Gillian Anderson interview: ‘The Crown’

“You can have the wig and you can have the clothes and you can have the movement and you can have all of that, but if the voice is wrong you’re kind of screwed,” Emmy winner Gillian Anderson admits about the key to her uncanny portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Crown.”

Anderson reveals that once she found Thatcher’s voice, everything else began to fall into place, adding that “at the same time, it’s the voice and it’s the costume and it’s the movement and trying to get all of those working simultaneously,” she explains. Watch our exclusive video interview with Anderson above.

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Anderson starred as the controversial political icon throughout the fourth season of Netflix’s flagship drama “The Crown,” which was created by Oscar, Emmy and Tony-nominated writer Peter Morgan. She joined the series’ current cast, who debuted in its third season, with Oscar winner and Emmy nominee Olivia Colman replacing Emmy winner Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, Emmy nominee Tobias Menzies stepping in for Emmy nominee Matt Smith as the the late Prince Phillip, Oscar and Emmy nominee Helena Bonham Carter replacing Oscar and Emmy nominee Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, with a raft of new characters joining the fold like Emmy nominee Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Erin Doherty as Princess Anne.

After three seasons in which “The Crown” focused on the earlier years of the Queen’s reign as monarch, it returned late last year as the beloved royal family continued to evolve and age over time, introducing Emmy nominee Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and Emmy and SAG Award winner Anderson as Thatcher. Anderson, Corrin, O’Connor and the show itself have dominated on the awards circuit this year, winning at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, and with the show’s cast, Anderson and Corrin also adding a SAG Award to their mantles.

Last month, the series scored a staggering 24 Emmy nominations, leading all other programs alongside limited series “WandaVision,” and up from 13 nominations for each of its three previous seasons. Perhaps it is not surprising that its nominations haul almost doubled this season, given that it was not only one of the most buzzed-about series on any platform, but also arguably one of the most critically acclaimed, premiering to rapturous reviews stateside and scoring an impressive 96% “certified fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

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Casting Anderson as Thatcher ended up being a stroke of genius for the show, with her often uncanny portrayal being lauded for its authenticity, strength and vulnerability. For Anderson to deliver a more nuanced and compelling performance, it became apparent to the actress that she had to figure out who Thatcher was as a real person rather than rely on preconceived notions about her public persona.

“One of the first things that I have found very helpful is to kind of leave all of my preconceptions or all of my assumed preconceptions based on other people’s apparent presumptions at the door and kind of start from scratch,” she explains. “Just starting from the beginning and just learning about this other human being, from the standpoint of her being a human being, as opposed to going backwards learning about her as Prime Minister,” she muses. “You know, it kind of takes a bit of the pressure off because you feel like you’re learning about a three dimensional person and so that’s how I started with just reading and listening and watching and doing as much of all that as I could.”

“She was so confident in her sense of humor and so coquettish and playful and it was quite a unique view into also how in throw her audience was around her, of which you see many variations throughout her life,” Anderson explains. “She had people eating out of her hands, particularly men and, and so it was just those little things made a huge difference in terms of piecing this person together.”

One thought on “Gillian Anderson interview: ‘The Crown’”

  1. For me Ms. Anderson has been doing stellar work since the X Files ended. Some movies or productions were not the biggest or quality she deserved, but she always stood out and gave a nuanced, smart portrayal. I’m glad for more recognition & accolades for her, and hope starring roles in quality work will keep coming to her. Oh, not to say the movies she’s been in were substandard, just her part could have been larger or she could be the Star !! lol. She is one of those actors that you can “see” the emotions in her face, no need for outrageous exaggerations or dramatic turns when Not needed. I just enjoy her acting, it always pays off for me. Thanks.

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UPLOADED Aug 2, 2021 1:32 pm