the screen was) I knew you were gonna - JAY: Cause I didn't hit anything, that has never, like, happened, it didn't happen with Jimmy Carter, it didn't happen - this is the first time. (Picks up RS again) But did - have you ever - has your family - what does your family say? Do you hear from relatives about -

GILLIAN: I did - actually I got, um - I got a little letter - (Reaches behind her among the plants and pulls out a card) Isn't this convenient. (Makes a face)

JAY: Right th - oh that -

GILLIAN: OK, this is a letter from my grandmother. She - she hasn't actually seen the cover of the Rolling Stone but she had heard about it, through a neighbor, friend of a neighbor of a neighbor. And she was quite distressed. And she wrote, Dear - (Looks at Jay - he is doing something we can't see. Audience titters.) She wrote - (giggles) She wrote Dear Gillie, I was very very sorry to hear that you ran out of clothing. (Audience laughs) Maybe I should send you some money to buy a new dress or two. I'm going to plant several fig trees to make sure we have plenty of leaves to cov - cover you with if you ever run out of clothing again. (Audience laughs) Loving you very much but wondering why you stripped or flipped or whatever. (Closes card, smiling.)

JAY: Oooh, Grandma. Oooh.

GILLIAN: She has a gr - No, it's wonderful, she has a great sense of humor.

JAY: Oh no, that's good, that's good. (They both smile) Now - obviously, I - I see some of the nutball mail I get. Now on your show, you must hear from like, really odd - Like I heard - were you supposed to go to London for something?

GILLIAN: I was told, that I'm going to be in London next week presenting somebody with a two million dollar insurance claim check, cause he - he's receiving two million dollars of - um - abduction insurance. *Alien* abduction insurance.

JAY: Oh and you were gonna present -

GILLIAN: And apparently I'm - I'm gonna be there to present him with his two million dollars. [Note: Don't her agents or whoever *consult* her before they commit her to things like this? Do they just say, "Hey, Gillian, you're flying to London next week to present this yahoo with his alien abduction insurance claim check"? :) ]

JAY: Now this is -

GILLIAN: But they have that now.

JAY: They have abduction insurance?

GILLIAN: They - they have alien abduc - and they have alien pregnancy insurance now. (Audience laughs. Gillian makes a slightly skeptical face)

JAY: Oh, that's - yeah...I think, uh - didn't, uh - Michael Jackson's wife have that, I think?

GILLIAN: Ooooooohhh. (Audience is doing the same thing, then cheers. Jay laughs. Gillian takes a sip of her water.)

JAY: Now you do a lot of special effects on the show

GILLIAN: Can I - can I put my cup here? (on the desk) Is that OK?

JAY: (in husky, leering voice) You can do whatever you *want*. (Audience laughs. Gillian nods and smiles) It's your show. You're a star. You're a star, baby. Whatever you want. You got it.

GILLIAN: (wearily, but smiling) *Ohhhh* Jay.

JAY: The desk. Take it home.

GILLIAN: (smacks lips, puts cup down) Ahh.

JAY: Like on your show, when I see all these - obviously, they don't always go well, I think that's what this - this little clip is about -

GILLIAN: Yeah yeah yeah, we - we have a little clip that's very funny, you don't usually see us - smiling, very much on the show, or laughing very much - and in this particular clip we were supposed to - we were in a grave, of course - and, uh, we find a, a - kaddish (rhyming with radish), kaddish, kaddish (rhyming with cloddish), it's a - a Jewish book on mysticism, and uh - while we're holding onto it and figuring out what it is it's supposed to burst into flames, and - and this is what happens when - it doesn't work.

JAY: Take a look.


[This is apparently from the upcoming episode "Kaddish." Everyone watch for this scene when the ep airs!]

(Take 1: A shot of David, left, and Gillian, chests up, in their S and M outfits. David is holding a book, looking at it. Gillian, slightly behind him, looks over his shoulder at it. Both are wearing rubber gloves [though her hands aren't showing at the moment]. Atmosphere is dark, of course. They are both composed.)

Director (off-camera) Action!

(Both stare at the book for a moment. It crackles a little.)

David: It's got gas. (He holds it up to his ear. Gillian smiles. People off-camera titter.)

(Take 2: Same shot.)

Director: Action!

(The book begins to smoke slightly.)

David: Close. Little smoke.

(Gillian blows on it)

David (leaning slightly toward her): Blow on it. (looking off-camera) Do you have a bellows? (Gillian laughs. David laughs and hands the book to someone off-camera. Gillian holds her hands together, facing, one on top of the other, and simulates a bellows. David looks at her and laughs. Laughter off-camera.)

(Take 3: Same shot.)

Director: Action!

(The book bursts into flame.)

David (muttered): Whoa! (Drops book, which continues to flame. They both stare at it. David rubs his hands together as if they are hot [you can't see his hands] and makes an uncomfortable face. Gillian smiles, then composes herself. They both continue to stare at the book. Then he looks up at her, she looks at him, and they both crack up.)

(Back to Leno's show. Audience cheers. Gillian grins.)

JAY: Folks! Uh, the show is The X-Files, it's on Sunday nights - (touching Gillian's arm) You do a great job. You're a wonderful wonderful actress.

GILLIAN: Thank you.

JAY: It really is a - a terrific, terrific show. (Audience cheers wildly as segment ends) Gillian Anderson! We'll be right back with Bob Dole right after this!

Well, there you have it. Hope it was enjoyable. After Gillian was Bob Dole, and after him was Vanessa Williams singing a song. Gillian was onstage the whole time but didn't speak again except at the beginning of Vanessa Williams' interview segment: Vanessa says that she has a Jillian, but with a J. Gillian says, "Ahhh...Traitor." Vanessa talks about her daughter Jillian, looking at Gillian when she says the name. That's about it.

Transcript provided by Cathy and appears courtesy of The Tonight Show.

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