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December 29, 1998

Gillian Anderson: The Gillian Files

PETER GRAVES: Up next, another actress who has conquered television and reaped the rewards. Gillian Anderson is Agent Dana Scully in 'The X-Files' and one of the toughest women in Hollywood. Our 'Biography' threesome will continue in a moment with Gillian Anderson.

[Clips of Scully in the maze in 'Humbug', Gillian at an awards show, and Scully eating the cricket in 'Humbug'.]

(commercial break)

[Clips of Gillian and David at the Golden Globes, Gillian as Loretta Lee in 'The Mighty', a magazine photo, Scully looking around Mulder's office in the pilot, Gillian with Jon Stewart in 'Playing by Heart'.]

[Shots of Gillian as a baby, with her parents, with her mother and as a young girl, with stock footage of Chicago, San Juan, and London.]

Host Peter Graves: The magazine Entertainment Weekly has crowned Gillian Anderson the toughest TV diva in town. She's a no nonsense actress who demands top billing and top dollars. Anderson earned four million top dollars the first time she starred in a major movie. Of course her clout comes from The X-Files. It's one of America's runaway hits, with Gillian Anderson playing one of television's ground-breaking characters.

Narrator: If there's one thing Gillian Anderson has come to expect in life is the unexpected. With the extraordinary success of Fox's TV The X-Files, Gillian found herself at the epicenter of a cult phenomena. On TV she's the cool and pragmatic agent Dana Scully, investigating UFOs and alien visitors. Off-screen she's a dedicated actress, juggling demands of fame and family. From spirited schoolgirl to rebellious teen to television superstar. Success came from hard work, luck and not being afraid to take some risks.


Narrator: (Chicago, IL) The first entry in the Gillian files is August 9th, 1968. Gillian Leigh Anderson was born that day in Chicago - the first of many homes. Gillian grew up as an only child, a constant companion to her parents in a nomadic journey around the world. When she was six months old, the family moved from Chicago to Puerto Rico where Gillian's grandfather worked in the Air Force. Less than two years later the Andersons packed up and moved again, this time across the Atlantic (London, England). Gillian's father was pursuing a career in film production taking classes at The London International Film School. Despite the instability and constant change in surroundings, Gillian was surprisingly grounded and confident she may not always known where she was but she knew who she was.

Rosemary Anderson, Mother: I always felt that Gillian was born telling people what to do or directing. She like to be in charge of things. She always knew her own mind. She knew also that she wanted to do things Gillian's way.

[More shots of Gillian as a young girl.]

Narrator: Gillian was smart, friendly and curious with a definite flair for the outrageous.

Rosemary Anderson, Mother: We said it's time for bed, go get ready for bed and a...few minutes later she [Gillian] came back into the room and she said “well I was in the bathroom and there was this great big spider” and she said “and here it is!” She open this tissue and drop it on the bed between us. [laughs]

[Stock footage of London, of Grand Rapids and of City High/Middle School. Shot of Gillian as young girl, as teenager with her parents and young Aaron and sitting in front of a Christmas tree holding Aaron and Zoe in her arms.]

Narrator: Gillian was happy in London and thrived on the city's energy but her family was on the move again, this time to Grand Rapids Michigan. It could not have been further from the life Gillian have known and loved. Adjusting to America was difficult. Gillian remembers being withdrawn in school and making frequent trips to the Principal's office. At home life was changing for the Andersons, Gillian became a big sister in 1981 with the birth of her brother Aaron. About a year later sister Zoe was born. Though years apart the siblings were always close.

Zoe, Sister: The kind of big sister that will get you anything you want and will understand, understand how you're feeling and...but she'll always need her space kind of.

[Shot of Gillian as a teen with punkish hair style and one with shorter hair.]

Narrator: Gillian's independent spirit came through loud and clear during her teen years when she experimented with outrageous hairstyles and clothing and wore a nose ring. In High School she dated a 24 year old punk rocker.

Rosemary Anderson, Mother: Obvious that she needed ways to express herself and these seemed pretty harmless to me. So her hair color changed fairly regularly. I don't remember being particularly alarmed. I also probably felt - 'Oh you know its a stage they're going through.'

[Several other shots of Gillian with varied hairstyles, one with a lizard on her shoulder.]

Narrator: For Gillian her rebellion was not a stage but a natural part of expressing herself soon she'd find another mode of expression that will change her life forever.


[Several shots of Gillian in high school productions, in school, and a DePaul brochure with her among three students on the cover.]

