Gillian Anderson Talks 'X-Files' Reboot & If You Weren't Excited For This Reboot Before, Get Ready To Be
At this point, you're either incredibly pumped for FOX's upcoming reboot of their classic sci-fi series The X-Files ... or you have no soul. There's pretty much no middle ground here, sorry not sorry. Although the highly-anticipated resurrection won't hit the airwaves until midseason, star Gillian Anderson is here to stoke the fires of excitement. Agent Scully herself took a break from promoting the current third season of NBC's Hannibal to offer the world, through TVLine, some infuriatingly cryptic hints about the new season and tease how her character may or may not have changed in the seven years since the last X-Files project, X-Files: I Want To Believe was released in movie theaters. So sit back, relax, and overanalyze every word Anderson says.
Thanks to some behind-the-scenes tweets, fans know that production on the new season has already begun. So how did Anderson feel about returning to such an iconic role after such a prolonged period of time? "It feels like it's been a long time since I've played her," the actress admitted to TVLine , putting an end to my illusions that acting is just like riding a bike. "It felt like [Scully] was further away from me than I’d thought she would be."
Anderson's frank words stand in stark contrast to other actors who have claimed that returning to an old beloved role was a piece of cake — like Mark Hamill, who recently reprised his role as The Trickster on The CW's The Flash after playing the same character 24 years ago on the CBS version of the superhero show. ("It's like slipping into a comfy old pair of tennis shoes," Hamill told IGN.)
It may have taken Anderson longer to remember the rhythms of the Scully/Mulder dynamic than she anticipated, but she sounds incredibly enthusiastic now that shooting is actually underway. "I've become more excited, emotional and embraced the journey we’re about to go on. I’m actually really excited. I don’t think it initially hit me in the first read," she told The Wall Street Journal. "But it was more to do with my needing to compartmentalize and not really address the fact that it was all about to happen until I actually got up here because there were too many other things I have to think about."
Those "other things" include becoming a series regular on Bryan Fuller's Hannibal after being a recurring presence on the show's first two seasons. The critically-acclaimed third season has focused largely on the relationship between her character, Bedelia Du Maurier, and her patient/colleague/captor Dr. Lecter. And the way Anderson describes the new season of The X-Files , it sounds every bit as juicy as the current season of her other cult-favorite series.
"'Slow.' 'Intense,'" she offers when asked by TVLine to provide three words to describe the reboot. "And it’s setting groundwork, so it’s got a particular role to play. It does exactly what it needs to do. What’s a single word for fulfilling that requirement? ‘Functional’? ‘Appropriate’? ‘Functional’ works. Slow, intense, and functional!" While these may not sounds like the three most compelling adjectives to use to describe a season of television — the first and third, in particular — they might sound familiar to Fannibals.
In this era of "speed-plotting," breakneck paces and constant plot twists are valued above all else. But, with Hannibal, Fuller stubbornly put the brakes on this rushed method of storytelling in favor of deliberately-paced, luxurious episodes that are as much about their characters' inner mindscapes as they are about such traditional trappings as "plot" and "action." (Obviously, Hannibal and The X-Files are two different shows, but I'm just saying that "slow" isn't necessarily a bad thing.)
What about Dana Scully herself? This is when Anderson gets the most cryptic, refusing to spill even the tiniest bean about the current status of her skeptical FBI agent. "Anything I say is going to sound like something you’re not going to want to watch. But that’s not the case. It’s just… I don’t even know." YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW? I refuse to accept that, Anderson. Of course you know. WHAT AREN'T YOU TELLING US?
With her fan-favorite characters on two acclaimed genre shows, her performance on Netflix's absorbing serial killer drama The Fall, and her recent Olivier Award nomination for her role in the revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, Anderson is having a heck of a year. Hopefully the upcoming season of The X-Files will continue the actress's well-deserved streak. In the meantime, here are seven ways to prepare for the show's triumphant return. Until January, we'll just have to... believe.
Images: FOX; Diyah Pera/The CW; Brooke Palmer/NBC