Evening Standard: New Inteview
Posted at 9:26 AM (PST) on Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The importance of being Gillian Anderson

This year’s Best Actress, Gillian Anderson, talks to Nick Curtis about her winning turn in A Streetcar Named Desire, plucking up the courage to try Shakespeare and why London is ‘the best city in the world’

By Nick Curtis
London Evening Standard: 17 December 2014

When I first met Gillian Anderson a month ago, she was still coming down from her terrific turn as the self-destructing Southern belle Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic. The 46-year-old star of The Fall and The X Files seemed watchful and measured. In our second conversation, some days after she won the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress at the 60th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards, she keeps breaking into fits of giggles.

‘The last time I went to the Standard Awards it was at The Savoy and must have been around 2004,’ says Anderson. ‘I think I was married. And I don’t think I was nominated. This time I knew it was going to be bigger and that Anna Wintour was co-hosting at the Palladium, but I didn’t realise that pretty much everybody in the theatre world and beyond would show up. So I was dumbstruck and I get a little bit stupid when I’m dumbstruck and can’t really have normal conversations. It was beautiful, though, full of old-world glamour and romance.’

It was also full of unintentional comedy: ‘My dress [by British couturier Nicholas Oakwell] was too big and I had to hold it up with my armpits all night. Hence all the pictures of me looking quite grumpy.’

Still, the evening went swimmingly. ‘It was very jolly [on my table]. It was James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Stoppard and Evgeny [Lebedev, the London Evening Standard’s owner] and Tom’s wife Sabrina [Guinness] and James’ wife [Anne-Marie Duff] and Benedict’s fiancée [Sophie Hunter]. We talked about stag nights for about the first 45 minutes, not that I’ve ever been on one.’

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