fuck yeah david and gillian : documenting the awkward since 2010
“I was out with my partner last night, quite late, grabbing a bite to eat, and there was a table full of giggly 20-something girls, drinking and talking non-stop, you know just out having fun. Not that was very much part of my life even before we started the series, but when I think to myself, ‘where was I then?’ or ‘how did I end up skipping that period?’
“I forget that I ended up skipping that period because I was working those years, instead of being out with girlfriends, or… out in the social scene and stuff. I was very myopic, and we were so often in Vancouver, and there just wasn’t room for it, there wasn’t enough time. It was… I don’t… I don’t regret it in any way, shape, or form. But I think I sometimes forget that I was AWOL almost for a decade.”
GA, Washington Post, 2008
So much of the show was also about the amazing chemistry between David and Gillian. What were they like to work with?
William B Davis: It’s funny about the amazing chemistry between them because they didn’t get along well together…
I have heard that. Is that really true?
WBD: Well, that’s not for me to say, I suppose, but let’s say I think the relationship was inconsistent. They were fine to work with, you know. They were… they were overworked. I think this told on them - sometimes they kind of wished they were somewhere else whereas we Canadians were always delighted to be…
To be home?
WBD: Well, happy to be working! Just happy to be together working, so…
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For almost a decade, she and her co-star David Duchovny, with whom she was reported to have a testy relationship, worked 16-hour days, five and a half days a week, nine months a year. Only after the series ended did she realise how unhappy this had made her. “Not at the time. I had no frame of reference.” She does remember feeling very low during her pregnancy (she started having panic attacks at this time), and after her daughter’s birth, and when Piper started reaching first for the nanny.
“You know, early twenties, all the emotions, and I had a baby, and then a divorce, and I was on a brand-new series that was doing well, and all the publicity surrounding that, all the nonsense about David and I, and there were times when it was unbearable.” Hastily, humbly, she adds, “And yet, I was so fortunate to be a part of something that was so exceptional. We did have fun.”
The Observer, May 2006
Also from that article (Entertainment Weekly, 4/2000):
“There will have to be some arrangements made to make the show survivable,” says Anderson, referring to the 70-hour weeks demanded of her and her costar.
Duchovny suggests that had X-Files creator Chris Carter developed other regulars into main characters, the pressure on them would be less. “It would have been great if Mitch Pileggi had been made into a third lead.” It might have given the series more longevity, he adds, “but no one’s used well on the show, aside from Gillian and I, and sometimes I don’t think I’m used well.”
[…] Although the lawsuit didn’t name Carter as a defendant, it has soured whatever friendship he and Duchovny had. “I think we’re both taking it personally,” says Duchovny, who confirms that they don’t talk much anymore. “His business is private and my lawsuit disrupted that.”
These were hard times in Duchovny-land, but….
Describe the on and off-screen relationship between David and Gillian.
On-screen, they have an awesome chemistry— they cook together. Off-screen they’re both actors doing their jobs— they get along fine, but you can imagine how many hours they’ve been together over the last seven years. If I had to look at another person that much, I’d probably hate them. They don’t hang out together, but they get on amazingly well for the amount of time they have to spend together.
So, none of the rumours about the two of them feuding are true?
I think they’re too tired to feud. It takes too much energy for that crap.
Mitch Pileggi, 2000
In fact, Anderson missed only one episode and was back to work - after an emergency C-section - in just 10 days. “I was getting restless,” says Anderson. “I wanted to get back to work because it was really hard on David, and it’s the two of us up there, you know?”
A knock on the door and it’s time for another take. Anderson hurries back to the dank basement of a high-rise, where Duchovny is waiting. “You OK?” he asks her. “Fine,” she smiles.
TV Guide, March 1995
Series co-star David Duchovny has only a limited role in the story, but Anderson says that was a gift, not a slight. “I know for myself how important time is, and time away from work, and it was an opportunity for me to give him that,” she said.
