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Fan Expo 2016: Gillian Anderson Explains How She Put David Duchovny In A Neck Brace

Gillian Anderson got off to a slow start at Fan Expo yesterday, making her aversion to conventions clear to all in attendance. But after an introduction by InnerSpace’s Teddy Wilson and a few awkward responses from the occasionally distant actress, the fans started making their enthusiasm known—and Anderson finally loosened up. By the time her appearance came to a close, she was enthusiastically auctioning her t-shirt to an audience member, raising $2,100 for charity.


While the fans demonstrated a diverse knowledge of Anderson’s work, The X-Files was the primary topic of discussion. However, when asked to name her favourite role, she put her emphasis on The Fall’s Stella and her recent turn on stage as Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. “Blanche is probably the most amazing character I’ve ever played in my life,” she said. And what about Scully? “I don’t really relate to Scully per se. I like her, but we’re very, very different people. She’s quite square—and I’m not. But I like her.”

Asked about her first impressions of her X-Files role, Anderson explained that she was only 24 at the time, and in no position to appreciate the magnitude of this opportunity. “I’d been mostly trying to audition for theatre and film and I’ve never been a huge television watcher,” she explained. “I didn’t really have any frame of reference for TV… to know that there was something kind of extraordinary about her.”

Anderson also shared some of the highlights from the making of the recent X-Files episodes. She was particularly intrigued by David Duchovny’s relationship with guest star Joel McHale. “We spent a long time together,” she said. “He and David are the same person in many ways. There were a few scenes that we did in a limo, including one with champagne, but the one that didn’t have champagne… I don’t know how many hours we spent doing that scene, but 99.9 percent was them talking to each other about pop culture. They both watch everything. They know everything that’s going on in the world and in the newspapers and on TV and in shows and talk shows and sports… everything that exists in the world—and I know nothing.”

Anderson also elaborated on the minor car accident she had while shooting one of the recent X-Files episodes. The morning after driving into a pole, she was concerned about the well being of her passenger, David Duchovny. “I’m about to walk over to the monitor and I see him across the room. As I’m walking towards him, I realize that he’s got a neck brace on. I was so shocked… but it was a joke. It was the best prank that has ever been pulled on me since my dad fed me cat food when I was seven.”

Toward the end of the conversation, Teddy also got Anderson to share some details about American Gods, her upcoming reunion with Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller. In this series, she plays a goddess known as Media. “She shows up as different cultural icons through history and you already know that one of them is Marilyn Monroe,” she re-revealed. “It’s kind of hard to talk because there are a lot of scenes with real actors, but a lot of stuff is going on that will be put in with CGI. I have a feeling that what will be unique about it is the look and the texture of the visuals as much as the text and the actors. It seems like it’s going to be really cool.”