This may be Gillian Anderson's big movie moment, but don't think she's nervous. The actress is maintaining an almost Scullyan unflappability even as "The X-Files" looks to be as big of a hit as the TV show that spawned it.
"I'm really kind of casual about it all," Anderson said when she phoned the film desk this week. "I'm excited that the numbers are staying high for the week, and I'm curious about how next weekend will do. I have to say I'm finally relaxed."
Finally? "There was just a lot of press centered around the opening of the film and other commitments," she said. "And I've been working on a film, 'Dancing About Architecture,' with Sean Connery and Gena Rowlands. I play a young woman who's a director of commercials and theater who in the film is dealing with her fear of commitment. She's had some difficulty with relationships, and it's hard for her to trust." Sounds a little bit like Dana Scully, whose relationship with Fox Mulder in "The X-Files" is a bit on the approach-avoidance side.
"There's familiar territory in her, there's a certain part of her that's somewhat closed," Anderson said of her character in "Dancing About Architecture," "but she's much more free-flowing and giddy and silly than Scully is."
In fact, Anderson herself sounds more free-flowing than Scully, especially on a rare day off; at one point she interrupts the conversation to remark on a phenomenon of nature transpiring on the waves crashing nearby. "I have a house at the ocean and there's, like, all these little wood logs from somewhere, and on every single wood log there are two or three white birds."
Does playing such a reserved character ever become a strain? "Yeah, I mean, I'm used to her and that's who she is and I love her and enjoy her," Anderson said. "The ongoing adamant skepticism is what becomes difficult to play over and over again. But Scully's changed so much over the past two seasons, and she's doing the best that she can do."
Is she surprised at how "The X-Files" has gone from a hit to a phenomenon? "I think we all are," Anderson said. "I think we've all been taken by surprise and are constantly shocked and in awe of how it's transpired."
Does she have any idea why a conspiracy-laden science fiction serial drama would capture the imagination of millions? "I don't really have any theories," she said. "I think it's really timely. And there's a certain level of unrest and searching that's taking place the world right now, and it seizes that."
Rare show of 'Park Row'
The Charles Theatre B-Films series keeps the hits coming tomorrow with "Park Row" (a last-minute replacement for "I Married a Monster from Outer Space"), Samuel Fuller's rarely screened 1952 drama about a 19th century newspaper war. This one isn't on video, so don't miss it. Saturday screenings begin at 11: 30 a.m. and repeat the following Monday at 7: 30 p.m. For more information, call 410-727-FILM.
Pulling up 'Anchor'
Don't miss the Frank Sinatra retrospective at the Orpheum in Fells Point, which ends its run Sunday. "Anchors Aweigh," Sinatra's 1945 musical with Gene Kelly that is often overlooked for the later "On the Town," is paired with "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962), John Frankenheimer's brilliant political satire/thriller in which Sinatra turned in one of his most powerful performances.
On Monday, the Orpheum will begin showing two classic films dealing with filial dynamics and talky marginal characters: Jim Jarmusch's seminal 1984 film, "Stranger Than Paradise," starring John Lurie, Richard Edson and Eszter Balint as three misfits on an aimless road trip, and "The King of Marvin Gardens," Bob Rafelson's 1972 drama starring Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern as brothers involved in a two-bit embezzling scheme.
'Bride' genes were loose
"Designer Genes" is the theme of this year's summer film series, curated by the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions office of cultural affairs. Six films shown in as many weeks will examine the issues raised by the current revolution in genetic research and will be followed by discussions with guest speakers.
The series begins Wednesdaywith "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935), James Whales' famously gothic embellishment of the Frankenstein canon, and a discussion led by Orpheum owner and cineaste George Figgs. The "Designer Genes" film series will run every Wednesday through Aug. 5 at the Preclinical Teaching Building Mountcastle Auditorium, 725 N. Wolfe St. The series is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410-955-3363.
Pub Date: 6/26/98