Gillian Anderson lied about her age to get The X-Files role

Actor pretended to be three years older than she really was

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 17 November 2020 10:25
Gillian Anderson
Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson has revealed she had to lie about her age in order to get cast in The X-Files.

The actor played doctor and FBI agent Dana Scully in the Nineties series, alongside David Duchovny as paranormal investigator Fox Mulder.

Speaking on the NPR podcast Fresh Air, Anderson said she nearly lost out on the role.

Terry Gross asked how she got the job when she was 24, which is younger than most doctors.

The actor replied: “Well, I lied. I lied about my age in the first audition, I said I was 27.”

Anderson explained that series creator Chris Carter was “convinced” she was right for the part, but the network thought otherwise.

“All these other actresses from the theatre community in New York were being flown in because I wasn’t good enough for The X-Files,” she said. “So I was auditioning suddenly with Jill Hennessy and Cynthia Nixon. 

"Anyway, eventually I ended up getting the job.”

X-Files creator Carter recently apologised for the way the series ended, and seemed to assign blame to Anderson for the fact it would never return.

Anderson can currently be seen playing Margaret Thatcher in season four of The Crown on Netflix.

Many viewers have been conflicted over her portrayal in the series, which sees Anderson bring humanity to the controversial leader.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in