Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gillian Anderson Interview

Recently, I went back with my boyfriend and watched most of the XFiles series. The last seasons start to plummet downhill at an exponential rate, so we almost made it through Season 7. Although they lost fuel to continue a government-conspiracy-cover-up-from-alien-plans-to-colonization-Earth plot line, they stretched it as thin as they could until they just weren't able to pretend anymore. 

I was feeling curious about Gillian Anderson's life outside of the XFiles. I found an interview with her and some of her comments about living in America were quite interesting (she's been back and forth between here and London her whole life):
 "It's easier to be myself here. I can go out wearing whatever the hell I want, no matter how ridiculous it looks. If I do that in America, people look at me like I'm insane. There are aspects of the British press which are incredibly intrusive, but then you'll go to a premiere and someone will ask permission to take a photo, and when you say, "That's enough", they'll back off. In the States, you go to a restaurant and there are people lined up outside with 8x10s of you. Or they just follow you with a video camera. I had someone deliberately rear-end my car a few years ago in L.A., and there was a video camera: they were videoing my reaction. Luckily, I was in a good mood.
I know people who are embarrassed to be American. They don't like showing their passports. It's becoming a scary place. It takes someone very brave not to be quiet, someone who doesn't mind death threats, their life being turned upside down, news cameras outside their door. There is no freedom of speech in America anymore. They are not living up to the constitution. There's so much fear in America and control."
Maybe Americans don't see it as much within the country, but I've definitely seen people not wanting to admit they are American when they travel outside the country. Their usual cover up is Canada, since the accents are close. 
Sometimes it's real embarrassment for the country as a whole, but other times it's just wanting to not be associated with certain images:
Gillian offers a distressing insight. Take Egypt, for example. They've just succeeded in overthrowing a dictatorial regime through revolution, so they can live a free, democratic life. Their most powerful guidepost, however, the United States, has citizens that don't feel free, feel fear to tell the truth, and want to deny they are Americans when they leave the country?
Everything is good in theory - but when it's put in the hands of flawed human beings and brought into reality, it never looks quite the same. 
On the positive, our democratic society has access to a cornucopia of knowledge and has significant personal freedoms compared to most people. That's worthy of inspiring others to ask for what they deserve as human beings. Even if this change doesn't result in a completely ideal world for the Egyptians, there will definitely be significant improvements, and that's nothing to sneeze at. 
The view of Cairo is nothing to sneeze at, either
On a different note:
"I walked in thinking, it's going to be like riding a bicycle. It wasn't. It was like riding a unicycle. I'd been trying so hard to stretch myself in other roles, and to catch myself when I did anything that remotely resembles Scully, that when I was put back in the ring with her, my brain started misfiring."
This is a personally relevant quote for me. Brings me back to my struggles of putting on a filter in my mind to make sure the 'right' thing is released, while subduing what I 'shouldn't' do. Then, somewhere down the line I try to access those oppressed parts of my mind, only to have the empowered parts rebel and misfire on me. 
The good news - it takes time and patience, and I have definitely become more patient in recent days. I'll talk more about patience in another post. 
My conclusion on my searchings - Gillian Anderson, aside from being more beautiful than was obvious in her frumpy FBI clothes in the series, seems to be a really cool person. She has a daughter named Piper Maru, got married the first time in a Buddhist ceremony on a Hawaiian golf course, the second time on an island off the coast of Kenya, and is heavily into philanthropic and charitable organizations. And - she has intelligent, insightful things to speak about. 
I love unexpected inspiration.

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