All About Gillian

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Anderson aspires to be new Tennison (2013)

Gillian Anderson has revealed she has always wanted to play a character like Prime Suspect’s Jane Tennison, and feels she has found that in new drama The Fall.

The X-Files star plays Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson in the new BBC crime drama about a serial killer, played by model and actor Jamie Dornan.

In an unusual twist, the suspense thriller reveals Jamie’s character to be the murderer from the beginning, and the audience follow his dual life as a father and husband by day and psychopath by night. The story also follows Gillian’s character’s investigation into a series of murders.

Gillian said: “I was always a fan of Prime Suspect and had read other attempts at recreating that in a way and always found them lacking. And there is something about this that felt like it had the depth and complexity, and yet simplicity, of that series, and I really liked her.

“I love how she develops. I love how you don’t really get to know who she is or what makes her tick, and yet you want to know. But you don’t feel like it’s held back in an attempt to be mysterious.”

Award-winning ITV drama Prime Suspect ran from 1991 until 2006 and starred Dame Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison, a strong woman devoted to her work who became a sex symbol.

As part of her research, Gillian, 44, revealed she read official police manual The Senior Investigating Officer’s handbook, which she described as “so fascinating”.

But she admitted that after playing FBI agent Dana Scully for nine years in hit US show The X-Files, she felt well equipped for the role.

“I did a lot of reading, and I’ve played other law enforcement officials before…” she laughed.

The first five-part series of The Fall is due to begin on BBC Two in May and writer Allan Cubitt has already begun work on a second. Asked if she could see herself reprising the role for future series, Gillian said: “Yes, definitely.”

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