"The Reigning Queen of TV" here. Also known as "mom." Gillian Anderson here, AMA.
I'm here back in New York with Victoria doing some press for Crisis and stopped by to chat about well, whatever is on your mind. Give it to me baby.
Thank you everybody so much for joining me this afternoon. I hope you enjoy the premiere of Crisis this weekend. And thanks for sticking with me for all these years.
I'll be back!
The irony was not lost on me in that moment. Let's just say that.
Hi Gillian! With The X-Files being remastered for release in HD on blu-ray, any chance that would you be up for recording some commentaries? Maybe some with David, if he's in? It's okay if you don't remember much because literally anything that you could say while watching an episode I guarantee us fans would be more than overjoyed about. :)
Talk to Fox about that.
You have really spent a lot of your time interacting with and making yourself accessible to fans in the past few years - which is totally rad. What is the most memorable gift you have received from a fan?
One of the things I received last year during a Comic-Con was a first edition of Bleak House by a book expert and collector. And that literally brought me to tears.
Thank you for your excellent representation of strong female characters. Looking forward to seeing you in Crisis!
Thank you! I look forward to you watching.
Hey, Gillian! Simple question: Bryan Fuller tweeted a picture of your chair on the set of Hannibal. Can we expect to see you return this season?
Hi Gillian! Believe it or not you are an inspiration to aspiring female scientists. You inspired me as a young girl and now I am a paleolithic archaeologist (after realizing the FBI wouldn't work out)
Second, can you tell us more about your non-profit work with SA_Yes? What inspires you to work with them? I excavate in South Africa and spend a lot of time there. I would love to be involved!
Wow, your career sounds awesome!
I co-founded SA_Yes with a friend of mine. And we were inspired by spending time with street kids in South Africa, and Michelle did a great deal of research on where the greatest need was, where we could be best of service. And started this mentor / mentee program. If you are seriously interested, we are always looking for mentors. Feel free to contact the organization and I have no doubt we can find a space for you.
Oh my god, I'm on time for one of these AND it's for one of my favorites??
Gillian! You are a busy lady these days :) What's your ideal day off look like?
Well, realistically, it's waking at 6:30 with my boys, either eating breakfast together at home or in a local restaurant, going to the park before it gets crowded so they can ride their scooters on the hills and not kill anybody, picnic lunch in the loft, afternoon movie (in or out), long stories at bedtime, and then after they're fast asleep, slipping out for dinner with friends.
Hey Gillian! Here's a Welcome to reddit lase for you! Link
(I love the long hair, but this is how I'll always remember you) Link
Wow, thank you so much, that's really cool! Thank you for spending the time to do that.
I consider myself a feminist and your character of Stella Gibson in The Fall really made me expand my view on women sexuality. Do you consider yourself a feminist and in what way are you and Stella alike? PS I think you are an amazing actress
I do consider myself a feminist. And I actually think that I have learnt a great deal from Stella in playing her, spending time with her, inhabiting her views on life, and I strongly feel that she has made me a better woman more embracing of my femininity while at the same time accepting of my boundaries and how I will and will not be treated.
How many more TV shows can you be starring in at once? I think there can never be too much Gillian Anderson on TV!
That's very sweet of you, thank you.
HI GILLIAN! You are a fantastic Bedelia. We all swoon over you. Now, girl to girl here. For the sake of all the females who watch Hannibal: What does Mads smell like?
Good morning from Japan! I would like to ask you: 1. If Scully meets Stella Gibson, would they become friends? 2. If Scully and Stella meet Hank Moody, what do you think will happen next?
No. Stella is an island.
I think Stella would give him a run for his money.
My question is assuming your character is made into a gourmet meal by Hannibal what type of food would you want to be made into?
Something so rich that he'd choke on it and die.
I love that you do voiceover work for Studio Ghibli - which are some of your favorite Ghibli films, and have you introduced your children to them as well?
My children have seen all of them. My daughter who is now 19 is still obsessed with them. I think my favorites are Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, and Spirited Away.
how often do you lurk on reddit?
Anything related to the internet is a slippery slope and I try to monitor the amount of time I spend on it...
