Gillian Leigh Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 9, 1968. Gillian’s love for acting began when she decided to audition for a community play while attending City High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“Somehow, I have no idea how the transition was made from wanting to be an archeologist or a marine biologist, to wanting to be an actress, but it just kind of happened,” says Gillian.
As a child, Gillian showed a flair for drama but was more of a tomboy who harbored dreams of becoming a Marine Biologist rather than those of movie stardom. “I loved digging up worms and cutting them up into little pieces, in the interests of science, of course!”
Her mother Rosemary recalls, “From the start Gillian had a real flair for the dramatic. That has simply always been her personality. But the first time I knew something was really up with her and acting was when she was 14 and a teacher assigned her the “Romeo and Juliet” balcony scene. Gillian had no background in Shakespeare, acting or anything remotely like it. Nobody on either side of our family had any experience with acting. Her father was interested in film production, but that had mostly been connected with industrial training films and commercials. But she studied that scene and mastered it with no effort whatever. When she performed it for me my jaw just dropped.”
Before the acting bug hit, Gillian dabbled in the punk rocker scene. “I fainted when it was inserted. My father was furious about it,” Gillian tells of her and her father’s reactions regarding her nose ring.
Gillian’s first big break came when she landed a role in the off Broadway play “Absent Friends.” She won a Theater World Award in 1991 for her performance in this production.
In 1993, Gillian auditioned for a TV pilot of a newly formed Fox Network show called “The X-Files.” It was for the role of Special Agent Dana Scully. “I couldn’t put the script down,” Gillian remembers. During the auditions, there was a bit of ‘behind the scenes’ action.
The executives at Fox wanted someone with less radiance and more sex-appeal cast in the role of Scully, but writer-director Chris Carter insisted that Gillian had the no-nonsense integrity that the role required. “I sort of staked my pilot and my career at the time on Gillian. I feel vindicated everyday now,” says Chris Carter about his decision to stand firm on his choice for Scully.
As luck would have it, on the day Gillian’s last unemployment check arrived, she found out that she had won the role of Agent Scully and immediately flew to Vancouver to begin shooting the pilot.
Today’s YouTube video clip brought to you by user name, MrMj1997 some scenes of Gillian Anderson from season 1 of tv series The X files, song I am Alive by Celine Dion.
“I didn’t foresee at all that it was going to become as popular as it has. I often thought, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ The first year was the hardest in terms of getting into the grueling hours and sleep deprivation and having to perform constantly, day in and day out,” Gillian recalled of the first season.
I’ve admired Gillian Anderson, and her skeptic mind in the X Files, which added to the show, as we wish Gillian Anderson a happy birthday today!
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell