Gillian Anderson Recalls Having "Mini Breakdowns" Filming The X-Files

The fictional events depicted over the course of 11 seasons of The X-Files were quite harrowing and anxiety-inducing for audiences, though star of the series Gillian Anderson recently opened up about how the intensity of filming the series resulted in her experiencing "mini breakdowns." The actor noted how it was specifically filming the first nine seasons, as opposed to either of the two revival storylines, but that after filming would wrap on each arc, she would have to distance herself from the experience as much as possible. Anderson has said on multiple occasions that her stint in 2018's Season 11 would be her final time portraying Dana Scully.

"I certainly had that experience doing X-Files for nine seasons. I had a good couple of mini breakdowns during that, and at the end, could not talk about it, could not see it, could not see pictures, could not," Anderson shared during a virtual roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter. "I needed to immerse immediately in theater in another country. And then after a while, I was able to embrace it again, but when I started to embrace it, it was almost like I separated myself so much that I was looking at the image as if it was another person. When you immerse yourself so entirely as we can and we do for such long periods of time, there's not going to be no consequence to that. Of course there's going to be consequence to that."

The initial series concluded in in 2002, with Anderson noting that the shooting process left such an impact on her, she was nervous that she might never return to another TV set, focusing instead on live theater and films.

"When I finished with X-Files, I didn't know if I wanted to be on a set again ever," the actor admitted. "So aside from having grown up in the U.K. and wanting to go back, I knew it would take time before I could, if I was going to. And in London, you could move between theater and TV, and that was always my dream. But every actor has the thing that they'd want more than the thing that they have, and I'm a cinephile, and so I [wonder], 'Why do I keep doing TV? All I want to do is do film.' And I'm still doing TV."

While X-Files creator Chris Carter has previously claimed that the series likely wouldn't continue without Scully, recent years have seen him offer more ambiguous hints about what the future of the series holds, hinting that, despite Anderon's absence, there might be ways to continue the narrative in other formats.

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