Saturday, November 8, 2014

New Interview of Jamie and Gillian Anderson With Daily Express

How different are serial killers from the people who track them down? That’s the intriguing concept behind Allan Cubitt’s hit psychological thriller The Fall.

The dark and gritty drama, which returns for an eagerly anticipated second series this week, earned international acclaim when it first screened last year and became BBC2’s most successful drama launch in more than eight years.

The Fall follows Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, a complex and often detached senior officer with the London Metropolitan Police who has been assigned to Belfast to track down a serial killer targeting young, professional women.

Stella is played by Gillian Anderson, who first found fame in the 1990s playing Dana Scully in hit paranormal drama The X Files.

“The minute I landed in Belfast and reconnected with the cast and crew and started to slip back into Stella’s shoes, it felt like she was under my skin, in a good way, and I really enjoy spending time with her,” Gillian, 46, says about returning to The Fall.

In an unusual twist, the serial killer was revealed at the beginning of the first series to be bereavement counsellor and family man Paul Spector (played by 32-year-old Jamie Dornan). But while viewers are in on the culprit’s identity, how long will it take for Stella and her team to work it out and catch him?

Belfast-born Jamie, who also stars in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of the steamy hit novel Fifty Shades Of Grey, says he is delighted that The Fall has proved so popular. He was keen to return to the disturbing and contradictory role of Paul.

“It really did feel like coming home. I’ve never returned to do a second series of anything before, but I can’t imagine it feeling any better than coming back to this,” he says.

“For the new series, I had a very detailed, 80-page breakdown of what would potentially happen in each episode and I was genuinely shaking because I was so excited to get stuck into it. The scripts arrived a few months after that and they lived up to it and more.”

The drama picks up 10 days on from where we left it at the end of the first series, and Stella’s hunt for the killer is becoming increasingly desperate.

Meanwhile, Paul is also battling to keep his murderous identity a secret as he struggles with family fall-outs and mounting pressure from the police investigation. How long will he be able to resist his terrible addiction before he strikes again?

“A lot of the circumstances that the characters find themselves in are surprising and unpredictable,” Gillian says. “I was very pleasantly overjoyed by just how good they were, and the stories and the trajectory of the characters.”

Jamie agrees that much of The Fall’s success is due to the fact that its two main characters behave in a way that viewers may not expect, and so their expectations are constantly being tested.

“I think it’s such a treat to have so much unknown territory within a character and Alan Cubitt is the master of unknown territory. He was very open to what Gillian and I planned to do with that and portray it on screen.”

The Fall promises plenty more twists as the second series delves within the complicated minds of Stella and Paul, and both Gillian and Jamie hope that viewers will be left feeling uneasy about how they are meant to react to these characters.

“There were two or three scenes in this series that were really hard work. There was a moment where Stella was not necessarily telling the truth and not revealing something to somebody who trusts her,” Gillian hints. “So, at what point is she lying? At what point is she being a good detective?”

The drama’s dark and edgy atmosphere is played out against Belfast’s dramatic backdrop, which Jamie credits for adding a heightened tension to the drama.

“Even now, when I say I’m from Belfast, people ask me, ‘Oh my God, is it OK there? How was your upbringing? It must have been crazy.’ And you’re having to constantly defend it and explain that it’s a great place full of brilliant people,” he says.

“And as a geographical place to set this drama, what a great idea. For me it was a total thrill to be there and appreciate it and show that there’s so much more to it than people think.”

Gillian agrees that it was the perfect setting for the thriller. “Belfast is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. I’ve had the most extraordinary experience working there,” she adds.


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