Newer, more mysterious, more screenfilling
You hear it well: The X-files are back, and on the big screen that is, and WITH Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. And that should be a surprise: In 2002, when the series involving little green men, the evil government conspiracies and sinister cancermen had come to a definitive end, the two main actors proclaimed that they were fed up with the extraterrestrial mumbojumbo, and with each other. But, trust no one: in 'The Xfiles : I want to believe' Mulder and Scully are back as a team, although it might be that they kind of HAD to go back. Both Anderson and Duchovny were having big film plans six years ago, but they both did not really succeed in accomplishing that. Anderson showed some beautiful stuff in Straightheads and The Last King of Scotland but had to help herself mostly with roles in British stage plays. And Duchovny, though impressing America in the fantastic tv show Californication, has to look back upon some succesful years: Connie and Carla and Trust the man were major flops, and his directoral debut House of D got amazingly bad reviews.
H: The most logical question: why, after six years, a new movie?
CC: We had been busy for quite a few years, actually. Back in 1998, just after the frist movie, Frank Spotnitz and I said to eachother: 'the next film has to be a straightforward thriller, completely standalone'. In other words: already then we decided to get rid of the UFO's and conspiracies and just make a scary story. In 2003 we started writing, and from the very beginning it was all misery. There were issues with the actors, contractual problems, trials ... a long, stupid and unpleasant story. It was only in 2006 that all the problems were off the track so we really could get started.
H: But meanwhile, series like Lost and Alias had taken over the torch from The Xfiles...
CC:That's true. The people from the studio weren't wrong when they came and told us: 'Gentlemen, it's now or never. If we wait longer, the X-files will be incredibly dated and the audience won't have interest anymore in it.' We started immediately.
H: Where dit you get this macabre basic idea of the film? (I left out the spoilers)
CC: Youtube (laughs). If you go on youtube, you can find a bunch of authentic movies about SPOILER illegal surgery experiments from the fifties
So our film is based on actual fact!
H: Is there still an audience for the X-files? The last two seasons, 'no dog was watching it'.
CC: Understandable that people stopped watching: Mulder wasn't there anymore. But we're six years later now, and I feel that the audience begins to miss The X-files. I was a guest at a comic con lately, and when I entered the room, 5000 fans started to whistle the tune from the show. That proves the X-files is still alive, doesn't it?
H: One big disappointment: I want to Believe has no reference what so over to Mulders' porn collection.
CC: Be sure: the next movie will deal exclusively with Mulders' porn collection.
H: Hello Gillian Anderson! Are you satisfied with I Want to believe?
GA: Fairly satisfied! I have seen it only once, in a giant theatre in Lodnon. My partner and I where there all alone: a very bizarre experience. At a given point I whispered: 'Do you like it?' but then I thought: 'Why in god's name am I whispering?' (laughs)
I do fear that I will have to see it multiple times in order to make an objective judgement of it. During that first show I was focused on only one thing: myself (laughs) and errr, I thought I was pretty good. Or am I being arrogant now?
H: No. But did you think it was a good idea to reopen the files after six years? hadn't everything been told already?
Chris and Frank thought there was space for some more stories, and I tend to think they're right. The good thing about IWTB is that you're not getting just a good oldfashioned thriller, but also a touching relationship drama: never before was the MS - relationship so prominent.
H: During the first week of the filming in Vancouver, you told that it was damn hard to get back into character.
GA: (sighs) I won't deny I said that, but I had an excuse: I was having an incredible jetlag and had to do a tough scene in the ice cold snow. On a moment like that one tends to say stupid things.
But I admit, the first days of filming were hard. It had been six years since I had played that character, and my brain wasn't able to switch from the start. Only after I played with Mulder - I mean David - it got better. Funny, acually, at a certain point we looked in each other's eyes and yelled: this feels very familiar' and hup, we got started!
H: In 2002, when the series ended, you told everyone you were very relieved.
