The X-Files: Gillian Anderson Reveals "Mini Breakdowns" During Filming

Gillian Anderson is well-aware of her status as a pop culture icon leaving her mark on the Fox sci-fi series The X-Files as FBI agent Dana Scully for 11 seasons from its original nine-season run in the 1990s to the revival in 2016 and 2018. Unfortunately, her time on the revival left her worse for wear. In The Hollywood Reporter's Actress Roundtable, Anderson was joined by Anya Taylor-Joy, Cynthia Erivo, Mj Rodriguez, and Sarah Paulson to discuss a wide range of topics- including their on-set experiences.

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Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios

"I certainly had that experience doing X-Files for nine seasons. I had a good couple of mini breakdowns during that, and at the end, could not talk about it, could not see it, could not see pictures, could not," Anderson said of her time coming back to The X-Files. The star announced she would not be returning to the series prior to the season 11 finale. "I needed to immerse immediately in theater in another country," she continued. "And then after a while, I was able to embrace it again, but when I started to embrace it, it was almost like I separated myself so much that I was looking at the image as if it was another person. When you immerse yourself so entirely as we can and we do for such long periods of time, there's not going to be no consequence to that. Of course, there's going to be consequence to that."

The X-Files: Gillian Anderson Reveals "Mini Breakdowns" During Filming
Gillian Anderson Photo by DFree /

Anderson's also participated in both X-Files feature films with co-star David Duchovny. Since the series' original end, the actress was a staple in the theater taking on smaller projects. More recently, she's taken on higher-profile roles with memorable turns on Hannibal, American Gods, The Fall, The Crown, and Sex Education. She's currently filming The First Lady for Showtime playing Eleanor Roosevelt, her second prominent historical figure role after Margaret Thatcher in The Crown.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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