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The Sun: Parents will always be the bad guys

The Sun
Parents will always be the bad guys
Garth Pearce

[Original article here]

GILLIAN ANDERSON became an international star at 25 playing special agent Dana Scully in hit US television show The X Files.
Now 42, she spent her initial years in London before leaving for America, aged 11, with her parents, where she admits to having some wild teenage years.

Gillian now lives in London with daughter Piper, 16, from first husband Clyde Klotz, and sons Oscar, four, and Felix, two, with partner Mark Griffiths.

Having established herself as a top-notch actress in British films, Gillian has come in for high praise for her latest TV role as Wallis Simpson in Channel 4’s Any Human Heart.

“WHEN I moved with my parents from London to America at 11, I hated it.

There was part of me which wanted to put the brakes on and scream: ‘This is not happening.’

But it did happen and I had some difficult, rebellious teenage years. When I left high school my classmates voted me Most Likely To Be Arrested!

What I learned about those years is that I should have talked more about what I was feeling instead of behaving in a silent, resentful way.

Although I was born in America, I regarded London as home. But I then found myself living with my parents in the middle of Michigan.

What a culture shock.

Exactly the same thing happened, in reverse, with my own daughter Piper.

She was brought up in America and I brought her with me — aged 11 — when I moved back to London.

The biggest lesson I learned from being 18 is that I should have talked more about my feelings.

The result is that I now talk to Piper non-stop.

I have often wondered what the pay-back might be for my own adventurous teenage past.

Part of me thinks that the relationship between teenage girls and their mums is set in stone. The parent is always going to be the bad guy. There is a reason, in my opinion, why teenagers have to go through a tough time.

If they did not forcibly separate themselves by saying: ‘You are the enemy,’ there is no way kids would be able to leave home.

Huge success ... Gillian Anderson with David Duchovny as The X Files' Mulder & Scully

Huge success … Gillian Anderson with David Duchovny as The X Files’ Mulder & Scully

But I do think plenty of talking to each other — and talking through everything — is the way forward.

I have been given a chance to do things differently with my own daughter — and hope she comes away from it with positive memories.

She is curious about the fact that she has spent a good period of her life growing up on a film set.

That was just the way it had to be at the time.

I was in The X Files and working non-stop. It is not an ideal way to bring up a child. But I would not want to be a teenager again.

That is certainly one lesson I’ve learned. I have always felt older. Even in my twenties, I wanted to be 34 or 36.

Life goes at such speed, though, it is like a whirlwind and you don’t appreciate how quickly it will go by when you are 18.

I just spent my life showing up and doing what was in front of me, as an actress.

I remember getting The X Files, my first marriage, the pregnancy, my first baby and the divorce — all within three years. I was so wrapped up in the here and now.

The incredible work rate on the show made life more acute, in a sense.

I had all the advantages of a hit show and being able to travel comfortably.

But there were things I could never do, like hitchhike across Europe, which I wish I had done. I do not generally handle time off very well.

So a lot of the time off is spent with me trying to deal with it successfully.

Mark has helped. We met through mutual friends.

He has a very good head on his shoulders and part of me was ready to be grounded. I am able to do small-budget films which interest me, because earnings from The X Files have allowed me to do them. It is a lovely position to be in and I feel alive and creative, both as an actress and a mother.”

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