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Sex Education Star Gillian Anderson Had Nightmares After Filming Certain Episodes of ‘The X-Files’ Due To Horrifying Storylines

Sex Education Star Gillian Anderson Had Nightmares After Filming Certain Episodes of ‘The X-Files’ Due To Horrifying Storylines

It has been 30 years since we first met Mulder and Scully in The X-Files. This 1993 science fiction thriller TV show with 11 Seasons is based on two FBI agents, Mulder (played by David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson).


Their jobs were to dig into all these unsolved cases, which are known as X-Files. These cases involved some serious supernatural and paranormal elements.

The X-Files
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in The X-Files

The X-Files is that rare show that seems to exist both in the era it came out and is still cool today. One of the important things that makes it a great show is its balance between myth-arc episodes and Monster of the Week episodes. These factors keep the audience hooked, wondering what’s around the next spooky corner.

The show not only gave chills to the audience but also to its leading lady, Gillian Anderson, who faced some mini breakdowns during its filming.

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Also read: “They were looking for someone bustier”: Pamela Anderson Almost Replaced Sex Education Star Gillian Anderson in Her Breakout Series Because of Studio’s Lack of Faith

The X-Files Gave Gillian Anderson On-Set Chills

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files
Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files

Gillian Anderson revealed that she had these little breakdowns during her time on The X-Files. The 52-year-old actress played her character for nine seasons, from 1993 to 2002. And guess what? She even reprised her role in 2016 and 2018 when they revived the show.

No doubt the show has made her one of the renowned actresses in the entertainment industry as a TV icon, but that caused her too much pressure.


Recently, ET Online shared a flashback (first) on-set interview of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. In the interview, Anderson shared that when she read a particular script, she had nightmares the first night she went to bed. Anderson said during the latest THR Roundtable Discussion with The Hollywood Reporter:

“I had a good couple of mini breakdowns during that.”

She shared how she wanted to leave her iconic Dana Scully role behind and didn’t want to look back after the show ended:

At the end, could not talk about it, could not see it, could not see pictures, could not. I needed to immerse immediately in theater in another country. And then after a while, I was able to embrace it again, but when I started to embrace it, it was almost like I separated myself so much that I was looking at the image as if it was another person. When you immerse yourself so entirely as we can and we do for such long periods of time, there’s not going to be no consequence to that. Of course there’s going to be consequence to that.

The discussion also featured other actresses like Cynthia Erivo, Anya Taylor-Joy, Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, and Mj Rodriguez.


Also read: “It was almost like I separated myself so much”: Sex Education Star Gillian Anderson Had Mini Breakdowns in Her Iconic Role That Was Almost Snatched by Pamela Anderson

The X-Files Wasn’t Just Traumatic to Gillian Anderson But For Her Kids Too

The Bad Blood episode in The X-Files
The Bad Blood episode in The X-Files

Gillian Anderson admitted that one episode of The X-Files was so terrifying to her kids. It was so spooky that they had nightmares for two weeks straight. The TV star confessed in a pre-recorded interview on This Morning:

“There is one that I thought was mild – it happens to be my favourite. They’ve all seen all the Harry Potter movies and Lord Voldemort.”

The Sex Education actress went on to say:


“There are some that are funny, the episode had a flying vampire kid that delivers pizza.”

Anderson was talking about the one episode called Bad Blood — from Season Five, which was too frightening. The mother-of-three added, “It put them off The X-Files for the rest of their lives.”

Watch The X-Files on Hulu.

Also read: “I eventually said f–k no!”: Sex Education Star Gillian Anderson Was Ready to Risk Her Career With Bold Dreams to Fight Hollywood’s Double Standards in X-Files


Source: ET Online, The Hollywood Reporter, This Morning

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Written by Shreya

After completing her bachelor's program in Journalism and Mass Communication, Shreya is now pursuing her master's degree in the same. Apart from being an avid reader, she's a huge K-culture buff. She is passionate about dedicated journalism, and with her passion for writing, she's here to give accurate updates about what's trending in the entertainment world with fact checks.