Gillian Anderson is winning plaudits as detective Stella Gibson in the second series of chilling BBC2 drama The Fall and with serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan) still on the loose, she has her work cut out…
Gillian has lived in London since 2002 and appeared in several plays and a few BBC series in recent years (including a stellar (!) performance as Miss Havisham in the BBC’s Great Expectations). But what else do we know about the TV star?
1. Gillian’s family moved to England when she was two and she went to school in London until the age of 11, after which her family relocated to Michigan. As a teenager, Gillian was mocked by her classmates for her English accent and soon shifted it to sound American. To this day her accent depends on her location, something known as being ‘bidialectal’.
2. She’s allergic to cats.
3. The Fall star says she never intended to work in TV and only auditioned for The X-Files because she was broke and desperate.
4. She has also revealed that the pay difference between her and co-star David Duchovny (who played FBI Agent Fox Mulder) was ‘massive’, claiming she received half the salary of her male co-star. “I had a very negative opinion – and rightly so – of TV at the time,” she says.
5. In 1996 she was voted the ‘Sexiest Woman in the World’ by men’s monthly magazine FHM.
6. The actress – who has been married twice and has three children – had a gay relationship at high school when she was a teenager. “She was a beautiful person who was very meaningful in my life,” she told Out magazine in 2012.
7. Gillian’s younger brother Aaron died of a brain tumour three years ago. “That had a profound effect on all of us,” she explains. “It did make me change my priorities and realise life is short.”
8. As a child she dreamed of being a marine biologist.
9. Gillian reckons we’ll be seeing more of The Fall and Stella Gibson in the years to come… “There’ll be a third series,” she says. “We were talking about season two when we were shooting season one. So there was never a question of whether or not it would happen, or whether or not I would do it.”
10. Not content with her acting career, Gillian wrote her first book – with the help of co-writer Jeff Rovin – this year. The sci-fi thriller about a brilliant child psychologist, A Vision of Fire is available in all good book stores.
“Jeff is probably the world’s greatest expert on science fiction,” she says. “But I came up with the main character because ultimately I want this to be made into a film, so I was writing a character for myself!”
The second series of The Fall continues on BBC2 at 9pm on Thursday 4 December