August 28, 2021  •  Leave a Reply

X-Files and Sex Educations star has a Best Supporting Actress nomination for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Crown.

Gillian Anderson looked amazingly similar to Margaret Thatcher when she played the late Prime Minister on the most recent season of The Crown. Was it ever odd for the X-Files star to look in the mirror during the shoot and see The Iron Lady staring back at her?

“Well, it was,” says Anderson, who has been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Emmy as a result of her performance on the show. “When you’re there in front of the mirror and they put the wig on for the first time, and having the particular eye shadow and the dyed eyebrows, it took your breath away. It was quite shocking and startling but it was pretty cool to have that experience.”

Below, the actress talks more about playing Thatcher, her Crown costars, and her memories of winning an Emmy back in 1997.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What research did you do prior to playing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher?

GILLIAN ANDERSON: A lot. I started reading and watching everything I could. The Crown team has a phenomenal research contingent, so I got to ask them for any obscure piece of footage or information I wanted. You just absorb as much as your brain can hold and hope it translates to something that makes sense to people who knew or experienced her. When you start to worry about serving the audience, about what what the audience may or may not want to see or hear or experience based on the majority opinion or strong trauma or whatever it is they may have gone through and wish to be reminded of, then I think one gets into trouble. You really just have to focus on the framework of the story and within that try and stay true to to the human being. When you agree to do something you basically just need to please the producers and the writers and yourself in terms of how it is that you are coming to understand this human being.

The other nominees in your category include your Crown costars Helena Bonham Carter and Emerald Fennell. So now is your opportunity to besmirch their good names, should you choose.

[Laughs] No, I’d never do that. I’ve never actually met Emerald before but I know Helena well and think she’s one of the great humans of the world, so I’d never do that.

You won an Emmy in 1997 for playing Dana Scully on The X-Files. What do you recall about that night?

I can tell you that the skirt of the dress I wore was so tight that I couldn’t walk up to the stage normally, facing frontwards. [Laughs] I didn’t know until I was actually on live TV that I was going to have to walk sideways in order to get to the podium. I remember that.