It is quite a feat for an actor to be intensely memorable without appearing needy or even demonstrative, but
But to get a measure of the respect still commanded by the 45-year-old, witness the buzz of excitement generated by announcements of her forthcoming work. This autumn, she will return in the second series of The Fall on BBC2, in which she plays DSI Stella Gibson, still in pursuit of a serial killer (
She has long displayed in interviews the sort of lacerating self-deprecation that will be ideal for Blanche. "I had a moment not long ago when my age hit me for the first time," she said last year. "There's a lot about getting older that I'm still very much looking forward to. But there was a moment - more than a moment, a couple of days - of proper, full-fledged grieving over my youth and loss. Years lost and time wasted."
It is no stretch to imagine those sentiments haunting the stage of the Young Vic when Anderson delivers these words as Blanche: "Physical beauty is passing - a transitory possession - but beauty of the mind, richness of the spirit, tenderness of the heart - I have all these things -aren't taken away but grow! Increase with the years!"
Anderson herself gives the impression of never having depended on the kindness of strangers, with the possible exception of The X-Files creator
Hers was, as she tells it, a difficult upbringing. By the time she arrived with her family in Crouch End, north
While she was going through puberty, her parents had two further children, "when I needed a great deal of attention". She once told a journalist that she came to identify, years later, with the teenage daughters in
As an adolescent, she sported a blue mohican as wide as the blade on a circular saw and came top in many yearbook categories: Class Clown, Most Bizarre Girl, Most Likely To Go Bald at School. At 16, she was cast in a community play. It was an unexpected path but a fulfilling one: "I knew from the bottom of my heart that this was what I wanted to do."
She acted on stage but had logged only one TV role when she went up for The X-Files. Opposite
The show became a phenomenon. But the most uncomfortable truth was that she was suffering. A year into the run, she married
She and Klotz didn't last much longer. "There were times, especially during the divorce, when I was just in tears constantly," Anderson said. She was accompanied on the set of The X-Files by a team of make-up artists devoted to disguising the fact that she had been crying.
To appreciate the schism in Anderson's life, it is worth remembering what else was going on in the same period. She was the co-lead in one of the most popular series in TV history, a show to which she felt increasing ambivalence. "I'm exhausted by the series," she said in the late 1990s. "I would like to do different characters." And she was participating in glossy shoots for men's magazines such as FHM, which in 1996 declared her the world's sexiest woman.
Was she aware of her own beauty? "It's been pointed out enough that I'm starting to feel funny about it," she shrugged. How did she feel about being described as the thinking man's crumpet? "Well, it's better than being lobotomised man's crumpet, I suppose." Her disdain was comprehensive and richly merited. But it is obvious that celebrity itself, rather than just the inane demands that come with it, did not agree with her. She needed to leave The X-Files
With Duchovny appearing only part-time in the eighth series, and a mere guest star in the ninth, the donkey work in the latter stages fell to her. She "got very impatient" to pursue other projects.
One of her best extracurricular choices came up during the last years of The X-Files. The British director
Anderson was heartbreaking in the part: she seemed to pour into it all the frustration and hurt that she had been dragging around with her since childhood, and a little more just for good measure.
With The X-Files behind her, there has been a genuine sense of liberty to Anderson's work. Her post-X-Files performances have been carefully chosen and doggedly unstarry. She was an affecting
She has been a celebrity - in fact, she still is - but her evident distaste for that world has only had the effect of making her look more serious about acting. The X-Files is to Anderson as an unasked-for hit single is to a painfully cool rock band - think Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. That is, something that makes your name, but which you can then rail against strategically: something you dignify yourself by refusing to exploit.
Twelve years after the end of The X-Files, Anderson has not had a pop-culture hit to match it. Quite splendidly, she shows no sign of giving a hoot.
The family returned to the US when she was 11.
She to school in
Best of times She was cast at the age of 24 as Scully in The X-Files. The show ran for nine series, from 1993 to 2002.
For the first of two spin-off films, she negotiated the same fee (pounds 2.6m) as her co-star,
Worst of times Following the birth of her first child in 1994, she suffered panic attacks and postnatal depression before divorcing her husband,
She says "I always had a tendency to be involved in things that have been on the edge in some way."
They say "She reaches genuine tragedy without making it sentimental and that's not easy." Director
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