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ANDERSON TALKS ABOUT HER LIFE ON THE SCULLY SIDE.

Byline: Bob Strauss Daily News Film Writer

``She's definitely buttoned-down.''

The Emmy Award-winning ``X-Files'' star Gillian Anderson describes the role that's made her rich, famous, a heroine of young women and the dreamgirl of cyberactive young men everywhere like she was objectively observing some odd clinical condition.

Anderson, of course, comes off pretty no-nonsense herself. If it weren't a part of her personality, she couldn't pull off that special panache - brainy, skeptical, stone-facedly self-controlled - that makes FBI agent Dana Scully one of television's most fascinating and groundbreaking characters.

But you can also detect contradictions and banked fires in the 29-year-old actress. Given the right stimulus, a wild side could emerge, something Scully might deem as alien as a sewer-dwelling human tapeworm.

``I have my outlets for any residual rebelliousness that crops up in my daily life,'' Anderson says, tantalizingly declining to give examples. ``But the course of events in one's life and the degree of responsibilities one takes on sort of dictate how one can or cannot be. Motherhood, becoming a scrutinized celebrity, having to show up every day for the show ... I do miss the chance to just go off and do something wild.''

Now add to the list of Anderson's burgeoning responsibilities that of movie star. But even that has more riding on it than your average TV actor's initial forays into the costlier, higher-stakes realm of feature films.

`X' gets large

Anderson and David Duchovny headline a $70 million film version of their show, also called ``The X-Files,'' that opens Friday. Even though there are many factors that will govern its commercial fate, the industry will be judging how well the actors who play the world's favorite unexplained phenomena-investigating, conspiracy-chasing, pathologically reluctant-to-admit-they-adore-each-other couple come off on the big screen.

Anderson, who reportedly was paid a tidy $4 million for her first major film role, is typically cool about the whole thing.

``The challenge was to come up with a script that appealed to both the pre-existing television audience and the people who have never seen the series before,'' she says, looking Scully stylish in a white business blouse and modestly slit skirt. ``I think Chris (Carter, the show's creator and movie's producer) and Frank (Spotnitz, the veteran ``X'' scribe who co-wrote the film with Carter) have absolutely stepped up to the plate in terms of that. But I don't see there being any risk for me in doing the film at all. I'm very happy with what I've seen - and excited by it.''

In the movie, Scully and Duchovny's Fox Mulder have been reassigned to an anti-terrorist unit following the destruction of the X-Files in last season's closing episode of the show. But that doesn't stop them from getting involved in another alarming operation rife with alien colonizers and their apparent allies, the international Syndicate of rich, powerful, ruthless and mysterious men.

The plot thickens

Ranging from a bombed-out building in Dallas to a bizarre experimental facility beneath the Antarctic snowpack to FBI hearing rooms in Washington where, as usual, Mulder and Scully have a lot of explaining to do, the movie indeed delivers its share of summer entertainment excitement. But the scene that may excite X-Philes most involves a close encounter between Scully and Mulder in his apartment building's hallway.

``I was very pleasantly struck by the love story within the film,'' Anderson says. ``To me, it seemed stronger than it is in the series. There was an apparent intimacy between the two of us that I thought really added an extra element - and which is something you don't see very often in an action adventure film.''

Beautifully put. But don't think Anderson is about to let romantic notions run away with Scully's better judgment.

``A love affair would ruin the show!'' she insists. ``When would we talk about it? When would we kiss? Flying around a corner and just before we shoot an alien, we're going to smooch? I don't think so. We come closer, then we pull apart in the series constantly. We're in this dance together, and that's how it works.''

In real life, Anderson has been known to date several of the series' guest actors. She was briefly married to one of the show's assistant art directors, Clyde Klotz. The union produced daughter Piper Maru, whom Anderson says ``teaches me a lot, mostly about unconditional love and patience.''

Professional success and the accompanying fame has put an unexpected damper on her social life, though.

``It's very tricky, it's a big issue,'' she reveals. ``I've experienced that a lot of men are threatened by a woman who makes more money than they do over the long haul. So that's something that needs to be discussed and considered when you're thinking of being in a relationship with somebody. But then, when you go out on a date with someone and you're not quite sure if it's going to work out or not, the press on it forces the situation one way or another.''

Star wars?

Then there's that other relationship the media can't seem to get enough of: the supposedly frosty one between Anderson and Duchovny.

``I think it shifts constantly, on a daily basis,'' Anderson says, by way of not going on record as liking her co-star. ``There have been some absurd things written about our relationship, and there have been some very accurate things written about our relationship. I don't think anybody can really understand it.''

Producer Carter gives it the old college try.

``Relationships are always difficult, I don't care who they are,'' says the man who supposedly knows all the secrets of the ``X-Files'' universe. ``Any relationship that is 5 years old has had its stresses and strains. But the fact that we're all still together, and they're friends and they work together on a daily basis I think suggests that it's a very healthy relationship.''

Anderson has been as vital to ``The X-Files' '' health as the show has been to her career. Born in Chicago and raised in London, Puerto Rico and Michigan, she studied acting at the Windy City's famed Goodman Theater School.

She was also a complete punk at the time - black clothes, Mohawk hairdo, a piercing here and there - and that decidedly un-Scully-like presentation attitude traveled with her to L.A. Though praised now for the exponential improvement in her fashion taste over the last couple of years, initially Anderson was hardly a casting director's dream.

But Carter saw something in the grungy looking yet self-possessed redhead at that first audition half a decade ago.

``There was a seriousness to her bearing that I knew was Scully,'' he says. ``I knew she was someone who could deliver the science believably. And she was, for me, not the kind of tootsie that television likes to cast in male-female relationships. She had it all.''

And now she's itching for a little more. Anderson has made several other movies - ``The Mighty,'' ``Chicago Cab'' - that are awaiting release and is currently filming the relationship drama ``Dancing About Architecture'' opposite such formidable co-stars as Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands.

In ``The Mighty,'' which is based on the popular kids' novel ``Freak the Mighty,'' her character is an alcoholic biker type. One of those rebel outlets she mentioned?

At least Gillian Anderson has some. Which brings us back to the subject of Scully and whether the poor gal ever has any fun.

``Is Scully happy?'' she ponders. ``I think she could be, and she wants to be. She could probably allow herself to be happy, but it would be very difficult for her to switch attention from her work to her personal life - and away from Mulder, too.

``But I think she's generally happy. Just because she doesn't smile doesn't mean she's not happy.''

CAPTION(S):

Drawing, Photo

Drawing: (Cover--Color) GILLIAN ANDERSON: NO FEAR OF HER FUTURE

Meanwhile, David Duchovny and Chris Carter conspire to give us the facts on the `X-Files' movie

Jon Gerung/Daily News

Photo: ``Motherhood, becoming a scrutinized celebrity, having to show up every day for the show ... I do miss the chance to just go off and do something wild,'' says Gillian Anderson.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 14, 1998
Words:1356
Previous Article:`X' MARKS THE PLOT; CREATORS AIM TO DRAW MORE THAN TV FANS : YOU WANT THE TRUTH?
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