Gillian Anderson: They don’t know what to do with me in the States

The former X-Files actress explains why Britain is now best for her career


It may be nearly a decade since The X-Files ended, but Gillian Anderson still struggles to shake off her reputation as Dana Scully, especially in America.


“I want my career to be more interesting,” says the 42-year old in this week’s Radio Times. “I’m slightly stuck in a cardboard box, and fight hard to get out.”

Anderson, who stars in a BBC adaptation of Michel Faber’s 2002 literary epic The Crimson Petal and the White (starts Wednesday 6 April, BBC2), explains how she often becomes frustrated with the roles she’s offered in the US, and finds more pleasing work on this side of the Atlantic.

“All the interesting stuff I’m offered comes from Britain,” she says. “They don’t know what to do with me in the States because they don’t realise I’m a character actress. They wouldn’t for a second imagine I could play Wallis Simpson [as she did in Channel 4’s Any Human Heart last year] or Mrs Castaway [the Victorian Madam in Crimson Petal].”

Anderson goes on to add, “I’ve thought of doing another TV series, something with dark humour…” though she admits that she doesn’t watch much television these days. She claims instead that she’s “constantly thinking about doing more theatre”.


 To find out more about Gillian Anderson’s life, career and ambitions read the full interview in the new edition of Radio Times, on sale now.