5 Killer Gillian Anderson Roles
Gillian Anderson can do it all. From investigating alien abductions to tackling a Tennessee Williams epic, the actor has taken on a range of roles and will prove her versatility once again by taking on the iconic role of Margo Channing in “All About Eve.” The play, which also stars Lily James, begins performances at the Noel Coward Theatre in February 2019, and in honor of Anderson’s return to the stage, we reflected on some of our favorite roles of hers.
Miss Havisham, “Great Expectations”
One of the youngest women ever to play this iconic role, Anderson wowed critics with her haunting, bald Miss Havisham. When asked by The Guardian how she went from FHM’s World’s Sexiest Woman to the decrepit Dickensian spinster, she replied, “That’s not really a serious question, is it? The real question is, ‘How the fuck did I end up as the world’s sexiest woman in 1996?’ – not why would I do ‘Great Expectations.’ Any actor would want to do ‘Great Expectations.’ I never set out to be the world’s sexiest woman.”
Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire”
Anderson won universal critical acclaim for her searing portrayal of Tennessee Williams’s most infamous heroine in the Young Vic’s modern production, directed by Benedict Andrews. Set on a revolving stage, Anderson perfectly captured the final fight of a fading Southern Belle, in skyscraper-high heels and designer sunglasses, using sex as a weapon until the bitter end. The Sunday Times called her performance “a tragic delight.”
Bedelia Du Maurier in “Hannibal”
Anderson brought new meaning to the concept of doctor-patient confidentiality in her role as Hannibal Lecter’s psychiatrist on the NBC show. Over three seasons, she outwitted and seduced Hannibal, until the series finale saw the troubled doctor with her patient at a very morbid last supper.
Special Agent Dana Scully in “The X-Files”
In a career-making role, Anderson played Dana Scully, a no-nonsense FBI agent/forensic and the skeptic partner to David Duchovny’s conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder. The on-screen alien abductions and autopsies led to serious hardware for the actor, who bagged an Emmy, two Golden Globes, and a multitude of other awards – not to mention a seriously obsessed fan base. Even more incredibly, her performance is credited with inspiring an entire generation of young women to enter STEM careers, in a phenomenon known as “The Scully Effect.”
Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson in “The Fall”
Anderson shines as the cool, calculated, and complicated detective investigating what must be the world’s hottest serial killer (played by Jamie Dornan of “Fifty Shades of Grey”) in dreary Belfast. As she draws closer to capturing her prey, she realises that he is also stalking her. Called “the most feminist show on television” by The Atlantic, Anderson once again shrugged off gender stereotypes with her incredible performance of a ferocious yet feminine detective.