Gillian Anderson says she quit Hollywood after seeing ‘worst of the industry’

Actor immediately moved to London after the end of The X-Files in 2002

Adam White
Monday 16 November 2020 11:44 GMT
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Gillian Anderson quit Hollywood after seeing “the worst part of the industry” during her run on The X-Files.

The actor, who has received unanimously strong reviews for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, spent much of her childhood in London before moving permanently to the USA at 11. She then returned to London in 2002, shortly after the end of The X-Files.

“A lot of people didn’t understand when I moved to London after the success of The X-Files and asked why I would disappear from Hollywood,” Anderson recalled to Australia’s TV Week.

“I always missed the UK and always knew I was going to end up back here,” she continued. “But back then, part of that decision was also that I had a complicated relationship with becoming so famous so young and seeing the worst part of what the industry can be. I really hated it and wanted to get away.”

Anderson said that now she is older, she is able to put it in perspective: “The rewards that I’ve been blessed with for following my instincts are many, and I never got to the point of even considering moving back to America.”

While Anderson received an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work as FBI agent Dana Scully on The X-Files, she earned the majority of her critical kudos in the wake of her return to the UK. 

She has been nominated for three Olivier Awards for her work on the London stage, and has drawn raves for her work in Netflix’s Sex Education and the limited series Bleak House and Any Human Heart.

The actor’s performance as Margaret Thatcher has also attracted mixed opinions from long-time fans, with some expressing slight unease over her portrayal of the former PM in The Crown.

“Gillian Anderson as Thatcher has made me the most sexually confused I have ever been in my life,” wrote one conflicted viewer.

Gillian Anderson at an event for ‘The Crown’ in 2019

Another added: “I have such a girl crush on Gillian Anderson but she’s playing Thatcher and I really don’t want to fancy Thatcher! Looking forward to a very conflicted Sunday afternoon.”

The Crown is currently streaming on Netflix.

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