Gillian Anderson, on writing/directing ‘all things,’ 2000
For almost a decade, she and her co-star David Duchovny, with whom she was reported to have a testy relationship, worked 16-hour days, five and a half days a week, nine months a year. Only after the series ended did she realise how unhappy this had made her. ‘Not at the time. I had no frame of reference.’ She does remember feeling very low during her pregnancy (she started having panic attacks at this time), and after her daughter’s birth, and when Piper started reaching first for the nanny.
The Observer, May 2006
What’s a typical day like for you when you are on the X-Files?
“Normally I get up in the morning and work out for an hour to an hour and a half. And try and spend a few minutes here and there with my daughter. Then we all jump in the car, come to work, I work on the script on the way to work, and go into hair and make up, get dressed, go to set, work for about 15 hours — 16 hours, 12 to 16 hours — get done, change, work on the script in the car on the way home, work on the script at home, and go to bed. If I’m a little bit early then I spend extra time with my daughter. And then it starts all over again the next morning.”
GA, HAL press, March 1997
This kind of day is normal on The X-Files. Each episode of the series is shot in eight days, with a second unit doing an additional five days’ work. It’s a punishing schedule that continues, relentlessly, for nine-and-a-half months a year. Today, Gillian was picked up at her home at 7am. Since contracts stipulate a 12-hour break before shooting can resume, the next day they’ll start at l pm, and the next day at 5pm, finishing well into the night. This and fact that it rains constantly in Vancouver explains the series’ dark, windswept look: a trademark born more from necessity than invention.
“We try and film a feature in the time it takes to film a TV show,” says Gillian as we talk between takes. “And we do it, but it kills us in the process.”
Face Magazine, May 1997
ziyalofhaiti replied to your photo: This kind of day is normal on The X-Files. Each…
Does this mean that they have at least a 12 hour break between the conclusion of one episode and the beginning of filming of the next episode —or is this journalist talking about every day? :confused:
They had a 12-hour break between “days” of the filming schedule. So they would work from 8am to 1am; then from 1pm to 5am; then from 5pm to 9am, and so on. I’m not sure if every day was a full 16-hour workday - sometimes they say 14.
As soon as he got married all of a sudden they werent close..i used to feel bad for gillian because i think she thought they were close.
Personally, I don’t think that’s the main reason for the chillier atmosphere around 98/99. I just think they (especially David) had reached an exhaustion point by the last year in Vancouver (although David’s marriage to Tea did make him lose all patience with his life up there, I think), and it was especially bad during the summer that Fight the Future came out. At that point they had been filming for almost 24 months straight. They were doing so many interviews, and you can just hear them souring on every topic they have to talk about umpteen times.
But I have often gotten the impression that Gillian would have been happy to have them be closer or friendlier than they sometimes were, and she always seemed more comfortable expressing affection. I’m not sure whether that is really because she was more invested, however. I kind of chalk that up to her being the woman in the relationship — just because I think women sometimes feel more tension or pressure when there is something ‘wrong’ in a public or working relationship. Even now, she is always very quick to say things like “but it was always good” or “it was never that big of a deal like everybody pretended it was.” Whereas David has started saying things like “it’s no secret that we couldn’t stand each other for periods of time” — and whenever someone asks why they didn’t see much of each other before XF2, Gillian starts to explain that they emailed, and David starts to explain they’d “had enough.” And so on.
Nonetheless there is a lighthearted mood on the set today. Perhaps it is because the lines the actors are shooting are funny. Perhaps it is because this is Duchovny’s last day here before Christmas; starting tomorrow, he has 17 days off, his longest break in three years.
“We’ve been together five years,” he says, “and there’s some days like this and some days where we all hate each other.”
US Magazine, March 1998
Trained in the theater, she stepped before a camera for only the third time when she filmed “The X-Files” pilot episode. “Let me tell you about tension and stress,” Anderson recalls. “I was a mess. It’s taken me a while, and I’m still learning every single day I work.”
The show’s long work hours and location also have conspired to keep the 25-year-old from feeling the full impact of jumping from TV unknown to series lead. “I’m not out much,” Anderson says. “I work and I go home. I work on the scripts. I wake up and come to work. And in between I try to get my bills paid.”
AP, Feb 1994