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NBC's Today Show
June 16, 1998

KATIE: For fans of the TV show "The X-Files," the truth is out there and it will be exposed in the movie theatres this week. The anxiously awaited film sheds light on the dark mysteries explored in the show. One of its stars is Gillian Anderson, who has won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her portrayal as FBI Agent Dana Scully. Gillian Anderson, good morning.

GILLIAN: Good morning.

KATIE: Nice to see you. Why a movie? Why the need to do a movie?

GILLIAN: ĎCause it was time, I think. Because, you know, the show looks like a movie, the TV screen, every week. The amount of energy that we put into it and the amount of money that goes into it and the special effects, it really has a movie quality to it.

KATIE: Did you have fun moving from television to doing it on the big screen?

GILLIAN: I did. I did have fun with it. It was very different. But at the same time it needed to be exactly the same. I think there was a lot of pressure, that at least I put on myself, to just, you know, make it better, make it all better and bigger and, you know, good. You actually have to do less in the end (laugh) when youíre " you know, Ďcause itís projected on such a huge screen that, you know, you do anything and "

KATIE It just comes --- jumping out

GILLIAN: It just cones flying out..

KATIE: Because you have been praised, I know, a lot for your subtlety, in terms of your acting. Did you find you had to be more subtle?

GILLIAN: Yes. (laugh) Some people call it --- Some of itís praise, and some of itís ---

KATIE: Does she have a pulse?

GILLIAN: Exactly. Exactly. I just basically had to allow myself to do what I was used to doing and not Ė and not, you know, put pressure on myself to do anything different. And hoped that it worked.

(Clip on the roof in Dallas looking for the bomb with MULDER and SCULLY.)

KATIE: Is it true the script was written on paper that cannot be photocopied?

(Laughter.)

GILLIAN: Well, I actually tried to photocopy it and you can photocopy.

(laugh)

KATIE: Oh, you can?

GILLIAN: Yeah, you can, it does work off of some machines. But I think the --- see, even with those rules and regulations, the script got out to people. And they had our names and numbers assigned to us. Stamped across every single page of the script.

KATIE: Why such incredible secrecy?

GILLIAN: I donít know! I mean. Itís kind of cool at the same time. ĎCause Chris would not let anybody see the script, Chris Carter, the creator of the show, wouldnít let anybody read the script. So I heard one day that he was in Vancouver and I was gonna get to read the script. And so his assistant brought his computer into my trailer (laugh) and plugged it in and I had two hours in between setups to sit in my trailer and try and read this script as itís going up and down the monitor, you know. (laughs) I didnít understand a thing.

KATIE: Why is this show, you think, Gillian --- Gillian and I were actually revealing ---

GILLIAN: Laughing hysterically. (laughs)

KATIE: ---to each other that she doesnít watch the "Today" show and Iíve never seen "The X-Files," either.

(They both laugh. Very funny.)

KATIE: But, having said that ---

GILLIAN: I love that. I think itís fabulous.

KATIE: Both shows are enormously popular.

GILLIAN: There we go.

KATIE: Tell --- What is it about "The X-Files," do you think, thatís made it such an incredible cult hit?

GILLIAN: Um.. I think that itís a mixture of everything that goes into it I think that without one of the elements it wouldnít be as successful as it is. First of all, the scripts are amazing. Theyíre very intriguing, very interesting.

KATIE: Very complex, arenít they?

GILLIAN: Very complex, very complex. And also itís timely. I mean, I donít think that if this show were to air, you know -- We started five years ago, but if it had started five years before that, I donít think that it wouldíve caught on in the same way that it did.

KATIE: Why? How is it so timely?

GILLIAN: Well, I think that something happened around the same time that the show started to air. And it suddenly became okay for people to talk about their beliefs about spiritual things and about extraterrestrial things and paranormal things. And it almost became a trend.

KATIE: I know youíve been asked about this, Iím sure a million times, but you were not the character of choice. You were not the actress of choice---

GILLIAN: Mmm-mm.

KATIE: When it came time to cast the series. Why not? They didnít think you were enough of a babe, I canít believe that.

GILLIAN: Well, no. not at Fox. They have "Melrose Place," and they have a formula that they had worked with for a while that they know works that brought in audiences. Women were cast very, very beautiful, very voluptuous -

KATIE: Very skimpily clad.

GILLIAN: Very skimpily clad. Which was not who this character was. I mean sheís, from the beginning, there she was in suits and she had a certain look, and there was a strictness and a tightness.

KATIE: And intelligence.

GILLIAN: Solemness, and an intelligence to her that you just donít see on television.

(Clip in hall out side Review Office. SCULLY comes out and crosses to MULDER and SKINNER.)

KATIE: You have two more years left? On the "X-Files?"

GILLIAN: Um. I am signed on for three more years.

KATIE: Three more years.

GILLIAN: Actually --- Iím not sure how long the show itself is gonna last, but ---

KATIE: Youíre still loving it, youíre not itching to get out of there?

GILLIAN: Iím itching. But Iím on contract. And Iím, you know, Iím as loyal as I can be. This is a period that Iím " that Iím doing this. And thereíll be a later period of my life where Iím doing something else. So, I just have to look at it as a small, albeit large, (laugh) length of time.

KATIE: Right. Obviously, things are going great for you. Is David Duchovny nice and smart, as nice and smart as he seems?

GILLIAN: Yes. Yeah. (smiles) Heís very smart. Yeah. Very smart.

KATIE: I like that.

GILLIAN: Yeah. (laughs) Okay.

KATIE: Thanks, Gillian, nice to meet you and best of luck. And the movie is "The X-Files" --- is it just called "The X-Files?"

GILLIAN: Um. Itís called "The X-Files." I think itís called "The X-Files: Fight the Future." I think, but it changes.

KATIE: And luckily.---

GILLIAN: And it comes out on June 19th.

KATIE: You donít have to know anything about it. Itís a state secret.

GILLIAN: And I donít have to know anything about it. Itís a state secret.

KATIE: And if you told me, youíd have to kill me, right?

GILLIAN: Exactly. And we wouldnít want that, Ďcause so many people love you.

KATIE: Thank you. I wouldnít want to be killed either. Thanks, Gillian. All right. This was fun. Weíll be right back in a moment. This is "Today" on NBC.


Transcript provided by CarriK and appears courtesy of NBC's Today Show.



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