Count Gillian Anderson out for any more seasons of The X-Files. In a new interview, the Emmy winner talked about her career, breaking down each of her powerful characters. And she said Dana Scully’s story ended on an “unfortunate note” that makes her confident another season of the series isn’t likely.
Anderson is being rewarded with the Variety Icon Award at a ceremony in CannesSeries on April 1. Ahead of the ceremony, she told Variety what it would take for her to be interested in returning to the sci-fi series.
Anderson and David Duchovny starred in the hit series for nine seasons from 1993 to 2002. The story continued in the 2008 film, and then it was one of the many TV classics to get the reboot treatment. The X-Files Seasons 10 and 11 aired in 2016 and 2018. It ended with Anderson’s detective persona revealing she was pregnant. The creative choice wasn’t well received by fans, nor Anderson, it seems, who left the series after Season 11 ended. (Notably, creator Chris Carter told The Hollywood Reporter that was never supposed to be the series’ end.)
“It just feels like such an old idea,” Anderson said of returning to The X-Files. “I’ve done it, I did it for so many years, and it also ended on such an unfortunate note.”
“In order to even begin to have that conversation [about another season] there would need to be a whole new set of writers and the baton would need to be handed on for it to feel like it was new and progressive,” she continued. “So yeah, it’s very much in the past.”
Anderson was originally drawn to Scully because she wasn’t like any other female characters on TV at the time. The Sex Education star said that feeling came back when she learned about detective Stella Gibson in The Fall.
“There was something so completely different about [Stella] than Scully, and she felt like such a modern woman to me,” she said, adding she took on the role “because of how good and spare and mature the writing was by Allan Cubitt. That really drew me.”
Given the many powerful women Anderson has played throughout her career — Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, sex therapist Dr. Jean Milburn in Sex Education, Eleanor Roosevelt in The First Lady, and yes, even Catherine the Great’s mother, Joanna, in The Great — it seems that the one-of-a-kind, different feeling is a prerequisite for all of her projects.
The X-Files, Available for Streaming, Hulu