Narrator: At the age of sixteen, Gillian Anderson was bitten by the acting bug after performing in a small part in local theatre. After High School she studied theatre at DePaul University in Chicago. The intense four-year program gave Gillian a chance to develop her craft and to get noticed.

[Shot of Gillian with Ric Murphy.]

Ric Murphy, Theatre School Professor: Her presence on stage is extraordinary you can't take your eyes off her. I mean she walked in the room at the audition I knew, you can just tell.

[Stock footage of New York City, a still of the Playbill for 'Absent Friends', several stills of Gillian from that production.]

Narrator: Next stop was New York City, she arrived in 1990 and it was not long before she got a big part in the off Broadway play Absent Friends...and her performance earned Gillian a prestigious Theatre World Award in 1991. While in New York Gillian fell in love with a fellow actor and decided to follow him out to Los Angeles but the move to L.A. will last longer than the relationship.


[Stock footage of Los Angeles, and a shot of 'The X-Files' logo]

Narrator: Gillian got off to a rough start in Hollywood. There were long stretches of unemployment interspersed with an occasional small part. But everything changed in 1993 when she heard about an unusual TV pilot called The X-Files looking for its female lead.

Chris Carter, Creator, The X-Files: And she came in and I knew immediately that she was Scully before she even spoke. There was just something about her she looked nothing like she looks now. Ah...she looked like kind of a street urchin. And ah...but I can tell there was a seriousness about her and smarts...a wisdom about her beyond her age.

[Two publicity shots of Gillian and David as Scully and Mulder]

Narrator: Gillian was offered the part opposite David Duchovny and two days later she was packing a suitcase once again. This time on her way to Vancouver to begin production, she was just 24 years old. The X-Files was about two FBI agents investigating paranormal phenomenon. From their first scene together it was clear their relationship will be a focal point of the show.

[Scene with Scully meeting Mulder in his office from the pilot]

Scully: Agent Mulder. I'm Dana Scully. I've been assigned to work with you.

Mulder: Oh, isn't it nice to be suddenly so highly regarded. So who did you tick off to get stuck with this detail, Scully?

Scully: Actually, I'm looking forward to working with you. I've heard a lot about you.

Mulder: Oh really? I was under the impression that you were sent to spy on me.

[Publicity shot of Gillian in midst of David comments]

David Duchovny, Actor: Our show began as like a Sci-Fi show or as a cop show, it never really centered on the emotional life of the character. It's always been something that Gillian and I, as actors, have been begging for. The writers gave her some stuff in the first year that have a more emotional depth and she really seized on it and I think she showed that it could work within the framework of the show.

[Still from 'Fight the Future' with Scully and Mulder at the microscope]

Narrator: It wasn't a typical cop show and it wasn't conventional Sci-Fi fare. Viewers who tuned in witnessed things no one had ever seen on television. (cut to a scene where Scully is putting a bug in her mouth)

[Scene from 'Humbug': The Enigma eats the crickets]

Doctor Blockhead: But where are my manners?

(He offers Scully a jar of crickets. She takes one.)

Scully: Thank you.

(Scully puts the cricket in her mouth and walks away.)

David Duchovny, Actor: She did put it in her mouth. I don't think she ate it. You can ask her (grinning) but you know I never saw her chew it and I was standing right there.

[Publicity photo of Gillian and David as Scully and Mulder. Two stills of Gillian with Clyde Klotz. Another publicity shot of Gillian as Scully. A shot of Gillian.]

Narrator: Scully and Mulder were TV's new odd couple and their on-screen relationship was a lynch pin of the show. Off-screen, Gillian had a new real-life relationship. She met Clyde Klotz, an artistic director for the X-Files, in 1993 while shooting the show's pilot. They were married just months after they began dating. Soon came a stunning announcement...Gillian was expecting a baby. Gillian feared the worst that she would be fired and replaced but Chris Carter was determined to keep her on. Gillian gave birth to a girl, Piper Maru, in September 1994. Fiercely protective, Gillian refused photographers requests to take pictures of the baby. She was quickly adapting to her new role as a mother.

[Still of Gillian with Zoe behind her at a public appearance in the midst of Rosemary Anderson's comments.]

Rosemary Anderson, Mother: I think every woman changes when they become a mother and Gillian certainly was no exception and perhaps more than some. She said so quite often herself that she had been pretty self-centered for a very long time and that it was quite a revelation to her.

[Still of Gillian wearing a baseball cap.]

