Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Gillian Anderson shocks kids by rejecting roles

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson believes she could have been a much more high-profile actress if she wanted to be.

The 44-year-old actress has 18-year-old daughter Piper as well as sons Oscar, six, and four-year-old Felix. She puts her family first and would only work on something which meant being away from her children in exceptional circumstances. Piper is still getting to grips with that.

"Yes, but also because I don’t like the roles very much," she said, when Stylist magazine asked if she'd refused parts due to her family. "Not that they’re not good! Whether it’s Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey, my 18-year-old cannot believe I’ve turned down things she loves. But with a four and six-year-old, I can’t justify spending that kind of time away from home, unless I’m working with [director Martin] Scorsese."

Gillian stars in the new US TV drama Hannibal, in which she plays the therapist of iconic fictional cannibal Hannibal Lecter. In America the series is being billed as her comeback, but Gillian has worked extensively in other countries over the last few years.

It's something which makes her laugh and she's adamant if she'd wanted to be more prolific it wouldn't have been a problem.

"It’s not that frustrating. I just look at it and giggle. But yes, I would," she said, when quizzed on whether she'd like high-profile roles. "I’ve never chosen not to, I think if I decided to go to Los Angeles and sit there for a while, more high-profile stuff would come my way, but I haven’t done that. I love living in London – it’s the city I love the most in the world."

The flame-haired star has previously spoken of her struggle to keep her life balanced. She veers towards self-destruction, but as she's aged she's discovered ways to stay calm.

The star finds staying in the moment helps and she also won't watch too much TV or use computers much.

"I do yoga and meditation, that helps. Also, I read things in an attempt to ground myself and remind me to stay in the here and now, rather than jump too much into the future of planning and organising the chaos of life," she explained.

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