Gillian Anderson

  1. Jennifer Lopez, Anaconda,  1995.    TV favourites Anderson and Juliana Margulies passed on Terri Flores, head of a documentary film crew taken hostage by an insane hunter chasing the world’s largest snake. No great loss. For Anderson. Or us. 

  2. Anne  Heche, Volcano, 1996.     TV’s bright new –  and studious – heroine  was an early plan for the similar Dr Amy Barnes.

  3. Jodie Foster, Contact, 1996.  Anderson and Uma Thurman were seen for Dr Ellie Arroway, in the Robert Zemeckis take on the story by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan about finding radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence… Enough for Jay Leno (as Himself) to quip: “So it turns out there’s life on other planets. Boy, this is really going to change the Miss Universe contest, you know what I mean?”

  4. Kari Wuhrer, Anaconda, 1996.   “Alone among snakes, anacondas are unique. After eating their prey, they regurgitate in order to eat again.”  For a fun movie during her X Files vacation, Gillian auditioned for Denise Kalberg…
  5. Jennifer Lopez, Anaconda, 1996.  … and was then seen for the leading lady, Terri Flores. She was so way better off as Dana Scully!
  6. Virginia Madsen, Ghosts of Mississippi, 1996.  Anderson and Virginia Madsen were in the loop for Dixie, the loyal wife of DA Alec Baldwin in Rob Reiner’s fine account of the 30 years it took to put the killer of black civil rights leader Medgar Evers in jail.

  7. Ashley Judd, Kiss The Girls, 1997.   Involved in the project in April 1996, she was due to make it during her next hiatus from The X Files.
  8. Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix, 1998.   By a sheer fluke when casting their icons-to-be, Neo and Trinity, the Wachowski siblings (then brothers Larry and Andy, now sisters Lana and Lilly) saw the couple who became TV icons of the 90s as Mulder and Scully in The X-Files – David Duchovny and Anderson. (They also saw Sandra Bullock, Janet Jackson, Michelle Yeoh).
  9. Helen Mirren, Teaching Mrs Tingle, 1998.  Gillian Anderson, Sally Field  and Sigourney Weaver must have been stunned to find themselves short-listed in the same company as  eternal rivalsGlenn Close and Meryl Streep for the  thoroughly nasty history teacher. “Helen Mirren is one of the greatest living actresses,” said auteur Kevin Williamson.  “She elevated Mrs. Tingle to a new level.”  She called it a dream role, because of laying on a bed most days, tied up by her students.
  10. Linda Fiorentino, Dogma, 1999.    Said Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers: Thou shalt not stop laughing… Anderson was (over) writer-director Kevin Smith’s first choice for Bethany. Next? Shannen Doherty, Janeane Garofalo (who became Liz) and singer Alanis Morissette, who played… God. As New Jersey’s askew auteur explained many times: not casting his ex-lover, Joey Lauren Adams, as the descendent of Mary and Joseph was a major error. There were days when Fiorentino wouldn’t even talk to him.
  11. Julianne Moore, Hannibal, 2000.  Anderson said her X-Files agent Dana Scully was inspired by Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. She started talks to take over Clarice in this (first) sequel, but there was a clause in her Fox TV contract preventing her playing8another FBI agent in any other enterprise!  No problem In the Hannibal TV series, 2013-2015, she was Dr Bedelia Du Maurier (!) – Hannibal Lecter’s shrink. For 22 sessions.
  12. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Veronika Decides To Die, 2008.     Anderson and scenarist Katherine Fugate lost their bid to bring Paulo Coelho’s novel to the screen in 2003.But, er, Veronika was in her early 20s, Gillian!
  13. Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey, 2010-2015.   Gillian grew up in London and returned there after her X Files glory in 2002 – but passed on joining the gentry! Which is why Cora Crawley (good name!), Countess of Grantham, went to McGovern, another US Angophile, living in the UK since 1992, when she wed Simon Curtis, stage-screen director of the 1999 David Copperfield and My Two Weeks With Marilyn.

  14. Ashley Judd, Helen,  UK-US-Canada-Germany, 2009.     Gillian was not free for this study of “suicidal depression.”  Good thing for Ashley – because when she suddenly had appendicitis, she happened to be shooting in… a hospital.
  15. Lena Headley, Game of Thrones, TV, 2011-2017.   Because her two sons were young at the time, she passed  on 58 episodes as  Cersei Lannister in the HBO colossus based  on George R R Martin’s  fantasy novel series,  A Song of Ice and Fire, following the bloodthirsty family  battles for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Shakespeare without the words.
  16. Melissa George, Hunted, TV, 2012.     The X-Files meets Spooks.Mulder and Scully’s creator Frank Spotnitzwas trying to dream up something to make with the Kudos combine, whenhe ran into Gillian – visiting LA from her London home – and she also asked if he’d be interested in a UK series.This time he had the answer but Gillian had flownto other gigs. Melissas (from Alias) took over as Sam Hunter, of the Byzantium private intelligence agency – now hunted herself and not knowing who to trust.








 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  15