Hi Gillian, greetings from Mexico, my name is Montse Valle and …. Oh My Lord, i'm so excited, I can´t believe that you're going to read this!! I need to breathe!!!, I'm very nervous!!!!... well, first of all, i want to thank you, for being my biggest inspiration to get my PhD in Molecular Biology, I am a research professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, one of the best universities in the country, There are not many women with this type of job in Mexico, so, see your work on the x files, gave me the strength to not give up to get it, thank you! You are awesome in “The Fall” and “Hannibal”, I can´t wait to see you in “Crisis”. I'm a huge fan and I would like to share with you that I had a son, whose name “Aaron”, just like your brother, because I knew he died just before my child was born in 2011 and we named him in honor of you and your brother!!!! I wish someday I could meet you in person and introduce him; I never never never thought that you could find out that my child is named after your brother, so, thanks for doing this AMA!! I LOVE YOU GIRL!!! Your outer beauty does not compare to the wonderful human being that you are!!!, I really enjoy how you are so positive and humble, I love all the philanthropic work that you do!!! Your dedication inspired me. You´re amazing!!!! I have many things to ask but now my mind is blank… I just wanted to say that I love the X files, I love you, and just the idea of you know it our existence (my little Aaron and I) is more than enough, BESOS PRECIOSA!! mmmm ok, I have one, …. Sometimes is so hard being a mom and working at the same time,… any advice for new moms? And What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Well, chocolate, at the same time as lemon. Like dark chocolate ice cream, and lemon sorbet, at the same time. Not mixed together, but side-by-side.
And then, my experience with kids is that they're more interested in the quality of time than the quantity of time. Obviously they love to spend as much time as they can with us, but if our time is limited, it's very important that that time is all about them. The phones go away, the screens go away, the conversations about the bills, whatever it is, and it becomes about them. And it can shift your relationship with your kids if you make that a priority. Even in your busy life.
And congratulations on what sounds like an awesome career!
How's your driving? Would you ever be the Star in a Reasonably Priced car on Top Gear? It'd be awesome to see you on the show
They've asked me on before and I couldn't because I was pregnant, but I would go on again any day. And I love driving.
What was the funniest/best part of working with David Duchovny?
Now that Piper is older - how does she feel about being so well known to X-Philes because of your pregnancy throughout season 2 and the episode Piper Maru in season 3 being named after her?
So Piper is on a gap year in Southeast Asia. And a couple of weeks ago I get an email from her over breakfast with a picture of Piper Maru tattooed behind a bearded person's ear. It was a random guy who gets random things tattooed all over his body.
The cool thing is his desire to type her name on his own body was based on his reaction to her as a human being and not because she was my daughter.
Don't know what to ask. I'll make a general question.
What's the craziest thing that happened this year?
The craziest thing that has happened to me this year was a minor injury on Crisis that has left me with chronic pain for the first time in my life, and I have gained sympathy for people in similar situations on a level that I don't think I was sensitive to before.
Do you consider a hamburger to be a sandwich, or an entity of its own?
An entity on its own!
If you weren't in the entertainment industry, what would you do for a career?
I would have been a writer or an artist.
Would you mind sharing your skin care regimen? Feel free to pimp product! You have beautiful skin.
The truth of the matter is, I've only started to pay attention in the last year. Honestly, i've been very very lucky with my skin. And the makeup woman on the Fall has whipped me into shape with my skincare regime, makes me scrub off the makeup, moisturize within an inch of my life every night, moisturize every morning, put SPF on. It's a mixture of Clarins scrub, the orange one, I don't know which one that is, an Estee Lauder repair serum, and evening face cream, and then daytime I think it's Clinique, there's one that has a lot of moisture in it. And Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer is the best invention known to mankind since bread.
What is your guilty pleasure movie, from bad 80s to good musicals, is there any film you shamelessly enjoy? ~Karen Thank you for letting us indulge in another AMA with you!
You know, I recently watched A Passage to India. And I literally thought I could watch this every year. It's very dated, but there's something so unbelievably timelessly romantic and I just - even the thought of it. I can smell it. It's a palpable film.
Well, what was that movie, The Room? I only saw it once, so it doesn't really count as a guilty pleasure, but it was so painful to watch it was pleasurable.
What was it like working with the cast and crew of Hannibal?
The set feels like it is there for the actors. And there is a level of respect for the creative process that is rare. I think that starts with Bryan Fuller, but it trickles down through David (the executive producer) and the actors and the cast who are just so good at what they do.
Can you reaveal how your ordinary day looks like? Is there any bussines plan or at least an idea you’d like to start but you don’t have enough time or power? If you could change only one thing in the world, what would it be? Many times you were speaking about beeing artistic. Can you reaveal your favorite art-period, artists, artwork. Which collours are your favorite and which medium? What was the last exibithion you visited?
Well, it depends what country I am in. Most of the time it's either on a plane heading to or from set, or playing legos with my kids.
