Message from Gillian
Posted at 4:16 PM (PDT) on Monday, May 20, 2013
Here we go again. Sorry I just have to set something straight.
I have never in my life said “I turned down a role in Downton Abbey and Game Of Thrones.”
Whilst doing press for Great Expectations I was asked if I ever watched Downton and I said that ashamedly I did not watch anything. They were shocked as if to say “But you live in London!” and by way of apology almost I said sorry but all I know of it is what I read in what must have been the first script. She asked if I had been offered a role and I said yes. And then she named a particular character and I said I did not know and she said an American and I said possibly and she said Elizabeth McGovern’s character and inside I said Oh No! I know Elizabeth and did not wish in any way for it to be a comment about anything least of all a judgment. At the time it was not for me and that was that. Upon reading the subject in the article of which much was made as I had feared, I sent both Elizabeth and Mr Fellows a heart felt apology. I had met the latter on a couple of occasions including once more recently when he shook his finger at me and quite rightly implied-”see what you missed”. Same thing with GOT. A journalist asked me outright – perhaps had heard, no idea, and I had answered in the affirmative. Should I have lied?
And here again a round table discussion for The Fall at which somebody brought it up again and I said that I did not think it was fair to talk about and they persisted and I tried to contribute levity to a situation that never ends well. If I had said I would not discuss it, in the article it would still headline with the forged quote, and proceed to imply that I became snippy as they like to say in the UK or maybe that I tossed my glossy mane in contempt or what the fuck ever- the point being there was no way out except to attempt to imply “silly me, yes my daughter thinks I’m nuts” because as with every other teenager the world over she is obsessed with Games Of Thrones. They asked why I had said “no” and I said in an effort to end it once and for all that it was due to scheduling – all of this was back when the thought of anything serial was giving me heart palpitations. And then to add more lightness to what was now becoming uncomfortable as I realized I was indeed talking about the thing I said I didn’t want to discuss, I made a joke about well obviously if Scorsese offered me a part- fuck the schedule, Id move in with him kind of thing. I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS ANYMORE!!!!! A whole lot of fabulous actors are working their asses off on great shows and do not need to hear about who said no to the f-ing parts.
If you are a journalist and ask me about this subject matter I will stare at you with a smile on my face until you change the subject and after the interview my publicist will call you and kindly mention that if you mention that I stared at you while you attempted to stir shit, I will never do an interview for your magazine or newspaper again. You may not give a shit but I do.
I have been completely selfish. I am so sorry!
Thank you to every last everybody who was involved in the birthday videos.
What a generous gift and so appreciated. Thank you.
Enough is Enough is Enough
Posted at 7:55 AM (PDT) on Monday, August 13, 2012
Earlier this year, I did an interview with Out Magazine to promote a film. During the course of the interview, I grew increasingly fond of the interviewer and we settled into a very comfortable camaraderie. He seemed to be a lovely, gentle, and intelligent man genuinely interested in the life experiences of another human being. Fortunately, it was an accurate, albeit risky, character assessment.
I chose during that interview to discuss the fact that, earlier in my life, I had been in relationship with a woman. It was the first time I revealed this fact in a public forum, and I chose to do so for two reasons. One was that a woman whom I was in relationship with had died a few months beforehand and I felt, in the context of our conversation, it was safe and appropriate to bring it up. Many years beforehand, and well beyond our time together, this woman had called me out of the blue at the height of my television fame to say that she had been offered $60,000 by a tabloid to provide a picture of us together. At the time, for various reasons, not including shame, I did not want that information in the public domain and despite the fact that she was struggling to pay her rent, I asked her not to sell our story. She took what at the time I considered to be the high road. To this day I regret asking her to do that. That 60 grand would have had a greater positive effect on her life than a negative effect on mine. By discussing our relationship in Out, I felt like I was honoring her memory in some way simply by admitting its existence.
The context of our discussion within the interview was ‘choice’, and I was sharing how, unlike those who identify themselves as being gay, I could not speak from experience to the fear and shame that sometimes accompanies that realization, because I have always been clear that I am not. During the interview, I do not believe that I had revealed the fact that she had recently died, but in a subsequent interview with another magazine, when asked why I had suddenly chosen to discuss this area of my personal life, I gave that as the predominant reason why but was keen to move on because I really did not want this to become the new topic of conversation about my life. It’s enough that a good proportion of reporters choose to mention the unfathomably boring fact that I was voted most likely to be arrested in high school or the worryingly inaccurate detail that my ex-partner Mark made his fortune in wheel clamping. But for some reason, lets call him Interviewer #2, decided that instead of reporting this legitimate and honest reason to reveal an aspect of my past, he would use the ironically correct impression that I had liked the interviewer of Out Magazine more than him as a point of humor or false discord, it’s hard to tell which.
So imagine my dismay/horror/disgust to discover that after an interview with the London Sunday Times, interviewer #3 turned my brief response to yes, the same question, as motivation to turn the entire article into a lesbian impregnated specimen of veritable tabloid journalism. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word « fluid » in my life to describe my sexuality, nor would I be so stupid or selfish to count my four days with female friends over seven weeks of family holiday as my favorite part. Do I even need to mention that over my dead body would I refer to myself as a « property wheeler dealer »? I could go on and on. It boggles my mind that this cutting and pasting schlock can be considered legitimate journalism, and by not just an associate editor but someone who fancies herself a champion of women, or should that be the other way round. This article is a perfect example of why publicists do ask for copy approval – not to cover their own lies but to extract the lies and insinuations whipped up by the journalist. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read such a mean spirited interview « about » me, although it fortunately and fabulously revealed more about the spitefulness of #3 than anything at all about its apparent subject. But I digress. A bit. Imagine as well, if you will, that I was actually considering asking this woman who was pretending at the time to be friendly, if she would consider finding a way to work into the article that Mark and I had been separated for some time. Fortunately in retrospect, I did not, so when for some very strange reason, she asked if I was still with my partner, I was justifiably thrown. Had I said something that implied this? Had I said it out loud even without realizing it? Had my publicist said something? #3 so cleverly picked up on all this confusion and I have to say those pauses and ellipses may be the only verbatim detail of the entire article. Bravo.
But this post was not intended to reveal my opinions about horrible people in pseudo-powerful positions but to shed light on an intention to share once, and once only, the fact that a seemingly straight-laced almost middle aged woman with three children can be open and shame-free about her life and love experiences and it’s okay. But what I’ve learned from this is that maybe it’s not. It’s not possible to be honest through the siphon of another. It gets abused and misconstrued and silly me.