We're hyperventilating at the thought of six new “X-Files” episodes, but let's not forget we have multiple reasons to get excited for upcoming Gillian Anderson projects: She also joined the cast of the BBC/Weinsteins TV drama version of “War and Peace.” It's going to be six one-hour episodes, and you know what that means: Maybe Anderson can cash in on some of that Kate Winslet-in-“Mildred Pierce” miniseries Emmy cred she so deserves. Let's hope Gillian and Tolstoy are as dynamic a match as I want them to be.
Until that blessed TV event goes down, let's take a look at what's streaming online and fall in love again with the kickass thespian prowess of Gillian Anderson. Here are five morsels worth revisiting.
“Playing By Heart” (on Netflix)
God bless ensemble dramas of the late '90s starring every “it” actor in existence. You've got Angelina Jolie, Anthony Edwards, Jay Mohr, Jon Stewart, Ryan Phillippe, Madeleine Stowe, Sean Connery, and Ellen Burstyn in one emotionally taxing film about foxy grownups just trying to make it in this life. Strangely, this is not Gillian's only 1998 film with Gena Rowlands. (Please see “Mighty” to confirm.) This movie has a serious cult following, and I think it's because amid the shiny blue '90s coats and raver festivities, “Playing by Heart” does feel sensitive and warm. Jay Mohr will devastate you! Trust me here!
“The X-Files” (on Netflix and HuluPlus)
Surely there is nothing more to be said about why “The X-Files” was revolutionary or why Scully is one of the baddest characters in TV history, but let's just add that Gillian Anderson's performance remains somehow stoic and empowering. She's like a comic book heroine who feels real, and I can't say I've felt that about many comic book characters. Every season of “The X-Files” has brilliant episodes, and Gillian's hair is unerringly rad.
“The Fall” (Netflix)
I just talked to someone who watched the first four episodes of “The Fall” and was “deciding whether or not to keep going.” Uh, we must not be watching the same show, because “The Fall” is a meticulously arranged and plotted parade of thrills for me. Whether you're marveling at the creepiness of an exacting serial killer (Jamie Dornan) or the sexualized yet sternly professional Stella Gibson (Anderson) as she tracks him down, it's a cool and bizarre show that juxtaposes disgusting sociopathic acts with average human frailties. It's pristinely unsettling.
Never heard of this? Get into it: “Sister” was the Swiss entry for the 2012 Best Foreign Film Oscar and it's a sweeping, harrowing movie about complicated familial relationships set to some of the most gorgeous cinematography of the past five years. Anderson is the sole American actress in the ensemble, and she is s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g.
This amazing “The Daily Show” clip (Comedy Central)
Just a couple of “Playing By Heart” costars yakking it up! Damn. Look at precious Jon Stewart and spunky Gillian gesticulating wildly and cracking each other up. I don't care what anyone says: 1999 was a cool time and “No Scrubs” should be our national anthem. Silly hos unite.