I often come up with ideas for apps. The first time I approached somebody, they said "well, there's this thing that's about to start called YouTube" so I put that idea to rest. It wasn't an app at that time, it was a way for actors to be able to stream auditions of themselves from around the world in order to be able to audition for various roles to allow people from around the world to be a part of the production. But it was before YouTube. And a couple of times i've approached people but they've had a similar response, saying things like "Well Google is just developing this thing…" But most of the time the ideas that come to me are installation art pieces. Which hopefully I will manifest before I die.
Favorite art period? I have such a wide range of taste. I do like the Impressionists. I like Sargent, I like Vermeer, but I also like Clemente, I like Bryce Marden, I like Bourgeois. My last exhibition I visited was in Chicago at the Art Institute. I went to see Abelardo Morell's exhibition. His tent photographs are extraordinary.
First, I thought The Fall was brilliant. It was so well written and directed that the tense atmosphere was present even in the lightest scenes.
Great job to everyone.
I have a brief question about The X-Files. It has (and continues to have) a large and vocal group of fans that is not limited by age or gender. Why do you think the show is still so powerful and relevant today?
I think that essentially, Chris created some archetypal characters that everybody could identify with in one way or another. And they got under the skin of contemporary culture. And seemed to stick there.
And Victoria here says it was a petri dish of awesome.
Hi Gillian! It's 6:30am here in Australia and I still haven't slept because I didn't know what time you were on. I love you so much. I am 18 years old and such a huge fan
Aww. Well now you can get some sleep.
Why do you think does the tennis ball have a fur?
I don't have the vaguest clue.
Dear Gillian Anderson,
You are an incredible actress and a wonderful humanitarian. I have seen your whole body of work (multiple times) and I can’t begin to stress how big of a fan I am—Lady Dedlock, Miss Havisham, Dana Fielding, Lily Bart(!), and, of course, Scully and now Stella. I am very much looking forward to your next play. I am so excited to see you as Blanche DuBois(!!). Writing to you is very humbling..
Anyway! Here is one question I have for you:
In the past (here on reddit), you have said that you plan everything out. That you’re either “doing” or are “paralyzed” and unable to get out of bed. I am usually the latter, paralyzed in thought, finding it hard to get up and do. You do SO much and on top of that you are a mother. I want what you had for breakfast. If it’s not too personal, I wanted to know where this fire comes from and what motivates and helps you stick to your plans/schedule. Basically I am interested to know what drives you to keep “doing.” If that is too big of a question, my back-up question is: What are the next five goals on your to-do list?
Again, I admire you and think you are one of the very best actors around. I hope this note gets to you and I wish you the best in everything. I can’t wait to see your next performance.
All the best xo, Alexandria
First of all, thank you so much for your support, in all aspects of my life. But there's 2 things that I know. One is that if I don't get up with the alarm, I'm in trouble. Because my head will start, if I count to ten and I'm still in bed, my mind is in trouble. The second thing I know is not to watch tv (I hate to say that! but it's so easy to get into a rut of escape in mindless television and/or surfing the internet. And the minute I find myself in either of those two worlds, I'm lost to the rest of my life).
Get out of the house. Find other human beings to communicate with. Read a book. Do yoga. Meditate. Be of service. That is one of the biggest single most things to get one out of oneself, is being of service to people who are less fortunate than ourselves.
What's your favorite animal? Color? Hard hitting questions here.
My kids tease me, because everything that is apple green, I say I like. Even though I wouldn't say apple green is my favorite color, I always say "oh that's so nice" and they say "well that's just because it's apple green." But really it's a particular shade of blue that happens when it's nighttime but the sun is behind the sky, so to speak. Like an illuminated blue.
Well, I'd either like the dragon from How To Train Your Dragon, Toothless, or in the book series that I'm currently writing there's a seal and I was thinking "Oh, I'd like to have a seal."
Hello Gillian! Thanks for doing this! Stella Gibson has quickly become one of my all time favorite characters. I am very much looking forward to Season 2 of The Fall. Stella really did remain such an enigma throughout season 1, can we expect to get a little bit more into her background and who she is in this next season? And 2) Can you tell us where Stella does her shopping, cause she has some great style (including the bras...in all seriousness.)
Stella shops at Selfridge's, which is a British department store. And kind of - in an indirect way - you'll learn a bit more about who she is. And where she is coming from.
You're the greatest. Also, if you were a theater major in college, does that mean you've been hiding some sort of magical broadway singing voice from us? I mean Joy To The World was beautiful, but I don't think that counts...
