June 14, 1998
Enslaved by Scully
By Loius B. Hobson
Despite X-Files fame, Gillian Anderson longs to be a free agent
HOLLYWOOD -- There are days when Gillian Anderson feels more like an alien than an alien tracker. For the past five years, Anderson has played FBI agent Dana Scully on the cult TV series The X-Files. She and her partner Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) routinely track every thing from werewolves and giant leeches to extraterrestrials who have apparently inhabited Earth at least as long as mankind has. Though the series has been a huge boost to Anderson's career, she feels she's being held captive by success and fame.
“There is so much more I'd like to do with my career and my life that The X-Files prevents me from doing. It demands most of my time,” says Anderson.
During her hiatus periods these past couple of years, Anderson has managed to film cameo roles in such films as The Mighty, Chicago Cab and Dancing About Architecture, which she is currently filming. Last summer she had to devote her summer to filming the $60-million US feature film version of The X-Files.
“The most rewarding thing for me about playing Scully is that she has become a role model for so many women. “I am constantly amazed by letters from women who say that Scully has helped them get through difficult times, especially with medical problems. Her strength in the face of so much adversity has become their strength.”
Otherwise, Anderson concedes that “being famous is complicated and highly overrated. It gives you unfathomable perks but leaves you with little or no privacy.
“It's so distressing to know that anywhere in the world you go, someone is probably taking your picture.” Anderson says this phenomenon has taken its toll on her relationships. “You go out once with a person and suddenly the press has you in some serious relationship. This is why it is easier to date another celebrity -- because they understand what you're going through.”
Anderson, 29, was married for two years to Clyde Klotz, an art director on The X-Files. They have a three-year-old daughter, Piper. Shortly after the divorce, Anderson began dating actor/model Adrian Hughes, but that relationship was cut short when it was revealed that Hughes was under investigation for five counts of sexual assault. Anderson's next relationship was with Rodney Rowland, an actor who played a killer possessed by a talking tattoo on an X-Files episode.
That relationship ended recently, and Anderson insists “at the moment, it's just my daughter and I. “A relationship takes much more energy and focus than I have to give right now. “I certainly haven't given up on relationships. I want to have at least one more child. Piper is the most important grounding influence in my life.”
She says relationships have become trickier because “a lot of men are threatened by a woman who makes more money than they do and is more famous. “It's something I've learned I have to discuss immediately or it's bound to impact on the relationship.”
The relationship Anderson is most cautious in talking about is that with her X-Files co-star. “David and my relationship switches as much as Scully and Fox's does. Sometimes it's better than at other times. “We're not close. Once in a while we find ourselves in intimate conversation, but we don't seek each other out. We don't visit each other's trailers or see each other on weekends.”
She is aware of the stories about discord on and off the set, but explains “the press can't possibly understand our relationship. It's complicated and ever-changing. “I have developed my own survival mechanisms that allow me to distance myself from this whole issue.”
She doubts that Scully and Mulder would ever become romantically involved. “I don't know what (the series' creator) Chris Carter had in mind at the beginning of the show, but the fans like the dance the characters have been in these past five years way too much for us to suddenly switch gears. “It doesn't make sense for Scully and Mulder to get intimate or even kiss. They're always on the verge of shooting some alien or some creature.”
She is quick to admit that Duchovny seeks more input into the show than she does, adding: “I'm allowed to speak my mind as much as I like. I just don't know how much is heard. “The plot and characters don't interest me as much as they do David. “I have Piper to occupy me. I can hardly wait to get back to my trailer to be with her. “My fantasy is to live where I choose with my daughter and to do one or two feature films a year.”
Piper is too young to understand how famous her mother is, and Anderson is not about to try explain for some time. “I have a security box where I keep all the magazine articles I've done,” she says. “When Piper is old enough, we'll go through them and I'll try to put this life I've been leading into some perspective for her.
Transcript provided by Alfred Tow and appears courtesy of the Calgary Sun.