Gillian Anderson on What She Would Do If She Wasn't Acting

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Answers by Gillian Anderson, Emmy®, Golden Globe® and SAG® Award-winning actress, on Quora.

A: Well I guess on the one hand it means we can't get away with anything in public anymore! It also means there's greater outreach to fans, which can only be positive given its the fans who dictate ultimately whether we are hirable or not! I don't tend to share personal photos (I'm not on Instagram, so I haven't really taken a serious leap into that world). I did start tweeting more when we began filming the new X-Files series. Fans old and new showed their appreciation for those tidbits of insider information. I get that. And I get the desire to be included in something outside of one's own experience. But I'm still not ready to share pictures of my porridge, children, or buttocks.


A: I really enjoy architecture and interior design. I wouldn't want to do it for a living or really even create a space for anyone but myself, but I do tend to get a bit obsessed with floor plans and well, houses. We generally move every five years. I get bored or I see a house that I can't not take on as a project and I work on it for a year and then I sell the one we are in and either break even or (woo hoo!) make a bit of a profit and we move. I am a very visual person and I've realized over the years it has just become one of the ways I express myself. After we move and it's been the predictable nightmare of extended deadlines and costs, I say "never again!" And then four or five years later, I fall in love again. Friends and family have come to accept that this is simply something I do.


A: The ones that have either a personal connection or because they break my heart. Ones whose mission are to help people in situations that make me unbearably sad to even imagine, let alone have to ever endure. For instance, the thought of children being trafficked for sex or used as slave labourer makes me so unbelievably sad and mad. The fact that it exists and is allowed to happen under our noses and is even in some countries sanctioned is beyond comprehensible. The fact that billions of dollars of global money is made forcing other human beings, including children, to do things not only against their will but also under appalling and often brutal conditions is hard to think about but indeed a reality for up to 20 million humans on this planet. The facts and reality of modern day slavery are becoming better documented. Organizations like Free The Slaves and Childreach International are doing great and effective work, but the real work needs to happen on a bigger scale with governments and big businesses who refuse to trade in goods that have used slave labour or by naming and shaming the business that turn a blind eye. It's also imperative that local government and law enforcement put the eradication of sex trafficking at the top of their agendas, including creating effective trauma counselling for girls and boys who have been "freed." I'm not talking about women who chose to make a living through sex. I'm talking about teenagers kidnapped and sold as sex slaves in Washington DC. It's not a joke. Glad you asked? Actually you didn't but clearly this is an issue that breaks my heart.

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