There’s Agent Dana Scully of The X-Files and Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Also Lily Bart in The House of Mirth, with a little Bedelia du Maurier, aka, Hannibal Lecter’s shrink, thrown in.
Of all the period costumes and unraveling of twisted psyches that Gillian Anderson has taken on, she likes her Stella Gibson the most. Gibson is the enigmatic detective superintendent sent from London to Northern Ireland on the critically acclaimed serial-killer series The Fall, currently airing on Netflix.
The Belfast-set drama is another star vehicle for Jamie Dornan, who is in the middle of Fifty Shades of Grey madness. Anderson had little to say about the handsome lad in a recent Associated Press interview, begging off because the two didn’t physically work with each other on The Fall during the first season. They do a little currently in the second season as Dornan’s serial killer, ex-family man Paul Spector, goes on the run.
Anderson, who has won awards for stage and screen work, owes her early success to Scully, but considers Gibson the most interesting on her resume.
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“The script for The Fall was very different than anything I’ve read before, and I felt that Stella was about as complex a character as I ever encountered,” she says. “Even after the second season, after we do get hints here and there, maybe bits of her past, you’re still asking the question who is she and what makes her tick?”
As for how on-screen female crime fighters have changed over the years since the X-Files debuted, the 46-year-old doesn’t really know.
“I don’t watch TV myself,” the mother of three says. “I seriously don’t know how people find the time. … I have a lot on my plate, and when I’m [on] airplanes, I’m writing. I’m more likely to choose a film if I do make that time for myself.”