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“I have at times felt paralysed by fear” Gillian Anderson on dealing with anxiety and going grey

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Amy Swales
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Actress Gillian Anderson has discussed the challenging effects of the specific anxiety felt by women in a new interview, revealing she’s “felt paralysed by fear” in the past.

Speaking to The Observer about the book she is co-writing on female empowerment, WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere, Anderson explains how she believes many women feel held back by fear – and that it is something she has experienced herself: “I have at times felt paralysed by fear, yes. Whether work-related or life-related.

“What I do know is that if I don’t get up when my alarm goes off, if I stay in bed even for an extra five minutes, I will be in trouble – my worries will take over. I’ve got kids to get me up, but I know that if I didn’t, my head might start spinning, and that affects every aspect of my life: how I relate to my family, how I move out into the world, how the expression behind my eyes in the photo shoot is.”

Anderson, who is returning to TV screens as FBI agent Dana Scully in nineties favourite The X-Files this month as well as filming the third series of BBC's The Fall and performing on stage in New York, also touched upon the topic of women ageing in the notoriously harsh acting industry – revealing how she was once reduced to tears.

Gillian Anderson David Duchovny The X Files 1998

Anderson with co-star David Duchovny for the 1998 film version of The X-Files

Asked how she felt about getting older, she says: “One goes through stages. I did a job once where I felt like the oldest person in the make-up trailer, and I literally cried for two days afterwards.

“I was grieving my youth, wondering where it had gone. I didn’t even feel like I was present when it was there. It is really shitty. But then it becomes about embracing what you’ve got, and so much is great about this age.”

Anderson, 47, adds that as an actress, she’d had to think about whether to let her hair go grey, saying in some ways she “can’t wait”, but adding, “the flip side of that is that there is a moment where an actor makes a conscious decision to go grey […]

“I have to assume that, at a certain point, the proposition will present itself to me. Maybe there’ll be a period when I’m not getting work as a blonde because blonde doesn’t work with the amount of wrinkles I have, and then I’ll have to go grey to get work.”

The full interview can be found at theguardian.com

Images: Rex Features

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.

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