NEW YORK (AP) — There's agent Dana Scully of "The X-Files" and Blanche Dubois in "A Streetcar Named Desire." Also Lily Bart in "The House of Mirth," with a little Bedelia du Maurier, aka, Hannibal Lecter's shrink, thrown in.
Of all the period costumes and unraveling of twisted psyches that Gillian Anderson has taken on, she likes her Stella Gibson the most. Gibson being the enigmatic detective superintendent sent from London to Northern Ireland on the critically acclaimed serial-killer series "The Fall," aka the thing Jamie Dornan finds himself in the middle of as "Fifty Shades of Grey" madness takes tighter hold.
Anderson had little to say about Dornan in a recent interview, begging off because the two didn't physically work with each other on "The Fall" during the first season. They do a little the second time around as Dornan's woman-killer, ex-family man Paul Spector, goes on the run.
Netflix drops the second season of the taut, Belfast-set drama Friday.
"Jamie Dornan wasn't Mr. Fifty Shades of Grey" when the slow-paced, cat-and-mouse show began on Irish television and the BBC, Anderson said. "Jamie Dornan was cast after having done very little, and we cast him before 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' so that's what our starting point was. This was a fresh face of somebody who was clearly a very good actor."
The 46-year-old Anderson, who has won awards for both stage and screen work, owes her early success to Scully, but considers Gibson the most interesting on her resume, with little-to-no backstory provided for the character during the first, five-episode season.
"The script for 'The Fall' was very different than anything I've read before, and I felt that Stella was about as complex a character as I ever encountered," she said. "That appeals to me. Even after the second season, after we do get hints here and there, maybe bits of her past, you're still asking the question who is she and what makes her tick?"
One thing that keeps Gibson going is lap swimming. Anderson hit the pool herself the first season but required a body double for the second.
"I don't generally enjoy it," Anderson said of Gibson's pool obsession. "But the day that we shot all those scenes I thought this is OK, I like this. I could maybe do this on a regular basis, and then between that point and the time that we shot the second season I developed what's called a frozen shoulder."
As for how television's female crime fighters have changed over the years since the "X-Files" debuted, Anderson doesn't really know.
"I don't watch TV myself," she said. "I seriously don't know how people find the time. ... I have a lot on my plate and when I'm (on) airplanes, I'm writing. I'm more likely to choose a film if I do make that time for myself."
In addition to three kids, Anderson has given birth to "A Vision of Fire," the first of a science fiction book trilogy co-written with Jeff Rovin. And she's been working "for about 100 years" on a screen adaptation of Elizabeth Rosner's debut novel, "The Speed of Light," about a brother and sister dealing with their father's secret past.
And she's now one of the executive producers on "The Fall," which saw the exit of director Jakob Verbruggen. Season two duties fell to creator Allan Cubitt. Anderson said she can "pretty much" promise a third season. With Dornan?
"We don't know that he's gonna follow us into a third season," she said.
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