Two New Interviews
Posted at 7:04 AM (PST) on Friday, January 20, 2006


Do you feel more at home in England?

I do. I don't know if it is because my early years were spent there. I was 2 to 11, and it was my first language, so to speak. I grew up with a British accent. Even though my parents were American, I felt like a Brit, and that has always been inside my bones. I love Europe. I love the pace of Europe, and I love the history. I feel comfortable there.

Had you ever read the Dickens novel?

I hadn't read it. Once I agreed to do the project, I read it for the first time. It was never part of my college repertoire.

Why is it that Dickens seems so relevant for contemporary audiences?

I think it is because of the human condition, and the emotions and the experiences are universal to human beings. The sorrow that we feel today is the same sorrow that was felt [back then], as well as the pain and the loss and the joy and the compassion and the love. He makes his characters so rich and so individual. They are all completely different human beings.

In "Tristram Shandy" you play yourself as well as the character in the movie-within-a-movie. Were you having as much fun as you appear to on screen?

It was fun. I basically just went in for three or four days. I had wanted to work with Michael Winterbottom for a long time. I thought it would just be a blast. It was wild. He works in a very different way than a lot of directors.

How so?

On set at least with this he just likes to have himself, the cameraman and the boom operator. So there is no hair or makeup around. Everybody else is far, far away. He just constantly is kind of tweaking and changing something at the last minute. All of a sudden, at the spur of the moment, he decides he wants it this way. It is much more spontaneous and chaotic but in a measured kind of way. He keeps trying things and tries them as long as it takes until he gets it.

After "The X-Files" went off the air in 2002, there was talk of an "X-Files" movie. Is that still going to happen?

Oh, we have had many, many conversations about it. We have contracts. It depends on when it's written. I am asked about it all the time, so there is interest, but how long will there be interest? If we don't shoot it until 2007, and that looks like that would be the earliest, it won't be coming out until 2008. And in 2008, will people really care?

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There's a good chance that many of the people who tune in Sunday for the premiere of PBS' sprawling, deliciously addictive adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Bleak House" won't immediately recognize "The X-Files' " Agent Dana Scully in the tormented aristocrat Lady Dedlock.

Disappearances off the planet may belong more to the realm of Agent Scully, but there's little question that Anderson's career cooled for a while, despite excellent notices for her role in the 2000 costume drama "House of Mirth," for which she received a British Independent Film Award.

"I used to say, at the very beginning of the series, that it wasn't going to stereotype me," she said in an interview. "Because I knew... I knew what was inside of me as an actor. I had a belief in myself as an actor and my ability to do things that actors do, to play different kinds of characters, and I just assumed that that would win out in the end.

"And it didn't. And I think it has been shocking. But I think it was a bit of a conundrum to me for a while that, you know, that the public and the filmmaking community couldn't see, you know, me beyond that character, and be willing to take a risk," Anderson said.

"The way people talk about 'House of Mirth,' and the amount of people who seem to really like it and appreciate it, one would think that more would follow. You know, that somebody might have thought, 'Well, cool, we want her in our next period drama,' if nothing else. And that didn't happen. And I've only really started to do - you know, it's three years on, more like four years on, Jesus, since 'The X-Files' ended, and just the end of the year before last is when I started to do films again," said Anderson, whose recent work includes the films "Tristram Shandy" and "The Last King of Scotland." (and, most recently, Straightheads, a dark and twisted tale of revenge)

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