Watch: Gillian Anderson talks dark roles and her true crime obsession
Gillian Anderson has admitted that her years of comedy work on Netflix’s hit series Sex Education has made her obsessed with true crime dramas and documentaries.
The 54-year-old star said that in his spare time, he sought out darker materials as his day job became lighter than in previous periods in his career.
“I’ve only really been interested in true crime since I started doing comedy. I’ve been doing comedy for the past four years,” Anderson told Yahoo UK while promoting his new Gothic thriller The Pale Blue Eye.
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“Before that I was just doing serial killers and really creepy stuff and couldn’t take any more, but now I’m obsessed with true crime.”
Anderson tries to scratch that itch for something darker with The Pale Blue Eye, which isn’t a true crime story but is definitely a tale of mystery and murder.
Based on a 2003 novel, this movie is a whodunnit set in the 1830s when a veteran detective (Christian Bale) is called in to investigate a murder at a military academy and meets young Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling).
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“It’s really fun to be in a world like this, and especially to know about it,” Anderson said. [director Scott Cooper] shoots. You feel it on the monitor with widescreen, snow and students. It was delicious to be a part of.”
Anderson plays the mysterious Miss Marquis in the film, while Toby Jones plays her doctor husband and Lucy Boynton plays her daughter, Lea, who becomes romantically involved with Poe.
“This is a very exciting genre because I think you go in knowing that not everything will be as it seems,” Boynton said.
He added: “I think that’s the joy of it – being technical about what the audience will see on their first viewing and second viewing.
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“As our director Scott has been talking about, I think it’s enough to have a moment of dawn to drop the breadcrumbs, lure you in the first time you watch it, and then watch it a second time and realize what it was all about.”
But when she’s not dealing with violence at home or at work, Anderson looks forward to returning to the world of Sex Education once again.
The show’s fourth season will kick off in 2023 with the closing of the Moordale School causing many characters to leave and others to scatter around the world.
Anderson said that the appeal of the series lies in its originality, adding that “no one had ever seen anything like this before, even from afar,” on TV screens.
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She added: “She’s so heartbreaking and I think everyone on the planet can see themselves being represented on screen or a situation they’ve somehow identified with. So I think there’s a little something for everyone.”
Pale Blue Eye is available to watch on UK Netflix from January 6th.
Watch: The Pale Blue Eye Trailer