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Image / Editorial

Gillian Anderson Talks Anxiety, Female Empowerment And Going Grey

by Jennifer McShane
12th Jan 2016

Gillian Anderson AKA the consummate professional FBI agent Dana Scully from the X-Files is on everyone’s radar at the moment. The notoriously talented actress, though famous for her role in the cult 1990’s TV series, has since built up a stellar CV, appearing in many of diverse projects. She plays Detective Stella Gibson of BBC crime drama The Fall and most recently, starred as socialite Anna Pavlovna Scherer in War and Peace, but we’re equally excited to read Anderson’s book on female empowerment: WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere, which she has co-written.

ICYMI: Style Crush: Gillian Anderson ??

?It’s a book about facing oneself,? she said. ?It’s about working through things in one’s own life in order to be of better service out in the world. And it’s about the community of women, too: the fact that there is so much competition and judgment and negativity out there, especially on social media, when we should be turning to each other, helping each other to find our voices.?

And despite the confident manner in which she refers to the book,?Anderson explained to The Guardian how she believes many women feel held back by fear – a fear’she has experienced herself: ?I have at times felt paralysed by fear. Whether work-related or life-related.”

?What I do know is that if I don’t get up when my alarm goes off, if I stay in bed even for an extra five minutes, I will be in trouble – my worries will take over. I’ve got kids to get me up, but I know that if I didn’t, my head might start spinning, and that affects every aspect of my life: how I relate to my family, how I move out into the world, how the expression behind my eyes in the photo shoot is.?

Her candidness on anxiety is refreshing (it is not an easy thing to speak publicly about), and she says her next step is to get to the truth behind her worries.

Anderson with co-star David Duchovny for the 1998 film version of The X-Files
Anderson with co-star David Duchovny for the 1998 film version of The X-Files

?I keep myself busy because when I stop, that’s when I get in trouble,” she continued. ?That’s what I’ve learned. But then sometimes it’s important that I force myself to stop, because what am I running from? It could be that I’ve got huge grief left over from the death of my brother or it could be that because I am 47 and know how challenging it is to get work as you move close to your 50s, that much of my perpetual movement is about the fear of it [work] stopping. Either way, I need to get at the truth of it.”

The actress also shared her thoughts on ageism in the industry, and how she feels about going grey.?”I did a job once where I felt like the oldest person in the make-up trailer, and I literally cried for two days afterwards.?I was grieving my youth, wondering where it had gone. I didn’t even feel like I was present when it was there. But then it becomes about embracing what you’ve got, and so much is great about this age.?

“In some ways I can’t wait [to go grey],” the 47-year-old said.?I have to assume that, at a certain point, the proposition will present itself to me.”

The web went slightly crazy today, in that the first minute of the series-opener appeared online. The X-Files is due to air in the UK in February, on Channel 5. ?Watch the preview below and get excited:

Via The Guardian