Gillian Anderson has FALLen for hot blonde Stella Gibson
Actress just loves playing mysterious cop role
"I think she is maybe getting a little bit closer to him," says Gillian Anderson with a laugh as she teases what we can expect in the next series of The Fall.
'Him' of course is none other than the hottest property in Hollywood, Co Down actor Jamie Dornan, who stars alongside Gillian in what became the highest rated drama on BBC2 last year.
But, true to her enigmatic character Detective Stella Gibson, Gillian is giving nothing away about whether or not she will ever catch up with everyone's favourite serial killer Paul Spector.
It's the question everyone wants answered, but Gillian, 45, says she isn't being deliberately mysterious.
"I actually don't know," she admits. "We haven't been given the script for the last episode. The writer Allan Cubbitt is so clever -- so who knows what might happen? What I do know is that I want to come back for many more series."
One thing she can reveal is that if she is coming back, Mr soon-to-be-Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey will be back too. Rumours that perhaps Jamie is a 'little too Hollywood' now he's hit the big time as a movie star are, she says, wide of the mark.
"Jamie is just the sweetest, nicest guy you could ever meet and no he hasn't changed at all. Of course he will be back if we are all back. You know if he says he is leaving us, I'll give him a good slap and change his mind!" she says with a laugh.
Despite once being voted the sexiest woman in the world and gracing red carpets across the globe, it's clear that Gillian, who shot to fame in her early twenties as Dana Scully in cult TV show The X Files, values the friendships she has made while filming in Belfast.
The Fall, she says, is a team effort and the cast and crew are great friends with no boundaries between the on-screen stars and backstage team.
In fact, in spite of her A-list status, we're conducting our interview at the back of a hairdressing salon in Lisburn. While the salon, owned by Deborah McCarthy, sister of well known local actor Gerard, is lovely and a wonderful achievement for the talented 27-year-old hairstylist -- what is Gillian Anderson from The X Files doing on Lisburn's Railway Street on a Monday evening?
"I wouldn't have missed this for the world," insists Gillian. "I wanted to be here to support my friend Deborah at the opening of her first salon. I didn't have to be asked. I am so proud of her. She is such a talent and she deserves every success."
Tiny at just 5ft 3in, but with none of the frostiness of Dana Scully or Stella Gibson, Gillian's once trademark red locks are now blonde and swishy after being carefully tended to by Deborah for the evening. Dressed casually in black trousers and a long sleeved t-shirt, Gillian says she isn't good at "doing glam."
"I'm kind of low maintenance. I can't do my own hair, that's why I need Deborah so much!" she laughs.
Gillian and Deborah have become great friends since the young hairdresser was handpicked to tend to her famous locks. Deborah was living in Australia when she got the call to come home to work on The Fall. She jumped on a plane and 48 hours later was on set.
It's Deborah, Gillian says, who gets her into character to play Stella. They have worked closely together to create 'the Stella look' that Gillian channels when she steps onto set.
"At the minute I am also playing two other blonde-haired roles in different productions so I needed Stella to be individual," she explains. "Deborah helps me become Stella and we created a look that is smart but is not a just-stepped-out-of-a-salon look because that wouldn't work for her. I don't think people realise how important hair is to create a character -- once we have that nailed, it makes it easier to get into character."
As the pair enjoy a catch up and a giggle, Gillian admits that hanging out with her Northern Irish friend causes her a slight problem at times and she tends to adopt a local accent when she spends too much time with her friends here.
Today she is speaking in her American accent although having spent her childhood in London, switching between accents comes easy to her.
"I pick up accents easily and I have to be really careful I don't start doing that up and down thing you all do when you talk," she says. "I don't even notice myself slipping into it.
"I have picked up a few local words but mainly 'wee'. Everything is wee!"
Although home for the Chicago-born actress is London where she lives with her two 'wee ones' Oscar and Felix -- her eldest daughter Piper is enjoying a gap year in Thailand and she has just returned from visiting her -- Gillian has spent a great deal of time in Northern Ireland over the years.
She starred in the Mighty Celt in 2005 and recently she finished filming Our Robot Overlords with Ben Kingsley which was shot in locations including Carrickfergus Castle.
And filming the sci-fi move -- "It's about robots in case you didn't guess," she laughs -- gave Gillian her first opportunity to see the Northern Ireland countryside.
"I'd only ever really been in Belfast or the studio. When I'm here I'm working and then I go back home to London at the weekend so I don't get much time to explore. When I was filming Robot Overlords, we visited so many amazing places -- don't ask me where please! I saw so much amazing scenery. I was like: 'This is what Ireland is meant to look like!' It's really exquisite."
And Gillian is determined that she will remain a permanent fixture in her adopted home for the foreseeable future. She wants to continue playing Stella for as long as she can.
"I've never played a character like Stella -- roles like this just don't come along very often.She is so enigmatic. She's hard to read. This season is much more intense than last, I think the scripts are better and you can expect the unexpected. It's an amazing season. Very dark and unpredictable.
"I truly don't know what is going to happen with her. One thing I will tell you is that she will get closer to the truth."