Theatre school doesn't equate to FAME! Often theatre school is mostly about drama, not music.
Which would Bedelia be: starters, main, or dessert when Hannibal finally gets his hands on her?
All of the above, and then some.
Hi! Really weird question, but what does Mads aftershave smell like?
He smells like tweed.
So many scenes were hard to keep a straight face in and not necessarily because they were genuinely funny but because we were in our 16th hour and slaphappy from lack of sleep. And also just the ludicrousness of some of the scenarios we found ourselves in struck us as endlessly humorous. As everybody on the planet seems to know, my favorite episode is Bad Blood. Even just saying the title, Bad Blood, makes me giggle.
Meg strangles them all with the rope, sustains herself on jellybeans until the bodies cure, and then systematically eats them until help comes.
The Fall was one of the best things I saw on tv last year. What can you tell us about season 2?
For your own good: nothing.
What kind of perfume did Bedelia leave Hannibal?
I love that Bedelia has outsmarted Hannibal - will we only see you one other time on the show this season? And do you know the full story between her and the patient who attacked her?
You will see her more than once. And you will come to learn a little bit more about what happened during the attack.
Did Max from CAH ever hook you up with your own bigger blacker box? It’s really a necessity.
No, but that's not why I said that. And this is important. I did not say that so I could get a free one. And I did not get a free one. But I will, in my own time, when I have free time, buy my own bigger, blacker box.
Hi Gilly! Can you give us any updates on Streetcar?! The anticipation is exhausting. ~Shannon Thanks for participating in another AMA! :D
Thanks for your excitement! I'm excited too. Keep an eye out for updates, I'll let you know as soon as I possibly can. We should know more soon. Maybe I'll do another AMA for it. ;)
What books would you recommend people to read at some point in their lives?
I think everybody should read books by Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron.
What was your most emotionally challenging role?
I have the feeling that Streetcar is going to trump them all.
Hello from South Belfast!
First off, I adored The Fall. One of my favourite things about it (apart from, y'know, everything & the fact that Jamie Dornan's character lived on the road perpendicular to mine) is that Belfast is portrayed as a modern city with a rich history and that whilst the everyday residual effects of sectarianism and The Troubles are mentioned briefly with political policing being a feature of the show, they're not necessarily a focal point. What have you enjoyed most about filming over in Northern Ireland?
Also, how often do people yell 'I'm a medical doctor!' at you?
That's one of the things I really appreciate about the series, is how it represents Belfast. And I think the second season will go further in that direction, in representing it exactly the way you laid out. Most of my time working there on The Fall has been either on-set or in my hotel room. But recently I did a film called Robot Overlords (which should be coming out later this year) and we shot in the countryside of Northern Ireland, and I was like "Ohmygod, it's so beautiful!" I had no idea it was as beautiful as it is. It's exquisite countryside and I highly recommend it to visit.
And fortunately, not many people yell out I'm a Medical Doctor! at me.
Hello Gillian :) it's Jodie from Darwin, Australia here.
I have a couple of questions (which I tried to ask on HuffPost earlier)
Do you have a ''bucket list'? If so, what are the top three things on it?
Which of the characters you have played would you say is most like you? And how so?
I think you are an inspirational, talented and beautiful person. It's so wonderful when opportunities like this come along.
<3 Thank you
I would really like to visit Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Probably Stella, but only a portion of me. I'm (as a lot of my fans know) kind of a goofball, and that doesn't really come out in Stella.
Hey Gillian. HUGH fan of yours, and so is my wife. We are actually re-watching the entire series of the x-files. My wife, Amber Williams, is an up and coming Actress as well. It would sure mean a lot to her if you could take a picture or upload even a 5 second video telling her not to give up on her dream. Thank you no matter what.
I love all the charity work that you do. Its great knowing that there are good people out there who care about others. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about the world…well, I guess it would be prejudice of any kind. You know? It would be close-minded prejudice, because that seems to get in the way of so many things, in so many areas of life around the world.
Hey Gillian, is the new season of The Fall out any time soon? I need some more Gibson in my life.
We are in the process of filming it right now, which means that it probably won't hit TV screens until the end of the year, I'm afraid. But you can be comforted in knowing that it will be even better than the first season.
Why did it take you a whole series to believe Fox Mulder, but only one season to believe Will Graham?! You'd never even met him and the first time you do you're like "I BELIEVE YOU!"
seriously though, was there any sense of irony when you had to deliver that line? Did you laugh about it on set?
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