GA: But i WAS! Don't forget: on that moment, I had been playing the same character for ten years! I was longing so hard for something else. Between 2002 and 2008 I have tried to get as far away from Scully as possible.
H: And? Do you have the feeling you succeeded?
GA: I have done some challenging roles, like in the very black Irish drama Leatherheads. I keep looking for good, complex and challenging projects. When I'm old and wrinkled, I want to look back on a nice and rich career. Honestly, I think i'm on the right track! I have done theater, comedies, AND I had the leading role in a BBC drama.
H: You swore to never to tv again (blabla she explains about how classy the BBC is) Weren't you reluctant to go back to The X-files?
GA:No, because in 2002, Chris, David and I had agreed to do at least one more movie.
H: So, IWTB was not a contractual obligation?
GA: Absolutely not! By the way, IWTB should have been in theaters in 2003, if there hadn't been all those problems (...)
H: Have you kept contact with David in those years?
GA: erm ... We emailed, and we had an occasional coffee.
H: You don't have to fake it. It's a public secret that you and David where fed up with each other.
GA: What? That's exaggerated. David and I have always worked together perfectly. I admit, next to the set, we hardly had contact, but saw each other 16 hours a day, that mas more than enough (laughs).
Oh, we were just two young people who were catapulted into a incredibly successful tv show. The success brought along a lot of stress, and we weren't always as prepared for that. There were days we got along very well and had a lot of fun, but there were days we couldn't see each others face anymore. That's very human, if you ask me. And that's all I have to say about that.
H: Scully has remained more or less the same. And you? Have you changed since the end of the show?
GA: Really interesting turns haven't occured in my life, I fear. (laughs) I've become a mom for the second time, and now i'm expecting my third. I've become a real housewife. (laughs)
H: You moved to London a few years ago. Were you fed up with Hollywood?
GA: (nods) I have experienced moving to London as being extremely liberating. People here really have a different liferythm. Here I can at least breathe. When I lived in the USA, my life was occupied by the series. I worked very hard: 16 hours a day! Six days a week! Nine years long! It seemed like it would never stop, it was almost ridiculous. I had no social life. I could hardly do an hour of yoga, or having a coffee with a girlfriend. I really want to believe that Vancouver and LA are are cool cities, but in my perception, they are synonymous for hard labour and suffering.
Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly proud of the series, and there were numerous nice moments, but only now I can really enjoy life. If I wake up in the morning, I can ask myself what I'm going to do today: an improbable luxury!
Looking back now, I might have sacrificed too much to the show. I barely saw my first child grow up. The first steps, the switch from bottle to regular food: those are wonderful moments a mom wants be part of. I had to miss that. Very sad ... In october, I'm having my third baby, and I'm planning not to miss a second of his childhood.
H: Are you often having problems with too enthusiastic fans?
GA: Not since I live in London. Well... In Notting Hill, I had to sings autographs once in a while, but I've moved to a quieter area now where nobody knows me. Now I can have a coffee with my daughter or go shopping without paparazzi jumping before me. That was different in LA!
H: You were saying that you are longing for a big screen career. But you haven't had real hits. Aren't you a bit disappointed?
GA: hmm ... again, I think that I have showed some nice things already. But I admit: it's very difficult to fetch good roles. The problem is that I have been doing Scully for so long, that everyone keeps identifying me with her. I have to prove over and over again that I can play other roles.
You know, over the past years, I have learned one lesson: you have to come to terms with some things that you can't change. Not so long ago, I had very high expectations. Not only careerwise, but also relationshipwise. Now I have grown more wise. Nothing is eternal: success, fame, happiness, love, beauty, it all ends. And let's be honest: it was about time I became more realistic. I'm almost forty!
H: But you still look fantastic!
GA: Thank you. My secret: moisture lotions, cleaning lotions, and yoga! And the organic beauty produts of Stella McCartney (laughs).
H: Will there be other Xfiles movies?
GA: If this film does well, and the studio wants to do another one, I would certainly be aboard. And David, too, I think!