"In the area that I live in, in London, they have a great recycling scheme and also a great compost scheme — they collect and sell the compost and it gets recycled into other things. The money sustains the recycling," says Gillian Anderson, who has lived in England for a decade. Although she's still known best as "The X Files'" Dana Scully, Anderson has made several costume dramas for PBS' "Masterpiece," including "Bleak House," "Any Human Heart," and the latest, "Great Expectations," which casts her as the mysterious, manipulative, tragic Miss Havisham in the adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel. It premieres April 1 and concludes April 8.
Anderson hadn't read the book before signing on to the project but did read it before cameras rolled. "My decision to do it was based on the adaptation first and foremost. I've heard Miss Havisham referred to over the years and when I read the script I saw her in my mind's eye and it moved from there. I studied the time period. But it comes down to an intuition of who this character is and how it fits into the piece as a whole," she says of the jilted, heartbroken heiress. "I think she's in a lot of pain, and one of the ways that she feeds that pain is cruelty. For her, it's punishment and getting pleasure out of other people's pain and discomfort."
Later this year, Anderson will play the MI-5 agent boss of Clive Owen in "Shadow Dancer." "It's a great story about his relationship with a young Northern Irish girl who's in the IRA," she says. As for another "X Files" movie, she's open to it. "Every time we're asked, which is at least once a week, we say the same thing: if it happens, it happens."