Narrator: The show's popularity was exploding and Gillian the actress and new mother had to learn to take on yet another role...celebrity.

(commercial break)


[Clip of Gillian at a public appearance, with David before the 1997 Golden Globes. Still of Gillian and Clyde Klotz. Clip of David kissing Gillian on stage after the awards.]

Narrator: By the time she was in her mid-20s Gillian Anderson was an international superstar. Off-screen her marriage was falling apart and just hours before she arrived at the 1997 Golden Globe Awards news broke that she and husband Clyde had separated. In a show of support and loyalty co-star David Duchovny escorted her to the ceremony that evening where she took home the award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series. No question Gillian was hot now. The explosion of the internet has given fans another outlet to show their appreciation for the web's number one cyber girl.

[Shots of numerous web pages devoted to Gillian. The pages are:]

Yahoo's GA page
Richard's Gillian Anderson-Galleri
The GA Classic Collection
The House of GA
The Israeli Gillian Anderson's Home Page
Order of the Blessed St. Scully the Enigmatic (OBSSE)
PC Babe - Gillian Anderson
The Gillian Anderson Testosterone Brigade (GATB)
Scullywear Auxiliary Brigade
The Thinking Man's Crumpet
The Wonderful World of Gillian Anderson
La Gallerie Gillian Anderson du Web Francophone
Genuine Admirers of Gillian Anderson (GAGA)
Gillian Anderson Web Site (GAWS)

David Duchovny, Actor: I think, you know, it's a combination of the show being a really popular computer-type person show. You know, obviously she warrants the attention but I think that our show is particular popular among people that are really fast with their fingers.

[Shot of photos from the PC Babe web site in midst of David's comments.]

Narrator: For Gillian one price of success was the fear she'd be pigeon-holed into a career of Scully-like parts.

Chris Carter, Creator, The X-Files: I think people are so used to her as Scully that they have no idea that she is...that she got this big big laugh, this big girlish laugh. She's a funny and personable and I don't think she has any interest in science whatsoever.

[Shot of film crew outside the house from 'The Mighty'.]

Narrator: An opportunity to showcase her versatility came in a form of an unusual family film called The Mighty.

Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman Miramax Films: Gillian Anderson, when she's not doing The X-Files, wants to do something unique and different. Something that's different than her persona on the show. So every time we've discusses things she'll take a smaller part in a movie like The Mighty where she gets to play this outrageous biker chick.

[scene from 'The Mighty', with Kevin and Maxwell at Loretta's door.]

Kieran Culkin (Kevin): Loretta Lee?

GA (Loretta): Iggy? Is the circus in town?

KC: I believe this is yours. Have a nice day.

[Loretta unlocks the door and drags Kevin in]

GA: Jesus Christ! You just scared me half to death.

[Clip of the cast of 'The Mighty', with Gillian between Sharon Stone and Elden Henson. Still of GA and Jon Stewart from 'Playing by Heart'.]

Narrator: Her transformation was remarkable and wetted her appetite for more interesting roles. In 1999's Playing By Heart Gillian tries her hand at light romantic comedy. Deeply private and committed to her work Gillian Anderson, actress and mother, continues to take on new risks with the loyal support of her family, friends and a fan club that extends around the planet and maybe...beyond.

[Scene with GA and Jon Stewart from 'Playing by Heart']

JS: You know, I'm not just asking you to dinner as a preemptive strike against litigation. I'm asking because ...

GA: I'll have dinner with you.

JS: What changed your mind?

GA: Anybody that can say 'preemptive strike against litigation' with a straight face deserves a dinner companion.

[Clip of Gillian before an awards show.]

Chris Carter, Creator, The X-Files: I think the thing that's really amazing about her is how much she stayed the same. Her success, her celebrity, which is enormous, really hasn't changed her. I think she's...I don't know if she's comfortable with it but she certainly has the ability to process it, to handle it and to stay on the ground. She's a bright star.

[Still photo of Gillian from a magazine.]

Zoe, Sister: She definitely accomplished everything and anything you can hope for and she's certainly a role model to me...yeah I'm proud!

[Stills from 'Playing by Heart' in midst of Peter Graves' comments.]

Host Peter Graves: Next month Gillian Anderson is back in movie theatres in Playing By Heart. It's a love story with an ensemble cast that includes Sean Connery, Gena Rowlands and Dennis Quaid. She plays a career woman who trusts only one male...her dog.
Transcript provided by Dave Fox and Alfred Tow and appears courtesy of A&E's Biography.

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