By Chaz Lipp
Among the many celebrity guest panels at Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon 2013 last week, one of the most popular was Gillian Anderson. She’ll probably always be best known for nine seasons on The X-Files as Dana Scully, but Anderson has a long list of other notable credits, including films like The House of Mirth and The Last King of Scotland. Next up she’ll be seen in a recurring role on NBC’s new series, Hannibal (starring Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter).
Anderson opened up her panel with a warning to fans, “I don’t remember anything.” This was a humorous way of alleviating any fan disappointment if she couldn’t recall every last bit of X-Files trivia that might be asked about during the Q&A. She summed up her role as Scully by saying she’s “grateful and proud” to have played such a lasting feminist icon. One fan asked if she kept any of Scully’s famously dowdy suits. After quite a bit of loud audience laughter died down, Anderson deadpanned, “Hell no.” She did say she kept a couple trench coats and Scully’s gravestone, “Anyone want to buy it? Starting bid is $100,000,” she joked.
She described working with David Duchovny as “a forced marriage that you didn’t want to be it.” One fan asked a two-part question: Is Duchovny in real-life the same as the Duchovny we see in Californication and will Anderson ever do a guest spot on that show? “Yes and no, but necessarily in that order,” was Anderson’s cryptic reply. As for the burning question of whether or not there will ever be a third X-Files feature film, all she said was, “The last time I talked to Chris [Carter], he was working on it.”
When asked about “all things,” the season seven X-Files episode that she wrote and directed, Anderson said, “I can’t quite believe it happened,” likening the experience to that of “a kid in a candy store.” She went on to say, “I remember five days in wanting to quit.” But she does look back on being only one of two females to have directed an episode of the show over the course of nine seasons as “a big deal.” (The other was Michell MacLaren.)
The most fun aspect of these panels is the fact that you never know exactly what the fans are going to ask. One enthusiastic young man breathlessly told Anderson that her appearance in a promo for Nissan’s electric car, the Leaf, inspired him to buy one. She seemed genuinely impressed, but once he asked if she drove one as well, Anderson confessed, “Shamefully I drive a Range Rover… It’s kind of hard to fit seven people into a Leaf.”
For more information about Gillian Anderson, visit her official site.
(Photos: Sherry Lipp)